Easy Vegan Version of Indian Dish, Saag Tofu Recipe from Pantry to Plate cookbook by Emily Stephenson

Easy Vegan version of Indian Dish, Saag Tofu recipe from Pantry to Plate (Chronicle Books, October 2020) by Emily Stephenson.


Here’s an easy and vegan version of the very popular Indian dish. Depending on how your pantry looks, this dish could end up several steps away from the inspiration—a coconut, kale, and tofu curry— but it still makes for a hearty meal served with Plain White Rice. If you like your dish a little saucier—this is pretty thick— you can add an additional half can of coconut milk (but I opted to not have half a can languishing in the refrigerator).

Serves 4

Saag Tofu


One 14 oz [400 g] block firm or extra-firm tofu, drained (see page 120)

3 Tbsp vegetable oil

1 onion, preferably yellow, peeled and chopped

3 garlic cloves, peeled and minced

One 1 in [2.5 cm] piece fresh ginger, peeled and minced

11/2 tsp kosher salt, plus more for seasoning

1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper, plus more for seasoning

1 tsp ground turmeric

1/2 tsp ground cumin

1/4 to 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes, depending on your affinity for heat

One 14 oz [420 ml] can coconut milk

1 lb [455 g] frozen spinach or kale, thawed

1 lemon or lime, cut into wedges, for serving


Cut the tofu into ½ in [12 mm] cubes. In a large skillet over medium-high heat, warm the oil until it shimmers, then add the onion, garlic, ginger, salt, and black pepper. Cook, stirring often and lowering the heat if the onion starts to burn, until the onion is soft and golden, 8 to 10 minutes. Add the turmeric, cumin, and red pepper flakes and cook until the spices are fragrant, about 30 seconds.

Add the coconut milk, spinach, and tofu and bring the mixture to a boil. Lower the heat so it simmers steadily and cook, stirring only occasionally, until the tofu has warmed through, 10 to 15 minutes. Taste and add more salt and pepper, if necessary. Serve hot with lemon or lime wedges.


Instead of the red pepper flakes, chop 1 fresh green chile (like a serrano or jalapeño), and garnish the final dish with 1/4 cup [10 g] of chopped fresh cilantro.

Pantry To Cover

(* Reprinted from Pantry to Plate by Emily Stephenson with permission by Chronicle Books, 2020- Illustrations © Sein Koo)

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