I have mixed feelings about this dinner. It was good – and smelled even better – but it wasn’t a knock out, and I’m not sure how to fix it.
For one, the original recipe called for the tofu to be tossed in cornstarch, fried, then set aside for most of the recipe. I don’t love the texture of fried tofu – or the extra fat from the oil – so we sliced it, gave it a good dose of olive oil cooking spray, then broiled it – so it had better texture but not much flavor. Perhaps a ginger-y marinade would fix this?
For another, there was too much liquid. The original recipe called for 28 oz diced tomatoes in liquid plus 1/4-1/2 cup water or broth. I used fresh tomatoes but only had about a cup on hand, so I supplemented with a couple of diced peppers. This meant that I added significantly less liquid to the pan than called for, and it still was a bit wet. I’m not sure where the liquid is supposed to go, as everything in the recipe is full of its own moisture and certainly doesn’t need any extra. I’m also wondering if coconut milk might be a nice substitute?
Finally, the seasoning. Adding more of everything that originally called for – plus a teaspoon of red pepper flakes – gave the recipe a nice heat, but we both found ourselves salting generously. Perhaps more salt and the coconut milk previously suggested would help?
Regardless, this was a fast and healthy dish, and made enough for dinner for the two of us and three lunch portions when served with steamed Jasmine rice.
Indian Spiced Peas and Tofu
Adapted from Whole Foods, presented as I made it. See above for suggested modifications.
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 (14-ounce) package extra firm tofu, drained, and pressed for at least a few hours to extract extra moisture
2 yellow onions, very thinly sliced
1 generous tablespoon finely chopped fresh ginger
1 generous tablespoon garam masala
1 generous teaspoon red pepper flakes
1-2 cups diced tomatoes
1 cup diced bell peppers – I used green and red
1/4 cup water or vegetable broth
1 (1-pound) bag frozen green peas, thawed
Salt and pepper to taste
Slice the tofu into 1″ pieces, then slice again into bite sized triangles. Spread on a broiler-safe pan lined with tinfoil, then spray evenly with non-stick spray or brush with olive oil. Place under preheated broiler for about 8 minutes on each side, or until golden and a little crispy.
Heat oil in a large skillet, add onions and ginger and cook, stirring often, until golden brown. Add spices, tomatoes, and peppers and simmer for 5 minutes. Add water or broth, peas and tofu, reduce heat, cover and gently simmer for 10 minutes more. Season with salt and pepper, then spoon over rice and serve.