This recipe is my veganized version of the popular Indian dish, 'Palak Paneer'.I worked on this recipe especially for my son Sahil, who loves the dish and used to say when he was a little boy :) ,"Palak Paneer is my most favorite foods in the whole wide world"!! I have replaced Paneer (cottage cheese) with organic tofu and the heavy whipping cream with raw cashews. Palak Tofu and Aloo Palak have become staple in my kitchen. Now this recipe has become Sahil's most favorite food and my family insists that I make it at least once a week! :)
- 10 oz. box / 2 bunches - Fresh Organic Spinach OR Power Green Blends (baby spinach, baby kale and baby chard)
- 14 oz. pack - Organic Extra Firm Tofu (for Palak Tofu recipe) OR
- 2 medium - Potatoes (for Aloo Palak recipe)
- 2 handfuls - Raw Cashews Nuts - soaked in water for at least 1 hour
- 1 inch piece - Ginger
- 3-4 cloves - Garlic
- 1-2 - Green chilies (optional / to taste)
- 1 small - Onion
- 1/2 teaspoon - cumin seeds
- 1/2 teaspoon - Cinnamon powder
- 1/2 teaspoon - Garam Masala powder
- 1 pinch - Baking Soda
- 1 tablespoon + some quantity for lightly shallow frying tofu / potatoes - Oil
- Salt to taste
- For Palak Tofu: squeeze out all the water from the tofu and pat it gently with paper towel. Cut the tofu into medium size cubes. Shallow fry / lightly saute these pieces in little oil until they get a beautiful light brown color. Set aside.
- For Aloo Palak: peel and cut the potatoes into medium size cubes. Shallow fry / lightly saute these pieces in little oil until they get a beautiful light brown color and are almost cooked. If you want to avoid the shallow frying step - boil the potatoes making sure they are firm to the bite and not overcooked. Peel and cut the potatoes into medium size cubes. Set aside.
- Add water to a big 4-5 quarts stock pot and bring it to a rolling boil. Add 1/4 teaspoon salt and a pinch of baking soda to the boiling water.
- Add the green leafy vegetables to the boiling water and stir lightly. Leave them in the boiling water for 3-4 minutes. Turn off the heat.
- Drain out the hot boiling water and add the green leaves to a big bowl of ice cold water. This process of blanching, lightly cooks the leaves and helps retain their fresh green color and nutrients. Set aside the leaves in ice water for 10-15 minutes.
- In a blender (I use my Vitamix) add the blanched green leaves, soaked raw cashews, ginger, garlic and green chilies. Add little water if needed, to blend these ingredients into a smooth puree, which is not too thick, nor too watery.
- Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a non stick or heavy bottom pan. Add the cumin seeds and let them sizzle for 1 minute.
- Add the finely chopped onion and saute for 3-4 minutes, until it becomes transparent and the raw smell goes away.
- Add the smooth green puree and mix well. Cover and let simmer for 2-3 minutes.
- Add the cinnamon powder, garam masala powder and salt to taste. Mix well. Cover and let it simmer for 5 minutes.
- Add the tofu / potato pieces and mix gently. Cover and let it simmer for 2-3 minutes.
- Serve hot with roti / paratha / rice.