Saturday, December 29, 2012

Recipe: Vegan Coconut Tofu Curry

Vegan Coconut Tofu Curry
If you are craving a curry dish but have never cooked indian before, this is the dish for you. The recipe is simple and the ingredients are easy to find. If you are a more experience with cooking curries or want to give this recipe a little more nutritional value, you can include seasonal local vegetables, which I have done (photo shown at the end of recipe) but for this recipe, I will keep it  simple.

Serves 5
2lbs extra firm tofu pressed and cubed*
salt and pepper to tasted
1T Grape Seed Oil
1/2T Vegetable Oil 
2T curry 
3 cloves garlic minced
1/2 large white onion thinly sliced
1 14oz can coconut milk
2 & 1/2 fresh tomatoes diced. Separate the 1/2 tomato
3T vegan sugar (I used Florida Crystals® Organic Cane Sugar)
1 8oz can tomato sauce 
1 vegan bouillon cube (I used Rapunzel)
1/2T vegan butter (I used Soy Garden)+
2 whole dried red peppers+**
1/2 fresh lime quartered to serve+

1. Open and press tofu. Salt and pepper, cube, then set aside*
2. Heat oils and curry powder in a large sauce pan over medium-low heat for 5 minutes. Stir constantly.
3. Add garlic and onion, coat in curry for 1 minute.
4. Add tofu cubes, toss lightly until coated in curry. Reduce heat to medium and cook until browned. Be sure to flip cubes every 5 minutes for about 20 minutes. (Flip tofu cubes lightly to prevent breakage. Push from the bottom of the pan).
5. Add coconut milk, tomatoes (all but the 1/2 you set aside), vegan sugar, tomato sauce, bouillon cube, and vegan butter. Stir ingredients to combine.
6. Bring dish to a simmer, cover for about 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. This is a good time to begin cooking your long-grained rice.
7. Remove the cover, add red peppers, and continue to simmer for about 20 minutes, continuing to stir occasionally.
8. Serve dish on rice garnished with a side of limes and topped with reserved tomatoes. 

+ Optional
* Always try to get fresh tofu. My all-time favorite brand is Fresh Tofu Inc., which I found at my local health food store Perelandra Natural Food Center in Brooklyn, Heights. For this recipe I used Extra Firm Nasoya because my local store does not have any other brand. It's alright you just have to press it longer and make sure to be extra careful while stirring your dish. My trick to pressing tofu is place the tofu in a strainer in my sink and put a piggy bank on top. No I am not kidding. I give it about 10 minutes, flip the tofu and do it again for another 10 minutes. Photos below.
** For a spicier dish, add dried pepper at step 6. If that's not enough, add another dried pepper. You can also remove the red peppers when dish is done, chop, and sprinkle on top.
Post and Pre Press
Pressing Tofu

With broccoli, carrots, & peas.

Topped with coconut flakes.

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