I made this Sarson Ka Saag, Potato, Paneer and Pea Pie filling during British Pie Week (7th - 13th March 2016) and then lost Internet connection for five days so could not share the recipe with you then.
I don't want to be pedantic, but many people make a mistake of thinking Spinach is Saag. It is not and sadly many people of South Asian heritage continue to perpetuate this. Why I am not sure, perhaps because they don't know their greens! So let me tell you, Saag is mustard greens and Palak is Spinach. See THIS blog link if you wish to learn more.
Saag is a dish I used to resent eating when I was a child, all green and mushy. Now there are days when I hanker for the siliky green thick sauce. My way of cooking Sarsan Ka Saag is in no way authentic, as the authentic way is time consuming, so I rely on tinned Sarsan Ka Saag. This recipe is my lazy version made with tinned Sarsan Ka Saag but the memories of eating it are rooted in my childhood days and evoke happy and carefree times.
Although you could eat this filling as a curry with rice or an Indian style bread. The filling is actually extremely versatile as its not sloppy.
So here are some suggestions: Make a Indo-Greek Spanakopita with filo pastry; Indian Samosas or individual small hand pies (see below). Or wrap it in a Pakistani roti. Punjabi chappati or Mexican tortilla or slather it over an Indian naan bread and call it a pizza! Or you could simply make one large pie and top it with puff pastry or make individual Pot Pies!
I have to admit that I was partly inspired by the rather pretty Rejina Sabur-Cross aka The Gastro Geek for this recipe. A couple of years back she made Aloo Saag Pies. We have similar ingredients, but our approach to making the filling is different. She uses tamarind. I don't but if you want you could dollop a tablespoon or two of sweet mango chutney, but its not essential.
I used tinned Sarson Ka Saag. there is no way I will ever attempt making saag from scratch at home. See here why?! I either wait for my mother or sister-in-laws to make some and offer me some, or buy it in tins and then I adapt it to my taste. I won't begrudge you if you used tinned spinach - just call it Palak.... please. I am sharing this with Cook Once Eat Twice hosted by Searching for Spice; and Inheritance Recipes challenge co hosted by Solange at Pebble Soup and Coffee and Vanilla.
Sarson Ka Saag, Potato, Paneer and Pea Pie Filling
Ingredients for the Filling
4 tablespoons oil
1 large onion, peeled and finely sliced
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 teaspoon chilli powder
1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
1 teaspoon cumin powder
2 green chillies, finely sliced
1 tablespoon tomato puree
1 large potato, peeled and diced
1 x 800g can or 2 x 400g cans of Sarson Ka Saag or Spinach, drained of any excess liquid
frozen peas, defrosted
For the paneer or tofu
1 tablespoon oil
1 packet of paneer cheese or tofu (rmember to remove liquid), diced
Salt to taste
In a wide pan, heat the oil then stir in the onions and cook until tender. When the onions begin to soften, stir in the garlic and the spices and cook for a couple of minutes, before stirring in the sliced green chillies, tomato puree and diced potatoes. Cook for a few minutes, then stir in the water or stock and bring to a boil, cook on medium heat until the potatoes begin to soften.
Then stir in the tinned Sarson Ka Saag and cook for 15 minutes on medium heat for the flavours to mingle.
While the saag is cooking,
Method for the paneer or tofu
In a frying pan, heat the oil until hot, then pan fry the paneer or tofu until golden. Remove with slotted spoon and transfer to a plate.
Stir the peas into the pot with the Sarson Ka Saag and then gently stir in the paneer or tofu and cook until the peas are done. Taste and adjust seasoning if necessary.
Turn off the heat and allot to cool before using in your recipe.
See introduction of blog post above on various ways to use up this versatile green filling*