If I had to name my favorite food it would definitely be Palak Paneer. This Vegan Indian Palak Paneer is creamy, hearty and cozy. It is full of flavors, vibrantly green and healthy for you too. If you have never tried Palak Paneer and love Indian food you should definitely give this recipe a try! I highly suggest combining it with this delicious Masala Onion Salad – you are going to love it!
What is Palak Paneer?
Saag Paneer or Palak Paneer is a traditional vegetarian Indian dish, that has its roots in North India. It is a creamy spinach curry that is traditionally served with Paneer, which is Indian goat cheese. Served with some naan bread or basmati rice, this Vegan Indian Palak Paneer definitely makes the perfect go-to comfort food.
Is Palak Paneer vegan?
As I mentioned above, Palak Paneer is traditionally not fully vegan and made with Indian goat cheese and cream. Luckily these ingredients can be easily substituted. The Paneer can be swapped out with Tofu – it has a very similar texture to it. In order to add a more cheesy flavor to the Tofu, I added lemon juice, nutritional yeast as well as some cumin and baked it in the oven for about 20 minutes. If you are in a hurry you can totally skip this step, but if you can find the time, it is definitely recommended. For the cream, I used cashews and blended it up with some lemon juice, spinach and tomatoes. You could also substitute the cashews with some coconut cream. However, I personally find that the blended Cashews give a more authentic flavor.
How to make Vegan Indian Palak Paneer?
Making vegan Palak Paneer might require a tiny bit more creativity, however if you know how to do it, it is not super difficult. As I stated before, I personally used cashews for this recipe. So if you can make the time and plan ahead it would be best to soak the cashews overnight. However, we all know the struggle of planning our meals ahead and sometimes we want to be spontaneous too. So cooking the cashews for about 5 minutes in boiling water will do the job as well.
Add the cooked or soaked cashews in a food processor along with some tomatoes and spinach. Mix well and your curry base is ready to go. I personally like to add my spinach to the food processor, so it get’s mixed well along with the other ingredients. However if you want to keep it traditional, just chop the spinach super finely and add it to the pan later on along with the rest of the base. Next add some onions, garlic and spices to the pan. Then all you need to do is adding in your curry base as well as the prepared Tofu and let it cook down for a bit. Literally that’s it. Not that big of a hassle at all, right?
Finally, if you try this Vegan Indian Palak Paneer out yourself I would love to see you tag me on Instagram @aboutannella. I always love to see your recreations! You can also follow me on Pinterest for more inspiration. Happy cooking!
Vegan Indian Palak Paneer
- High-Speed Blender
For the Tofu Paneer
- 1 block Tofu
- 2 tbsp Nutritional Yeast
- 1 tbsp Lemon Juice
- 1 tsp Cumin
For the Curry
- 1/2 cup Cashews
- 3 large Tomatoes
- 8 cups Spinach
- 1/2 Lemon (Juiced)
- 1 cup Water
- 1 tbsp Green Curry Paste
- 1 whole Onion
- 2 Garlic Cloves
- 1 tsp Garam Masala
- 1 tsp Cumin
- 1 tsp Chili Powder (adjust to your personal preference)
- 1/2 tsp Turmeric
- 1/2 tsp Ground Coriander
- 1 tsp Salt
- 1/2 tsp Black Pepper
For the Tofu Paneer
- First, preheat the oven to 160C degrees.
- Next, prepare and cut your Tofu into cubes. Add the Tofu into a bowl.
- Using the same bowl, add in Nutritional Yeast, Lemon Juice and Cumin. Mix until everything is well combined and the Tofu is well coated.
- Spread the Tofu out on a baking sheet and bake for about 15-20 minutes.
For the Curry
- Soak the cashews overnight or cook them for at least 5 minutes in boiling water.
- In a high-speed blender add in Cashews, Tomatoes, Spinach, Lemon Juice and Water. Blend until everything is well combined.
- Prepare the Onion as well as the Garlic. Peel and chop up finely.
- In a pan, add in the Green Curry Paste, Onion and Garlic along with a splash of water. Add in all instructed spices. Sauté over medium heat until translucent, about 3 minutes. Add in more water, if needed.
- Using the same pan, add in the blended mixture from your high-speed blender. Let it simmer for about 5-7 minutes. Mix until everything is well incorporated.
- Using the same pan, add in the baked Tofu. Let everything simmer for a few more minutes.
- Divide the Vegan Indian Palak Paneer evenly onto 3 plates. Serve with rice or naan bread.
- Leftovers will keep well in a sealed container in the fridge for up to 4 days.