1 pound extra-firm tofu
5 tablespoons vegetable oil, divided
1 medium yellow onion, diced
1-inch (1/2 ounce) piece ginger, minced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 (15.5-oz) can diced tomatoes and their liquid
1/4 cup water
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon salt
16 ounce bag frozen chopped spinach (See Note)
2 teaspoons garam masala
1/4 cup coconut milk
Cooked rice or warm naan bread, to serve
6-quart Instant Pot or other electric pressure cooker
Press the block of tofu between paper towels to squeeze out some of its moisture. Slice the tofu into bite-sized cubes.
Select the “Sauté” setting on your electric pressure cooker and adjust it to its highest setting. Heat 4 tablespoons of the oil in the pressure cooker until it shimmers and glides easily, then add the diced onion. Sauté the onions until they begin to brown, about 10 minutes.
Heat the remaining tablespoon of oil in a medium nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. When the oil is shimmering and hot, add the tofu, being careful of the hot, spattering oil. Let the tofu sear for three minutes on one side, then shake the pan or use a spatula to flip the pieces over.
Sear the tofu for another three minutes or so, flipping occasionally. The cubes should have golden brown spots, but it’s fine if some pieces don’t get browned on all sides. Turn off the heat and set the skillet aside.
Once the onions have browned, add the ginger and garlic and sauté for another two minutes, until fragrant.
Use a spoon or spatula to gently stir in the seared tofu, tomatoes, water, black pepper, cayenne pepper, and salt, taking care not to break up the tofu. Add in the frozen spinach and stir once more. (Reserve the garam masala and coconut milk.)
Place the lid on the pressure cooker and move the sealing valve to its “Sealing” position. Cancel the “Sauté” program, then select the “Manual” setting and set the cooking time to 5 minutes at high pressure. (The pot will take about 10 minutes to come up to pressure, and then the cooking program will start.)
When the cooking program ends, you can either perform a quick release by moving the sealing valve to its “Venting” position, or let the pressure release naturally. (If you're using an Instant Pot or other pressure cooker with a "warm" setting, it's fine for this recipe to stay on the warm setting for a few hours.)
After the pressure has fully released, open the pot. Stir in the garam masala and coconut milk, then taste for seasoning, adding more salt if needed. Serve the saag tofu over rice or with naan.
serves 4 to 6
When shopping for frozen spinach, look for the chopped loosely-packed variety that comes in a bag. If all you can find is spinach frozen in a solid block, make sure to defrost it before adding it to the pot.
Stovetop Instructions: Prepare the tofu as instructed in the recipe. Heat a tablespoon of the oil in a large sauté pan or Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Sear the tofu for six minutes, flipping once during cooking. Transfer the tofu to a plate, add the rest of the oil to the pan, and sauté the onions for about 10 minutes, until they begin to brown. Add the ginger and garlic, and sauté for another two minutes, then stir in the seared tofu, tomatoes, water, black pepper, cayenne pepper, and salt, taking care not to break up the tofu. Add in the frozen spinach and stir once more. Cover and simmer for about 20 minutes. Uncover, stir in the coconut milk and garam masala, and serve.