Saag Paneer Pot Pie
Photos: Jeff Marini

If pot pie is the cozy sweater of meals, then the version at Spinning J in Humboldt Park delivers comfort with style. Chef Dinah Grossman fills a buttery pie crust with saag paneer, the classic Indian mixture of spinach, spices, and cubes of paneer, a mild, creamy Indian-style cheese that miraculously holds its shape and texture when baked. You can find it fresh or frozen at Metro Spice Mart or Cermak Fresh Market.

Dinah Grossman’s Saag Paneer Pot Pie

Makes:One 9-inch pie
Active time:1 hour
Total time:3 hours

1 Tbsp. Unsalted butter
1 Tbsp. Olive oil
2 Medium onions, chopped
1 tsp. Kosher salt, plus more as needed
½ tsp. Black pepper
1½ Tbsp. Minced ginger
5 Garlic cloves, chopped
1½ tsp. Curry powder
1 tsp. Garam masala
½ tsp. Cumin
½ tsp. Turmeric
½ cup Heavy cream
5 cups Frozen spinach, thawed and drained
1 Tbsp. Lemon juice
3½ cups Cubed paneer
2 9-inch pie crusts, fresh or thawed, rolled out flat
1 Egg
1 Tbsp. Water, plus more as needed
  Mango chutney, for serving


Caramelizing onions

Heat butter and olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add onions, salt, and pepper and cook, stirring frequently, until onions begin to caramelize, about 15 minutes.

Reduce heat to medium; stir in ginger, garlic, and spices and cook until fragrant, about 2 minutes. Add cream and spinach and cook until spinach is very tender, 25 to 30 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool.


Blending mixture

Heat oven to 400 degrees. Blend mixture in a food processor until smooth. Stir in lemon juice and paneer; taste and add more salt if desired. Set aside. Press 1 pie crust into a 9-inch pie tin, add filling, and brush edges of dough with water.


Crimping the dough

Drape the second crust on top, turning overhanging dough underneath itself to seal. Crimp edges with fingers or a fork, make 3 vents on top with a paring knife, and chill pie in the freezer for 15 minutes. Beat egg with 1 tablespoon water and a pinch of salt.

Remove pie from freezer, brush with egg wash, and bake until deep golden brown, 50 to 60 minutes. Let cool for 30 minutes before slicing. Serve with mango chutney.