Christmas holidays have been a fun time for me as the children have been home. I always love it when they request their favourite meals. So my younger son wanted to eat mutter paneer (peas and paneer) I had to look for a vegan substitute for my older son who is a vegan. He suggested that we use tofu instead of paneer for curry. I haven’t cooked much with tofu apart from adding the ready made version to stir fries.
Tofu is an ingredient I haven’t really been confident enough to use so it was good having my son home who managed to get the extra firm tofu made by the Tofoo company as I didn’t have much luck finding it in the two supermarkets I went to. Even though we bought tofu that said it didn’t need pressing, we pressed it for an extra 20 minutes so that it was firm and dry enough to cut into the perfect size cubes like paneer for lightly stir frying. You can read all my tofu tips in yesterday’s blog post.
Ingredients for 4 servings
- 1 450 gram block of tofu
- 4-5 tbls corn flour
- 1 cup peas (we used frozen petit pois)
- 1.5 cup of passata (or a can of chopped tomatoes, blended)
- 5-6 tbls sunflower oil
- 1 tsp, cumin seeds
- 3-4 cloves of garlic
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp turmeric
- 1 tsp chili powder
- 1 tsp dhana jeeru (a 50/50 mixture of ground coriander and cumin)
- 1 tsp brown sugar or jaggery
- 1 tbls lemon juice
- fresh coriander for garnishing
- 1 tsp garam masala
1. As mentioned above wrap the tofu in kitchen paper and pressed it for about 20 minutes.
2. Next cut the tofu into smallish cubes – approx 1.5cm.
3. Give the tofu a good dusting of corn flour by putting them in a mixing bowl. Tofu in Indian style curries really benefits from a good dusting of cornflour before frying. Adding cornflour to tofu gives it a beautifully crisp crust that’s robust enough to withstand frying at high heat, and helps soak up the juices of the curry. It’s the key to transforming it from a tasteless block to a star ingredient.
4. Heat oil and add the cumin seeds. Once they go brown – add the tofu to the oil and cook it on a medium heat turning occasionally to allow them to have a light crust. You don’t want it to burn, but just start it going a light golden colour.5. Add the salt, chilli powder, turmeric, dhana jiru and sugar and stir.
6. Add the peas and passata and stir. Then, add one cup of water and allow this to cook on medium heat for ten minutes. 7. Add the lemon juice, stir and remove from heat and sprinkle the garam masala on the curry. Garnish with coriander and serve it hot with naan bread.
Do you have any favourite tofu recipes to share?