Tofu is an inexpensive meat substitute that packs lots of nutrition. I did not grow up eating tofu but as a chef have enjoyed learning how to cook with it. Plain tofu can become extremely tasty once you add certain combinations of spices, herbs, and vegetables.
Today I present my take on spinach tofu. The key element is a puréed spinach seasoned with ginger, garlic, garam masala, and other spices. If you’ve ever heard of palak paneer, it’s a bit like that. I use tofu, however, and dust it with cornstarch and white pepper powder before frying it until crispy on the outside.
This dish has a lot of flavor! Although I use tofu below you could make this with another type of protein such as various types of beans or meats.
- 1 14 oz container tofu
- 1/2 tsp white pepper powder
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 3 tbs cornstarch
- 2 tbs canola oil
- 1 lbs fresh spinach, wash and cut into 1 inch long
- 1 cup water
- 2 tbs canola oil
- 1 cup yellow onion, grated or process in food processor
- 1/2 tbs ginger, minced
- 1/2 tbs garlic, minced
- 1/2 tsp red chili powder
- 1 tsp ground cumin
- 2 tsp ground coriander
- 1 tsp garam masala
- 1 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp ground black pepper
- 1/2 cup canned tomato sauce
- 1/3 cup heavy cream
Drain and pat dry tofu well. Cut tofu into 16 equal cubes.
Mix cornstarch, salt, and pepper in a small bowl. Sprinkle over tofu. Gently coat the tofu in the cornstarch mixture.
Heat 1 tbs oil in a large nonstick deep frying pan. Fry half of the tofu till lightly brown on all sides. Try not to overcrowd. Repeat with the remaining 1 tbs oil and rest of the tofu. Transfer to a plate. Set aside.
Place spinach and 1 cup water in a saucepan. Cover and cook the spinach till wilted in medium-high heat. It should take around 4-5 minutes to wilt. Puree mixture in a blender. Set aside.
Be careful while blending hot food!
Heat oil in a large deep frying pan on medium-high heat. Add cinnamon leaves. Fry for a few seconds.
Add grated onion. Fry till lightly colored.
Add ginger, garlic. Fry for a few minutes.
Add all the dry spices. Stir well. Saute for a minute. Be careful not to burn the spices.
Add tomato sauce. Cook till mixture on very low heat for 4-6 minutes.
Add pureed spinach. Stir well.
Add cream and fried tofu. Stir thoroughly to incorporate everything.
Cook for 3-4 minutes. Taste for seasoning. Remove cinnamon leave before eating. Serve with rice, roti, or naan.
Did you make this dish? I’d love to know how it turns out! Feel free to email me or use the hashtag #globaldinein on Instagram.