The Saag Tofu* Saga & Recipe
Having just returned to Cape Breton from several weeks of travel I was eager to get back in the garden. While there was no snow on the ground, it was getting unseasonably cold. A bit worried about how the garden greens were faring I was pleased to find healthy kale, chard, mizune and parsley. But the biggest surprise was the broccoli: Plants laden with literally dozens of small but vibrant broccolettes.
They clearly needed to be harvested immediately; but what to do with them all?
In my experience, broccoli doesn’t freeze all that well in its original state. How about combining it with kale & chard and processing it into Saag – the mild and creamy Indian spinach dish that I discovered can be made from any greens.With vegetarian guests to arrive soon this made perfect sense.I can say the Saag was enjoyed by all. I’m passing the recipe on to you; hopefully you’ll try it when you have a lot of greens on hand.
A word about my recipes:
Living in a remote area I often lack access to specific ingredients – hence tofu instead of Paneer cheese. You will also notice that there is a range of quantity of some of the ingredients – this allows me/you to adjust the dish to your taste. In my experience, being creative and flexible is what makes cooking fun and allows you to discover new things.
Saag Tofu* (serves 4-6)
2 medium onions, diced
2 tsp coconut oil
1 1/2 tsp ground tumeric
1/2-1 tsp garham masala
1/4-1/2 tsp cayenne (optional)
3 lbs combined greens & broccoli – steamed and pureed in food processor
1-2 c coffee cream (half & half) or coconut milk
Salt to taste
1/2-1 lb baked tofu, cubed into 1/2″ pieces – see recipe below – or Paneer cheese (if you’re lucky enough to obtain it)
Saute onions over medium heat in coconut oil until slightly caramelized
Lower the heat and add all the spices and saute for 2-3 min while stirring
Add the processed greens and mix in well
Add cream or coconut milk
Over medium heat, bring to a simmer while stirring
Lower the heat and allow to simmer for 20 more minutes.
Add salt to taste
Add the cubed tofu
If too thick, add water – the Saag should have the consistency of a thick sauce.
Serve with Basmati rice and chutney!
1 lb extra firm tofu, sliced into 1/2 inch pieces
A few shakes of nutritional yeast
A few shakes of tamari or other high quality soy sauce
Set sliced tofu into oiled baking form (use coconut oil for this purpose)
Sprinkle with a bit of nutritional yeast
Sprinkle each piece with a couple of shakes of tamari
Place a small amount of coconut oil on each piece
Bake until golden at 350 degrees
Cool and store in fridge
Apart from Saag, this tofu dish has many uses:
Cut into small cubes and add to a salad
Use instead of sandwich meat
Add to soups, sauces and wraps
Make up your own!
* I have found that baked tofu works well in place of Paneer, the plain Indian cheese – see baked tofu recipe above