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This recipe is compliant on our Vegetarian Kickstart and Lifestyle levels. If you aren’t familiar with our Vegetarian nutrition guidelines, you can learn more here. This recipe is also compliant on our Omnivore Kickstart level in moderation.
One of my favorite hobbies is creating healthy versions of traditional Indian recipes. This recipe is one of my go-to dishes to prepare when I am short on time and want to pack a punch with some leafy greens in a flavorful way.
Saag is a Hindi/Punjabi word which translates to “greens” or “leaf-based.” That means for this dish, any combination of greens can be used: spinach, mustard greens, collard greens, kale, beet greens; there are endless possibilities. For this particular recipe, I used a combination of spinach and mustard greens.
This version of saag tofu is made using the Instant Pot. If using an Instant Pot is not an option for you, I suggest cooking the greens in a large pot over the stove and extending the cooking time slightly to ensure the greens are soft enough to blend. If you’re using a regular pot, reduce the amount of water to 1 cup.
Note: The traditional recipe is saag paneer, which includes an Indian cottage cheese. If you’re in between Whole Life Challenges and you feel you tolerate cheese well, you can make this dish the more traditional way with paneer.
Saag Tofu (Mixed Greens with Tofu)
Saag is a Hindi/Punjabi word which translates to “greens” or “leaf-based.” For this particular recipe, I used a combination of spinach and mustard greens.
- 1 pound fresh spinach
- 1 pound mustard greens
- 2 Tbsp avocado oil or ghee (clarified butter)
- 2 tsp ginger chopped
- 1.5 tsp minced garlic
- 1.5 tomatoes chopped
- 1 block extra-firm tofu cut into cubes
- 2 tsp garam masala*
- 1 tsp cumin powder
- 1.5 tsp coriander powder
- 1/2 tsp turmeric powder
- 1/2 tsp salt add more as needed
- 1/2 tsp black pepper
- 2 cups water
Chop the ginger, garlic, and tomato and set aside.
Set the Instant Pot to "Saute" mode. Place the oil or ghee in the pot, and add the minced garlic and ginger.
After 30 seconds, add the chopped tomatoes, garam masala, turmeric, cumin, coriander, salt, and pepper. Stir to incorporate the spices. Allow the tomatoes to soften, about 1 minute. If the spices begin to stick to the pot, add 1/4 cup water to deglaze the pot.
Add the mustard greens and when they begin to shrink with the heat, add the spinach leaves. Stir to incorporate and add the remaining 1 3/4 cups of water.
Close the lid, press "Cancel," and set the Instant Pot to "Pressure Cook" mode for 15 minutes.
When it has completed, allow it to naturally release for 10 minutes, and then quick release the pressure. When the pressure has been completely released, open the lid.
Blend the greens until they are smooth, either by using an immersion blender and blending the contents directly in the Instant Pot, or by pouring the contents into a regular blender. If using a regular blender, pour the blended greens back into the Instant Pot insert once they are blended.
Add the tofu cubes into the greens and stir to incorporate. Season with any additional salt or pepper as needed.
Serve alongside brown rice, quinoa, or with a tortilla.
*Garam masala is spice mixture of ground cumin, coriander, cardamom, black pepper, cinnamon, cloves, and bay leaves. You can find ready-made mixes in most grocery stores or mix your own.