A Taste of Home Cooking: Saag Feta

A Taste of Home Cooking: Saag Feta

I’ve been listening to old episode of the Bon Appetit podcast lately and let me tell you, listening to people talk about food trends and going out to eat and the boring normality of life pre-pandemic has been equal parts enjoyable and soul-crushing. This recipe falls squarely into the enjoyable column. I heard an interview with Indian-ish cookbook author Priya Krishna and immediately checked the book out of the library solely for this Saag Paneer, but with Feta recipe.

This was seriously amazing. We all love paneer, but the feta was so, so good with the spinach. Obviously spinach and feta are a natural combo, but I didn’t appreciate how good this would be until we tasted it. 

You definitely want to use a good quality feta since it’s one of the stars of the dish. My friend brings me huge tubs of authentic Greek feta from NYC and we’re spoiled for anything else. 

I served this with one of our all-time favs, Indian Spiced Chicken Stew with Potatoes, which was a great pairing.

Saag Feta
As seen in Indian-ish by Priya Krishna

1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons ghee or extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons coriander seeds (or 3 teaspoons ground coriander)
1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom
1 small onion, chopped
1 garlic clove, finely chopped
1 1 1/2″ piece ginger, peeled, chopped
1 lb. baby spinach (about 12 cups)
1 small Indian green chile, jalapeno, or serrano chile, ribs and seeds removed, coarsely chopped
1 1/2 teaspoons fresh lime juice
Kosher salt
6 oz. feta, cut into 1″ pieces
1 teaspoon cumin seeds (or 3/4 teaspoon ground cumin)
1/4 teaspoon red chili powder
Roti, naan, and/or rice, for serving

Heat 1/4 cup ghee or olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Toast the coriander seeds and cardamom, stirring constantly, until starting to brown and smell fragrant. Add onion and cook until translucent and slightly browned. Mix in garlic and ginger and cook, stirring, 1 minute. Add spinach by the handful, letting it wilt slightly after each addition before adding more. Cook until all of the spinach is just wilted. Remove pan from heat and add chile and lime juice; season with salt. Let cool 5 minutes.

Transfer spinach mixture to a blender (reserve skillet) and blend until a coarse paste forms, about 1 minute. Return spinach mixture to skillet and set over low heat. Stir in 1/2 cup water, then gently fold in feta, being careful not to break up. Cook until feta is slightly softened and has absorbed some of the sauce, 5–7 minutes.

Meanwhile, heat remaining 2 tablespoon ghee or olive oil in a small saucepan over medium-high heat. Add cumin seeds. As soon as cumin seeds start to pop, sputter, and brown, remove from heat, 1 minute tops. Immediately add asafetida, if using, and chili powder. Pour mixture over spinach and stir to combine. Spinach (without spiced ghee) can be made 1 day ahead. Let cool; cover and chill.

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