Masala Vegan

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Photo of Vegan Palak Paneer

Vegan Not Palak Not Paneer

Anyone who has been to an Indian restaurant or, opened an Indian cookbook will have seen Palak Paneer in all its green spinach-ey glory with perfect golden fried cottage cheese chunks, garnished with cream. The husband hails from Punjab,  the region responsible for the origin of this dish and grew up eating the traditional version. Recently, the husband was told not to eat any spinach because of its high oxalate content and, the dairy had been replaced with tofu for many, many years thanks to me! What’s a girl to do, but to turn to the new greens in the market! Thus started the experiments, Kale was the first choice, while great for chips and the like, kale gets quite squishy and does not taste creamy at all I was told! Enter… a new green, the Chinese Cabbage or Pak Choi, which tastes creamy and is sweeter than Kale…. So I present to you, my last and final version of Vegan not Palak not Paneer, which remarkably tastes like the original.

We need,

  • Pak Choi, chopped roughly – 3 bunches
  • Onion, chopped – 1 medium
  • Ginger, cut up – 2″ piece
  • Garlic, sliced – 3 to 4
  • Green Chillies – 1 to 2
  • Cumin Seeds – 1 teaspoon
  • Coriander Seeds – 1 teaspoon
  • Oil – 1 tablespoon
  • Water – 1 cup
  • Salt, to taste
  • Silken Tofu, cut into cubes – 1 cup
  • Almond slivers – 2 tablespoons
  • Silken Tofu, blend into purée – 1/2 cup as garnish


  1. In a thick bottomed pan heat the oil and add the cumin and coriander seeds.
  2. Add the onions and sauté until translucent.
  3. Mix in the ginger, green chillies and garlic.
  4. Throw in the Pak Choi and cook until wilted.
  5. Cover the greens completely with water and salt. Cook for 15 minutes on slow heat or, use a pressure cooker to cook it in 5 minutes!
  6. While this cooks, bake or air fry the tofu cubes with some non stick spray for 15 – 20 minutes at 200 degrees Celsius, until golden.
  7. Take the cooked greens off the heat and use an immersion stick blender to purée the mix.
  8. Gently mix in the silken tofu into the green mix and garnish with the almond slivers and tofu cubes.

Tastes best when hot and served with warm Rotis, Naan Bread or Paranthas!

I’m curious to know if any one else has changed a traditional recipe and, now like the modified version better in the comments below 😀




I am an enthusiastic plant based home cook and baker who delights in sharing my creations on unsuspecting non vegans, when they least expect it! When not recipe developing, testing or making, I'm found organising and/ or writing, the two other passions of my life ❤️