Vindaloo Tofu Curry
Serves 4 generously. Serve over brown basmati or regular rice (I like Trader Joe's or Rice Expression's frozen microwaveable brown rice when I want to save time--and cleaning another pot)
3 garlic cloves, peeled
1 1/2 tablespoons peeled and chopped fresh ginger
1/2 tsp ground cardamom
1/2 tsp ground coriander
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp dry mustard
1/2 tsp cayenne (cut this down if you like less heat)
1/4 tsp. turmeric
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
3+ tablespoons vegetable broth
1 16 ounce package of low-fat NaSoya extra-firm tofu, drained, sliced in thirds length-wise. Note: You may use canned, drained chickpeas instead of tofu, if you prefer.
Salt (optional) & freshly ground black pepper
1 large sweet onion, chopped
1 large (or 3 small) carrot, halved lengthwise and cut into 1/4 inch half-moons
1 red bell pepper, seeded and diced
One 14.5 ounce can of diced tomatoes, undrained (I recommend Muir Glenn Fire-Roasted)
1 cup frozen green peas, thawed
1 cup of regular soy milk mixed with 1/2 tsp. coconut extract (Your Coconut Milk)
1. Prepare the tofu. Cut it into 3 large length-wise slices. Wrap them well in a tea towel folding each slice in a separate fold of the towel. Weight this down with a heavy pot or plate weight to press out the excess water--for about 15 minutes. When it's done, cut each slice into 4 equal triangles. You'll have 12 nice triangles. Alternatively, you can just dice the tofu & skip my fancy triangles.
2. In a blender or food processor, combine the garic, ginger, cardamon, coriander, cumin, mustard, cayenne, cinnamon, turmeric, and 1 tablespoon of the the vegetable broth. Process until smooth and set aside. You may have to scrape down the sides a few times. We used a processor for this.
3. Heat a large non-stick skillet or grill pan (we used Cuisinart's Green Gourmet Grill Pan for the tofu--see below) over medium high heat. Sprinkle the tofu with a little salt or pepper (I used Trader Joe's Everyday Mix) and cook on both sides until golden brown or grill marks appear. This can take from 6-10 minutes, total. Transfer to a plate. If skipping the triangles--just brown the tofu cubes in a skillet.
4. Heat up your largest non-stick frying pan or a large saucean. Add the onions and carrots, and keep stirring occasionally until the onions are transluscent, about 5 minutes. When the vegetables start to stick to the pan, add a few tablespoons of vegetable broth or water to deglaze the pan and keep them from sticking. Add the bell pepper, and continue cooking and stirring until slightly softened, about 5 minutes, adding a little broth or water when necessary.
5. Add the spice paste and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Stir in the tomatoes and juice, the peas, and "coconut milk" and bring to a beginning boil. Reduce the heat to low, and adjust seasonings. Cover and simmer until the vegetables are tender, about 10 minutes.
6. Add the tofu and cook uncovered on low for 10 minutes so the the tofu can absorb the flavors of the sauce. If the curry is too thick, add a little water to it.
7. Serve hot over rice.