Palak paneer must have been the first Indian meal I’ve had in India. I mean, I’d had Indian food before, but never palak paneer, even though I kind of grew up with Indian food. One of my best friends step father owns two Indian restaurants in Munich, so we often went there after school, got some Indian take away and went home to play Spyro (does anyone remember that little dragon on Playstation, or was it Nintendo – it’s been too long, I don’t remember). Anyway, I’d tried palak paneer the first time when I went to New Delhi. Or was it Mumbai? Oh well…Anyway, all of my colleagues told me, it was the best vegetarian Indian meal and that I had to try it. So I did and indeed it’s been so good, that I kept ordering it whenever I was at an Indian restaurant anywhere in the world. Palak means spinach and paneer stands for a fresh Indian cheese. So since I’ve been eating plant-based, Dahl took over and became my favorite Indian dish. However, palak paneer can be “veganized”, simply by substituting the cheese by tofu and heavy cream by oat cream or coconut milk. And yes, it tastes just as delicious. This recipe is super quick and easy to make, which makes it perfect for those busy nights.
This palak tofu is a vegan version of the ever so popular Indian vegetarian dish palak paneer. This spinach curry is delicious and can be made quickly and easily with only a few simple ingredients - perfect for those busy days.
- 8 oz spinach (250 g)
- 3/4 cup oat cream (200 ml)
- 7 oz tofu (200 g)
- 1 small onion, finely diced
- 1 cove of garlic, pressed/ minced
- 1/2 inch ginger, pressed/ grated
- 1/2 tsp cumin seeds
- 1/2 tsp ground turmeric
- 1/2 tsp chili flakes (optional)
- 1 tsp garam masala spice mix
- a pinch of salt (& pepper) to taste
- a pinch of sugar (if the sauce ends up bitter) (optional)
- naan/ chapati/ papadam
Prepare a bowl with iced water and set aside. In a large pot, bring about 6-7 cups of water to a boil, add spinach and blanch for 1-2 minutes. Drain spinach and add it to the bowl with iced water. After a minute drain and well. Squeeze the spinach before combining it in a blender, together with 1/2 cup of the oat cream. Blend well.
Dice tofu and place in a pan with some frying oil. Sear from all sides until lightly golden. Remove tofu from the pan and set aside.
Heat some oil in the same pan and sauté onion until translucent. Add garlic, ginger, cumin, turmeric and chili and sauté for a few minutes while stirring. Add spinach puree, remaining cream and garam masala. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve immediately with rice and/ or bread.
Instead of oat cream, you could also use coconut milk (best mixed with 2 tbsp cashews).
I hope you love this recipe – please let me know in the comment section below! If you make this curry, make sure to take a photo and share it on my Facebook page or on Instagram, using the hashtag #minamadefood. Oh and don’t forget to tag me (@thisisminamade) so that I can see your creations!