Disclaimer: I apologize in advance if this post is in any way disjointed, rambly, difficult to follow, grammatically unsound, or generally bizarre. I had to wake up a bit after 4:00 this morning to bring my friend to the airport for 5:00, and although I got back to my apartment a little after 5:30 and promptly went back to sleep, I am rather drained at the moment. Disclaimer over.
Despite being tired, I didn’t slack off for dinner. While I was at work, a strange hankering to make veganized palak paneer crept into my head and wouldn’t leave. Not one to deny strange hankerings, I promptly set to making palak tofu when after work. I used a mish-mash of recipes, mostly Susan’s Palak Tofu and the Vegan Palak Paneer from the copy of 101 Things To Do With Tofu I won from a Vegan Crunk giveaway. For the tofu paneer, I followed Susan’s pan frying technique, resulting in a panful of adorable golden tofu cubes:
I also added tomatoes per Susan’s recipe, even though I’m not sure that a more traditional palak paneer recipe would include them. Then again, a more traditional palak paneer recipe would contain, y’know, paneer, so I wasn’t exactly going for authenticity, I guess! I also used lots and lots of baby spinach. If only spinach retained its bright green color even after being cooked!
The final result, like so many pureed Indian foods, was something akin to what you might find in an infant’s diaper. Nevertheless, I served the saucy palak over rice and topped it with my cute lil tofu cubes and went to town:
Lookwise, it’s similar to traditional palak paneer, but tastewise? Not so much. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoyed it and it was worth the [admittedly minimal] effort, but it just didn’t quite live up to the creamy, salty, flavorful palak paneers of my youth… by which I mean the palak paneer I used to eat at the one Indian restaurant in my little college town. The entire dish was missing a certain je ne sais quoi. Actually that’s a lie; I do sais quoi is missing – the tofu paneer was more tofu than paneer – it was slightly crispy and not flavorful. Although I love gently pan-fried tofu, I think next time I’ll follow the boiling method in 101 Things To Do With Tofu, because I’d imagine that would create a more paneer-like tofu.
Beyond the rather distasteful task of cleaning a baby poo analogue from my blender and the fact that my spotty circulation + a really cold onion resulted in numb, creepily white fingers while I was chopping up my veggies, creating this dish this was pretty easy, and the result was a generally satisfying meal. Therefore, I’m calling it a success. Huzzah! Still, I’m on the hunt for a more authentic version. Anybody have a good palak tofu recipe?
Man, I can’t believe MoFo ends tomorrow. Insanity! Stop by tomorrow for an end-of-MoFo giveaway featuring crafts and cookbooks by some MoFo stars. You know you wanna!