P1110338 _Snapseed

Ernie and I have both been a bit under the weather the last week…some kind of stomach thing. So I must admit we're a little behind on our vegetables as they just haven't sat right with us. We are feeling somewhat better though so now we must play catch up! Last night we still felt a bit bleh but both boys were starving so we fed them early and then kind of listlessly talked about what we should eat. We knew we didn't want meat so I just threw some brown rice into the rice cooker (one of the best $25 I have every spent) to start. I dug through a cookbook my beloved Van DeLisle gave me for my birthday, Vegan Indian Cooking by Anupy Singla. Am I still carrying around the blank thank you note in my purse waiting for just the right time to write it? Well, yes I AM. In fact, why yes….I DO have an unsent sympthy card in there as well.

Anyway….I didn't have everything for the recipe….starting with spinach and paneer which are the two things named in the title…whoops. But I did have some beautiful Swiss chard and two batches of beet greens (from this week's, and last week's CSA beets). So I substituted the greens for the spinach and just skipped the baked tofu which is supposed to stand in for the paneer. O.k, o.k…..I'll admit that halfway through I also realized I didn't have garam masala but HEY it turned out great anyway! I left it chunky and did not puree. I want to try the official version, puree and all, but this made a flavorful (although not too spicy hot) and light meal for a summer night. We served it over the brown rice and just threw the leftovers together for lunches and probably will serve as a side this evening. It makes me want to try more from this book. Thank you Van (I promise you will get the official thank you note soon) and Sola Gratia!

Now I need to get on the cucumber train! Any cucumber ideas out there?


  P1110348 _Snapseed

 Spiced spinach with "Paneer" (Palak "Paneer")

from Vegan Indian Cooking: 140 Simple and Healthy Vegan Recipes
by Anupy Singla, 2012 

2 T oil
1 T cumin seeds
1 t turmeric powder
1 large yellow or red onion, peeled and diced (2 cups)
1 2-inch piece of giner, peeled and grated or minced
6 cloves garlic, peeled and grated or minced
2 large tomatoes, chopped (2 cups)
1-2 Thai, serrano, or cayenne chilis, chopped
2 T tomato paste
1 cup water
1 T ground coriander
1 T garem masala
2 t coarse sea salt
12 cups densely packed chopped fresh spinach
1 14-oz package extra-firm, organic tofu, baked and cubed (see recipe for Baked Spiced Tofu below)

1. In a wide, heavy pan, heat the oil over medium-high heat

2. Add the cumin and turmeric and cook until the seeds sizzle, about 30 seconds.

3. Add the onion and cook until borwn, about 3 minutes, stirring gently so it doesn't stick.

4. Add the ginger root and garlic. Cook for 2 minutes.

5. Add the tomatoes, chiles, tomato paste, water, coriander, garam masala, and salt. Reduce the heat and simmer for 5 minutes.

6. Add the spinach (in batches if necessary).

7. Cook for 7 minutes, until the spinach is wilted and cooked down. Blend with an immersion blender or in a traditional blender. If you don't like it pureed (as it's traditionally eaten) skip this step.

8. Add the tofu  and cook for another 2-3 minutes. Serve with roti or naan.


Baked, Spiced Tofu

spray oil
2 t garam masala (optional)
1 14-oz package extra firm organic tofu, sliced into 1/2 inch thick strips

1. Set an oven rack at the highest position, preheat your oven to 350 and lightly oil a baking sheet.

2. Sprinkle garam masala over one side of the tofu strips.

3. Place the tofu with the unseasoned side down on the baking sheet. spray lightly with oil. Bake for 15 minutes. Flip the tofu slices, season them with the remaining garam masala, and spray lightly with oil again. Bake for another 15 minutes. Remove the pan from the oven, let the tofu cool for 5 minutes, and cut it into cubes. Use the baked tofu immediately or store it for up to 1 week in an airtight container in the refrigerator for use later. you can also freeze it for up to 2 months. 

 So obviously my version was a little different. I chopped and added the Swiss chard stemps and put them in with the garlic. I also didn't have fresh tomatoes or tomato paste so I just used a can of peeled tomatoes. I think it's a pretty flexible recipe though—-the flavors were really great so we'll be making this again as well as trying more from the cookbook!


9 thoughts on “Sola Gratia Farm Week Eight: Catching Up with Vegan Indian Food

  1. Sounds great. Believe it or not, but we don’t have that cookbook. Anytime you need spices, let us know…we usually have it all. It was so nice to see your guys at the pool this evening.

  2. Easiest cucumbers ever: Peel and scoop out seeds (I use a melon baller). Dice them up, maybe 1/2″ or so, put in a colander and salt a bit to release some excess water, that takes about ten minutes. Put into a bowl, add regular vinegar about halfway up, some sliced green onions, a tsp. of sugar and freshly ground black pepper. Shake it up and let it marinate for a while. Eat as is or put on salads, and it lasts at least a week. We eat a lot of cucumbers, Reid even likes them packed in his lunch for work.