Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Spinach and Tofu Curry

Tonight I made a vegan version of saag paneer, a spinach and cheese curry.  The recipe was my own invention, based on having eaten (non-vegan) saag paneer at Indian restaurants and having looked at a few recipes online and in books.  My version may not have been authentic Indian, but it was SUPER tasty.

Because it was so yummy and not too difficult, I decided to share:

  • Make some rice.  You'll do something with it later...
  • Press a block of extra-firm tofu, then cut it into cubes.
  • Heat some peanut oil in a frying pan.  Put the tofu cubes in, and resist the urge to flip them till they've really browned on one side.  It'll take awhile, so proceed with the rest of the recipe, checking on the tofu every now and then.
  • In a different pan, saute chopped onions in peanut oil.  
  • Once the onions are pretty soft, add minced garlic and chili pepper and cumin seeds
  • About a minute later, add some Indian spices.  I used coriander, turmeric, garam masala and a little cayenne pepper but you can use whatever you have around.
  • Slowly add a can of light coconut milk.  Stir it in, let it get hot
  • Add spinach! Mix it in, let it wilt.
  • Once the spinach is wilted, transfer everything to a blender and blend it all up! It will be a beautiful/terrifying green color (depending on your perspective)
  • Probably your tofu is done being fried.  Put the spinach blend back into its pan, and add the tofu.  Mix it all around, make sure it's thoroughly heated.  And you're done!
  • What about that rice?  Using the pan you'd had the tofu in (I hate having extra dishes to do), heat some more oil and toss some raw peanuts in. 
  • Once they're roasty, add cumin seeds and mustard seeds (cover the pan with a lid till the mustard seeds are done popping)
  • Stir in turmeric (not too much, less than a teaspoon) and a couple tablespoons of lemon juice.  
  • Now turn off the heat, and slowly mix in your cooked rice (make sure it's not too sticky-together - you want individual grains).  Make sure it's thoroughly mixed, so your rice takes on the yellow color of the turmeric.  If you have some fresh cilantro, get that chopped up and sprinkled on top.  (I was out of it tonight, unfortunately.)
  • Tada!  You just made lemon rice to go with your saag paneer!
Here's a photo of our leftovers.  It would've looked prettier on a plate, but that didn't occur to me until I'd already spooned it into the tupperware, and I've already established how I feel about extra dishes being used.  Anyway, here it is:

Again, I cannot stress enough how tasty I found this meal.  My boyfriend and I just went crazy over its yumminess.

P.S. I realize I didn't remember to include very many (if any) measurements.  Don't sweat it.  When in doubt, use a teaspoon or two for the spices (except the cayenne pepper).  Use a nice big bag of spinach. Don't worry over it too much.  It's hard to make these things taste bad together.  They're just too intrinsically tasty.


  1. This sounds delicious! I am going to try it... I'm out of tofu right now, but I will soon. Thanks!

  2. Wow!!!You made "Paalak Paneer" :) and it looks soooo yummy!! i am hungry! In an effort to eat healthy I got a food processor and I LOVE it! Cutting vegetables is the least favorite part of my cooking routine and now that this part is taken care of, we are definitely eating healthy. I already learnt to make 4 new vegetarian curries with cabbage, brinjal, okra, beans. I am going to try something with potato today :)

  3. Oh, I'm glad it looks yummy! Thank you! It never occurred to me to use our food processor to help with chopping big veggies for curries. Let me know how the potatoes go.