It has been a very eventful couple of weeks. A friend in the hospital, a big gathering held at my place, and to top it all off I got sick! So needless to say I haven’t been keeping up with my box too well. But when I looked in the fridge and saw I had spinach, beet greens, kohlrabi greens, and two separate tupperware containers of leftover tofu, I knew I had to take action before these delicate items spoiled and I was crying my way all the way to the compost bin.
I wracked my illness-addled brain to come up with something that would deliciously combine everything I wanted to use up and finally I hit upon the idea of palak tofu. Palak tofu is a riff on the traditional Indian dish palak paneer, which combines cubes of soft Indian cheese with a smooth spinach base. My dish would also contain greens other than spinach, technically making it saag tofu (palak just means “spinach,” saag means “greens).
I turned to my beloved Food Blog Search to find a recipe and ended up with about six that I finally narrowed down to two. Both recipes had me pan-fry the tofu separately, which was a nice touch that kept the tofu from just being cubes of blandness. I had some firm and some extra-firm tofu and I definitely preferred the firm as it had a softer, more paneer-like texture. I might even try medium tofu if I make this dish again.
I liked the more extensive ingredients list of this recipe from Monsoon Spice, which has a variety of spices as well as a few cashew nuts for richness and creaminess. But the steps were overwhelmingly complicated, so I instead followed the directions from this recipe from FatFree Vegan Kitchen. I also added in the soy yogurt called for by the FatFree Vegan Kitchen recipe because my curry came out really spicy! The yogurt cooled it off to just-bearable, which suited me perfectly. I like my curry with a kick.
I started cooking my saag tofu at midnight (why do I always do this?) and it took me a good couple of hours to finish. I think I was making apple crisp at the same time, though, so the time sort of blurs together. I enjoyed the results but I definitely want to tweak the recipe a good bit before I post it here. It was lacking something essential (perhaps due to my incongruous combination of two very different recipes?) but with my palate all wonky from being sick I’m going to have to make it again before I can identify the missing piece. Nonetheless, even though the dish succeeded only somewhat at being tasty saag tofu, it hit a home run for making good use of ingredients before they could be left to languish in the fridge.