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Plant Based Palak “Paneer” Spinach Curry

  • Author: Seonkyoung Longest
  • Total Time: 15 minutes
  • Yield: 4 1x


  • 1 cup hot water
  • 1/2 cup raw cashew
  • 4 tbsp Avocado oil or any cooking oil, divided half
  • 5 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 5 thin slices ginger (about same amount as garlic)
  • 1/2 large onion, roughly diced
  • 1 large tomato, roughly cut into chunks
  • 1 Serrano, roughly sliced
  • 1 1/4 tsp salt, divided
  • 4 cups packed spinach 
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • 1 tsp turmeric 
  • 1 tsp Kashmiri chili powder (Indian chili powder), fine gochugaru or cayenne 
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 tsp nutritional yeast
  • 16 oz extra firm tofu, cut into 1/2-inch cubes


  1. Add hot water and raw cashew in a blender and let it soak. 
  2. Heat a large skillet over medium high heat, add 2 tbsp cooking oil garlic, ginger, onion, tomato and Serrano pepper. Sauté until vegetables are tender and slightly browned, about 5 minutes. Add into blender.
  3. Add spinach into same skillet, sauté about 2 minutes or until softened over medium high heat. Add into blender.
  4. Remove center cap from blender lid and cover with a kitchen towel. Hold lid securely but don’t push kitchen towel. Blend curry base from lowest speed and gradually increase speed until it’s smooth.
  5. If you want more spinach texture, blend everything without spinach until smooth then add spinach and pulse until your desired texture. 
  6. Now, heat same skillet over medium low heat, add remaining 2 tbsp cooking oil, ground coriander, turmeric, chili powder and cumin seeds. Stir until you can smell beautiful aroma, about 30 seconds to 1 minute. Super carefully (soup will boil immediately!!), pour curry base into skillet and stir until well combined. Season curry with 1 tsp salt and 1 tsp nutritional yeast.
  7. Stir in tofu and cook 1 to 2 more minutes over low heat and it’s ready to serve! Serve Palak “Paneer” with freshly cooked basmati rice, jasmine rice, naan or roti. I also like to eat with my purple rice too. 🙂 Enjoy!
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 10 minutes