How long does saag paneer last in the fridge?
In this article, we will answer the question “How long does saag paneer last in the fridge?”, and how to make the best saag paneer?
How long does saag paneer last in the fridge?
Paneer is an important indigenous dairy product that represents one of the soft varieties of cheese. It is estimated that 1 % of India’s total milk production is converted into paneer and the annual production is estimated at 150, 000 tonnes (1).
Saag paneer lasts in the fridge for about 2-3 days, as a leftover (2). However, you can safely freeze saag paneer for an extended shelf-life. Fry the paneer cubes and seal them in an air-tight container or a ziplock bag. Blanch the spinach and store it in a separate container or bag. Label and freeze.
Paneer has a short life span of 5-7 days at refrigeration storage, but freshness of the product is lost after 3 days. It is, therefore, advised to consume the paneer with in week time. The product should be prepared and packed in the premises maintained under hygienic conditions. It shall be stored at low temperature in properly packed ice boxes and distributed under hygienic conditions (1).
According to a research, blanched spinach may be stored refrigerated for 3 days or for a months in the freezer with a decrease in the vitamin C content (3).
How to make the best saag paneer?
- 1 teaspoon turmeric
- 1/2 teaspoon cayenne
- Kosher salt
- 3 tablespoons plus 1 1/2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 12 ounces paneer, (Indian cheese, either store-bought or made from my recipe, recipe follows), cut into 1-inch cubes, see Cook’s Note*
- 1 (16-ounce package) frozen chopped spinach
- 1 medium white onion, finely chopped
- 1 (1-inch thumb) ginger, peeled and minced (about 1 tablespoon)
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 large green serrano chile, finely chopped (seeds removed if you don’t like it spicy!)
- 1/2 teaspoon store-bought or homemade garam masala, recipe follows
- 2 teaspoons ground coriander
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1/2 cup plain yogurt, stirred until smooth
Paneer: Homemade Indian Cheese:
- 8 cups whole milk
- 1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice, plus more as needed, see notes*
Homemade Hot Garam Masala:
- 3 large cinnamon sticks (if you have the kind you get at Indian stores, it’s about 3 tablespoons of cinnamon bark bits)
- 3 tablespoons whole cloves
- 1/4 cup green cardamom pods, shelled, husks discarded (about 2 tablespoons of seeds)
- 4 large black cardamom pods, shelled, husks discarded (about 1 tablespoon of seeds), optional
- In a large mixing bowl, combine turmeric, cayenne, 1 teaspoon salt, and 3 tablespoons oil until homogeneous. Then stir in the paneer cubes such that they do not crumble or break. Set the bowl aside to let the cubes marinate.
- If you are using fresh spinach, finely chop it using a sharp knife. If you opt for frozen spinach. Thaw the spinach on high in the microwave for about 5 minutes. Then pulse in a food processor until pureed.
- Grease and heat a medium non-stick skillet over medium heat. Add the marinated paneer cubes and let them brown evenly from both sides. Toss the paneer cubes to promote even browning. Then transfer them onto a serving plate.
- Add the remaining 1 1/2 tablespoons oil to the pan along with onions, ginger, garlic, and chile. Brown the mixture while frequently tossing it so that it does not scorch. If the mixture looks too dry or starts to burn, add a splash of water and reduce the heat. Saute the mixture for about 15 minutes or until toffee-colored.
- Stir in the garam masala, coriander, and cumin. Cook the spices for 2-3 minutes or until fragrant. Add a splash of water at this point to keep the spices from burning.
- Stir in the spinach, salt, and ½ cup of water. Mix well and cook for 5 minutes until the mixture comes together.
- Remove the skillet from the heat and stir in yogurt, only a little at a time so that it does not curdle. Turn the heat back on and stir in the paneer cubes. Then cook for an additional 5 minutes and serve.
Paneer: Homemade Indian Cheese
This recipe yields 12 ounces of Paneer.
- Grab a large colander and line it with a large double layer of cheesecloth.
- In a large non-stick pot, add milk and bring it to a gentle boil. Stir the milk continuously to avoid scorching it from the bottom.
- Then stir in the lemon juice. In a matter of seconds, you will see the curds forming and the whey separating. This is what we’re looking for.
- Turn off the heat and tip the pot onto the cheesecloth-lined colander. Rinse the cheese under cold running water to get rid of the lemon juice residues.
- Squeeze the cloth to get rid of the excess water and serve the fresh paneer with nuts or honey. After squeezing, it is a wise idea to let the cheese drain. You can do this by hanging the cloth with a kitchen faucet for about 5-10 minutes.
Hot garam masala
Grind the cinnamon sticks, cloves, green cardamom seeds, black cardamom seeds in a coffee or spice grinder. Store in an air-tight container, away from direct heat.
If the curds do not appear, add more lemon juice and raise the heat of the milk to promote curdling. Stir in a motion that gathers the curds together instead of crumbling them.
Other FAQs about Paneer that you may be interested in.
How long does paneer last unopened?
In this article, we answered the question “How long does saag paneer last in the fridge?”, and how to make the best saag paneer?
- Pal, Mahendra. Paneer: A very popular milk product in Indian Sub-continent. Beverage and Food World, 2019, 46, 23-25.
- Leftovers and Food Safety. US Department of Agriculture. 2020.
- Bunea, Andrea, et al. Total and individual carotenoids and phenolic acids content in fresh, refrigerated and processed spinach (Spinacia oleracea L.). Food Chem, 2008, 108, 649-656.