Monday, March 26, 2012

Saag with Tofu

Here is a backpacking version of the classic Indian dish, Saag Paneer. In this version I replaced the paneer with tofu, but if you have brought a white cheese into the backcountry, using that instead of tofu would be a great option as well. The Mexican cheese, queso fresco, is a great replacement for paneer. Making a backpacking version of saag was surprisingly easy. Far easier than making its indoor counterpart. I bought the freeze dried spinach and tomato chunks that I used in this recipe from I used Klim brand whole milk powder. (On previous recipes I have used either Kilm or Nido whole milk powder.) Dried tofu is available in most asian grocery stores. This dish really turned out great. I served it with basmati rice, which I made separately.

the tofu:

1/4    cup      water
1/4    tsp      curry powder
2-3    pinches  salt (I used 1/8 tsp and it was a little too salty.)
1      slice    dried tofu
2      tsp      oil

the saag:

1      package  freeze dried spinach (.5 oz or just under 1 & 1/2 cups)
1/3    cup      freeze dried tomato chunks
1/4    cup      powdered whole milk
1/4    tsp      cumin
1/4    tsp      coriander
1/4    tsp      turmeric
1/4    tsp      ginger powder
1/8    tsp      cayenne
1/8    tsp      garlic powder
1 1/2  TB       oil

Mix together the curry powder, salt and water. Add in the tofu and let it soak up all of the liquid.

While the tofu is rehydrating put the spinach into a bowl.

Add in the tomato chunks and whole milk power.

Add in the water, mix it all together and let the spinach and tomatoes rehydrate for 10-15 minutes.

Back to the tofu. Heat the 2 tsp of oil on medium heat. Add the tofu.

Fry on all sides till it is browned and crispy.

You can even fry it on its small sides.

Chop the fried tofu up and set it aside for later.

Heat up the 1 & 1/2 TB of oil, add all the spices at once and fry them briefly on medium low heat.  Don't let them burn!

Add in the rehydrated spinach, tomatoes and milk.

Stir the saag up, break up any clumps of spinach that did not fully rehydrate with your spatula and distribute the saag evenly across the pan.

Cover and cook on medium low heat for 5-10 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Uncover and add the tofu.

Stir together. Cover and cook for 2-3 more minutes allowing the tofu to soak up some of the liquid.

Serve over basmati rice, on bread or by itself.

Serves 1-2 with the rice.