This dish is my own version of famous Indian (Punjabi) curry is prepared by cooking shallow fried paneer cheese cubes in a spinach gravy. I use firm tofu instead paneer cheese and coconut oil instead ghee butter here. Tofu is super absorbent and takes in creamy curry sauce with flavour from aromatic spices. A fabulous dish for all seasons, light and healthy meal. Serve it with bowl of cooked Indian basmati rice, fresh coriander leaves and crispy shallots.
- Drain the tofu for at least an half hour. Drained tofu absorb more sauce and have more rich taste. This is how I drain it: place block of tofu in a colander on a few layers of paper towel. Place small plate and something heavy on top of it. Place the colander over bowl or pot.
- When frying spices, you need to first warm the oil so that it is hot, but not searing. If the oil is too hot, it will burn your spices immediately. If your spices do burn, throw them away and start over. Adding burnt spices to a dish will make the flavor is bitter.
- Burnt garlic has a very distinct, bitter and unpleasant taste. Don`t overcook it!
- Use whole spices. Grind it using mortar and pestle before cooking process. It was most important tip that I got from chief in India. I recommend to grind whole cumin seeds and coriander seeds before cooking.
- If spinach gravy is too thick, add more water until it reaches the preferred consistency. If the sauce is too thin, just evaporate some liquid. Don’t overcook spinach gravy and save beautiful green color of spinach.
- Ginger and garlic paste is one of the essential part of daily Indian cooking. I use advanced ceramic Kyocera grater for ginger (on the photo). This grater with rows of sharp teeth effortlessly shreds fresh ginger root while leaving unwanted fibers behind. I also use garlic press.
- Adjust the amount of garam masala and chilli to taste.
- Finely sliced, deep-fried shallots are used as a condiment in Asian cuisine. I usually buy it in an Asian store and keep in an airtight container.
- 250g Firm Organic Tofu
- 200g Spinach leaves, washed and drained, large stems removed
- 1 Tbs Garlic paste
- 1/2 Onion bulb, chopped
- 1 Tbs Grated ginger
- 1/2 Green chili, chopped
- 4 Tbs Coconut oil
- 1 Can of coconut milk
- 1/2 Cup water
- 1 tsp Cumin seeds, crushed in a mortar or 1/2 tsp cumin powder
- 1 tsp Coriander seeds, crushed in a mortar or 1/2 tsp coriander powder
- 1/2 tsp Garam massala
- Himalayan salt
- cooked basmati rice
- crispy fried shallots
- coriander leaves, chopped
- Cut tofu into cubes. Heat a large nonstick frying pan over low medium heat. When it’s hot, add about 2 Tbs of coconut oil. Carefully lay each piece of tofu into the frying pan. Crisp tofu slices for about 3 to 4 minutes aside. Transfer to a bowl.
- Heat another 2 Tbs of coconut oil and saute spices. Cook, stirring, for about 15 seconds, or until the spices are fragrant and reddish-brown. Add the garlic paste, ginger paste, chopped green chili and stir-fry 1 minute. Then add chopped onion and cook until it is translucent about 3 minutes.
- Add and stir in the coconut milk. Simmer for 5 minutes. Add half cup of water, salt and the spinach in batches, adding the next batch after the first batch wilted and stirring and scraping the bottom of the pan.
- When all spinach wilted and soft pour curry in a blender or food processor and blend it till puree. Make sure that your blender for a hot curry. If not, wait a bit.
- Back the spinach puree and tofu to frying pan and simmer over medium-low heat for 5 minutes until mixture is creamy and fragrant.
Serve hot with basmati rice, chopped coriander, and crispy shallots.
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