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Audrey's Version of Palak Paneer

What you need: 

4 cups (32 oz) spinach, raw, chopped into bite sized pieces (if using frozen spinach, measure while still frozen)
1 can (13.5 oz) coconut 'milk'
2-4 tablespoons of curry powder, plus 2 teaspoons
1/2 cup (depending on taste) soy or rice milk
1 cup of any other veggies you wish to add (I like eggplant, but mushrooms, bell peppers, squash would work well)
1/2 block extra firm tofu, chopped into bite sized pieces
1/2 cup of vegan cheese, cubed (optional)
sea salt and pepper, to taste

What you do: 

First of all, place your spinach (and any other veggies desired) into a pot over medium heat. If you are using fresh spinach, add a few tablespoons of water. Don't worry if the spinach barely fits into the pot, as it will cook down to a much smaller amount. Season with salt and pepper as desired. Once spinach has cooked down (leaves all completely wilted), drain off excess water. Add the entire can of coconut milk, your rice/soy milk, and your curry powder (season to taste). Let this mixture cook on medium heat for 5-10 minutes, to allow the ingredients to marry. Next, add your tofu, stirring in carefully as not to crumble it. When tofu is heated through, right before serving, add vegan cheese (optional). Serve and enjoy!
Note: I like to serve my palak paneer on a bed of rice. I usually use 1/2 cup of brown rice, 1/2 cup of arborio rice, which gives the rice a great crunch and creaminess. Place your rice, 2 cups of water, 1 Tablespoon shortening (optional), 2 teaspoons curry powder, and 1 teaspoon Chinese five spice powder into a pot, over high heat. Once the rice comes to a boil, turn heat down to low, cover with a lid, and let simmer until almost all of the water has evaporated (40-50 minutes). When using arborio rice, you need to make sure the rice isn't sticking to the bottom of the pan and burning. Once you've neared the end of cooking time, start stirring the rice, to check its consistency. Take off heat and serve when you've reached your desired consistency.

Preparation Time: 
around 20 minutes
Cooking Time: 
Recipe Category: 


this was good. it could have been better if the tofu was more cheesy. i think next time i will try soaking it in a little vinegar and some nutritional yeast flakes.


This was really great, and it was actually very quick to prepare. Not too spicy, and the coconut milk was fantastic! I think I'll add some chickpeas next time I make it.


Yum! Excellent call on the coconut milk--it really did make it nice and creamy. (I always think of coconut milk as sweet, but it's really not at all in this recipe.)

Biggest comment is in the spices, I think. I was very surprised to see curry powder as the recommended spice; every other recipe for palak paneer I have seen either uses individual spices or uses garam masala instead. After finding online recipes for garam masala I added some some nutmeg, cloves, and cinnamon to my curry powder, plus a little extra cumin. (Don't ask me how much--definitely not a ton. I would say 2 Tbsps. of curry powder plus a few extra shakes of everything else). I'd like to think it gave it a nice warmth, and the coconut milk kept it from getting bitter.

Also, this does not make for a very spicy recipe. That is fine by me (since I really can't handle spice  :'() But if others like spices I would suggest adding some heat (green chilies, perhaps?) to the recipe.

I made a few additional adaptations and will post a picture shortly:

1. I used one large can of spinach. In fact, I purposely chose this recipe because I needed something that would work with canned spinach.

2. I did not use 1/2 cup of milk. I didn't measure but I would estimate closer to 1/4 cup.

3. My "1 cup vegetable" of choice was tomato. I sauteed it with the tofu prior to adding it to the spinach. (I got this from other palak paneer recipes.) It was great.

4. I used 1 block of tofu instead of 1/2 block + 1/2 cup cheese. Paneer is so much like tofu to start with that I really don't see the point of adding any cheese-like substance. I'd like to think that the saute gave the tofu a little of its own flavor before adding to the spinach.

5. I added some onion powder and ground ginger. Fresh onion and ginger, sauteed before adding the spinach (or maybe in with the tofu), would have been yummy too. I may have added garlic too... I forget.

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