Palak Tofu – Vegan Palak Paneer

This Palak Tofu is not your average meal prep! This Indian-inspired, easy to make dish made with tofu cubes served in a smooth spinach gravy, will take your meal prep game to the next level.

Palak Tofu

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This post is all about Palak Tofu!

What is Palak Tofu?

Palak Paneer is a popular vegetarian Indian curry made with Indian cottage cheese, served in a smooth spinach sauce. It is said to have originated in Punjabi cuisine.

This palak tofu is the vegan meal prep inspired take on this delicious dish.

Ingredients You Will Need To Make Palak Tofu

palak tofu ingredients

Extra-Firm Block Tofu

Extra-firm tofu makes an ideal dairy-free substitution for paneer in Indian recipes. It has a very dense consistency and has the most chew compared to other types of tofu.

If you want to learn more about the different types of tofu, I find this post offers a good overview.

Baby Spinach

Technically, you could use any type of spinach to make palak tofu, but my personal preference goes out to baby spinach! When you use baby spinach for this dish, there is no need to cut off any tough stems. You would need to do this with any spinach other than baby spinach. So, if you are likewise not keen to meticulously cut off rough stems… go for baby spinach!

Aromatics, Herbs, and Spices

Aromatics, herbs, and spices are at the heart of Indian cuisine. So, this Indian-inspired meal prep recipe of course boasts a bunch of them. Most of them are easily available at grocery stores here in South Africa, and I assume worldwide.

I will link to online options at Amazon and at Faithful To Nature (RSA only!), whenever available.

  • onion
  • garlic
  • ginger
  • green chili
  • cumin seeds
McCormick_Gourmet_Organic_Cumin_Seed
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  • dried fenugreek leaves / kasoori methi
Rani_Fenugreek_Leaves_Dried_Kasoori_Methi_1oz_28g_All_Natural_Vegan_Gluten_Friendly_NON_GMO_Indian_Origin
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  • ground coriander
McCormick_Gourmet_Organic_Ground_Coriander_1.25_oz
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  • ground turmeric
McCormick_Gourmet_Ground_Turmeric_1.37_oz
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good_life_organic_good_life_organic_turmeric_powder_sku82140

Other Ingredients

  • coconut milk
Thai_Kitchen_Gluten_Free_Unsweetened_Coconut_Milk_13.66_fl_oz
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_cocomi_coconut_milk_cuisine_-_17_fat_sku65549

How To Make Palak Tofu

1. Soak The Tofu

In a large bowl, dissolve a tablespoon of salt in 500 ml of boiling water. Then, soak the cubed tofu in the salt water and allow it to soak for 20 minutes. This will season the tofu all the way through. Drain and set aside until it is time to add it to the curry.

2. Prepare Spinach Puree

Bring a big pot with enough water to submerge the spinach to a boil on the stove. While the water is coming to a boil, prepare the ice water. Then, add the spinach to the boiling water and press it down with a spoon to submerge and blanch for about 45 seconds – 1 minute, until just wilted! Transfer the wilted spinach into the ice water, with a slotted spoon.

spinach puree

Once the spinach has fully cooled down, drain it into a sieve. Give it a squeeze and transfer it to a blender. Blitz the spinach into a smooth paste.

3. Cook The Curry

Heat the olive oil on medium-low heat in a cast iron pot. Add the cumin seeds and allow them to change color. This should take less than a minute. Increase the heat to medium and then add the onion and some salt. Allow to cook, stirring occasionally, for about 7 minutes until the onion has browned. Add the garlic and ginger, until the raw smell/flavor of the garlic, ginger, and chili has disappeared. Add all the remaining spices and allow the flavors to develop, turning constantly, for about 30 seconds. 

vegan palak paneer

Add the spinach puree, the soaked tofu, and coconut milk, pepper, and salt, and bring to a gentle simmer. Cook for about 7 more minutes until the sauce has come together.

4. Time To Portion Out The Palak Tofu

The Palak Tofu pairs wonderfully with basmati rice or any grain of your choice.

vegan palak paneer with tofu

Divide the Palak Tofu, and basmati rice among 3 meal prep containers. Garnish with some fresh coriander! Store in the fridge for up to four days!

vegan palak tofu

Palak Tofu: FAQs

Can I use tofu in place of paneer?

Paneer and tofu have a lot in common. Firstly, both foods are sold in solid white blocks. Paneer and tofu are both produced using curdling and pressing processes, and are thus similar in texture. Each also has a mild taste on its own yet absorbs the flavors of its marinades. As a result, they can be used interchangeably in recipes. Tofu, opposed to paneer, is completely dairy-free and vegan.

Pro tip! When you choose a tofu to replace paneer, opt for extra-firm tofu. It is soft and slightly crumbly and thus most reminiscent of paneer.

What is tofu called in India?

In India, tofu is called soy paneer or bean curd.

Can I make palak tofu with frozen spinach?

Sure you can! If you wish to use frozen spinach to make the spinach puree for palak tofu, you will need to thaw the spinach first and then blend it into a puree.

palak paneer with tofu
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Palak Tofu With Basmati Rice

This Palak Tofu is not your average meal prep! The easy to make spinach gravy, tofu cubes, and basmati rice, will take your meal prep game to the next level.
Course Main Course
Cuisine Indian-inspired, vegan, vegetarian
Keyword palak tofu, vegan palak paneer
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 3 meals
Calories 320kcal

Ingredients

Palak Tofu

  • 1 block (= 350 g) extra-firm tofu drained, patted dry, and cut into cubes
  • 1 tablespoon salt for soaking the tofu + more for seasoning
  • 500 g baby spinach
  • ice water enough to submerge the wilted spinach
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1 onion finely chopped
  • 6 cloves garlic pressed
  • 1 thumb size piece of ginger finely grated
  • 1 green chili finely chopped, including seeds
  • 1 tablespoon dried fenugreek leaves / kasoori methi
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground pepper
  • 1 can (= 400 ml) coconut milk

Meal Prep Bowls

  • 3 cups cooked basmati rice
  • 1 handful coriander leaves

Instructions

  • Soak The Tofu: In a large bowl, dissolve a tablespoon of salt in 500 ml of boiling water. Then, soak the cubed tofu in the salt water and allow it to soak for 20 minutes. This will season the tofu all the way through. Drain and set aside until it is time to add it to the curry.
    1 block (= 350 g) extra-firm tofu, 1 tablespoon salt
  • Prepare Spinach Puree: Bring a big pot with enough water to submerge the spinach to a boil on the stove. While the water is coming to a boil, prepare the ice water. Then, add the spinach to the boiling water and press it down with a spoon to submerge and blanch for about 45 seconds – 1 minute, until just wilted! Transfer the wilted spinach into the ice water, with a slotted spoon.
    Once the spinach has fully cooled down, drain it into a sieve. Give it a squeeze and transfer it to a blender. Blitz the spinach into a smooth paste.
    500 g baby spinach, ice water
  • Cook The Curry: Heat the olive oil on medium-low heat in a cast iron pot. Add the cumin seeds and allow them to change color. This should take less than a minute. Increase the heat to medium and then add the onion and some salt. Allow to cook, stirring occasionally, for about 7 minutes until the onion has browned. Add the garlic, ginger, and chili until the raw smell/flavor of the garlic and ginger has disappeared. Add all the remaining spices and allow the flavors to develop, turning constantly, for about 30 seconds. 
    Add the spinach puree, the soaked tofu, and coconut milk, pepper, and salt, and bring to a gentle simmer. Cook for about 7 more minutes until the sauce has come together.
    1 tablespoon olive oil, 1 teaspoon cumin seeds, 1 onion, 6 cloves garlic, 1 thumb size piece of ginger, 1 green chili, 1 tablespoon dried fenugreek leaves / kasoori methi, 1 teaspoon ground coriander, 1/4 teaspoon ground turmeric, 1 can (= 400 ml) coconut milk, 1/4 teaspoon ground pepper
  • Time To Portion Out The Palak Tofu: The Palak Tofu pairs wonderfully with basmati rice or any grain of your choice.
    Divide the Palak Tofu, and basmati rice among three meal prep containers. Garnish with some fresh coriander! Store in the fridge for up to four days!
    3 cups cooked basmati rice, 1 handful coriander leaves

Nutrition

Calories: 320kcal | Carbohydrates: 58g | Protein: 10g | Fat: 6g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 4g | Sodium: 2516mg | Potassium: 1101mg | Fiber: 6g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 15777IU | Vitamin C: 54mg | Calcium: 214mg | Iron: 6mg

Did you meal prep this Palak Tofu? Don’t forget to let me know! Leave a comment, rate it, and don’t forget to tag @vegan_meal_prep_sunday on Instagram so I can see!

This post was all about Palak Tofu!

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