Skip to main content
Cuisine of India
Main Content

Spinach and Tofu (Palak-Tofu)

Posted on February 10, 2022 at 1:35 PM by Madhu Gadia

Spinach and Tofu 


Gluten Free

Prep : 10 minutes
Cook : 40 minutes

Whether you’re a spinach enthusiast or not, this variation on the standard Indian restaurant dish known as Saag-Paneer is a must-try. Traditionally, it is made with paneer (homemade cheese) and cream, making it high in fat and calories. Extra-firm tofu is an excellent substitute for the paneer, as you will soon discover. For convenience, I always use frozen spinach for this recipe.

1 pound frozen chopped spinach, or fresh spinach, coarsely chopped
1 teaspoon salt
1⁄2 teaspoon turmeric
1 cup water, divided
11⁄2 cups (10 ounces) extra-firm tofu 2 tablespoons besan or cornmeal

2 tablespoons canola or vegetable oil 1⁄2 teaspoon cumin seeds
4–6 dried red chiles
1 cup onion, finely chopped
1 tablespoon ginger, peeled and grated 2 teaspoons garlic, finely chopped
1⁄2 teaspoon cayenne pepper, or to taste


1. In a heavy skillet, place spinach, turmeric, salt, and 1⁄2 cup water. Bring to a boil over medium- high heat. Reduce heat, cover, and simmer for 5 minutes. Open lid and cool slightly.

2. While spinach mixture cools cut tofu into 1-inch squares and lay them on a towel to remove excess water.

3. In a blender jar, place the cooled spinach mixture and coarsely grind.

4. Return the coarsely ground spinach to the skillet. In a separate bowl, combine besan with the remaining 1⁄2 cup water. Stir besan mixture into the spinach. Cover with a lid and cook on medium heat until spinach is simmering. (Caution: Before stirring, remove the skillet from the heat and carefully remove the lid. The spinach tends to splatter and can burn.) Reduce heat and simmer for 20 minutes. A longer cooking time adds flavor to the spinach.

5. While spinach mixture cooks, prepare seasoning: In a medium fry pan, heat oil on medium-high heat, add cumin seeds and dried red chiles, and cook for a few seconds, until seeds and chiles turn brown. Add onion and fry 2 to 3 minutes until golden brown. Add ginger and garlic and fry for another minute. Remove from

heat, add the cayenne pepper, and cook for a few seconds.

6. Remove spinach from the heat, add tofu pieces and the seasoning, and stir gently to avoid breaking the tofu. Cover with a lid and return to the stove. Continue to simmer for another 5 minutes. Leave covered until ready to serve.

7. Transfer to a serving bowl and serve hot with flatbread or rice.

Makes : 8 servings
Serving Size:1⁄2 cup

Calories: 109; Total Fat: 7 g (Saturated Fat: 0.5 g); Carbohydrate: 6 g; Protein: 8 g; Fiber: 3 g; Sodium: 299 mg


(Reprinted from The Indian Vegan Kitchen: More than 150 Quick and Healthy Homestyle Recipes by Madhu Gadia.)

Tagged As: Spinach, Tofu

There are no comments yet.
Add Comment

* Indicates a required field

© 2024 Cuisine of India. All rights reserved