Recipe courtesy of Akhtar Nawab

Saag Paneer Malfatti

  • Level: Easy
  • Total: 2 hr 35 min
  • Prep: 20 min
  • Cook: 2 hr 15 min
  • Yield: 4 to 6 servings
Share This Recipe



2 tablespoons fenugreek leaves

1 1/2 tablespoons turmeric powder

1 tablespoon coriander seeds

1 tablespoon ground cumin

1/2 tablespoon chili powder

2 tablespoons olive oil

2 large onions, julienned

2 1/2 tablespoons ginger, minced

2 cloves garlic, thinly sliced

7 ounces tomato puree

2 tablespoons tomato paste

2 pounds baby spinach, cleaned

2 cups heavy cream


2 pounds ricotta cheese

10 ounces all-purpose flour

2 tablespoons fennel pollen

Salt and black pepper

3 whole eggs

Ice water, for cooling

2 tablespoons butter

2 tablespoons olive oil

1/2 bunch fresh chives, chopped, for garnish


  1. For the saag: Toast the fenugreek, turmeric, coriander, cumin and chili powder in a medium saute pan until aromatic, about 2 minutes. Transfer to a plate to cool, and then grind to a powder in a spice grinder.
  2. Heat the olive oil in a large saucepot or Dutch oven and sweat the onions 2 minutes. Add the ginger and garlic and cook until the onions are starting to soften, about 5 minutes. Stir in the spices, tomato puree and tomato paste to combine and cook 2 to 3 minutes. Slowly wilt the spinach into the onion mixture a little at a time while stirring. Stir in the cream to combine, reduce the heat to a simmer and cook uncovered at least 2 hours.
  3. For the malfatti: Combine the ricotta, flour, fennel pollen, some salt and pepper and the eggs in a large bowl using your hands. If mixture seems a bit too wet or sticky, add more flour until a roll-able dough forms. Roll about 2 tablespoons of dough into a ball (coating your hands in flour will help keep the ball from sticking). Continue to roll balls until all the dough is used up, making about 20 balls.
  4. Cook the malfatti in boiling water over medium-high heat until floating, about 30 seconds. Transfer to a bowl of ice water to cool, and then drain.
  5. When ready to serve, heat the butter and olive oil in a large saute pan. Add the malfatti and shake the pan, cooking each side quickly, until golden brown, about 5 minutes total.
  6. To serve, spoon some of the saag as a base on the plate, and top with a couple malfatti. Garnish with the chives.