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Saag Paneer with Tofu

written by Aruna Nathan, M.D.

This dish is loaded with spinach and so colorful. It is equally easy to make as the channa masala recipe posted earlier this week. 

When you eat this dish, watch out for the cardamom pods and cloves, don’t bite into them as the taste can be rather strong, these are great flavoring spices, in addition to medicinal properties they also add tons of aroma to the foods.

Ingredients (for about 4-5 servings) 

One small pack of firm tofu.

Spinach 2 bunches, rinsed and drained

2 medium onions sliced

A small piece of ginger grated 

One small can chopped tomatoes 

1-2 Thai green chilies (optional) slit along the mid line

1/2 tsp turmeric powder

1/2 tsp red chili powder 

1/2 tsp cumin seeds

1 tsp coriander powder

1 tsp cumin powder

4 cardamom pods

3 cloves

 Directions:

1) Take the tofu and use either a tofu press or 2 heavy flat objects (cutting boards or heavy pan) press the tofu between to remove the excess water.  After about 2 minutes, cut the tofu into 1/2 inch cubes.

2) In one thick bottomed pan add the Thai green chili and sauté for 1/2 a minute.  Add the clean rinsed and drained spinach. Turn flame on low and cover and cook for 6 minutes. Turn off the flame or heat source. Now take the spinach and purée it until it is nice and smooth. 

3) In another thick bottomed pan add cumin seeds, heat on medium for a minute, now add the sliced onions. Cook and sauté for 2 minutes on medium, add 2 tsp water if needed. Now add the tomatoes and all the other spices and cook on low, covered for 10 minutes. The mixture should be a thick sauce- like consistency. 

4) At this point, the onions and the tomatoes should be well cooked.  Now add the spinach purée. Stir the purée in and once we’ll mixed with the tomatoes and onions, add the tofu cubes.  Stir it gently, cover and cook on low for 2 additional minutes.

5) Add a small amount of salt if needed. About 1/2 teaspoon goes a long way. 

You can enjoy saag paneer with rice, quinoa or rotis. Give it a try and let me know if you have any questions.

Editor's Note:  You can enjoy the seeds inside the cardamom pods.  I enjoy sprinkling them on almond butter for a snack.  MJS

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