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Old 03-17-2020, 07:58 PM   #1
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Palak Paneer vs Saag Paneer

I go to a local Indian restaurant several times a year. I usually go to the lunch buffet because I love to try and sample as many different dishes as I can. One of my favorite dishes is Palak Paneer ( spinach with Paneer cheese). Any time it is on the Buffet I take a scoop. On occasion there will be Saag Paneer which basically looks and tastes the same. I go infrequently enough that I dont really read what it is, I just look and take, not paying much attention to whether it is Saag or Palak Paneer. Then one day, I decided to look up what the difference is. Palak translates to spinach and Saag translates to greens. When I researched a little more, the greens can be Mustard, turnip, kale, spinach ... greens.

My question is, if not spinach, what would be the most common authentic green that an Indian would use to prepare this dish? Or does it just not matter ?

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Old 03-17-2020, 08:44 PM   #2
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I have made a number of Indian dishes that were saag, as I don't grow spinach (bolts way too soon) . I have used mizuna, komatsuna, and senposai (maybe some others) in various dishes, and they were all good - all sort of mild flavored mustard greens. Mizuna is the one I have made the most with, since it grows so well in the hydroponics, in the off season. When I see a really good recipe with palak, I just switch it to another green.
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Old 03-17-2020, 08:55 PM   #3
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Do mustard greens lose any of their sharpness when cooked ?
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Old 03-18-2020, 10:42 AM   #4
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They do, but those varieties I noted really don't have the sharpness of a regular mustard green - the kind that make your nose run and eyes water, when eaten raw! That's why the komatsuna is nicknamed "mustard spinach" in Japan - it is very mild. And the senposai is just a cross of cabbage and komatsuna. The mizuna is also mild, and I often eat it in salads, combined with lettuce.
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