By Kavitha Shankar, VRG intern
Enjoy this Indian vegan curry dish!
ounces extra-firm tofu, drained
Tablespoons sesame oil, divided (gingely oil preferred)
dried red chilies (adjust for your spice level)
stone flower (dried) – critical for flavor
mace flower (dried)
cup coconut powder
Tablespoon sliced ginger
teaspoon fenugreek seeds – critical for flavor
teaspoon poppy seeds
teaspoons tamarind extract/paste (or a small ball of fresh tamarind)
medium red onion, chopped fine
fresh curry leaves
Cube the tofu, add turmeric powder, lemon juice, and salt to taste. Leave to marinate for 1 hour.
Add 1 Tablespoon sesame oil to a heavy bottomed pan. Add coriander, cloves, cumin, peppercorn, red chili, stone flower, mace, bay leaves, green cardamoms, and black cardamoms. Roast for 2 minutes. Add garlic cloves and roast until deep brown. Transfer the roasted spices to a plate and allow to cool.
Add ½ Tablespoon of sesame oil to the same pan. Roast the coconut powder until medium to deep brown. Keep stirring. Take care not to char. Transfer the coconut to the plate with roasted spices and allow to cool.
Once the spices and coconut have cooled down fully, transfer to a
processor. Add ginger slices, fenugreek, poppy seeds, and tamarind to the
processor with spice mix. Grind to a paste.
Add 1 Tablespoon of sesame oil to the pan and sauté chopped onions until golden brown. Add curry leaves and sauté for a minute. Add marinated tofu and sauté for about 2-3 minutes on medium high flame.
Add the spice and coconut paste from the processor. Add salt to taste if desired. Add water to bring it to a curry consistency. Close the pan and cook for 7-10 minutes.
Serve with homemade Indian whole wheat bread for best results.