Making Cilantro Chutney, Naan and Saag Paneer with Elianna Friedman

Elianna Friedman, Founder and Director of Bay Leaf Kitchen visited to show us how to make a few recipes from her recent travels through India.
Here’s how to make Naan, Cilantro Chutney, and Saag Paneer:

For the Naan:
2 cups of flour
1 packet of dried yeast
1 tbsp of salt and sugar
2 tbsp of olive oil
¼ cup of warm water

Combine flour, dried yeast, salt, and sugar in bowl. Mix in olive oil. Add in warm water. Make sure to let the dough sit for 2 hours, to rise. Once dough is rested, roll out dough into little pizzas. If possible, cook naan on griddle, otherwise in a pan is fine too.

Cilantro Chutney:
2 cloves garlic, peeled
1 bunch cilantro with soft stems, washed and chopped
12 almonds, roasted
2 medium limes or lemons, juiced
4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon honey
Salt and pepper to taste

Put the garlic, cilantro, almonds, and lime or lemon juice in a food processor or blender and pulse – or chop and mash all together until it’s like a paste. Gradually add in the olive oil and honey. Continue blending until all the ingredients are evenly mixed. Season the chutney with salt and pepper to taste.
*Cilantro Chutney is also great over roasted chicken, roasted root vegetables, or just as a dip with your favorite bread.

For the Saag Paneer:
1 gallon whole milk
5 limes juiced
1 teaspoon turmeric
½ teaspoon cayenne
kosher salt
4 tablespoons vegetable oil or ghee
1 medium white onion, finely chopped
1 (-inch thumb) ginger, peeled and minced
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 large green serrano chile, finely chopped
½ teaspoon garam masala, (cinnamon, cloves, cardamom pods)
2 teaspoons ground coriander
1 teaspoon ground cumin
3 bunches fresh spinach chopped
½ cup plain yogurt, stirred until smooth

Add all the milk to a heavy bottom sauce pan and heat on medium heat until boiling. Then add lime juice and stir. The milk will curdle and the curds and whey will separate. Continue to stir until the curds are completely separate. Line a colander with cheesecloth and strain the curds through the cheesecloth removing the whey. Let paneer continue to strain for 2-8 hours in the refrigerator. In a large bowl, whisk together the turmeric, cayenne, 1 teaspoon salt and 3 tablespoons oil. Gently, drop in the cubes of paneer and gently toss, taking care not to break the cubes if you’re using the homemade kind. Let the cubes marinate while you get the rest of your ingredients together and prepped. Place a large nonstick skillet over medium heat, add the paneer as the pan warms. Fry the paneer until brown and then set aside. Add the remaining
1 ½ oil to the pan. Add the onions, ginger, garlic, and chile. Saute until caramel color. Add the garam masala, coriander, and cumin. If you haven’t already, sprinkle a little water to keep the spices burning. Cook, stirring often, until the raw scent of the spices cook out, and it all smells a bit more melodious, 3 to 5 minutes. Add the spinach and stir well, incorporating the spiced onion mixture into the spinach. Add a little salt and ½ cup of water, stir, and cook about 5 minutes with the lid off. Turn the heat off. Add the yogurt, a little at a time to keep it from curdling. Once the yogurt is well mixed into the spinach, add the paneer. Turn the heat back on, cover and cook until everything is warmed through, about 5 minutes. Serve.