Palak ‘Paneer’

Ingredients (For the tofu paneer)

  • 1 16-ounce block firm tofu
  • 1/4 cup cashew paste
  • 1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger or ginger paste
  • 1 tablespoon lemon or lime juice
  • 1 teaspoon garam masala
  • salt, to taste

Ingredients (For the spinach)

  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili powder or crushed red pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric (optional)
  • 1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger
  • 2 tomatoes, chopped
  • salt, to taste
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion
  • 2 bunches fresh spinach, chopped roughly and blanched
  • 1/3 cup plain soy yogurt or other plant-based yogurt


To prepare the tofu, place it in a flat colander (or plate) with a weight on top for at least half an hour, or preferably overnight, keeping it in the refrigerator. You can also use a tofu press. The idea is to drain out all the water to make it suitable to marinate. Cut tofu into cubes or roughly one-inch squares.

In a bowl, mix together cashew paste, ginger, lemon or lime juice, garam masala, and salt, adding water to the paste if it’s too thick. Aim for the marinade to be of the thickness of cream.

Put the tofu cubes in the freshly-prepared paste in a baking pan and let it stand about 30 minutes to an hour, turning it a couple of times to make sure all the surfaces absorb the marinade.

Bake tofu for about 20 minutes at 300°F. (150°C)

While tofu is cooking, heat a large sauté pan and dry roast cumin, coriander, chili powder or crushed red pepper, and turmeric over low heat, otherwise the spices will burn. Add ginger and tomatoes with any liquid from the tomatoes. Cook mixture over medium heat until the juice from the tomatoes is almost evaporated and the tomatoes are cooked.

Separately, in a large sauté pan add a little salt to the chopped onion and “fry” it in its own juice. Add steamed spinach. Add tomato and spice mixture and let the mixture simmer for a few minutes to absorb the water. Then add yogurt, mixing thoroughly. Add tofu cubes and cook until warmed through.

Serves 5-6