COOKING AROUND THE WORLD: INDIAN VEGAN PALAK PANEER
As you probably already know I'm a huge fan of oriental dishes, from Thai to Japanese and everything in between I love the taste and spices that come with Asian foods. Today I'll be exploring my favorite Indian dish Palak Paneer.
I've always been a huge fan of spinach (I actually have an iron deficiency so I need eat a lot of spinach), and the first time I went to get Indian food this was the dish that stuck out to me. This has easily become one of my favorite dishes ever and being able to make, and it being extremely easy is even better! I love a dish that is simple and healthy but it tastes so delicious and complicated that it seems extremely hard to make, I'm here to tell you it's not. It's actually a great way to impress some friends.
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Palak paneer is one of North India's most popular dishes, and top five dishes ordered in Indian restaurants in the Western countries. If you go to an Indian restaurant you will find 4-5 different variations of paneer on the menu. Paneer is an Indian cottage cheese that you can get at an Indian market. However because I'm watching my weight, and want this recipe to be vegan, I used tofu instead. Tofu is a great substitute for paneer. So here is my perfected version of my favorite Indian dish: Vegan Palak Paneer.
Makes 2 Servings
For the Paneer
- 1 can coconut milk
- 7 oz organic firm tofu
- tsp kosher salt
- tsp cumin
- tsp cayenne pepper
For the Palak
- 2 cups baby spinach
- cup water
- 5 cloves of garlic (or less if you don't like garlic)
- 1-inch piece ginger root
- 1 small green chili
- 1 medium tomato
- 1 small onion
- tsp salt
- tsp red chilli powder
- 1 tsp sugar
- 1 tsp coconut oil
- 2 tbsp coconut milk (optional)
Preheat over to 350 degrees
- Combine the coconut milk (save some for serving) and salt in a small deep glass dish. Throw in the tofu cubes and stir gently to ensure they are all coated. Cover the dish with plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator for a few hours to marinade.
- Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and remove the tofu cubes gently.
- Place the tofu cubes into even rows on the parchment paper. Bake for 45 minutes or until slightly brown, rotating every 15 minutes. Halfway through, sprinkle the tofu with cumin and cayenne pepper
- Place the spinach, water, garlic, ginger, green chili, tomato, onion, salt, chili powder, and sugar into a food processor or blender. Process until pureed.
- Heat a teaspoon of coconut oil in a large skillet. Pour the pureed spinach mixture into the skillet and stir well. Cook for 5 minutes on medium heat then for an additional 7 minutes on low heat, or until the garlic has lost its raw bite.
- Once your tofu is done baking, pick up the parchment paper and dump the contents into the skillet, making sure you get all the bits of marinade and oil from the parchment paper into the skillet. Still well to combine. Taste and add salt as needed.
- Transfer to a serving dish and drizzle with remaining coconut milk if desired. Serve hot with basmati rice or naan.
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Did you love this recipe? Did you make some modifications of your own? Tell me what you thought in the comments below.
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