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Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Tofu Curry

I love Paneer and this recipe is based on my favorite shahi-paneer curry (a rich, delicious Mughalai curry).

But, since paneer is rather rich, and since I like tofu and have been incorporating soy a lot more in my diet, this simple curry here features tofu instead of paneer. I vary the masala paste each time I make it, just to keep it interesting. This here is one of my favorite versions.

I use firm tofu for this, but extra firm tofu will be just as good. If using tofu blocks, carefully cut them into cubes and slide them into the simmering curry/gravy and do not stir, just cover and allow to simmer down, else it easily falls apart.

1 pkg firm (or extra firm) tofu
1 Tbsp brown sugar
2 Tbsp lemon juice (optional)
1 Tbsp canola oil
1 Tbsp chopped cilantro for garnish
salt to taste
½ cup evaporated milk or half-and-half, as needed (or water)

Masala/Gravy Mix:
1 medium yellow onion,diced
2-3 medium tomatoes, diced
1 cup fresh mint leaves
4 cloves of garlic
2" piece of fresh ginger
3 Tbsp coriander seeds
2 Tbsp cumin seeds
1 tsp fennel seeds
1 tsp poppy seeds
1 Tbsp whole black peppercorns
3 dry red chilies (more if you like the heat)
2 indian bay leaves
2 2" chinese cinnamon bark(Cinnamomum cassia(L.) Presl)
1 star anise
3-4 cloves

  1. Toast the coriander, cumin, poppy seeds along with peppercorn, mint leaves and dry red chilies, allow to cool a bit
  2. When cool to the touch, combine the toasted spices with the rest of the Masala/Gravy ingredients and grind to a fine paste
  3. Heat 1 Tbsp of canola oil in a pan, add the ground masala paste, a pinch of salt, evaporated milk if using, stir well, cover, and allow to come to a gentle simmer over medium-low heat; stir in brown sugar and lemon juice
  4. Slide in the tofu cubes carefully, and immerse them in the gravy, or scoop and pour the gravy/curry over the tofu, cover and cook till the gravy reduces and thickens a bit
  5. Garnish with cilantro or mint or spring onions and serve warm with jasmine rice or roti

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  • At 5:32 AM, Blogger Kay said…

    I love the curry, Sheela! It looks so good. Unfortunately I don't like soy. Soy doesn't like me either. I'm soy intolerant.

    However, I would love to try your recipe with paneer. You said, you based this recipe based on your 'shahi paneer' recipe. would you do anything different when you use paneer?

    The kefir is culturing as I write this. I guess it will take a week or so to get to a regular kefir drink. will keep you updated how it goes.

  • At 1:27 PM, Blogger Susan from Food Blogga said…

    I love tofu too. But I could see this masala on so many dishes: rice, veggies, pork. It really sounds delicious.

  • At 2:06 PM, Blogger Sheela said…

    Hi Kay, now that i think about it, for my favorite version of shahi paneer, i like to add some almonds+cashews to the masala and grind it with the rest...

    Too bad you can't take soy - but, since you don't like it, it seems to all work out, right? :)

    Susan: You are right, this curry and variations of it, is so versatile - a couple of my favorites include hard-boiled egg curry and tiny little new potatoes curry...

  • At 3:06 PM, Blogger Kay said…

    Thanks Sheela, will give it a try soon.

  • At 3:07 PM, Blogger Kay said…

    yep, it all works out alright. now if only I can drink some milk and eat some honey, it would be bliss. :)

  • At 10:19 PM, Blogger Sophie said…

    WOW (impressed look). Your version looks so yummy.

    Here I bought a sauce pack so as to skip all the seasonings! and i will try this friday after work.


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