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Thursday, December 23, 2010

Vegan Palak "Sin Paneer"

Spinach for the Palak sin Paneer
Indian Slow Cooker Book.
Spices, Chilies, Garlic, Onions, Ginger.
I left them roughly cut because they get blended at the end.

I was going to take a few days off of Vegan Indian Slow Cooker food because we are still working on the Tangy Tamarind Chickpeas and the Pigeon Peas. Hubby likes wet stuff more than dry stuff. He went out on errands and not only came back with my Thai Chilies but also 2 boxes of prewashed organic spinach. Is this a hint or what? So I made the Vegan Palak Paneer last minute. I thought he would add in tofu cubes at the end but he claims he really doesn't need them. I am thinking he "really doesn't need to thaw them". We freeze the tofu so it gets this super cool consistency for cubes or scrambling in a cast iron skillet. But then we have to thaw the stuff out. I kind of limit my tofu intake. Since I can't eat all the super fun vegan junk like Tofurkey slices, Tofurkey Brats, Match Meats, Uncle Eddie's Vegan Cookies, and the list goes on (my quest to eliminate gluten from my diet), I figured I might as well really limit any processed soy. Edamame is fine, tempeh (except we never buy that), and miso are my soy picks.
Beautiful Palak sin Paneer Ingredients
from Anupy Singla's book.

Well so is this just "
palak" then or just "saag" sin tofu? It is a super easy dish to make but there is some cutting up. A massive amount of garlic (which you just peel) & then I put the max amount chilies (10 Thai Chilies) just because I don't know why. I don't tend to do things half way. All or nothing. So this dish is probably going to clean us out pretty well with all the heat, garlic, onions, and spices.
It's pretty cool because you dump the spinach in the slow cooker and it almost doesn't fit!
You don't have to add water or anything! I even left the ginger in pretty big chunks. You cook this stuff down for awhile and then you blend it up and let it go on low awhile. It will be a nice change from beans.

So easy, you put everything in at once.

Mountain of Garlic, Onions, Tomatoes, Spices in the slow cooker.
I put most of the spinach in, added the other ingredients, and then put the final spinach on top.
This was all of the tumeric couldn't make a bold escape.
Adding the rest of the spinach on top of all of the other ingredients.
The slow cooker lid barely stays on!
It cooks down so quickly.

Think the Aloo Gobi is going to soon also.....Need to do some of the veggie stuff. And then maybe the black lentil dishes in the beginning of the book. Loved the  Chana MasalaBlack Lentils, the Urad Dal, and Rajmah the most so far. I think I made the Rajmah recipe 3 days in a row the first time! We only had kidney beans left so that's what I used but it was perfect because it coincided with the first bout of cold weather.  It really is like an Indian Chili. "Dad's Rajmah" was my fave. The other was also good, but just didn't pack the punch the same way. Love the spicy. My tummy doesn't always appreciate if I pair the spicy with too much black tea. I simply have zero willpower around Indian Food.  If you like vegan Indian food (well any Indian food really), then you need to have "The Indian Slow Cooker Book".
"Palak sin Paneer" blended and cooked.
Recipe from Indian Slow Cooker Book.  This has no water added to it and you see it "sticks" to the pot a little.
I did sir it several times, but I think it is just part of the cooking process.
Palak Sin Paneer, finished.

Verdict:  Hubby thought it tasted bitter.  Maybe because of the amount of tumeric?  Maybe it was the 10 Thai chilies?  No oil?  I don't know.  It didn't taste like the restaurant, but it also didn't have 1/2 cup of oil!  I thought it was good but all I could taste was the "heat" since I insisted on the maximum amount of chilies.  After his first plate, I ate the rest of the recipe.  I don't know if I would make again simply because I eat spinach fresh.  I have also made some good "raw saag" recipes with raw spinach blended with either nut creams, spices, coconut, create a raw version of this dish.  I liked it though.  If it is too healthy for you, dump some Earth Balance in, add the tofu cubes, put some Silk Half and Half in....I love that I can eat it with no fat.  But if you want the restaurant version then you are probably going to have to add the "restaurant oil".  If you do add the tofu, DO NOT USE SILKEN!!  Use an extra firm type and cut it into cubes.  If you want a slightly fermented flavor you can add a little bit of freshly squeezed lemon to the tofu.  

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