Mosel Valley Riesling
While this isn’t a particularly spicy recipe, a touch of residual sugar in a Mosel Valley Riesling will balance any perception of heat. The wine’s electric acidity will cut through the gravy and give vibrancy to the spinach.
When cold weather hits, we succumb to dining on delivery. Pizza, Thai, and Chinese typically fill the rotation, as does Indian. But delivery food rarely satisfies, nor does it contribute to a healthy diet. It’s addictive in its salt and grease, and can lead to reckless overeating. While many authentic South Asian recipes call for a long list of spices foreign to the Western pantry, an adaptation of one popular dish proves so easy it should become a household staple. It’s a tofu version of Northern India’s Palak Paneer. If one can find or make paneer (fresh cheese), go for it. Otherwise, tofu is a great substitute as it mimics the texture and soaks up the sauce.
Serves 4; Total Time: 30 minutes
8 ounces of tofu, firm or extra firm, cut into cubes
2 teaspoons coconut oil (or ghee)
1/2 teaspoon ground pepper
1/2 teaspoon sweet paprika powder
1/2 teaspoon red chili flakes
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
Kosher salt, to taste
2 tablespoons coconut oil (or ghee)
1 pound of spinach (baby preferred)
3 plum tomatoes, roughly chopped
4 garlic cloves, chopped
1-inch fresh ginger root, finely chopped
2 teaspoons garam masala (or substitute curry powder)
1 teaspoon cumin powder
1 teaspoon cayenne, to taste
1/2 – 3/4 cup coconut milk, depending on preference for thickness
Kosher salt, to taste
Cooked white or brown rice, for serving
1. On medium-high heat, melt coconut oil in a skillet. Once hot and shimmering, add spices and sauté 2-3 minutes until fragrant. Add tofu and cook 5-6 minutes until toasted and golden. Remove tofu and set aside.
2. In the same skillet, add 1 tablespoon of coconut oil. Cook spinach until wilted. Remove skillet from heat and set aside.
3. In a second pan, warm 1 tablespoon of coconut oil over medium heat until hot and shimmering. Add ginger and garlic and sauté until translucent. Add chopped tomatoes and cook until soft, 4-5 minutes. Add the cooked spinach plus spices. Stir, cooking until ingredients meld, 3-4 minutes. Transfer mixture to a blender. Add half the coconut milk and blend on medium until smooth.
4. Pour spinach gravy into the first skillet. Turn heat up to medium and add remaining coconut milk until desired consistency is reached. If gravy is still too thick, add a few tablespoons of water to adjust. Add tofu to the spinach curry, then simmer between low and medium heat for ten minutes until tofu is warmed through. Divide rice between bowls, top with tofu and spinach gravy, and serve.