This is our second to last curry recipe of the month; meaning this is our 7th curry recipe; meaning we’ve only got one more to go! Man, September flew by. Being that we’ve gone through 6 other recipes so far, you might be wondering “when are they gonna make an Indian curry?”
Well – if you couldn’t guess by this obvious set up – NOW is the the answer! And, it’s a quick one, taking only 45 minutes to make!
To offer you a little background on this dish, “palak” is the Hindi word for spinach & “paneer” is a type of soft cottage cheese, which is cut into blocks like tofu. In fact, the texture is akin to tofu in many ways, which is why we replace the paneer in this recipe with cubed hemp tofu!
Hemp tofu is made out of hemp seeds instead of soy, making it friendly for those on a lectin-limited, paleo, legume-free, or soy-allergenic diet. Being that I’ve never been able to get my hands on this stuff, when I found a place that sells it, I excitedly bought an extra block to whip up tofu scramble – one of my favorite dishes from a past life where I ate tofu.
To my surprise, it acts remarkably similar to firm (not extra firm) tofu, only it falls apart a little easier than normal tofu as it’s laden with hulled hemp seeds, which aren’t actually a bad touch to its consistency. If using hemp tofu in place of regular tofu, be sure to:
- Press it between two thickets of paper towels to remove excess moisture
- Be gentle when flipping & tossing around in a pan
- Use a non-stick pan or extra oil to cook
We adapted the idea of using tofu in place of paneer from Dassana Amit of Veg Recipes of India. Thanks for the wonderful recipe, Dassana!
The palak (spinach) in this dish is blanched and blended with garam masala, to form a creamy, green base for the tofu to swim in. All in all, our vegan, lectin-limited version of Palak Paneer is:
- Aromatic w/ garam masala & cumin
- Pungent w/ garlic & onion
If you like what your taste buds are tellin’ ya, leave behind a nice rating, share your thoughts with us in the comments, or show us your creations by tagging @noeggsorham on Instagram.
Recommend a dish for us to create to be posted during the month of October here! Nothing is off limits; October is a theme-less month, albeit, November will have a deeply nostalgic theme… are you ready for Thanksgiving?
All the best,
Ryan & Kim
Palak Paneer (Indian Spinach Curry)
Seared hemp tofu in silky, spinach curry sauce. Vegan, lectin-free, & paleo.
- 10 oz fresh spinach
- 8 oz hemp tofu
- 1 small/medium white onion, finely diced
- 1 medium tomato, peeled, deseeded, and finely diced*
- 3 medium garlic cloves, finely minced
- 1 tsp ginger, finely chopped or grated
- 1 tsp cumin seeds
- 1 tsp garam masala, divided
- 1/2 tsp tumeric
- 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
- Salt, as needed
- 1 tbsp coconut oil
- 1/4 c coconut milk
- Cauliflower Rice or Resistant Starch Basmati Rice
- Blanch, peel, & deseed tomato. Finely dice and set aside.
- Blanch spinach for 2-3 minutes, remove to an ice bath for 1 minute, then blitz with 1/2 tsp garam masala & a pinch of salt in a food processor or mini-blender for 5-10 seconds. Set aside.
- Remove tofu from package, place between two thickets of paper towels, and lightly press down to remove excess moisture. Cube into small, bite-sized pieces; about 1 inch in size.
- Heat a wide, non-stick soup pot or high-walled sauté pan over medium heat. Once hot, add in 1 tbsp of coconut oil to coat the bottom of the pan, followed by cubed tofu. Cook – without stirring – until browned on one side. Flip peach piece, and cook until brown on opposite side. Remove to a plate and set aside.
- Keep the same pot/pan as used for tofu over medium heat and add 1 tbsp of coconut oil and cumin seeds. Cook until the cumin seeds start to brown and pop, about 1 minutes.
- Add in onion and a ‘lil pinch of salt. Cook – stirring occasionally – until lightly browned around the edges; 7-10 minutes.
- Mix in tomato, garlic, ginger, cayenne, turmeric, bay leaf, another ‘lil pinch of salt and cook until tomatoes are softened and rid of their excess moisture; about 8 minutes.
- Add in spinach purée, coconut milk, and another ‘lil pinch of salt, then cook – stirring occasionally – until curry is thickened to desired consistency; about 5 minutes. Taste and adjust seasoning, adding more salt for saltiness & cayenne for kick.
- Serve in bowls, topped with seared tofu, alongside wedges of lemon and cauliflower rice.
- Leftovers will keep an airtight container in the fridge for up to three days. Reheat in a non-stick pot/pan over medium heat – along with a splash of water or coconut milk – until bubbly hot.
*If you’d like a complete walk-through on how to blanch, peel, and deseed a tomato, read steps 4-8 on this recipe.