The Yoga MD


Mom’s Saag Paneer coming full circle

Saag Paneer is one of my favourite dishes, though as a kid I hated it. Mostly because the way my mom made it was nowhere near the fancy version you get in a Punjabi restaurant. The latter version is pureed, often has cream and I am sure they put sugar in it, making it way more tasty then the bitter greens sauteed with onions, garlic, and spices served up to me as a kid. Of course, now I much prefer my mom’s healthier version.

While most of you will know it as Palak Paneer (Spinach & cheese), you can actually mix different greens together. In this version, I have mixed Kale and Spinach (delivered in my good food box via @FoodshareToronto). I substituted the Paneer with Tofu marinated with turmeric and lemon, stir fried just before adding to the pureed, curried greens. I have adapted @TwoSleever’s recipe here and I make it in the Instant Pot.


1 bunch Spinach, deveined and chopped
1 bunch of kale, deveined and chopped
1 whole onion, diced
5 cloves of garlic – finely chopped
1 inch of ginger – shredded
2 tsp cumin
2 tsp Garam Masala
1 tsp tumeric
1 tsp salt
1 Tbsp Tomato Paste (or a fresh diced tomato)
1 tsp salt
½ cup of water.
Cilantro for garnish

Turn the Instant pot on to saute. Put in a lug of cooking oil (I use Avocado forc it’s high smoke point). Add add the onions, garlic, and ginger. Once the onions are translucent, add the cumin, turmeric, and garam masala, saute until fragrant. Add the tomato paste and salt. Stir. Add the spinach and kale. Add ½ cup of water. Cover and turn the instant pot on for 4 minutes at high pressure.

While that is cooking, saute the marinated tofu.

When the cooking is done, quick release the pressure and, using an immersion blender, puree the greens (or leave unpureed for the authentic version!). Stir in the tofu, et voila!

Good for balancing Pitta & Kapha Types, Vata types can also eat in moderation, though they say moderation with kale.

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