Welcome to July!
My original plan for today was to share a no-bake sweet-treat recipe with you (one from Practically Raw Desserts, in fact!) so that you wouldn’t have to turn on your oven over 4th of July weekend, but one look at my feed reader this morning showed me that zillions of other bloggers are posting sugary stuff right now. In that case, I’ll assume you have your Independence Day dessert needs covered, and instead, I’ll save that recipe for a couple weeks from now, when we’re all dying from the sweltering mid-July heat (or when you Southern-hemisphere folks maybe aren’t so tired of seeing patriotic summer sweets all over the place!).
This fragrant Indian dish is one I’ve made several times in just the last few weeks, on top of all the times I’ve made in the last couple years. It’s based very (very) loosely on my old Tofu Makhani Curry, but I’ve been tweaking it and updating it whenever I make it, and over time, it’s morphed into something quite different and even more delicious. It’s rich and spicy (only as spicy as you want it to be, though!), but somehow just as perfect in warm weather as it is in cold weather. I like to make it with firm, pressed tofu, but you can certainly make it the classic way, with paneer cheese. Either way, the tender cubes soak up the bright, piquant sauce, and you’ve got real crowd-pleaser on your hands. The leftovers keep extremely well for several days, too! Feel free to add frozen peas or green beans if you’d like a punch of green in there.
Vegetarian, dairy-free and vegan if desired, gluten-free.
- 1 (14-16 oz.) package organic extra-firm tofu, pressed (see instructions below), OR high-quality paneer
- 2 tablespoons coconut oil or ghee
- 1 teaspoon mustard seeds
- 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
- 1 medium or 2 small onions, peeled and finely chopped
- 6 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
- 1-inch chunk fresh ginger, peeled and minced
- 1 hot chile, stemmed, seeded, and minced (optional)
- 1 teaspoon ground coriander
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- 1 (15 oz.) can full-fat coconut milk
- 1 (28 oz.) jar or can crushed tomatoes
- 1 1/4 teaspoons sea salt, or to taste
- 2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar or lemon juice
- Cooked basmati rice, for serving
- Chopped cilantro and/or green onions, for serving (optional)
- If using tofu, press it in advance to remove as much liquid as possible. Use either the towel method (for 2 to 4 hours) or a device like the TofuXpress (for 8 to 24 hours in the fridge). If using paneer, there's no need to press or prep in advance.
- Set your basmati rice to cook, so it's ready when the curry is done.
- Heat the coconut oil (or ghee, if desired) in a large pot over medium heat. When it's hot, add the mustard seeds and cumin seeds and cover for about 60 seconds, until it sounds like most of the mustard seeds have popped.
- Remove the lid and add the chopped onion. Cook, stirring frequently, for 5 to 7 minutes, until the onions are translucent.
- Add the minced garlic, ginger, and chile (if desired). Cook, stirring, for one minute, until fragrant.
- Add the coriander, cumin, turmeric, and paprika and stir to combine.
- Add the coconut milk, crushed tomatoes, and salt and stir to combine.
- Chop the drained tofu into roughly 3/4-inch cubes and add to the pot.
- When bubbles begin to appear, lower the heat from medium to low. Simmer uncovered for 25 to 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- When the curry is thickened to your liking, remove the pot from the heat and add the apple cider vinegar or lemon juice, stirring to combine.
- Serve over cooked basmati rice, garnished with chopped cilantro and/or green onions, if desired.
Happy Canada Day to my friends up north, and to everyone here in the U.S., have a great 4th of July week and weekend!