Night Five: Palaak Tofu


Okay. I’ve been putting this one off all week because I wasn’t able to come home at 1 or 2 to do the prep required for this dish, considering it only takes 3-4 hours to cook. Note to self: select crockpot recipes that take 8 hours. The end.

I think that with a few tweaks this dish could be really good. Recipe adapted (but not enough) from A Year of Slow Cooking.

It tastes better than it looks

Palaak tofu
one bunch fresh spinach, washed and de-stemmed
one bunch chard, washed and chopped (I also discarded the stalks, but lots of folks eat those, too)
14 ounces extra firm tofu
1 yellow onion, diced
3 garlic cloves, diced
1 can garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed (to mitigate the sodium)
1.5-inch piece ginger, peeled and diced
1/2 tsp sea salt
1 t cumin
1 t turmeric
1 T coriander
1/2 t chile powder
1/2 t garam masala
1/2 cup water
1 1/2 T cornstarch
1 T butter

Squeeze all the moisture from the spinach and chard. Put in crockpot. Put onion, garlic, and ginger in crockpot. Drain and rinse garbanzos.

Assemble your spices and dump in the crockpot.

This is not nearly enough spice

Add the water and stir.

Drain your tofu as much as possible and cut into one-inch square (ish). Toss it in a baggie with the cornstarch until coated. Melt butter in skillet and add tofu. Fry on medium until it has a nice, golden-brown crust.

Place tofu on top of spinach/chard mixture and cook on low for 3-4 hours. Serve over rice, and maybe with some naan, if that’s how you roll.

I really liked this dish and how light it was. I was busy playing Wii with Harrison, though, and jacked up the rice (it’s always something, isn’t it? I should have just put it in the steamer instead of cooked it on the stovetop). Matt doesn’t like garbanzo beans, but he really liked the tofu and said he’d like to try a curry with cauliflower, tofu, and potatoes in the crockpot, so in that regard the experiment worked. Harrison had to be threatened with revocation of weekend Wii privileges if he didn’t try a piece of tofu; he ended up having a pb&j tortilla roll-up (normally I wouldn’t make him an alternative dinner, but this was both new and an experiment, so I cut him some slack). Laurel had crackers with Laughing Cow and almond butter (not together). Matt and I both liked the multigrain naan I served on the side (which was good since the rice was practically inedible).

My major criticism of this recipe is that, as written, it is far too conservatively spiced. If I make this again, I will a.) double the spices and b.) cook it for an hour less than I did (I turned it off at 3 hours, 45 minutes). I’d also use even more spinach/chard because it cooks down so much.

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  1. Aloo gobi in the crockpot | My Rubberbandball

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