You can pretty much kiss goodbye to Indian food as you know it on the low FODMAP diet. I’m sorry to be the bearer of bad news, but there’s virtually nothing you can get from a restaurant or takeout. A life without Indian food sucks, so you need to hone your Indian cooking skills, stat, and start satiating that desire using your own pots and pans.
Luckily with Indian food, you’ve got some great flavour allies that will more than make up for the lack of garlic and onion. Fresh ginger, coriander, cumin and citrus will make such great new friends, that you won’t even miss your old ones.
So, a saag paneer. My craving for it was born out of having recently finding out that it’s dead easy to make lactose free paneer at home. I was then told by the team at King’s College London that ordinary paneer is actually low FODMAP – truly fantastic news.
A saag paneer should always be quite a dry dish – a lot of people make it in a thick, coconut milk and cream sauce. But that’s not proper – this is.
To get a little moisture into the mixture, in this recipe I use a couple of tablespoons of quark, a very soft cheese that’s actually more like sour cream. You’re allowed two tablespoons of it according to Monash University guidelines.
- 300g mature spinach (2 bunches from the greengrocers with the tough stalk ends chopped off
- 2tbsp ghee (I recommend Ghee Easy, if you’re in the market for a new ghee)
- 300g lactose free paneer (you can also use normal shop bought paneer)
- 40g grated fresh ginger
- 1 green chilli, finely chopped
- greens of 1 spring onion, finely sliced
- 2tbsp garlic infused olive oil
- 2tsp curry powder
- 1tsp turmeric
- 1tsp sea salt
- 3 tbsp quark
- 1 small bunch coriander, leaves picked
- Serve with basmati rice
- Boil your kettle and wash your spinach under a running cold tap. Pop the washed spinach into a large pot and pour over the boiled water. Give it a big stir for about 15 seconds then strain the spinach and immediately cool it down in ice cold water. You then need to strain out as much liquid as possible by hand, then chop the spinach into small pieces.
- Melt the ghee in a heavy bottomed frying pan. Meanwhile cut your paneer into 3cm cubes and once the oil is hot, add the paneer to the pan. Fry it for about 6 minutes, or until it goes golden on the bottom, then flip and repeat. Once it’s golden on two sides, lift it from the pan (keeping the ghee in the pan) and place on kitchen paper. Sprinkle it with a bit of salt.
- Crank the heat of the pan and add the ginger, chilli, spring onion, spices, salt and garlic oil. Stir in the hot pan for two minutes, then add the spinach and paneer – stir until warmed through.
- Serve with basmati rice and fresh coriander.
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