"Take saag paneer - the classic Indian dish of fresh cheese and pureed spinach - and substitute both firm and silken tofu for the dairy, and bingo: vegan saag paneer. And it's terrific," writes Mark Bittman in The VB6 Cookbook.
Curried Spinach and Tofu
From Mark Bittman's The VB6 Cookbook: More Than 350 Recipes for Healthy Vegan Meals All Day and Delicious Flexitarian Dinners at Night, published by Clarkson Potter/Publishers.
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 small red onion, halved and sliced
2 tablespoons minced ginger
8 ounces silken tofu
2 tablespoons curry powder or garam masala
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1-1/2 pounds spinach, rinsed well and trimmed
1 pound firm tofu, cut into 1-inch cubes
2 lemons, cut into wedges for serving
Put the oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add the onion and ginger and cook, stirring frequently, until vegetables soften and begin to turn golden, 5 to 10 minutes. Put the silken tofu in a small bowl and whisk until smooth. (It will go through an awkward "broken" stage - just keep whisking until the mixture emulsifies.)
Add the curry powder, salt, and pepper to the onion mixture and cook, stirring constantly, until fragrant, about 1 minute. Start adding the spinach a handful at a time, until the pan is full. Stir frequently and adjust the heat as necessary so the spinach softens but doesn't burn; when there's room in the skillet, add more spinach and stir, repeating until all the spinach is used. Then cook, stirring occasionally, until the pan is almost dry, just another 1 or 2 minutes.
Add the silken tofu and cook, stirring constantly and adjusting the heat as necessary, until the mixture bubbles gently but steadily. Add the firm tofu and cover. Cook, stirring once or twice, until the cubes are heated through, 2 to 3 minutes. Taste and adjust the seasoning and serve with the lemon wedges.
Makes 4 servings.
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