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Saturday, July 19, 2008

Channa Saag "Paneer"

Channa Saag "Paneer" = Chickpeas (aka garbanzo beans), Spinach and Tofu. Paneer is a type of cheese, but in the interest of being healthy, tofu is a perfect substitute...And this dish is delicious!

Every time I go to a new Indian restaurant (which isn't that often because I am *hooked* on Indian Oven and always go there and always order the same thing), I am always intrigued by the Saag...It's not the prettiest dish, but any variation of spinach is alright by me...

I also don't frequently venture into the realm of making Indian food, because it is so much easier to get it at a restaurant and my spice cabinet would need some serious additions before I could even attempt to make most Indian dishes. Still, I thought I would give it a try...


1/2 package of firm tofu (cut into large cubes)
2 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
1 medium onion
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 package frozen spinach (16 oz), defrosted
1 tsp. turmeric
1 tsp. cumin
3 cardamom pods
1 tsp. garam masala
3/4 cup coconut milk
1 cup nonfat greek yogurt
1 tsp. sea salt (optional)
1 can garbanzo beans


* Heat 1 Tbsp. olive oil in pan and sautee tofu over medium high heat.
* When lightly browned, remove from heat and set aside.
* Add garlic and onion to pan and cook until onion is transluscent.
* Squeeze all excess moisture out of spinach and add to pan.
* Cook the spinach, onion and garlic for about 3-4 minutes until thoroughly mixed.
* Add spinach mixture, turmeric, cumin, cardamom pods, garam masala and garbanzo beans to a crockpot.
* Cook in crockpot on high for up to 1 hour.
* Add nonfat yogurt and sea salt and continue to cook for another 30-40 minutes.
* Stir through cooked tofu.

This dish does not have to be cooked for so long in a crock pot and you could make it in a pot over the stove, but if you have the time (and the crockpot), I think the ingredients come together nicely when given adequate time to "stew"...

Serve with some basmati rice and/or naan!

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