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Spinach and feta cheese
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4 from 5 votes

Spinach and Feta Cooked Like Saag Paneer

Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time30 mins
Course: Main
Author: Priya Krishna


  • ¼ cup + 2 tablespoons ghee or olive oil divided
  • 2 tablespoons coriander seeds
  • 2 green cardamom pods or ¼ teaspoon ground cardamom (freshly ground is best)
  • 1 small yellow onion diced into ½-inch pieces
  • 1 tablespoon roughly chopped fresh ginger
  • 1 garlic clove minced
  • 1 pound fresh baby spinach 10 to 12 cups
  • ½ tablespoon fresh lime juice from about a quarter of a lime, plus more if needed
  • 1 small Indian green chile or serrano chile roughly chopped
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 6 ounces feta cheese cut into 1/2 -inch cubes (a little over ½ cup)
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • ¼ teaspoon asafetida optional, but really great
  • ¼ teaspoon red chile powder


  • In a large pan over medium heat, warm, ¼ cup of the ghee (or oil). Once the ghee has melted (or the oil begins to shimmer), add the coriander and cardamom and cook, stirring, for about 2 minutes, until the seeds start to brown. Add the onion and cook until it is translucent, 5 to 6 minutes. Stir in the ginger and garlic and cook for 1 minute more. Add the spinach and cook until it is just wilted, 4 to 5 minutes.
  • Remove the pan from the heat and add the lime juice, green chile, and salt. Let cool for 5 minutes. Transfer to a blender and blend into a chunky paste. Return the spinach mixture to the same pan and set it over low heat. Stir in ½ cup water, then gently fold in the feta, being careful not to break up the cubes. Cook for 5 to 7 minutes more to soften the feta slightly and allow it to soak up come of the spinach sauce.
  • While the feta cooks, in a small pan or butter warmer over medium-high heat, warm the remaining 2 tablespoons ghee (or oifor 1 minute. Add the cumin seeds. As soon as (emphasis on as soon as—you don’t want your cumin to burn!) the cumin seeds start to sputter and brown, about 1 minute max, remove the pan from the heat. Immediately add the asafetida (if usinand red chile powder.
  • Pour all of the ghee (or oil mixture) into the spinach and feta once that is done cooking.


SPINACH AND FETA COOKED LIKE SAAG PANEER is excerpted from Indian-ish© 2019 by Priya Krishna with Ritu Krishna. Photography © 2019 by Mackenzie Kelley. Reproduced by permission of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. All rights reserved.