Saag Paneer: Spinach With Indian Cheese

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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


8 cups whole milk

1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice, plus more as needed, see Cook's Note*

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

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