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29 February 2016

Vegan Saag Paneer (Tofu)



So, this next recipe is in honour of mother's day 2016. My mum means the absolute world to me and I'm so thankful for the amazing person she is, she's taught me so much, the most important is to be the best person I can be and to live life to the fullest. Every so often we used to get an Indian take away and saag paneer was one of our favourite dishes, we'd order food, snuggle up on the sofa with the dog and watch crime shows and it was amazing!


Since I'm at uni now and being vegan we haven't had a chance to get an Indian takeaway, but over Christmas I veganized our favourite dish and here I've improved on it and just had to share the recipe. I used marinated, pressed tofu to replicate the chewy, slightly sour and tangy cheese and the curry sauce is based off authentic flavours and spices for a wonderful Indian dish, perfect to say 'thank you for everything' to your mum this mother's day! This curry is so unbelievably delicious and I'm ecstatic that I've been able to recreate our favourite dish from pre-vegan days!



So this mother's day, show your gratitude by cooking for your mum, it will most definitely be appreciated! I marinated the tofu a day before cooking, but anywhere between 2 and 24 hours will do, the longer you leave it the more flavour it will have; I then cooked my tofu on a waffle iron, it pressed and cooks it perfectly, for a slightly crisp outside and a much firmer inside that wouldn't be achieved by simply frying it - if you don't have one then a panini press or baking in the oven will also work. With sides and another dish, this will easily serve 4, if this is the sole curry then 2-3 people is more realistic.

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Vegan Saag Paneer (Tofu) | Serves:2-4 | Time: 45 mins + marinating time

You'll need


  • Waffle iron/panini press/ baking tray
  • Marinating dish
  • Fork
  • Small frying pan
  • Pestle & mortar
  • Large frying pan/saucepan
  • Chopping board 
  • Knife
  • Wooden spoon
  • Fine grater

Ingredients

Tofu Paneer:
  • 1 block firm tofu
  • 1 tsp white/yellow miso paste
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp nutritional yeast
  • 1.5 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp turmeric
Curry:
  • 1 white onion
  • 2 large garlic cloves
  • 2 inch piece ginger
  • 1/2 medium sized green chili
  • 1 tbsp coriander seeds
  • 1.5 tsp cumin seeds
  • 2 tsp garam masala
  • 450g frozen chopped spinach
  • 1 tbsp chopped fresh coriander
  • 250ml soy cream
  • 1 medium sized tomato
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • Splash oil

Method

  1. Mix together the miso paste, soy sauce, nutritional yeast, lemon juice and turmeric in the marinating dish, then slice the tofu length ways, prick the surface with a fork and place in the dish to marinate for up to a day before making the curry, turn over half way through the marinating time. When you are ready to make the curry, transfer the tofu to a waffle iron, panini press or baking tray and cook until firm and golden brown, then chop into pieces, ready to add to the curry
  2. To make the curry, finely chop the onion and fry in a large pan with a splash of oil for 5 minutes, then crush the garlic, finely chop the chili, grate the ginger and add this to the pan, fry on a low heat for a further 5 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, add the coriander and cumin seeds to a dry frying pan and toast until fragrant and golden brown, transfer to the pestle and mortar and grind until smooth. Then add the spices to the pan along with the garam masala and fry for a further 2 minutes. Add the spinach and 200ml of the soy cream to the pan and simmer for 20 minutes, the curry should be creamy but also quite dry by the end of the cooking time, add the rest of the cream if needed. Then chop the tomato into 8 and add to the pan along with the fresh coriander, and cooked tofu pieces and salt, simmer for a further 5 minutes, then serve up with your choice of sides and enjoy! 
Cassidy xx


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