Vegan Palak Tofu Recipe: Green and Delicious

Vegan

Vegan Palak Tofu Recipe: One of my favorite Indian dishes is palak paneer (cheese cubes). I love how green it is and how prominent the spinach flavors are. Of course I love paneer but I don’t cook with it for ethical reasons so I used tofu instead because it has a similar texture to paneer minus the ethical guilt. You can definitely multitask while completing the various steps. See below for my veganized version of an Indian favorite!

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5 from 1 vote

Vegan Palak Tofu

A veganized version of an Indian classic, Palak Paneer but with Tofu instead!
Course: dinner, Main Course, Side Dish
Cuisine: Indian, vegan, vegetarian
Keyword: Vegan Palak Tofu
Servings: 4 people

Ingredients

Tofu

  • 1 lb extra firm tofu
  • 2 tsp curry powder
  • 2 tsp chili powder
  • 2 tsp garam masala
  • 2 tbsp tamari or soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp grapeseed oil

Palak Spinach Puree

  • 7 cups fresh spinach or ¾ of a large spinach container
  • 1/3 cup water
  • 2 green chilis (roughly chopped)
  • 1 tbsp ginger (roughly chopped)
  • 3 garlic cloves (roughly chopped)

Sauce

  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 medium red onion (chopped)
  • 1 medium tomato (diced)
  • 4 garlic cloves (minced)
  • 1 bayleaf
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric powder
  • 2 tsp Hungarian paprika
  • 2 tsp chili powder
  • 2 tsp garam masala
  • 1/2 tsp asafetida (optional)
  • 2 tsp fenugreek
  • 1/2 cup full fat coconut milk
  • 1.5 tbsp Soy butter (earthly balance)
  • salt/pepper (to taste)
  • 1 bunch cilantro (loosely chopped)

Instructions

Tofu

  • Drain your tofu and marinate it in tamari and spices for at least 30 minutes in a medium bowl, the longer, the better!
  • When you are ready to start cooking, preheat your oven to 375 degrees.
  • In a medium pan, heat your grapeseed oil on medium heat. When it’s ready, add the tofu and sauté for about 4-5 minutes on each side (it always goes faster after you flip it). You might need to add more oil so the tofu doesn’t stick in the pan.
  • Then put your tofu in a single layer on a baking sheet and put it in the oven for about 15-20 minutes until it is somewhat brown and firm but not too crispy since it’s emulating paneer (cheese).

Palak/Spinach Puree

  • Rinse your spinach.
  • Boil about 4 cups of water in a large pot with a pinch of salt and add the spinach for about 1-2 minutes.
  • Get a large bowl ready with half ice cubes and half cold water to preserve the spinach.
  • Take the spinach out of the water and add it to a food processor or blender.
  • In a food processor or blender, blend the spinach, green chilis, ginger and garlic until you get a smooth puree. Then add about 1/3 cup of water.
  • It should taste like Indian pesto!

Sauce

  • Heat up the olive oil in your pan on medium heat. Add the cumin seeds and let them sizzle and brown.
  • Then add your bay leaf and onions. Sauté your onions until they are golden brown. Then add the garlic and cook for about 1-2minutes being sure not to burn the garlic.
  • Add the tomato and mix it in with the other ingredients for about 1-2 minutes.
  • Now add all of your spices and asafetida except the fenugreek and stir well for about 1-2 minutes.
  • Add your spinach puree/palak mixture from the blender, fenugreek, and add about 1/3 cup of water. Simmer for about 10 minutes until the sauce is thicker.
  • Add the 1/3 cup of coconut milk and stir until it has the creaminess you desire.
  •  Simmer for about 5 more minutes and add some soy butter to help with the thickness.
  •  Add in your tofu and season to taste with salt/pepper. Turn off the heat.
  • Garnish with cilantro. Serve with basmati rice, roti, naan and enjoy!
Palak Tofu frying
Palak Tofu frying
Palak tofu is baked
Palak tofu is baked
Saute those onions!
Saute those onions!
Green Palak Puree
Green Palak Puree
Added in the tomato and spices
Added in the tomato and spices
The spinach puree has been added to the sauce.
The spinach puree has been added to the sauce.

Vegan Palak Tofu is finished!

Palak tofu is ready!
Palak tofu is ready!

Notes:

  • I have a better food processor than blender so I use a food processor.
  • If you use frozen spinach, be sure to drain the water out a lot more.
  • If you’re in a time crunch, then just fry the tofu, you don’t have to bake it.
  • Inspired by https://www.vegrecipesofindia.com/palak-paneer/.

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