Saag paneer is a beloved Indian dish consisting of finely chopped vegetables and fresh soft cheese (paneer). It’s as delicious as it is satisfying, so it’s no surprise that it’s a staple of eastern Indian cuisine. Paneer is not always easy to obtain, and as a dairy product, is not suitable for everyone. Here’s a recipe that uses tofu in place of paneer – it retains the signature texture and flavor of traditional saag paneer, but with fewer calories and no dairy. It’s perfect for vegans, folks with dairy intolerances, or anyone looking to try a new twist on a familiar favorite.
1 lb. firm tofu, cubed
6 tbsp. olive oil, divided
1 tbsp. nutritional yeast
3/4 tbsp. turmeric
1/2 tsp. sea salt
1 medium yellow onion, chopped
1 tbsp. minced garlic
1 tbsp. minced ginger
1 large serrano pepper, stemmed
1 14-oz. can diced tomatoes
2 tsp. brown mustard seeds
2 tsp. garam masala
10 oz. frozen spinach, thawed
2 cups unsweetened cashew milk
1 tbsp. tamari
- Preheat your oven to 350 F. Combine 3 tablespoons of olive oil with lemon juice, turmeric nutritional yeast, and salt. Toss with the cubed tofu and place on a lined baking sheet (make sure there is about 3/4 inch of space between each cube.) Bake for 25 minutes, until the cubes begin to turn golden brown. Flip the cubes over halfway through.
- As your tofu is baking, heat the remainder of the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Saute onion until translucent. Add the garlic, ginger, and serrano pepper, then cook for a few minutes.
- Add the tomatoes, mustard seeds, and the garam masala. Bring the mixture to a gentle simmer and cook for an additional five minutes.
- Squeeze excess water from your spinach and add to the skillet mixture, along with the cashew milk, tamari, and tofu.
- Heat until spinach is hot, then serve.
Tofu saag paneer is a great way to add some variety into your recipe book. Try it out and let us know what you think!