Palak Tofu

   

 I can eat spinach any which way- raw in salads or cooked in creamy curries. This spinach tofu - VEGAN PALAK TOFU is your restaurant palak panner- an earthy spinach curry with the addition of cashew cream. 

It is one of the most popular Indian curries around, and with good reason. This deliciously creamy and vibrantly green dish is made with firm tofu in a mildly spiced fresh spinach sauce. This is a delightful and easy-to-make vegetarian main you just have to try!

This delicious palak paneer is a recipe tried and tested on family members and friends alike and loved by everyone.  I have been making this recipe for our family for years, and I am so happy to share it with you here.

It is one of the most popular and well-liked palak recipes on the blog, not to mention our favorite at home. Packed with healthy nutrients like calcium, iron, and vitamin C, this is a meal that I can feel good about eating.

 In traditional recipes, they always ask for the use of fresh spinach, followed by a blanching process, but I have skipped that step by using frozen spinach.
 Blanching is done to retain the dish's lovely green color and some health benefits, but frozen spinach lets us skip that one step and still retains all the health benefits of blanching. 

This delicious tofu paneer goes well with roti, naan, or paratha. You can also serve it with cumin rice, biryani rice, or my gluten-free naan if you are gluten-free. This dish makes great leftovers. Actually- this tastes even better the next day! 


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 this is a veganized version. I make this restaurant palak panner version with cashew cream for a hearty, healthy weekday or weekend dinner meal.

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. That's when I started making it with frozen chopped spinach. The only difference is the color. But that can be achieved by not covering the dish. You also get the color when you add cashew cream. 
      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 
1 bag frozen bag of Spinach 
1 medium sized onion - finely chopped

 1 medium sized tomato - chopped

 2 garlic + ½ inch ginger - crushed or made into a paste in a mortar-pestle

2 green chilies

2 cloves

 1-inch cinnamon stick - broken

1 small tej patta (Indian bay leaf)

 ¼ teaspoon turmeric powder

 1/2 teaspoon red chilly powder

1/2 teaspoon coriander powder

 1/4 teaspoon Garam Masala Powder

  1 cup water

 2 tablespoon oil 

 1/2 teaspoon crushed Kasuri methi (dry fenugreek leaves) - optional

    salt as required


For Tofu
 1/2 block firm  tofu ( cut in small cubes )
 3 cups water 

Directions

Preparing Spinach::

1. Thaw the bag of Spinach


2. Blend in a smooth puree in a grinder or blender. Add 1/4 cup water if needed.

Preparing Tofu::
1. Cut half a block of firm tofu into 1-inch pieces.


2. Put a saucepot, fill it with 3 cups water. Boil the water, reduce heat and drop the tofu pieces in the water. 


3. Close the heat and let the tofu pieces sit in the warm bath till we are ready to use. This will ensure Tofu is soft and not chewy.


Making  the Spinach Gravy 

1. Heat oil or in a pan or wok on low, medium heat.


2. Fry the bay leaf, cloves, and cinnamon till they become aromatic.


3 .Add the chopped onion and fry till light brown.


4. Now, add the ginger-garlic paste and green chilly and fry for another minute.


5. Add the tomatoes and fry till the tomatoes become soft and mushy.

 

6. Now add the turmeric powder, chilly red powder, coriander powder, stir for 5-10 seconds.


7. The oil should start releasing from the mixture.


8. Now add the palak puree. Stir well.


9. Simmer the gravy till the palak gets thoroughly cooked.


10. The gravy or sauce will slightly thicken.
You can adjust the consistency by adding more or less water. 


11. Drain the water and add the Tofu and incorporate gently and cook for 1-2 minutes on low heat.


 12. Be quick as we don't want to heat the Tofu for more than 1 -2 minutes. Overcooking tofu will make them chewy and dense. For 1-2 minutes on low heat.


13. Now, add the cashew cream and Stir gently again to incorporate the cream uniformly in the gravy. and cook for another 2 minutes  


14. Sprinkle the garam masala powder & crushed Kasuri methi leaves.
Stir and cook the gravy for a minute.


15.  Serve  Palak Tofu hot with some rotis, chapatis, or parathas, or jeera rice.

 Enjoy !!
 

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