Palak Paneer with Curried Tofu

Shelley Million sent me this super minimalist baker recipe for saag paneer with tofu in place of the cheese! I've tried a saag recipe or two and wasn't thrilled, but this one is different - we loved it. Here's the slightly adapted and simplified version that we tried and loved.


5 cups spinach
2 T canola oil
2 tsp cumin seed
2 T minced ginger
1 onion
1 serrano or jalapeno pepper (or ground red pepper)

15 oz can diced tomatoes, slightly drained
4 cloves garlic
1 cup cilantro
1/2 cup vegetable broth

1/2 cup cashews OR 1/2 cup coconut milk
2 tsp curry powder
1 tsp garam masala

15 oz block firm tofu
1 1/2 tsp curry powder
1 T soy sauce
2 tsp nutritional yeast

Garnish (optional)
full-fat coconut milk or cashew cream
garam masala


If using cashews, cover the cashews in water to soak -- or do that an hour or two earlier, if you think of it. (Note: You can make cashew cream in the blender and use a little leftover for the garnish, or just toss the soaked cashews in the sautéed veggies before pureeing, and skip the cream garnish).

Fill a large soup pot halfway full of water and bring to a boil over high heat. While you're waiting...

Preheat oven to 425. Drain an press the tofu to get some of the liquid out. Cube the tofu and put in a big mixing bowl. Sprinkle on the curry powder, soy sauce, and nutritional yeast, and gently toss. Place on silicon-lined cookie sheet and bake for 15 minutes (or longer for firmer tofu). Remove from oven and set aside to cool.

Water should be boiling! Add spinach and cook uncovered for 2-4 minutes. Strain and rinse with cold water. Drain well and set aside.

Wipe the soup pot dry and now use it for the vegetable saute: Add oil and cumin seed, ginger, onion, and serrano pepper. Saute until onion is soft and translucent - about 5 minutes. Add diced tomatoes, garlic, and cilantro and saute for 3-4 minutes.  Add the spinach, broth, and drained cashews and cook for 3-4 minutes to deepen the flavors.

Turn off heat and let cool a little. Puree the mixture with an immersion blender. Add curry powder and garam masala. Mix. Taste and adjust flavors as needed.

Serve over tofu and garnish with fresh cilantro and (optionally) drizzle of full fat coconut milk or cashew cream.

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