Creamy Vegan Saag (spinach) with Pan-Fried Tofu

vegan saag spinach tofu indian food

Indian food has always been one of my favorite cuisines because of the bold flavors and hearty ingredients. Because of the delicious spice combinations, Indian dishes are perfect for creating satisfying plant-based meals. Along with chana masala(chickpea curry) and aloo gobi(potato cauliflower), saag is always on my list of things to order.

I ventured into the realm of Indian cooking last year, when I developed a recipe for chana masala and I’ve been making it probably at least once a month ever since! It’s so easy to make, filling and delicious. More recently, I decided it would be nice to serve some greens on the plate along with the chana masala, so I tried my hand at making spinach, or saag, with a creamy sauce. Sort of like what you would get if you ordered saag paneer at a restaurant.

Instead of trying to create vegan paneer, I decided to use tofu. I figured I could make it just as flavorful and it would provide more flavor and less fat than cheese anyway! So this is my version of vegan saag – my husband and I have been enjoying this recently and perhaps I will eventually figure out how to make vegan paneer! If you have any tips or recipes, please share.

Vegan Saag (spinach) with Pan-Fried Tofu
Serves 4
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Prep Time
5 min
Cook Time
20 min
Total Time
25 min
Prep Time
5 min
Cook Time
20 min
Total Time
25 min
For the saag
  1. 1 tablespoon olive oil
  2. 1 1/2 cups organic soy milk
  3. 1 clove freshly grated garlic
  4. 1/2 tsp freshly grated ginger
  5. 1 tsp garam masala
  6. 1/4 tsp salt, or to taste
  7. 2 tsp corn starch or arrowroot powder
  8. 8 cups raw spinach
For the tofu
  1. 1 8oz package of firm tofu
  2. 1 tablespoon oil
  1. Heat the olive oil in a skillet. Grate in the garlic and ginger and cook for 1 minute.
  2. Add the garam masala, salt and soy milk and cook for 5 minutes.
  3. Add the chopped spinach and stir. Cover, lower the heat and let simmer for 15 minutes.
  4. While the spinach cooks, prepare the tofu.
  5. Press the tofu to remove excess liquid. Then dice into 1/2 inch cubes.
  6. Heat oil in a skillet and add the tofu cubes. Cook for a few minutes and then turn. Repeat this until all edges are browned and crispy. Remove from the pan and set aside.
  7. Once the spinach is cooked, push it to the edges of the pan so that the liquid remains in the middle.
  8. Mix the corn starch or arrowroot powder with a little water and whisk into the soy milk mixture.
  9. Once the sauce starts to thicken, stir the spinach, top with the tofu and serve.
  1. Serve with rice, naan bread and other dishes like chana masala.
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