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Vegan Palak Paneer with Tofu

This vegan take on an Indian favorite uses tofu in place of paneer, and cashew cream in place of the dairy cream. It's delicious and will remind you of the buffet.
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Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 25 mins
Total Time 40 mins
Course Main Course
Cuisine Indian
Servings 4 bowls
Calories 323 kcal


  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp cumin seeds
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1.5 tsp ginger paste
  • 2.5 tbsp minced garlic
  • 2 tsp coriander cumin powder (or coriander powder)
  • 2 tsp garam masala
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • cayenne pepper, to taste
  • 2 tomatoes, chopped
  • 2 tbsp tomato paste
  • 1 tbsp kasoori methi (fenugreek leaves dried)
  • 2 serrano peppers, diced (more or less to your preference of heat)
  • 12 cup spinach (about 2 average store bought containers or 2 frozen packs)
  • 1 cup cream (cashew cream or non-dairy milk)
  • 1 block of tofu, cut into cubes and pan fried
  • 1 cup water (more or less to achieve desired gravy consistency)


Tofu Prep

  • Press the tofu to get the extra liquid out. I do this by cutting the block in half to make two thinner rectangles and then cover top and bottom with a few layers of paper towels. Place something heavy (cast iron skillet, dutch oven, etc) over the top and allow it to sit for a few minutes.
  • Cut the rectangles into about 1" cubes. Heat a dutch oven or large skillet with olive oil and add the tofu. Cook this for about 10 minutes stirring to ensure all sides get heat. You can cook it more or less to your desired texture. This will leave it similar consistency to paneer.
  • Once it's done, remove from the pan and set aside.

Palak Paneer

  • In the same pan or dutch oven, heat olive oil and then add the cumin seeds and turmeric for about 30 seconds to allow the seeds to sizzle.
  • Add the onion and sauté until the onion begins to brown (about 5 minutes). Then add the ginger and garlic and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute.
  • Add the garam masala, the corainder cumin, chili powder, and cayenne pepper if using. Stir this in and cook for a few seconds.
  • Next stir in the tomatoes and about 1/2 cup water and sauté for a couple minutes. The tomatoes should start to get soft.
  • Add the tomato paste, kasoori methi, serrano peppers, salt, and 1/2 cup of water. Stir together well and allow to cook for another couple of minutes.
  • Add spinach to the pan in parts. It will wilt and reduce in size. If using frozen, you can add it all at once since it is already wilted. Stir it occasionally and allow it to cook for another 8-10 minutes. Ensure the spinach is all cooked down then reduce the heat to low.
  • Using a food processor or immersion blender, pulse the mixture until it's blended to your liking. We prefer it more of a smooth texture, so we blend longer. If you like a rougher or leafier texture, do less.
  • Place it back in the pan and simmer for 5 minutes allowing it all to come together. Add the cream and the tofu and cook until warmed through. It should only take a minute or two.
  • Serve immediately with rice, rotis, or naan.


You can also use any nut milk or coconut milk in place of the cashew cream. If you also don't want vegan options you can add real paneer in place of the tofu.


Serving: 1bowlCalories: 323kcalCarbohydrates: 28gProtein: 15gFat: 19gSaturated Fat: 3gSodium: 1659mgPotassium: 1207mgFiber: 7gSugar: 15gVitamin A: 9049IUVitamin C: 51mgCalcium: 314mgIron: 7mg
Keyword curried spinach and tofu, indian palak paneer with tofu, vegan palak paneer
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