Palak Tofu – Spinach Tofu Curry

4.93 from 26 votes

Pan-fried tofu cooked in a spicy spinach curry.

Jump to Recipe

This post may contain affiliate links. Please read our disclosure policy.

Palak Tofu

I am not a Tofu fan, in fact I am far from being one. I was kind of repulsed by it in the beginning but now I have warmed up enough to be sharing a recipe on my blog! When I first tasted tofu in India years back, I thought I am never going to eat this again and that’s actually very rare with me. I am the most non-picky eater you will ever find, I can eat anything and everything as long as it’s vegetarian. So me not liking something is a big surprise! But me being me, I had to give tofu another try after I moved to US and it was then that I realized that tofu is not bad. Definitely I don’t love it still but I can eat it once in a while easily. The only tofu that I like is the extra-firm variety and that’s the only one I eat.

Palak Paneer or spinach with Indian cottage cheese (paneer) is a very popular Indian recipe, one that you find on the menu card of every Indian restaurant and this Palak Tofu recipe is exactly the same, the only difference is that I have swapped the paneer with tofu.

Spinach Tofu Curry

I have made this vegan by adding coconut milk but regular milk would work just fine. Traditionally though when palak paneer is made, people add cream to it but my version with tofu is healthier and hence there’s no cream, only milk. You can definitely add cream to bring in that richness and creaminess to your curry.

To make this curry, spinach leaves are first cooked with tomatoes, garlic, ginger and spices and then grind to a fine paste. Tofu is roasted for few minutes on a pan and then added to the spinach curry. This is your healthy, wholesome dinner and you cannot go wrong with this. I had mine with brown rice and it made for a very filling meal. You can eat it with any Indian bread or with rice, quinoa etc.

 

Method

Wash spinach leaves thoroughly. Heat 1 teaspoon of oil in a non-stick pan on medium heat and add spinach leaves to it in parts.

Cook the spinach till it’s wilted, around 1 minute.

Repeat the same process till all spinach leaves are done. Set aside.

Tofu Palak-Recipe-Step-1In another pan, heat 1.5 teaspoon of oil on medium heat. Once hot, add roughly chopped ginger & garlic to it and saute till raw smell goes away.

Add cubed tomatoes next and mix.

Cook till tomatoes are soft and mushy, around 3-4 minutes.

Tofu Palak-Recipe-Step-2Add the spinach leaves and also add cumin powder, red chilli powder, salt and garam masala.

Cook the spinach and tomato with the spices for 2 minutes.

Remove from heat, let it cool down a bit and then transfer mixture to a blender. Add 1/4 cup of coconut milk or milk and grind to a smooth paste. Set aside.

Tofu Palak-Recipe-Step-3In a pan heat 2 teaspoons of oil. Once the oil is hot, add cubed tofu and sprinkle paprika, salt, pepper and red chilli flakes.

Saute for 5-6 minutes till tofu is light golden brown in color. Set aside.

Take the same pan in which you had cooked the tomato and spinach and add the spinach puree to it on medium heat. Add additional 1/4 cup of coconut milk or milk and mix.

Tofu Palak-Recipe-Step-4Add the sauteed tofu to the spinach curry.

Mix well and also add water at this step [if required] to adjust the consistency of curry to preference. Add sugar/honey [if using] and mix.

Cover and let the curry simmer for 10 minutes on medium-low heat.

Tofu Palak-Recipe-Step-5

Serve hot with Indian bread or rice! Squeeze in some fresh lemon juice (optional) before serving.

Spinach Tofu Indian Curry

* Use coconut milk in place of milk for a vegan recipe.

* Use heavy cream in place of milk for a creamier curry.

Palak Tofu

4.93 from 26 votes
Prep: 15 minutes
Cook: 20 minutes
Total: 35 minutes
Servings: 4
Pan-fried tofu cooked in a spicy spinach curry.

Ingredients 

Tofu

  • 6 oz extra-firm tofu cut into cubes
  • 2 teaspoons oil
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground pepper
  • 1/8 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1/8 teaspoon red chili flakes
  • salt to taste

Spinach Curry

  • 1 lb baby spinach
  • 2 tomatoes roughly chopped
  • 3-4 garlic cloves roughly chopped
  • 1 inch ginger roughly chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon garam masala to sprinkle
  • 1/8 teaspoon red chili powder or to taste
  • 3/4 teaspoon cumin powder
  • 1/2 cup coconut milk or substitute with milk or heavy cream
  • 2.5 teaspoons oil
  • salt to taste
  • 1-2 teaspoon sugar or honey optional
  • 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice optional

Instructions 

Tofu

  • In a pan heat 2 teaspoons of oil. Once the oil is hot, add cubed tofu and sprinkle paprika, salt, pepper and red chilli flakes.
  • Saute for 5-6 minutes till tofu is light golden brown in color. Set aside.

Spinach Curry

  • Heat 1 teaspoon of oil and cook the baby spinach till it's completely wilted. Set aside.
  • In another pan, heat 1.5 teaspoon of oil on medium heat. Once hot, add roughly chopped ginger & garlic to it and saute till raw smell goes away.
  • Add cubed tomatoes next and cook till tomatoes are soft and mushy, around 3-4 minutes.
  • Add the wilted spinach leaves and also add cumin powder, red chilli powder, salt and garam masala.
  • Cook the spinach and tomato with the spices for 2 minutes.
  • Remove from heat, let it cool down a bit and then transfer mixture to a blender.
  • Add 1/4 cup of milk/coconut milk and grind to a smooth paste. Set aside.
  • Take the same pan in which you had cooked the tomato and spinach and add the spinach puree to it on medium heat. Add additional 1/4 cup milk/coconut milk and mix.
  • Add the sauteed tofu to the spinach curry.
  • Mix well and also add water at this step [if required] to adjust the consistency of curry to preference.
  • Add sugar/honey [if using] and mix.
  • Cover and let the curry simmer for 10 minutes on medium-low heat.
  • Squeeze in some fresh lemon juice (optional) and serve hot with Indian bread or rice!

Nutrition

Calories: 169kcal, Carbohydrates: 11g, Protein: 7g, Fat: 12g, Saturated Fat: 5g, Sodium: 126mg, Potassium: 915mg, Fiber: 3g, Sugar: 4g, Vitamin A: 11215IU, Vitamin C: 41.7mg, Calcium: 144mg, Iron: 4.9mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Additional Info

Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Indian
Your feedback is valuable!Please share your comments, ratings, and any suggestions or adaptations below to help us improve and make our recipes more successful.

 Tofu Spinach Curry

Tofu Spinach Collage-nocwm


Hi, I’m Manali!

Bringing you easy, delicious vegetarian & vegan recipes! Eating veggies can be fun, you just need to get creative in the kitchen with the right set of ingredients!


Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating




75 Comments

  1. Lovely recipe. Some steps seem unnecessary and the recipe can be made much so much simpler. You might say that it will change the taste somewhat but I don’t think by a lot.

    Tastes great.

  2. 5 stars
    Wow this was absolutely delicious!!!!! Thanks so much for this recipe, it’s the best I’ve tried and I’ve practically given up trying to achieve one that compares to my favorite Indian restaurant. You did it!

  3. 5 stars
    Thank you. This recipe is so delicious and easy to make. My kids keep asking me to make it over and over again. I just bought your cookbook too.

  4. 5 stars
    Thank you for sharing this recipe! We used fresh garden produce and the dish was inspiring. I’m not sure I’ve ever used the word “inspiring” to describe a dish…but there you go. Thank you! 🙂

  5. 5 stars
    I have been doing this recipe for the past 4 years. It’s amazing. I double the spices for double taste 🙂

  6. This was great! I added a little curry stock, and some kasoori methi (because I can never pass up an opportunity to use it) and it was so tasty, plus easy to make with simple steps.

  7. 5 stars
    I made this with frozen spinach too, high-protein tofu and unsweetened soy milk. It came out great!! So delicious, so healthy. This is a great recipe I’ll make often, now I’m going to check out your other ones Manali, thanks!!

  8. 5 stars
    This was excellent, even with frozen spinach. My kids all loved it, and the 11-year old even had thirds! We’ll definitely be trying your other recipes soon.

  9. 5 stars
    Great dish!

    Like always, thank you Manali for this amazing recipes!

    I used cashew milk instead of the coconut, and it came out delicious!!

  10. 5 stars
    This is so good! Definitely one of my new favourite recipes! It’s so rich and creamy, there’s so much flavour and the nutritional value of this recipe is incredible! It’s an easy 5 stars!

  11. What substitute would you recommend if i do not lime the flavour of the coconut milk?
    Love your website and you receipts.
    Thank you so much!

      1. Thank you Manali,
        I used home made almonds milk and i put in also some beer yeast to make it more creamy. It was superb!!
        Thanks for this website!
        Amos

  12. Good recipe. Appreciated if the measurements are in metric system which is more popular except in UK

  13. Hi! I’m cooking for children hence I was wondering how spicy the curry sauce turned out?
    Btw looks delicious?

    1. It’s not spicy but if you are cooking for kids, I would omit the red chili powder and also the chili flakes

  14. Wonderful! As good as or better than any restaurant. I doubled the spices per my taste. Will make again and again. I love you blog!

  15. Hi. Great recipe but…
    why aren’t you pressing the tofu?
    In my opinion, pressing is essential. Once I found out about it, I changed my mind about tofu. It removes excess water, allowing the tofu to soak up more flavors when it’s cooking and makes the texture far less mushy. I hope you’ll consider trying it by sandwiching a pound-slab of tofu between two cutting boards and weighing it down with something heavy, like a few 16oz cans, for about twenty minutes (though as little as five minutes will work) before preparing it. There are also are inexpensive tofu presses available.

    1. I always press tofu..this is a very old recipe when I was very new to cooking tofu and hence didn’t press it 🙂 if you see any of my recent recipes, I always press the tofu first…

  16. My young son declared himself vegetarian a few months ago (6 y/o) and he has stuck to his guns, so I have been scrambling to find good ways to make tofu! Palak is my fav. indian curry, so maybe this will really win him over! Will be trying it soon! Looks wonderful!

  17. Omg omg omg this is the most delicious thing I’ve ever had the pleasure of making!
    My hubby helped by tending the tofu fry while I made the sauce, so it was a joint effort. I didn’t want to save the other half pound of tofu so I put it in the air fryer with some oil spray and seasoning. (Short cut!)and added it to the sauce, with the expertly seasoned and fried portion my hubby made. This was seriously so amazing, I can’t wait to have a dinner party and serve it to my friends! For the sauce I used a box of frozen chopped spinach plus a 5 oz bag of fresh. The seasoning!!! To die for! Seriously a great recipe.

    1. Omg that’s the sweetest comment ever! Thank you Lix, you made me happy today! Glad you guys enjoyed it so much!

  18. Fabulous recipe. Will definitely make it again. I actually used kale in place of the spinach and it worked well. Thankyou.

    1. I’m wondering if it’s possible to make this without blending it? Also would the tomatoes curdle the milk if I use cow’s milk? Just wondering because I do not have coconut milk. Also can I use curry powder instead of the assorted seasonings? Thanks!

      1. 1. yes you can make without blending
        2. you can use cow’s milk but it won’t be creamy enough, I would suggest adding some cream them
        3. curry powder is not a traditional spice used in Indian cooking (it’s not even an Indian spice but rather British)! but if you want to sure, add around 1 & 1/2 teaspoons

  19. Oh I love this recipe!!! I love curry and spinach and I’m a big fan of tofu. But only when it’s prepared properly. I’ll give it a try very soon.

  20. I made this today. It’s so amazingly flavorful! My only substitution is that I used a bag of frozen spinach. It’s great that the ingredients are things I have on hand, yet they combine into a flavor that makes my taste buds tingle. Thanks!

  21. I am so glad you posted this recipe. So So SOOOO Glad! Before my vegan days I used to always order palak paneer at Indian restaurants. Lately I’ve been having some major cravings for it so I will need to try this out. I’m soooo excited for this recipe right now 😀 Just wrote down all the ingredients so I can make it tomorrow. I’ll let you know how it goes!

    1. Vanessa, you made me smile with your message 🙂 I hope the curry comes out good, let me know..fingers crossed 🙂

  22. I made this tonight and I am in love!! I did add some chicken breast from a rotisserie chicken b/c I wasn’t sure how my hubby would feel about if the whole thing was tofu but honestly I could do it with all tofu, and I normally don’t care for it much. I am so bummed I didn’t make a double batch but I will be making more very soon! Thank you for this great recipe 🙂

    1. Thank you Lisa, I’m so happy that you tried this recipe and took out the time to give feedback. Thanks a lot! I’m so glad you liked it 🙂

  23. I usually cook tofu most nights so this recipe is perfect for me. Going to be trying it with both tofu and tempeh. Thanks for the recipe and idea.

  24. I’ve only had tofu a handful of times. You are definitely making me want to try it again! This dish sounds delicious! I love the spinach curry, too.

    1. Thanks Gayle, tofu is not bad but it’s not my favorite either! I eat it once in a while, doubt I can eat it every day/week!

  25. Palak paneer is my absolute favorite indian vegetarian dish! This sounds so delicious. I must try it some time with the tofu?

      1. 5 stars
        Husband always complains when i make tofu instead of paneer but not with this recipe! Thank you