March 24, 2013

Tofu & Peas w Curry Leaves

I usually keep a pack (or two) of  tofu on hand for emergencies .. or for days when I feel like I eating something more than veggies with my dinner. Yesterday, on the way back from the grocery store, something in the trunk (from one of the other bags) fell atop the tofu container and popped the plastic cover i.e. I was left with a busted pack of tofu that needed to be used soon. I'd also picked up some curry leaves on my monthly trip to the Indian Grocery store and decided to combine the two together this afternoon!

Tofu & Peas Curry
Prep Time: 20-30 min

Ingredients (4 Servings):

  1. 1 x 14oz Pack of Extra-Firm Tofu, cut into bite sized cubes
  2. 1.5 cup frozen Peas
  3. 1 small Roma Tomato, diced into large chunks (1/3 cup)
  4. 2 tsp Ginger-Garlic Paste
  5. 1 tsp Mustard Seeds
  6. 1/4 tsp Turmeric Powder
  7. 1 tsp Cumin Seeds
  8. 5-6 fresh Curry Leaves
  9. 1 tsp Penzey's Sweet Curry powder (optional)
  10. 2-3 cups water or Homemade Vegetable Broth
  11. Salt and Pepper, to taste
Line a deep stockpot with water or vegetable broth and add mustard seeds and curry leaves. Allow these to simmer for a couple of minutes to release their aromas. Then add the remaining spices and peas. Adding more broth to keep everything from drying. Once peas thaw and start to simmer, add tomatoes and tofu and add another cup or so of water or broth. Note that I did not press the tofu since I was adding it to a broth based dish. If you press it, it may absorb some more of the flavors but you'll need to add more broth to make it the same consistency as the pressed tofu will absorb a lot of liquid. 

Tofu & Peas Curry over Brown Rice
The final dish should be soupy like a vegetable soup so add enough broth to ensure that consistency. If you want it thicker, feel free to add less water. I like it soupier because that curry-leaf-flavored broth is the best part. Once everything comes to a boil, cover and allow to simmer for 10-15 minutes. Taste test before serving and add salt, as needed. Serve hot over steamed brown rice and garnish with salt and pepper. 

My Assessment: I loved the aroma of curry leaves in the house. If you're new to Indian cuisine, the aroma and flavor provided by curry leaves is an excellent, yet mild, introduction to the spicy cuisine of the Indian sub-continent. 

Nutrition Facts (Per Serving)*: Calories 158 (Fat Calories 51)
Total Fat 5.6 g; Carbohydrates 13.4 g; Fiber 5.3 g; Sugars 3.2 g; Protein 13.7 g

* Nutrition facts are provided for the water option as vegetable broth calorie content can vary tremendously.

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