The classic Indian dish saag paneer gets a fun twist by replacing paneer with hellim. This easy to prepare meal of cooked spinach and golden cheese makes a healthy and satisfying vegetarian entree or a great addition to any Indian style dinner.
2 tbsp oil
8 oz hellim, cut into 3/4 inch cubes
2 tablespoons butter
1/2 white onion, finely chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 teaspoons grated fresh ginger
1 1/2 teaspoons garam masala
1/4 teaspoon red pepper chili flakes
16 oz spinach, washed, stemmed and roughly chopped
Freshly ground pepper
2 tablespoons heavy cream
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet. Saute hellim over moderate heat until golden brown on all sides. Remove hellim from pan and set aside.
Melt butter in skillet over medium heat. Add onion, garlic, and ginger and cook until onion is softened, about 5 minutes.
Add garam masala and chili flakes; cook 1-2 minutes. Add spinach in batches, stirring often, until all the spinach is wilted. Season with salt and freshly ground pepper. Add 1/2 cup of water, cover, and simmer 5 minutes. Uncover and cook until most of the liquid has evaporated, about another 5 minutes.
Stir in cream, lemon juice, and hellim.
Serve hot with steamed basmati rice or naan and yogurt.
* You can substitute frozen spinach for fresh. Just thaw, drain well, then add in place of fresh spinach, omitting the 1/2 cup of water in the recipe.
* Original hellim or hot pepper hellim both work perfectly in this recipe.