|Palak Paneer, vegan-style
||[Sep. 9th, 2009|11:32 am]
I've been playing with different methods of making vegan palak paneer (aka saag paneer) for almost a year now and I think I've finally developed the winning formula. The whole family agreed this was the best batch yet, though we've had plenty of fun (and eaten tons of iron and calcium, thanks to all that spinach) getting to this point. Try it and lemme know what you think.|
Palak Paneer, Vegan-style
Traditionally a spinach and homemade fresh cheese dish, firm tofu serves the same purpose in this recipe and tastes just as nice!
1 lb fresh spinach, washed & stems trimmed
1 lb firm or extra firm tofu, cut into cubes
1 white onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2" long piece of ginger, minced
1/3 cup nutritional yeast (optional)
2 tbsp curry powder
1 tbsp chili flakes
2 tsp mustard seeds
1 tsp ground cumin
and your choice of the following: 2 fresh tomatoes, chopped (you can remove the skins and seeds if you like but not neccessary) *OR* 1/4 cup tomato paste *OR* 1/2 cup tomato sauce, any style. I use whatever happens to be on hand in my kitchen.
Bring a large pot of water to a boil. While waiting for it to boil, fry your tofu paneer. Heat a splash of oil in a large skillet and add the tofu cubes. Spinkle with a few pinches of salt. Cook, stirring frequently, until lightly browned. Remove from pan and set aside.
When the water in the pot boils, add handfuls of the spinach and poke it all down into the water. Cook for a few minutes, until thoroughly wilted. Scoop out and reserve up to a cup of the blanching water, then drain and set the cooked spinach aside.
Add some more oil to the large pan along with the mustard seeds. When they begin to pop and spatter, add the chopped onions. Sautee for a few minutes, then add the garlic and ginger and stir until you can smell them. At this point add all your seasonings - yeast, curry, pepper flakes, salt, cumin, and stir until everything is well coated and aromatic. Mix in the cooked spinach and the tomato ingredient. Using a stick/immersion blender, puree this mixture in the pan until it is completely smooth, adding splashes of the spinach broth as needed to achieve desired consistancy. Taste and adjust the seasonings if desired. Add the paneer cubes back to the pan and mix into the palak. Cover & cook on medium low heat for 20 minutes, then serve over rice and/or with your favourite indian flat bread.