A couple of months ago, I attended the San Francisco Fancy Food Fest where I had the opportunity to discover so many new food products. One of the special exhibits revolved around foods of the future, sharing how sustainability and biodiversity trends in how we grow, produce and develop food will influence what is on store shelves and menus in the future. In today’s recipe, I’m sharing one special product that caught my eye: moringa.
Moringa is one stunner of a superfood. It has 2x the protein, 3x more calcium and 4x more iron than kale! As one of the most nutritious greens on the planets, it provides a source of plant-based protein, essential amino acids, 27 vitamins, and 46 antioxidants.
Because it can be grown cheaply and easily, moringa is an important food source for fighting malnutrition in parts of the world such as India and Africa. Even after drying, the leaves retain many of the vitamins and minerals. It is often used as a supplement for a variety of medical conditions such as anemia, arthritis, asthma, cancer, diabetes, diarrhea, abdominal pain, headache, high blood pressure, kidney stones, fluid retention, thyroid disorders, infections, and increasing breast milk production.
Kuli Kuli was kind enough to provide me with some moringa samples to experiment with, and the first thing I knew I had to try was creating a superfood Indian curry: vegan moringa palak “paneer”!
Vegan Moringa Palak “Paneer”
▸ Vegan, Jain, Vegetarian, nut-free, gluten-free
Serves: 3-4 people
Total Time: 25 min
Fresh ingredients: 5-6 cups of baby spinach 1 block extra firm tofu, drained and cubed 1/2 cup coconut milk 2 tbsp coconut oil Juice of 1/2 lemon 2 medium tomatoes, roughly chopped 1/4 bulb fennel, diced 1/2 cup cilantro or parsley 3 small green chili, seeds removed, diced Spices: 1 tsp turmeric 1 tsp garam masala 1 tsp kasuri methi powder/fenugreek leaves 2 tbsp moringa powder 1 tsp dried ginger powder 1 tsp cumin (seeds or ground) 1 tsp red chili salt to taste
- Sautée tofu cubes in 1 tbsp of coconut oil until lightly golden. Toss every 2-3 minutes to ensure all sides are cooked. Set aside.
- Bring 3 cups of water to boil. Add spinach to boiling water to blanch for 2 minutes. Drain and rinse with cool water to preserve the bright green color.
- To a blender, add blanched spinach, tomatoes, green chili, cilantro/parsley, and ginger. Blend until pureed.
- In a pan, add 1 tbsp coconut oil. When the oil is hot, add cumin, red chili, turmeric, and garam masala. Let spices sizzle on medium heat for about 2 minutes or until aromatic. Then add diced fennel and cook for 3 minutes–the perfect substitute for onions for those following a Jain diet or have a sensitive gut.
- Add spinach puree to pan and stir to combine. Mix in coconut milk, lemon juice, salt, kasuri methi powder, and moringa powder. Add tofu. Cook for another 5-7 minutes, stirring intermittently.
- Garnish with more cilantro/parsley, lemon slices, and nuts if desired. Serve hot with naan, pita, lavash, roti, rice, quinoa, or any other grain/bread you like!
In good health and spirits,
Priyanka | Pinki’s Palate