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Braised Curried Tofu with Peas

The recipe comes from Deborah Madison’s cookbook called This Can’t Be Tofu! It is not a completely vegan or vegetarian cookbook but the tofu basics are solid. I think there is only a few non-vegetarian recipe in the entire cookbook.

I had my eyes on this recipe since I was given the book as Xmas present by Mum & Dad. I changed a few things of course and probably will do it differently next time. Here’s my thoughts on the original recipe;

We thought the dish was a bit diluted in the spice department. It smelt fragrant during cooking but in the end the taste and the smell somehow disagreed. Having been to India and tasted the real Indian food I can comfortably say that we can handle authentic Indian food. The other thing is, we know some celebrity chefs in Sydney. So the authenticity is within our reach. Now, we seem to have incredibly evolved tastebuds. Absolutely no tolerance for spiced mud that you get from so-called authentic Indian eateries. Not anymore.

The tofu I used in this recipe, however, was organic firm tofu from a company called Earth Source and it was a good quality tofu that I would definitely buy again. (Sydneysiders, I bought it from Taste Organics in Crows Nest)

Here’s the original recipe:
Serves 3 to 4

1 carton firm tofu
2 teaspoons vegetable oil
½ white onion, thinly sliced
3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 heaping tablespoon ginger, finely chopped
1 jalapeno or serrano chile, seeded and diced
½ teaspoon turmeric
1 ½ teaspoons curry powder
1 cup coconut milk
3 cloves
One 3-inch cinnamon stick
5 green cardamom pods, whole
3 tablespoons chopped cilantro
½ teaspoon salt
1 cup fresh or frozen peas
• Drain the tofu, then wrap in a towel and press. Meanwhile, assemble the rest of the ingredients.
• Heat the oil in a 10-inch casserole or sauté pan. Add the onion and cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until the onion is limp and translucent, 3 to 4 minutes. Add the garlic, ginger, chile, turmeric, and curry powder, cook for 2 minutes, then add the coconut milk, spices, cilantro, and salt. Lower the heat and simmer gently while you return to the tofu.
• Slice the tofu crosswise into slabs about3/8 inch thick. Slice each slab diagonally into triangles. Give the sauce a stir and taste it for salt. Gently lay the tofu pieces in the pan and spoon the sauce over them. Raise the heat a little and cook until the tofu is heated through, about 5 minutes. Add the peas and cook a few more minutes until they’re hot as well.
• Spoon the tofu and sauce over rice and serve with a spoonful chutney.

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