Wednesday, August 27, 2014

palak tofu with fire-roasted tomatoes.

i've found it: my new favorite greens dish. while i would never dissuade you from my trying my earlier saag tofu recipe, this newer version comes together much quicker and with fewer ingredients, making it an ideal weeknight recipe. from start to finish, this dinner will take you no more than forty-five minutes to throw together. 

i piloted the recipe using spinach but look forward to trying it out with kale or chard next time around. serve with some rice, dal, and naan for a hearty, well-balanced meal.

palak tofu with fire-roasted tomatoes
adapted from pinch of yum

for the palak:
1 tablespoon oil
1 red onion, minced
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
2 teaspoons garam masala
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1-2 teaspoons fresh ginger
3 teaspoons minced garlic
1 14-ounce can fire roasted tomatoes, drained
1 huge carton of spinach or other greens (you can use as spinach as you want, but i would suggest no fewer than 8 handfuls)
1 bunch fresh cilantro, roughly chopped
½ cup water
1 teaspoon salt, a few grinds of pepper

for the tofu:
8 ounces extra firm tofu, drained and cubed
1 teaspoon oil
salt and pepper

prepare your tofu by first removing all of the excess water. you can do this by wrapping it in paper towels and setting a plate or something heavy on top of it for a couple of minutes. repeat as necessary until it feels firm and dry.

heat one tablespoon of oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. once your oil is hot, toss in the cubed tofu and pan fry until lightly browned on both sides. when it’s cooked, add a pinch of salt and pepper, stir, and then dump into a small mixing bowl to cool (note: you could also do this step in advance to save time).

in the same skillet, heat a tablespoon of oil over medium heat. sauté the onion until soft, about 8 minutes. push the onion to the side of the pan and add the cumin seeds. stir the cumin seeds around in the middle for about a minute so they can crackle and pop.

add the garam masala, ground coriander, ginger and garlic. sauté everything together for 2-3 minutes. add the fire roasted tomatoes and sauté for another 5-10 minutes.

now add the spinach, a few handfuls at a time, to the mixture. to help the leaves cook down, keep scooping the tomato mixture over the greens. when all of the spinach is cooked, add the fresh cilantro to the skillet. sauté for another couple of minutes.

transfer the mixture to a blender or food processor. pulse a few times until you get the desired consistency. I like mine mostly smooth with a few chunks (not pureed). return the mixture to the skillet, and stir in the water. add the salt, pepper, and tofu. simmer for 5-10 minutes. serve immediately.