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Palak ‘Paneer’


For the Tofu Paneer

  • 450 g firm tofu
  • ¼ cup cashew paste
  • 1 tbsp grated fresh ginger or ginger paste
  • 1 tbsp lemon or lime juice
  • ½ tsp garam masala
  • Unrefined salt to taste

For the Spinach

  • 8-10 cups chopped fresh spinach, blanched
  • 1 tsp ground cumin (jeera)
  • 1 tsp ground coriander (dhania dana)
  • ½ tsp red chilli powder or crushed red pepper
  • ½ tsp turmeric powder (haldi – optional)
  • 1 tbsp grated fresh ginger
  • 2 tomatoes, chopped
  • Unrefined salt to taste
  • ½ cup chopped onion
  • ⅓ cup plain soy yoghurt or any other plant-based yoghurt


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, in the refrigerator. You may 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 is too thick. Aim for the marinade to be of the thickness of cream.

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

Bake the tofu for about 20 minutes at 150 °C in a pre-heated oven.

While the tofu is cooking, heat a large sauté pan and dry roast cumin, coriander, chilli powder or crushed red pepper and turmeric on low heat, so that the spices do not burn. Add ginger and tomatoes with any liquid from the tomatoes. Cook the mixture on medium heat, until the juice from the tomatoes has almost evaporated and the tomatoes are cooked.

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

Serves 5-6


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