There was a time when we used to include tofu in our meal quite regularly; almost once or twice a week. In those days my blog was full of tofu recipes; so one day I suddenly felt that I am overdoing tofu a way too bit! So we decided not to post anything ‘tofu’ for a while. Since our regular meals are dominated by our blog, we had to give this ingredient a break. [What we can’t post in the blog, we can’t eat too!] It was only a last week that we brought back home this good old friend of ours.
My husband loves tofu much more than the non-vegan equivalent of it which is of course ‘paneer’ or cottage cheese. I like both but I feel tofu is much more versatile than paneer; so I prefer to cook tofu over paneer. My today’s tofu recipe is a curry with traditional Indian spices. The thing that I love about tofu is that it can absorb any kind of flavor so extremely well! This spicy tofu in a curry base is a luxurious comfort food on a chilly winter night. Each and every spice strikes the right balance of flavors and gives an ultimate satisfaction. We loved it on a bed of plain hot rice; you can invent your own winning combination!
Spicy Curried TofuServes 4
- Firm tofu – 200 gms
- Green cardamom – 5 to 6
- Cloves – 5 to 6
- Cinnamon stick – 1 inch piece
- Black peppercorn – 5 to 6
- Dry red chili – 2
- Cumin seeds – 1 tsp
- Coriander seeds – 2 tsp
- Fennel seeds – ¼ tsp
- Onion – 2, medium
- Ginger – 2 inch piece
- Garlic – 6 to 8 cloves
- Red bell pepper – 1, small
- Yellow bell pepper – 1, small
- Tomato – 2, medium, finely chopped
- Plain yogurt – 3 to 4 tbsp, well beaten
- Green chili – 1 or 2 depending on how hot you prefer
- Turmeric powder – ¼ tsp
- Kashmiri red chili powder – ½ tsp
- Sugar – 2 tsp
- Vegetable oil – 4 tbsp
- Salt to taste
- Water – 1 cup
- Cut the tofu into squares and put them in boiling water for 10 minutes. Set aside.
- Dry roast the spices – cumin seeds, coriander seeds, cardamom, cloves, cinnamon, peppercorns, fennel seeds and dry red chilies – until they start releasing their aroma. Remove from heat and let it cool. Then grind them to make a fine powder. Set aside.
- Make a smooth paste of onions, ginger, garlic and green chili. You can deseed the chilies as it would reduce some heat but will keep the flavor of the chilies intact.
- Heat a skillet and add the vegetable oil into it. When the oil is hot, add the onion paste to it and fry till golden brown.
- While onion is getting cooked, cut the red and yellow bell peppers into juliennes. When onions have turned brown, tip in the bell peppers and fry them till soft.
- Next add the chopped tomatoes and cook till the raw smell is gone.
- Now add the ground spice powder, turmeric powder and red chili powder and stir well on high heat. Make sure the masala doesn't burn.
- When the oil starts to separate from the spice, lower the heat to the bare minimum and gradually add the beaten yogurt stirring continuously, otherwise the yogurt will curdle and you won’t get a smooth consistency of the gravy.
- Mix everything well so that the curd blends in smoothly. Add salt sugar and a cup of water and bring to boil.
- Drop in the tofu cubes and mix carefully so that the tofu doesn’t break. Cover and simmer for 8 to 10 minutes so that all the flavors marry with each other well.
- Boil off some water if the sauce is too thin and remove from heat when it reaches your desired consistency.
- Serve hot with plain rice.