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Recipe starts at 8:22
Vegan Palak Paneer
This vegan palak (spinach) paneer is everything we could ask for in a curry – delicious, full of flavour and so healthy. Sauteed marinated tofu is used to mimic traditional paneer and is immersed in a beautiful rich green curry.
The recipe is part of the must-try vegan curries series.
- Creates: 4 serves
- Dietary: V | VG | GF | NF
- Prep Time: 10 minutes + marinate overnight or at least 2-3 hours (optional)
- Cook Time: 40 minutes
- Total Time: 50 minutes + marinating time
- 1 packet firm tofu, drained, pressed and cut into 2cm cubes
- 2 tsp curry powder
- 1/4 tsp sea salt
- 3 tsp nutritional yeast
- 1 tbsp lemon juice
Vegan Palak Paneer
- 4-5 cups of spinach
- 1 brown onion, finely diced
- 3 tbsp ginger, freshly grated
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 green chilli, finely diced
- 1 can (400g) tomato passata
- 2 tsp garam masala
- 1 tsp cardamom powder
- 1 tsp dry fenugreek leaves
- 2 tsp ground cumin
- 1 tsp ground cloves
- 1 tsp turmeric
- 2 tbsp olive oil (or any other vegetable oil)
- Salt and black pepper, to taste
- Serve with: coconut milk, basmati rice, fresh coriander
For best results, marinate the tofu overnight or at least 2-3 hours to let the flavours absorb. However, it’s also perfectly fine to make and sauté* straight away – I often do this!
- In a mixing bowl, combine tofu and the rest of the tofu paneer ingredients. Toss to coat the seasoning and spices all over the tofu – I like to use my hands to prevent the tofu from breaking. Adjust to taste – you can add in more nutritional yeast to draw out that cheesiness.
- Cover and refrigerate overnight or for at least 2-3 hours (if preparing ahead) or set it aside for 10-15 minutes.
- Heat 1 tbsp oil in a medium skillet over medium heat. Sauté tofu for 6-8 minutes until cooked and soft. When done, set aside and follow the rest of the recipe.
Vegan Palak Paneer
- Heat water in a pot over medium-high heat. When boiling, add spinach and blanch for 3-4 minutes. Strain and rinse with cold water to stop it cooking. Puree spinach in a blender or food processor and set aside.
- Heat the rest of the oil in a skillet or dutch oven over medium heat. Sauté onion for a few minutes until golden brown. Add in chilli, garam masala, cardamom, cumin, ground cloves and turmeric. Sauté spices for 2-3 minutes, stirring frequently to prevent burning. Add in a splash of water if it starts sticking to the bottom.
- Add garlic and ginger, cook for 2-3 minutes. Add in tomato passata and fenugreek leaves, cook for another few minutes.
- Add in pureed spinach to the pot and stir to combine. Cover and let it simmer for 20-30 minutes over low heat. Add in the tofu paneer. Adjust with salt according to taste.
- Garnish with coconut milk^ and fresh coriander. Serve with basmati rice or naan.
*Sauteed firm tofu has a soft texture that is similar to traditional paneer. I sauté when I want a softer tofu but sometimes I also bake the tofu at 180°C for 30-40 minutes to get a crispier consistency.
^Coconut milk brightens the curry and adds depth of flavour. It also looks very aesthetic if you swirl it in!
- Gluten-free: this recipe is gluten-free but make sure to use gluten-free rice and naan if using.
How to Make it Whole Foods
At Embody Nourish, we promote a plant-based diet that comprise mainly of whole foods. This means no oil (even ‘healthy’ oils such as coconut or olive oil), refined or processed foods. However we understand that this ideal is not yet mainstream so we strive to accomodate everyone while encouraging small changes.
You can make this vegan palak paneer recipe more whole foods by: (overall, it’s actually quite a whole foods recipe!)
- Reducing or omitting oil used
- Serving the curry with brown rice or wholemeal flatbread