Saag Tofu with Kale

Saag Tofu with Kale

We swap out the classic paneer and spinach in this recipe for tofu and kale.  Stick to olive oil and coconut milk, and you have a hearty vegan meal in minutes.  Otherwise, it's vegetarian-friendly.  Just add some warm pita bread, rice, or hot grits.  


  • ½ lb kale, tough ribs removed, leaves chopped
  • Olive oil or butter, as needed
  • 4 oz extra-firm tofu, cut into ½-inch cubes
  • ¼ cup yellow onion, finely chopped
  • ½ tbsp fresh ginger, peeled and grated
  • 3 cloves garlic, grated
  •  tsp ground cayenne (or ½ fresh serrano chile, if in season)
  •  tsp ground coriander
  •  tsp ground cumin
  • ¼ heavy cream or coconut milk
  • Salt and pepper, to taste


  1. In a food processor, pulse the kale until finely minced.  You may need to work in batches.
  2. Heat a few tbsp of olive oil or butter over medium in a large skillet.  Add the tofu and cook, turning occasionally, until golden all over, 5-10 minutes. Carefully transfer the cooked tofu to a plate and set aside. 
  3. Reduce the heat to medium-low.  Add a little more oil or butter to the pan, then add the onion.  Season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until softened but not browned, about 5 minutes.
  4. Add the ginger, garlic and chile (if not using cayenne), and cook, stirring occasionally, for 1 minute. Stir in the coriander, cumin, and cayenne.
  5. Add the prepared kale and ¼ cup water.  Increase the heat to medium. Season with salt and pepper and cook, stirring occasionally, until most of the liquid is absorbed, about 15-20 minutes. Add additional water if it starts to look a little dry.
  6. Stir in the heavy cream or coconut milk, making sure it's fully incorporated into the kale.  Then add the tofu.  Adjust the seasonings to taste before serving. 
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