Palak tofu is a vegan spin on a classic vegetarian Indian dish 'palak paneer'! It's weeknight friendly, one one pot, and comes together in less than an hour.
Every now and then, my random dinner on instagram gets people excited and they ask me for the recipe! Things like this makes me happy and more importantly keeps me inspired. As a food blogger, it is hard to constantly produce content that is exciting and approachable because my ultimate goal is for readers to cook more often, get inspired to try new ingredients/spices/techniques, and eat well. Palak Tofu is definitely that recipe! It is a spin on a classic vegetarian Indian dish 'palak paneer', which is essentially a thick spinach gravy cooked in heavy cream with fried paneer (fresh cheese from India). It's a delicious dish and if you've never tried it before, you must.
But for a quick weeknight meal with lots of flavor and comfort (minus the richness), I think Palak Tofu is more fitting. I am not claiming Palak Tofu to be authentic or copycat-restaurant style palak paneer because it is not. I disagree with whoever says tofu replaces paneer or meat. Tofu has a distinct taste and texture of it's own, which I actually enjoy. If you are not a fan of tofu, feel free to replace it with paneer.
Or simply eat spinach gravy by the spoonful.My aunt boils spinach and purees it before making it into a thick gravy for palak paneer recipe. Me on the other hand, did not want to lose all water soluble vitamins such as vitamin C, folate, B vitamins and thiamin so I cooked everything in one pot! Yay for one less pot to wash.
Also, I am too lazy to follow multiple steps in a recipe and will take a shortcut when possible. The boyfriend and I have been eating Palak Tofu three times already in less than a month and it's definitely becoming our favorite. We both agreed that it should be added to our rotation along with weeknight chicken curry & chipotle turkey and sweet potato chili.
I hope you will give it a try soon too. If you make it please share your experience using @foodpleasureandhealth on social media.
Enjoy it with hearty grain, frozen naan, pita bread, or cauliflower rice!
Author: Dixya @ Food, Pleasure, and Health
- 1-16 oz firm tofu
- 6 oz baby spinach
- 1 medium onion, sliced
- 2 tablespoon tomato puree or use 2 roma tomatoes, chopped
- 2 teaspoon olive oil
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- small knob of ginger, grated
- 1-13 oz can light coconut milk
- 1/2 teaspoon cumin seed
- 1/2 teaspoon coriander seed
- 1 teaspoon red chili powder (optional)
- salt, pepper to taste
- Drain and squeeze as much water as possible from tofu. I like to wrap tofu in paper towel and put a plate with few cans on top of it to help squeeze out water. Cut tofu into small cubes and set it aside.
- Heat oil over medium heat and fry cumin and coriander seeds until slightly brown. Saute onions until translucent, then add garlic and ginger and let it cook for 2 minutes. Add salt, pepper, and chili powder to the mix.
- Add tomato puree or chopped tomatoes to the pot and allow it to soften. Then, add spinach and let it wilt, which should take 3-4 minutes.
- Pour coconut milk to the pot and let it simmer for additional 2-3 minutes before removing from the heat.
- When it cool enough to handle, puree the mixture using immersion blender or regular blender until it is smooth and season with salt, pepper as needed.
- Return it back to heat and gently simmer over low heat and slowly add tofu pieces into the pot. Simmer for additional 3-5 minutes. Season with salt, pepper if needed.