Brent and I really love Indian food. We make several versions of Americanized favorites including saag. Typically saag is a spinach based sauce flavored with cilantro, chili and turmeric and usually includes chunks of potato, mushroom, and/or paneer. Paneer is a bland home-made cheese so we use tofu that we’ve marinated in lime juice instead. Today, however, we’re using cubes of sweet potato because we had a random sweet potato floating around the apartment (I just had a funny mental image). We put the following into the blender for a creamy base:
1 box of MoriNu soft silken tofu (If you’ve got a soy allergy, soak 1/2 cup of cashews overnight, drain them and add to your blender. This actually tastes marginally better but adds a lot of fat)
1 thumb sized piece of turmeric or 1 tsp powdered turmeric
5-7 cloves of garlic
a generous pinch of cinnamon
1 onion, diced
1 jalapeño pepper or generous spoon of chili paste
1 tablespoon of coconut sugar
This mixture was blended until creamy. Then I added the following greens in the following order, blending thoroughly between:
1 bunch cilantro (stems and leaves)
1 bunch of Swiss chard or mustard greens
1 bunch of spinach
The cilantro goes in first because the stems need to get cut finely. The stems have a lot of flavor. Swiss chard will make a milder saag, mustard greens will make it spicier. Spinach is just a wondrous vegetable. EAT IT!!! Frozen greens work fine for this recipe.
I transferred the contents of the blender to my big pan and rinsed out the blender with almond milk (use soy if you’ve got a nut allergy) and put the milk into the pan. I started to heat it and added 1 sweet potato cut into bite sized pieces. A carton of water packed tofu or a few handfuls of mushrooms are great veggies to add to your saag.
Heat the saag through and stir frequently until the potato is cooked. It should be thick and make giant messy bubbles if unattended (hence the stirring).
This will take about half an hour. Add water, salt, spices, and pepper as needed. I also use a garam masala spice mix that an Indian colleague brought me from his home Hyderabad instead of pepper. Cracked black pepper is better for most tastes. It looks like sewage but tastes like awesome!
We served this with quinoa that we prepared in the microwave with several green cardamom pods. I love saag and know it’s not for everyone. It’s very herbal and spicy and is too vegetal for some. That being said, We ate the whole pan and all the quinoa too… I’ve got a blood donation coming up and I need the iron and vitamin K!
This is Christie and Brent, signing off!
What a yummy post. Do you know where can I get coconut sugar? I’ve never tried it before. It will be exciting to find some and try some. :).
I get it at my farmer’s market so I can’t speak to general availability. I like it as much as turbinado and Sucanant which are easier to find at an average supermarket.
Love saag! Looks delicious!
I actually find myself craving the creaminess of the tofu in this… before there was always the guilt of how greasy the original was so I skipped it.
Indian food always speaks to me. So good I make chana saag from time to time this looks like it would be very good.
I remember admiring your spinach and sweet potato daal not too long ago… it’s inspired me quite a bit. I’d love to know what you do for your saag. I’m sure it’ll influence me again. 🙂
Aha! I usually make it with coconut milk, but the tofu is a great lower fat addition!
Silken tofu is my go-to for a low fat creamy base… but my taste buds love coconut milk!
So tasty. I do love that mori-nu though! I use it in chocolate silk pie. Mmmm.
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