Saag Paneer (Part 2!)

About a year and a half ago, I posted half of my recipe for Saag Paneer…the tofu paneer part. I promised I would post the saag recipe, and lo! here it is! It’s taken me a long time to get this recipe just the way I want it for the blog, and frankly, it’s still a work in progress (like all recipes, I think!) But here is a pretty good start if you want to make this yourself. This recipe makes a pretty mild saag; I’ll usually add hot sauce and/or chili powder somewhere in there.

Don’t worry about chopping anything too finely for this one. It’s all going in the blender!

2 tablespoons soy butter (I use Earth Balance) or vegetable oil
1 onion, chopped
10-12 cloves garlic
2 teaspoons powdered ginger or 1 1/2 tablespoons raw ginger
1 tablespoon curry powder
2 teaspoons cinnamon
2 teaspoons cumin
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 cup cilantro (unless you hate cilantro)
2-3 tomatoes, chopped (including the juice!)
1 pound spinach (you can add other greens too, but I recommend using at least half spinach, and honestly I like this better with just spinach!)
1/4 cup coconut milk (full fat! from a can, not a carton!)
1/2 cup soy yogurt
1/4 cup nutritional yeast
Tofu Paneer

Melt the butter in a pot (or heat oil). Saute onions till they’re translucent. Add the garlic (and if you’re using raw ginger, add that now too). Saute for another minute, then add your spices (curry, cinnamon, cumin, salt, black pepper, cilantro). Stir in the tomatoes and let it cook for a couple minutes. Add the spinach, stirring in a handful at a time so it cooks down. Once the leaves are all cooked down, remove the pot from the heat. Using a blender, combine the spinach mixture and coconut milk into a creamy puree. (If your tomatoes weren’t very juicy, you may need to add more coconut milk.) Set this aside.

Now you’re going to cook your tofu paneer. You can either use a separate pan or just use the pot your spinach was in a minute ago. Add a little soy butter or vegetable oil to the bottom of your pan or pot, heat it up (medium heat), and then put the entire contents of the container with your marinated tofu (including the marinade) in there. The liquid will start to bubble a bit. Stir it occasionally — you want the tofu to cook, but you (probably) don’t want it to actually get crispy (though at this point it’s so full of marinade that it probably won’t!)

Finally, pour the spinach back into the pot you cooked it in. If you cooked the tofu in a separate pan, add that to the pot now, too. Stir in the soy yogurt and nutritional yeast. Let it cook for another 5 minutes over low heat. Taste for salt. Sometimes I’ll add a little lemon juice too before serving, but usually it doesn’t need it because the vinegar from the marinade gives it enough bite.

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