Thursday, November 12, 2009

Our Take on Palak Paneer

Last week, I came home and Greg had made a delicious vegan tikka pizza, which consisted of a yummy tomato sauce and tofu. When both of us tried the tofu, the first thing that came to our minds was that it had such a similar consistency as paneer - Indian cheese. We were immediately inspired and dedicated to creating a vegan version of Palak Paneer (a creamy Indian spinach curry with cheese), and though we didn't master the exact flavor, our dish still came out delicious. It may seem complicated, but it's super simple - you'll make great use of your food processor.

Vegan Palak Paneer

Tofu and Marinade
1/2 block extra firm tofu, drained and pressed (see Greg's tip), cut into 1-inch cubes
1 medium-large tomato
1.5 TBSP plain soymilk
1 clove garlic
a generous amount of salt and pepper

Place tofu cubes in a bowl. Puree the marinade ingredients in a food processor or blender until only small lumps remain, and mix in with tofu. Cover the bowl and let marinate at room temperature for 30 minutes or longer.

Once the tofu is done marinating, you can start working on the rest of the dish. Here are the ingredients you will need:

1 10 oz. package frozen spinach, thawed and drained
1/2 onion, diced
1.5 cups soymilk
1/4 tsp turmeric
1/4 tsp cloves
1/4 tsp cardamom
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp coriander
1.5 tsp cumin
1 TBSP curry paste (we used a Roland's yellow curry paste - cheap and vegan!)

Start browning the tofu cubes (without the excess marinade - you'll use that soon) in a little bit of oil over medium heat. The cubes will take about 15 minutes to brown on all sides.
In a food processor, blend spinach with leftover marinade from the tofu.
In a separate pan, sautee the onion over medium heat until it turns translucent and add in the spinach-marinade mixture. Add in all the spices, and turn down the heat to a low simmer. Slowly pour and mix in the soymilk. You want the spinach curry to be liquidy but still relatively thick.
Add in the tofu and season with salt and pepper to taste.

Serve over rice (we used basmati).

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