An international menu in your pack

Posted by: Casey Adams on Nov 29, 2012

No matter where your hiking boots take you, you can enjoy the foods of the world over a Whisperlite Stove. This version of the Indian dish saag paneer replaces the paneer with tofu, but a white cheese instead of tofu would be a great option as well. The
Mexican cheese, queso fresco, is a great replacement for paneer.

According to NOLS
Rocky Mountain intern Geoffrey Journeay-Kaler
, who provided NOLS with this
recipe, the backpacking version of saag is surprisingly easy, far easier than
making it indoors, actually.

Watch NOLS own Cooking Show talents as they prepare this
recipe in the backcountry, then take your own international menu on your next


The recipe:


¼ cup water

¼ tsp curry powder

2 pinches salt

1 slice dried tofu

2 tsp oil


1 ½ cups freeze-dried

1/3 cup freeze-dried
tomato chunks

¼ cup powdered whole

¼ tsp cumin

¼ tsp coriander

¼ tsp turmeric

¼ tsp ginger powder

1/8 tsp cayenne

1/8 tsp garlic

1 ½ Tbs oil

Mix together the
curry powder, salt, and water. Add in the tofu and let it soak up all of the
liquid. While the tofu is rehydrating, put
the spinach into a bowl. Add in the tomato chunks and whole milk power.

Back to the tofu: heat the 2 teaspoons
of oil on medium heat. Add the tofu. Fry on all sides until it is browned and crispy. Chop the fried tofu up and set it aside for later.

Heat the 1 ½
tablespoons of oil, add all the spices at once, and fry them briefly on medium
low heat. Don't let them burn!

Add in the rehydrated spinach,
tomatoes, and milk. Stir the saag, breaking up any clumps of spinach that did
not fully rehydrate with your spatula, and distribute the saag evenly across
the pan.

Cover and cook on medium low
heat for 5-10 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Add the tofu. Stir together.
Cover and cook for 2-3 more minutes, allowing the tofu to soak up some of the

Serve over basmati rice, on
bread, or solo.

Serves one to two with the

This recipe was originally published in the fall 2012 issue of The Leader. If you have awesome backcountry cooking ideas, we'd love to share them in our next video! Email with your suggestions.

Casey worked as a writer and PR specialist for NOLS.