Three times a day (or more if you’re a snacker like me!) we are given the choice of what food we want to put in our bodies. These choices that we too often neglect putting much thought into, say magnitudes about who we are as a person, the culture we follow and how we were raised.
I love learning the mentality behind chefs’ culinary decisions, hence why I was extra excited to meet Priyanka Shah of Pinki’s Palate.
On her website (which you should all definitely go check out!), Priyanka shares information and recipes from her religion, Jainism. She explains Jainism as “one of the world’s oldest religions, and simply stated- a way of life; the Jain faith is set apart by belief in and adherence to the principles of non-violence (ahimsa), non-absolutism (anekantvaad), and detachment/ non-possessiveness (aparigrah)”. She goes into detail about each of the principles and discusses how and why she follows this diet that keeps her away from meat, fish, eggs, root vegetables, or animal ingredients.
Fortunately for us, moringa leaves fall under the Jain diet! Moringa is a tree that has a highly prolific rate of leaf growth. After the first six months you can take your first harvest and continue to do so every two months until the tree naturally dies at a ripe age of around thirty.
All this to say, we are inspired by Priyanka’s work and are grateful she came up with a Jain recipe that incorporates Kuli Kuli’s Pure Moringa Powder and are excited to share it with you all to try out!
Vegan Moringa Palak “Paneer”
▸ Vegan, Jain, Vegetarian, nut-free, gluten-free
Serves: 3-4 people
Total Time: 25 min
- 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
- 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
- Sautee 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!
If you enjoyed this recipe and want to share a picture of it on Instagram, please tag @PinkisPalate and @KuliKuliFoods so we can see it!
All photos courtesy of Priyanka Shah.