Saturday, 17 May 2008

16.05.08: Saag Paneer and a gorgeous salad

She had a hankering for Indian food on a Friday nite (not unusual) and googled this gem of a recipe for saag paneer - one without added fat from butter, cream or buttermilk. The only hitch: local Waitrose does not sell paneer, and She was not about to hike to next-nearest supermarket at 7pm. So...She got inspired and substituted some half-fat halloumi! To anchor the rich main course served over wild and basmati brown rice, she peeled a mango, chopped the radishes, sliced some avo, and tossed the concoction with with crispy leaves and a readymade beetroot-tahini-horseradhish dip.

HE SAYS: This meal was Indian restaurant quality; with a rainbow-coloured plate it looked great too. Thought the halloumi was an excellent sub for the paneer and overall it was nice and spicy. Mangoes in the salad, whatever next? Pears? Yes, please.

SHE SAYS: This was everything I wanted in saag paneer: deep, rich flavour and creamy textures complemented by the firm, spicy cheese cubes. I knew the halloumi wouldn't let me down - it's a little more crumbly than paneer, but I knew it would stand up to the panfrying. Next time I'll try proper paneer, though, just to mark the difference. I was worried the mint from the halloumi would throw the main spices off, but it was very subtle. Oh, I was out of chili powder, too (unbelievable), but paprika played pinch hitter with aplomb. And after a couple of weeks of uninspired what's-in-the-fridge salads, tonite's raw-food offering was a star. Would def. have the dip again - it tasted nutty + earthy + hot, more of a dip for veg than chips, methinks.

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