Thursday, August 21, 2008
I can't seem to get enough Indian food lately. Palak tofu is one of my favorite things to order as a side dish when we get take-out, and although it's not my favorite, I get the little foil packets at Trader Joe's for lunch about once a month. The problem (for me!) is that both the restaurant and the Trader Joe's version is hot and spicy---much too hot and spicy for me and my sensitive tongue. And, if I go digging around on the Internet, I find that many times the spinach is simmered in ghee (clarified butter), and that can't be good for my thighs.
This dish did the trick. It has a bit of a kick, but didn't leave me gasping for air and reaching for bottle after bottle of water. I had it for lunch and dinner yesterday, and am looking forward to today's lunch.
There are a lot of spices. Don't get nervous.
You can do this.
--2 boxes of frozen spinach, drained (I used one chopped, and one whole leaf)
--1 lb of extra firm tofu
--1 yellow onion, diced
--3 smashed and chopped garlic cloves
--1 can garbanzo beans, drained
--2 inches of ginger, peeled and grated
--1/2 tsp kosher salt (and then more later to taste)
--1 tsp cumin
--1 tsp curry
--1 Tbl coriander
--1/2 tsp chile powder
--1/2 tsp garam masala
--1/2 cup water
--cornstarch (to coat the tofu)
--butter (to fry the tofu)
Use a 3 or 4 quart crockpot.
Drain your tofu. Squeeze it in between some paper towels or a clean dish cloth if need-be to get as much of the liquid out as you can.
Cut it into 1-inch cubes and toss it with corn starch. Fry in butter until golden brown--resist the urge to flip; tofu takes a while to brown. I made some here, and there are pictures.
While the tofu is browning, squeeze out all of the moisture from the spinach and dump it into your crockpot. Dice up the onion, and mince the garlic. Add that, too. Drain your garbanzo beans, and pour them in. Add all of the spices.
Stir in 1/2 cup of water.
Add the tofu to the very top of the spinach.
Cover and cook on low for about 4 hours. This doesn't take very long to cook. Serve over white rice, and scoop up with naan, pitas, or corn tortillas.
I loved this. Adam did, too. The kids each picked out a few pieces of tofu, but mostly they ate the tofu after it was fried in the butter, and ate rice with Parmesan cheese.
I will make this again. It's a very satisfying lunch, or flavorful side dish.
Other Indian food you should make and have a party and invite me:
Indian coconut curry
tomato curried potatoes