Saag paneer is a heady stewed spinach dish flecked with cubes of squeaky fresh cheese. This interpretation skips the cream, butter, and cheese while amping up the spices for an Ayurvedic and vegan-friendly comfort food dinner.
12 oz pkg extra-firm tofu, pressed and cut into 1 inch cubes
1 Tbsp low-sodium tamari
1 Tbsp avocado oil
2 Tbsp coconut oil
1 onion, diced
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 Tbsp grated fresh ginger
1 serrano chili, finely chopped
2 tsp garam masala
1 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp ground coriander
1/4 tsp salt, plus more to taste
3 Roma tomatoes, diced
2 bunches fresh spinach, washed well and roughly chopped
1 cup chopped fresh cilantro, plus more for serving
13 1/2 oz can coconut milk
3 Tbsp chopped golden raisins
1 Tbsp lemon juice, plus more for serving
Cooked grain of choice, for serving (optional)
In medium bowl, toss tofu with tamari and set aside to marinate for 5 minutes. Heat medium skillet over medium heat and add avocado oil. Fry tofu in single layer (in batches, if necessary) for about 2 minutes on 2 sides, until browned. Transfer to plate.
Heat large Dutch oven or pot over medium heat and add coconut oil, and then onion, garlic, ginger, and serrano chili. Sauté until onion is translucent, about 5 minutes. Stir in garam masala, cumin, coriander, and salt and cook until spices are fragrant. Stir in tomatoes and cook for 5 minutes, or until they begin to break down.
Add spinach, cilantro, and coconut milk. Bring mixture to a boil, reduce to a simmer, cover, and cook for 20 minutes, until flavors are combined and vegetables are very soft.
Using immersion blender, coarsely puree mixture to create a creamy base, and then stir in fried tofu, raisins, and lemon juice. Heat for about 5 minutes, until tofu is warmed through. Serve over your preferred cooked grain, if desired, and garnish with additional cilantro and a squeeze of lemon.
Tip: Replace tofu with cubes of boiled or roasted potatoes for a comforting take on Indian saag aloo (spinach and potatoes).