Palak Paneer is one of the most liked dishes in India. However, as the name suggests, it is not a vegan dish. Paneer is a kind of non-aged cheese prepared from milk. Apart from the milk, the gravy also has cream. I have received several requests for a vegan version of this dish as well as its counterpart, Matar(Tofu) Paneer. Today, I am sharing the recipe for a Vegan Palak (Paneer) Tofu.
Tofu does not necessarily taste like Paneer, but the texture comes very close and indeed lot healthier given the fact that there is no cholesterol in Tofu.
Moreover, the gravy is still the same. So, there is a ton of satisfaction in the fact that it is a vegan dish with almost no compromise in taste. I am happy to say that this Palak Tofu passed the taste test by some very demanding critics...my kids 🙂
The procedure is fairly simple and does not require any overnight prep work. Check my step by step video for more details. Be sure to blanch the spinach before you blend them.
It gives me great satisfaction when I am able to help my readers with their request for vegan alternatives such as this one. If you have been looking for a vegan version of a common recipe, feel free to reach out to me here. And don't forget to leave a comment here or on my facebook page🙂
How to make palak tofu in Instant pot?
Here’s a refreshing take on a recipe I had shared almost two years back! I am sharing the Instant Pot version of this Indian classic recipe. Not just that, it is a typical one-pot recipe that has very few dishes to clean when you are done.
Recipes like this are perfect for a busy weekday because it took less than 30 minutes to prepare this from scratch!
The Instant Pot version is equally amazing in taste and texture as the original version. I have posted step by step pictures to make it easy for you to follow. The one change I made today is that I fried the Tofu before adding it to the curry.
I find that the texture and form are retained better when you add them to the curry after frying. However, this step is optional. You could instead use ‘firm’ tofu in your recipe.
You can also subscribe to my newsletter and you will get my recipes sent to your inbox. I have also put together some simple vegan dessert recipes and dessert essentials in the form of a short e-book. Just sign up for my newsletter if you have not done so already and you will get a copy. Here are the recipe details.
Palak Tofu Recipe (Instant Pot and Stovetop)
- 2 bunch of Spinach with stems - About 4 cups or use baby spinach leaves
- 3 Green Chillies - Use less spicy chilies
- 14 oz Firm Tofu - cut into little cubes
- 1 tbsp Olive oil
- ½ tsp cumin seeds
- ¾ cup chopped onion
- ¾ cup chopped tomatoes - or use 1 tbsp tomato paste
- 2 garlic cloves chopped
- 1 tsp minced ginger
- ¼ tsp green cardamom powder
- 1 inch cinnamon - or use ¼ teaspoon powder
- Salt to taste
- 1 tsp coriander powder
- ½ tsp Garam Masala
- ¼ - ½ cup water
- ¼ cup full fat coconut milk - (only top fat layer)
- Blanch the spinach leaves with a stem.
- Blend them with Green Chillies into a fine paste.
- Place a pan over medium heat and drizzle 2 tbsp of vegetable oil.
- Saute cumin seeds, followed by minced garlic and garlic for about 30 seconds.
- Add onions and sauté until they appear translucent.
- Add chopped tomatoes and sauté for about 30 seconds.
- Add all the spices (see list of ingredients and cook for 5 minutes).
- Add blended paste and water. Mix well.
- Add coconut milk, tofu and stir gently without crumbling the Tofu.
- Let it simmer for another 5-8 minutes.
- Palak tofu is ready to serve with plain roti or steamed rice. Happy Cooking!
Directions for Instant Pot (6 quart IP duo)
- Fry the tofu on a non-stick pan with one tsp of oil. (optional)
- Start the instant pot in sauté mode. Heat 1 tbsp oil and add cumin seeds.
- As the cumin seeds start to splutter, add ginger, garlic, red chili, and onions. Sauté for about 2 minutes until onion is translucent.
- Add the tomato, green chilies, spices and saute for another 2 minutes.
- Add water and deglaze the pot. Add in the spinach. Press cancel and close the instant pot lid with the vent in sealing position. Set on ‘manual’ or ‘pressure cook’ mode for 2 minutes.
- Once the instant pot beeps, let the pressure release naturally for 5 minutes, then manually release the pressure.
- Blend the spinach and other ingredients in the pot to a creamy texture using a hand blender.
- Add the fried tofu and press saute on low mode and cook for 1 min. ( you can add non-fried firm tofu too)
- Garnish with coconut cream and you are done!
- Palak Tofu can be served with rice, naan, roti or paratha.
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Instant Pot version palak tofu