Friday, November 15, 2013

Maharajah’s Curried Vegetables

Thinking about introducing more vegetables and less meat into your life? Moi, aussi! I recently bought three sizable blocks of firm tofu, forcing me to think hard about what to do with them. Fortunately, I’ve collected some great
Prepare curry spice mix
tofu recipes over the years - many courtesy of Sunrise Tofu, North America’s largest privately held tofu producer. An excellent source of protein with zero cholesterol, tofu takes on the flavors of whatever you add to it. This South Asian-inspired dish from Sunrise is a fine example of that. It also meets my goal of using more vegetables and less meat for healthier cooking. I’ve modified the instructions very slightly, for greater clarity.

Maharajah’s Curried Vegetables:

Basmati rice, as required
3 tbsp. vegetable oil
½ medium onion, diced 
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tsp. fresh ginger, peeled and minced (or ½ tsp. garlic purée)
1 tsp. each curry and cumin
½ tsp. each chili powder, coriander, turmeric, and salt
1 c. carrots, diced
1 c. broccoli, trimmed into florets and with tender part of stems diced
1 c. cauliflower, trimmed into florets
One 12-oz. (350 g) pkg. firm tofu, drained and sliced as ½-in. dice
One 14-oz. (400-mL) can coconut milk
¼ c. raisins
½ c. cashews (preferably unsalted)
2 tsp. lime juice
1 tbsp. cilantro, chopped fine

Wash and rinse rice until water runs clear. Consult the Index for How to Cook Rice, with specific attention to the section headed How to Cook Long-Grain White Rice.  

Heat oil in large skillet over medium heat, sautéing onion about 5 min., or until translucent. Add garlic, ginger, and spices, sautéing an additional 5 min. Reduce heat to medium-low. Add vegetables, tofu, coconut milk, and raisins, stirring well to distribute flavors. Cover until vegetables reach desired doneness, 6-to-8 min. Stir in cashews, lime juice, and a flurry of cilantro just before serving. Present over a bed of basmati rice. Serves 4.

Note: This is a very mild curry. Very mild. Spices stored in a light-filled, warm place for more than a year are sure to disappoint. If you prefer your curries hotter, ensure your spices are fresh. Curry aficionados often start with fresh, whole spices, powdering them with a mortar and pestle. 

Once the onions are sautéed, you can also omit the spices completely, instead adding 2-to-4 tsp. concentrated, commercially made curry paste. The great thing about curry paste is that it’s always easy to add more to produce the heat you desire.

Add garlic and combined spices to sautéed onion

Dice and add tofu to skillet with ...

Prepared vegetables, raisins, coconut milk

Stir in cashews, lime juice, and cilantro. Serve at once.

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