Palak Tofu

   

I can eat spinach any which way- raw in salads or cooked in creamy curries. This spinach tofu is not your restaurant palak panner but a more earthy spinach curry made with the addition of besan (gram flour). Fresh or frozen spinach infused with spices makes for a delicious hearty curry. The recipe can be a little complicated, especially with the different spices but follow it through, and you will be delighted with the results.

  The traditional recipe asks for panner and cream in its gravy, but it is a veganized version. I make a restaurant palak panner version with cashew cream, but this one is a hearty, healthy weekday dinner meal.

There is a slight variation here with the addition of gram flour; I do that because generally without it, the curry is runny, which is ok if you are eating with rice but not as much when eating with naan or parathas. You can also always serve the dish with a side of basmati rice or brown rice. This dish makes great leftovers. Actually- this tastes even better the next day!

  I used to make this only with fresh spinach initially, But with work, sometimes I run short on time, or I just don't have fresh spinach in stock, then I make it with frozen chopped spinach. The only difference is the color. As you can see in the picture, it is not as vibrant as the fresh spinach. Also, it's hard to watch a whole bunch of baby spinach wilt into practically nothing. It just seems more cost-effective to simply use frozen spinach, and if I may be honest, besides the color, it tastes the same and shaves of 10 min of the prep, making Frozen spinach a constant staple in my freezer. I like its convenience; it's pre-chopped and blanched, so it's ready to throw into all kinds of dishes.

  A note for blending: If you like more "chunky sauce" rather than a smooth creamy, use a hand blender. That's what I have done here.

Ingredients

INGREDIENTS

 For Spinach 
3 cup water, for boiling
1lb of fresh spinach or 1 frozen 16 ounce bag of spinach
1 inch ginger
1 clove garlic
2 green chillies 
FOR CURRY:
1tbsp oilve oil/ vegan butter 
1-2  bay leaf
2 pods cardamom
1 inch cinnamon
1 tsp cumin 
1 tsp kasuri methi
1 onion, finely chopped

 1 small tomato finely chopped 
1 tbsp besan flour ( gram flour)
¼ tsp cumin powder
½ tsp coriander powder
½ tsp garam masala
¾ tsp salt
½ cup water
1 tbsp lemon juice


For Roasting Tofu
 1/2 block firm  tofu ( cut in small cubes )
1 tbs oil /vegan butter 

 salt and pepper to season 

Directions

INSTRUCTIONS

 

1. In a large vessel, get 3 cups water to a boil and add 1 bunch of spinach into boiling water or a bag of thawed frozen spinach. Allow boiling for 2-3 minutes.

2. Drain off the spinach - and drop into ice-cold water if using fresh spinach. If using frozen spinach, skip the blanching step and just drain all excess water.

3. Drain any extra water and transfer the spinach into the blender. Add 1-inch ginger, 1 clove garlic, and 2 green chilies and blend to a semi-smooth paste. You can also use a hand blender to this is a mixing pot. Remember, the texture will not be as smooth.

4. In a large skillet (a non-stick works great here), Heat 1 tablespoons oil or vegan butter and season the oil generously with salt and pepper. Pan-sear the firm tofu until golden and crispy, and set it aside on a plate to be added later in the dish. Now add another 1 tbsp oil on medium heat and saute 1 bay leaf, 2 pods cardamom, 1-inch cinnamon, 1 tsp cumin, and 1 tsp Kasuri methi until it turns aromatic ( a few seconds)

5. Now, saute 1 onion finely chopped for 3-5 minutes on low, medium heat until the color changes slightly.

6 . Add 1 tomato finely chopped and cook for 2 min - saute till the tomatoes turn soft and mushy.

7. Adding 1 tbsp besan and saute on low, medium heat until besan turns aromatic about 2 minutes. ADD other spices - ¼ tsp cumin powder, ½ tsp coriander powder, ½ tsp garam masala, and ¾ tsp salt saute until spices turn aromatic ( a few seconds) all on low, medium heat. Be mindful not to burn the spices.

8 . Add prepared palak paste. Now add ½ cup water and mix well, adjusting consistency as required.

Simmer for 3 minutes or until flavors are absorbed well.

 9 Now add roasted tofu to the spinach curry and mix well. Cook for another minute or two on low heat, lastly. Add 1 tbsp lemon juice and mix well. 

Serve it with my quick naanhttps://nehasvegankitchen.com/2020/10/13/https-nehasvegankitchen-com-p1303previewtrue/ or with rice !! Enjoy 

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