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Savory Vegan Kadai Tofu (Tofu with Garlicky Tomato Gravy)

Neelam Pokhrel

Savory Vegan Kadai Tofu (Tofu with Garlicky Tomato Gravy)

A tomato-onion gravy with warming turmeric, ginger, and Kashmiri chili powder pair with crispy tofu for a comforting home cooked meal.

Serves: 4
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Toasted kadai masala spice mix is traditionally used in many Indian dishes and adds a gentle spice to any dish. In this recipe from Veganbell’s Indian Vegan Cookbook, it’s incorporated into a silky tomato-y gravy for a nourishing dinner that can be served with rice or naan.

What you need:

For the Kadai Masala:
1 teaspoon coriander seeds
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
½ teaspoon fennel seeds
½ teaspoon black peppercorns
4 whole cloves
2 green cardamom pods
2 whole dried red chilies

For the tofu:
10 ounces firm tofu, cut into bite sized cubes
1 tablespoon oil
¼ teaspoon salt

For the vegetables:
½ tablespoon oil
2 green bell peppers, cut into bite sized chunks
1 large onion, cut into petals

For the gravy:
1 tablespoon oil
1 bay leaf
4 garlic cloves, chopped
1 inch ginger, chopped
2 medium onions, chopped
4 medium tomatoes, chopped

For finishing:
¼ teaspoon turmeric powder
½ teaspoon Kashmiri red chili powder
½ teaspoon salt
½ cup water
½ teaspoon dried fenugreek leaves
¼ cup freshly chopped cilantro

What you do:

  1. For the kadai masala, set a pan over low heat. Add all ingredients. Stir and toast for 3 minutes, or until fragrant. Transfer to a blender and pulse until finely coarse. Set aside.
  2. For the tofu, set a pan over medium heat, and warm oil. Once hot, add tofu and sauté on all sides until golden and crispy. Transfer to a large bowl. Sprinkle 1 tablespoon of kadai masala and salt over tofu. Toss to coat.
  3. For the vegetables, in a pan over medium heat, warm oil. Once hot, add onion and bell pepper, and sauté for 3 minutes, or until soft. Set aside in a bowl.
  4. For the gravy, in a pan over medium heat, warm oil. Once hot, add bay leaf, garlic, ginger, and onion. Sauté for 4 min, or until onion is golden. Add tomatoes and cook for 5 minutes, or until soft.
  5. Turn off heat and let cool for 10 minutes. Once cooled, remove bay leaf, transfer mixture to a blender and blend until smooth.
  6. In a pan over medium heat, add blended gravy, remaining kadai masala, turmeric powder, Kashmiri red chili powder, and salt. Cook for 12 minutes, or until oil separates at edges of pan. Add water and prepared vegetables and tofu. Stir, cover pan, and let simmer for 3 minutes. Uncover pan, sprinkle in dried fenugreek leaves and cilantro, and serve warm. 

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