Thursday, September 10, 2009

Tofu Makhani

Ah, Indian food . . . my first culinary love. I was a vegetarian for a few years starting in 1999 when Vegan Mom and I grew bored with the monotony of or diet. It wasn't until I cut out meat that I began to explore the depth and breadth of the culinary universe. Indian food quickly became a staple, and I was amazed at the number of spices I had never heard of before (reminds me of a Simpson's episode where Marge sees a spice rack and decides to check it out, convinced there must be some duplicates. Picking up a jar of oregano, she reads the label and wonders, "Ore-eh-gah-no? What the hell?") I have not made this dish in a while, but pulled out the recipe and tweaked it, much to the family's delight.

- 1/3 cup non-hydrogenated margarine
- 2 medium onions, halved and sliced
- 2/3 cup plain non-dairy yogurt
- 1/2 cup ground almonds
- 2 tsp mild chili powder
- 1/2 tsp tumeric
- 2 bay leaves
- 1/4 tsp ground cloves
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- 2 tsp garam masala
- 4 green cardamom pods, cracked open
- 1" piece fresh ginger, minced
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- 1/2 cup water, or veggie broth
- 2 finely chopped fresh medium tomatoes
- salt to taste
- 1 pkg tofu, cubed (I baked mine first, but you could add it as is, or fry in a bit of oil)
- 1/4 cup chopped cilantro
- 1/2 cup coconut milk, or cashew cream

1. If you are baking the tofu, get baking.
2. Heat margarine over medium heat in a large saucepan. Fry onions for 5-7 mins, until soft but not browned.
3. Add yogurt, almonds, spices, ginger, garlic, water, and tomatoes and mix well. Bring to bubbling, then reduce heat and let simmer for 15 mins, stirring regularly. The colour should deepen and the tomatoes should cook down. Add more water or broth if the sauce thickens too much.
4. Add tofu and 1/2 of the cilantro and cook for 5 mins. Season to taste.
5. Mix in coconut milk (or cashew cream), adjust seasonings, top with remaining cilantro and serve over rice.