Recipe - Saag Paneer (w/Tofu)

Fridge purge! I had spinach and tofu so figured that I ought to force myself to make what I’ve been wanting to – saag paneer! Of course, I didn’t have the real deal (paneer) but tofu makes a good substitute.
Step 1: Ingredients (serving size: 3-4 dinner portions)
  • salt (to taste)
  • red chili pepper flakes (to taste)
  • 1 tbsp garlic, minced
  • 1 tbsp ginger, minced
  • 1 lb. spinach, chopped
  • 1.5 tbsp butter
  • 1.5 cups half and half
  • 2 small red chilis
  • 2 tbsp curry powder
  • 6 oz. plain yogurt
  • 14 oz. extra firm tofu, cubed

Step 2: Preparing the vegetables
Wash the spinach before chopping it up in small pieces. Halve the block of tofu, wrap in paper towels, and place on a plate. Stack a few plates on top. Mince your garlic and ginger (I used some ground ginger and garlic powder to compensate for my lack of a full tbsp of the stuff).

Step 3: Creating the spice base
Melt your butter in a skillet before adding the garlic and ginger. You may also add the red chili pepper flakes.

Step 4: Adding spices and spinach

When the garlic has browned a bit, add the curry powder, salt, and red chilis. After that, add the spinach. This will take the longest time because you have to wait until all 1 lb. of the spinach wilts. I got impatient after a bit and microwaved some leaves to speed up the process.

Step 5: Adding yogurt and half & half
Once the leaves have wilted, add your yogurt. Add ONLY 1 cup of your half and half next. You can take the whole chilis out now.

Step 6: Adding tofu
There will be a lot of liquids in your skillet now. Continue stirring on medium-heat while it boils and mostly evaporates (don’t leave the skillet! I had a little start to burn at the bottom, because I just let it sit and evaporate on its own). You can cube the tofu now in 1/2 inch pieces and once the mix gets drier, add the cubes.

Step 7: Completion and eating
Once the tofu has gotten mixed in and hot, add your remaining half and half. Stir around until the mixture dries a bit more.

Enjoy over rice or with naan!