Prep 15 minutes
Cook 5 minutes
In Indian cuisine, saag simply refers to greens. It’s usually spiced greens, like spinach, that are served with paneer, a fresh Indian curd cheese. This version of saag is not a traditional recipe, but flavours from the spices that we love. There are similar dishes such as the Iranian Sabzi which also use spices in a pureed spinach sauce with meat. You can serve this beautiful fragrant spinach curry with feta (as we have here), salted ricotta or even mozzarella works well as a substitute for the cheese, or add white fish such as blue eye trevalla, too. This works as an appetiser with warm roti. It’s also great baked with eggs in the sauce for breakfast. We like to dry roast whole spices and grind for the best flavour here, but it’s also fine to use ground as a quick and easy alternative.
3 tbsp ghee, plus extra to serve
Large handful of curry leaves
Large pinch brown mustard seeds
500gm blanched and chopped spinach or silverbeet leaves (about 1 large bunch), or frozen spinach (about 1 1/2 cups)
100ml homemade chicken stock or water
3 tbsp natural yoghurt, or to taste
200g fetta, brought to room temperature and coarsely crumbled
Lime wedges, coriander leaves, small green chillies and steamed basmati rice to serve.
2 tsp finely ground cumin seeds
1½ tsp finely ground coriander
½ tsp finely ground fennel seeds
¼ tsp finely ground cardamom
¼ tsp ground chillies
Large pinch ground cloves
1. For spice mixture, combine spices and set aside.
2. Heat ghee in a saucepan over medium-high heat and add curry leaves and mustard seeds and stir until staring to pop (10 seconds), then remove with a spoon and set aside.
3. Add spice mixture to the ghee and fry until fragrant and toasted (10 seconds). Add spinach and stock (or water) and bring to a simmer, stirring until combined, then season to taste. Blend the mixture with a hand-held blender, adding yoghurt as you blend, and season to taste. Add the fetta and stir to combine over medium heat until just warmed through, adding a little more water if desired to thin.
2. Season the curry to taste and serve hot, drizzled with extra ghee, or olive oil and serve with chillies, lime wedges and coriander and steamed basmati rice.
Recipe and image by Lisa Featherby.