This is the easiest and quickest way to do a vegan palak paneer-style spinach sauce. Firm smoked tofu cubes replace the paneer and are packed with protein. This sauce is made from frozen spinach.
Super simple everyday food. This easy vegan Indian style palak paneer is so tasty, rich, and creamy—perfect quick food for weekdays after work. The sauce is ready while your rice cooks.
This is a gluten-free version since the tofu cubes are not baked in a flour mixture before added to the sauce.
What is palak paneer?
Palak paneer is an Indian sauce. Palak is spinach and paneer is Indian cottage cheese. So it is a curry made with spinach and cheese cubes. The spinach is usually pureed to be a bit more smooth sauce.
Traditional paneer also has cream added.
Why palak paneer is healthy?
It is very easy to eat lots of greens with this recipe that contains 500 grams of frozen spinach.
Did you know that spinach contains a lot of Iron, but it is more bioavailable as cooked instead of raw. And cooking removes oxalates from the spinach. Large consumption of oxalates can be harmful and lead to kidney stones. This is why spinach is best consumed as cooked.
One serving ¼ amount of sauce contains 7,3mg iron, 492 mg calcium, 59mg vitamin-c—also a good amount of potassium, phosphorus, selenium, and zink. Of course, about 10-20 percent of this disappears in cooking.
Different creamers for the sauce
Traditional palak paneer has cream in the sauce. In a vegan version you can use as a creamer:
- Coconut milk
- Cashew cream
- Oat cream
- Almond cream
What spices do you need for palak paneer?
- Garam Masala
Garam masala is made of coriander seeds, cumin seeds, cardamom, black pepper, nutmeg, cinnamon, and cloves. So, if you don't have Garam Masala as a ready spice blend, it is possible to make your own.
- 1 tablespoon ground cumin
- 1,5 teaspoon ground coriander, cardamom, and black pepper.
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 0,5 teaspoon ground cloves and nutmeg
Use 2 teaspoons of this mix in the sauce.
Can you make this ahead?
Yes, you can definitely make this ahead. The flavors will deepen and it gets even better the next day. To reheat the sauce, cook about 5 minutes until it is over 60 degrees C. If you have left the tofu in the sauce, it might have turned green from the spinach, so if you ant to serve white tofu cubes, then add the tofu cubes in the sauce always before serving.
How to store?
Store in an airtight container n the fridge. Eat within 3-4 days. You can freeze the sauce up to 1 month.
- 500 grams frozen spinach
- 3 garlic cloves
- 2 cm piece of ginger
- 1 package, 200 grams firm tofu, smoked
- 0,5 teaspoon dried chili
- 2 teaspoon garam masala
- 1 can coconut milk, 400g
- 1 tablespoon oil-optional
- Peel and grate the ginger
- Cut the tofu into cubes
- Peel and press the garlic
- Fry the spices for a moment on a hot oiled pan. You can use just water or vegetable broth also.
- Add the spinach and coconut milk. Let cook for 5-10 minutes.
- Blend the sauce if you like it to be smooth. Use a hand mixer or blender.
- Add the tofu as last. Simmer another 2 min.
Serve with whole-grain rice and salad.
Some naan bread is tasty with this and some vegan raita sauce made of cashews, water, garlic and grated cucumber.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 4 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 325Total Fat: 27gSaturated Fat: 19gUnsaturated Fat: 3gCarbohydrates: 4,65gFiber: 4,5gProtein: 13,9g