May Meal of the Month – Punjab Spinach Sauce with Tofu and Rice

A new month means a new Meal of the Month recipe from the Co-op’s Member Affairs Committee – this month it was submitted by Jean Rogers, with advice from local chef Robert Fong.

This was a very easy dish to prepare, as it is a “semi-homemade” recipe – you use one of the Ethnic Gourmet brand sauces, but you add flair to it.  It only takes about fifteen minutes to toss together, and you are good to go.  Well…it does take an hour to cook the rice, but that is easy to wash up and toss in a pot!  If you are opposed to jarred sauces, or just want to try it from scratch, check out this recipe for Saag Spinach Sauce – you could then prepare the rest of the dish as instructed.  I haven’t tried this recipe myself, but it has very similar ingredients to the jarred variety.

Customers thought the dish was very tasty and my samples were gone before I knew it.  Note to self – make a much larger batch next time!

Enjoy!

Punjab Spinach Sauce with Tofu and Rice

Punjab Spinach Sauce with Tofu and Rice

INGREDIENTS

1 1/2 c short grain brown rice

4-6 T safflower or canola oil

1 block tofu

3 med garlic cloves, freshly sliced

1 jar Ethnic Gourmet Punjab Saag Spinach Sauce

1/4 c water

1/4 –1/3 # bulk spinach (or approx 1/2 bunch spinach)

1-2 large pinches of sea salt

1/2 t cumin

1/2 t curry powder

1/2 lemon, cut into four slices

Optional:

1/2—1 t chili powder or red chili flakes

Fresh cilantro

INSTRUCTIONS

1. Rinse and drain rice.  Combine rice and 3 c water (salt is optional) in a pot with a tight-fitting lid.  Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer for 60 minutes (until all the water is absorbed).  Turn off heat, fluff rice, and let it sit covered until you are ready to serve.

2. Wait about 1/2 an hour, and then rinse spinach and break up larger leaves.  Cut tofu into 1/4” cubes and let it drain on a paper towel for several minutes.

3. Put 1-2 T oil into a hot, medium-sized heavy-duty skillet.  Add the sliced garlic and a pinch of sea salt and cook for about 15 seconds.

4. Stir in and lightly wilt spinach (about 30 seconds).  Add 2-3 T water.

5. Remove spinach.  You can either reserve it in a bowl or  you can spread to desired shape on a warm plate.

6. Remove water from skillet and add 3 T oil at medium heat.

7. Stir in 1 t hot chili powder or red chili flakes (optional), 1/2 t cumin, 1/2 t curry.

8. Stir in tofu and mix with spices for about a minute.

9. Stir in full jar of Punjab sauce and 1-4 T water.  Lightly simmer for a minute.

10. Turn off heat, and let sauce sit for 1 minute.  Stir spinach back into sauce, or ladle sauce and tofu on top of cooked spinach.

11. Serve with rice on the side or in a ring and a slice of lemon (highly recommended!).  Garnish with fresh chopped cilantro (optional).  For stronger flavor, increase salt and all spices.

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