In my Vegan Palak Paneer I use silk tofu instead of the typical Indian cheese.
Our love for Indian food started here in Ireland.
The hubby and I went once to an Indian restaurant in Italy on the day of his college graduation, and maybe from time to time we would cook some diced chicken with yogurt and curry powder thinking it was curried chicken!!!
The first year we were living in Ireland I went out for dinner with the moms of the parent and toddler group Dedeo and I attended.
It was in a local Indian restaurant. I fell in love with that food, especially I appreciated the quality and freshness of the ingredients in that particular restaurant.
I went back with the hubby and the kids and it became our favorite if not our only take-away. Unfortunately for us, a few years ago the owners closed the local restaurant and re-opened in Rathgar in Dublin, a bit far from where we live. It’s now called Mehek if you happen to be in the area.
The owners happened to be the parents of a girl that at the time was in Datti’s class. Now their second daughter is in the bus with Datti going to school.
Since then I have eaten fabulous dishes in their house, understood what it is needed to make a real Indian curry and opened my mind and especially my kitchen to this fantastic cuisine.
There is certainly a link between our two families and I hope they will forgive me for the huge changes and probably “unforgivable” mistakes I make talking about a dish that doesn’t belong to my culture.
As with many vegan dishes that try to resemble the original one though, the distortion can be shocking, in particular if you are not trying to follow any particular diet.
Anyway, that first dinner at their restaurant I had tried Palak Paneer and it was love!
So it doesn’t come as something strange the fact that I have tried to recreate it at home, in a vegan version where tofu replaces the cheese.
The recipe is very easy and as I said it probably lack of something of the original dish but that is what it reminds me and that is why I am calling it Vegan Palak Paneer.
Once we were invited to a Vegetarian Indian-themed pot luck party and I brought this vegan Palak Paneer.
A friend asked me how I cooked it and as soon as I mentioned that one of the main ingredient was tofu, she wouldn’t want to believe me.
She said she was sure she didn’t like tofu at all, as much as she was sure she liked this Palak Paneer!
So you start with your basic Indian garlic, ginger and onion mixture.
You cook your spinach.
And then you add your Tofu, making sure you use the soft and silken one, not the hard and firm one.
I usually use the Clearspring Organic Tofu which is easily found online (even sold by Amazon) or in shops like Holland & Barrett but any other brands will probably do, as long as it’s soft tofu.
Using this type of tofu will ensure a better distribution of the flavors.
In fact Tofu and spinach blend perfectly with the onion garlic and ginger, making this dish an healthy and tasty one.
Vegan Palak Paneer With Tofu
Tofu is blended so well with the other flavor in this dish that it is hardly detectable.
- 300 gr tofu (Use silken, soft tofu only!)
- 500 gr spinach (I use fresh spinaches. Frozen are fine as well, no need to thaw)
- 4 cm ginger (Use fresh ginger!)
- 1 onion
- 1 big clove garlic
- extra virgin olive oil
Squeeze the garlic, chop the onion and the ginger very finely
Pour them in a skillet to saute in a dash of warm extra virgin olive oil
Wash the spinach and add them to the skillet, if frozen add them frozen
Cover the skillet with a lid and let simmer until cooked
Drain the tofu and add it to the spinach
Break the tofu with a wooden spoon and mix it to the spinach while it keeps cooking
After further 5 minutes. Enjoy with some basmati rice