May 16, 2009

Spicy shahi tofu

Well, that’s just a fancy name really, for a put-together dish. My Vietnamese friend took me to an Asian grocery store last week and I left from there with a pack of tofu. With it sitting in the fridge and threatening to expire soon, I decided I didn’t want to use it in a Chinese-style dish but would rather do a Desi delicacy. And so I chose Shahi paneer and modified it suitably to achieve tangy and yummy results.
I am not going to publish a recipe here coz it’s nothing phenomenally different from any of the Shahi paneer recipes online and I can’t claim to have come up with anything. However here are some tips when working with tofu -
1. Drain: Make sure to have drained the tofu of the submerged “water''”. To ensure that you have eliminated all the liquid, keep the tofu out of the fridge on a bowl and keep some weight on it for at least 15 minutes (I kept an empty pressure cooker on the tofu slab).
2. Combat blandness: The big Indian requirement is for spice in anything. And tofu fails miserably on all accounts. The way one can eat fried paneer, one can NEVER eat fried tofu. So, here’s what to do… Instead of shallow frying the tofu in batches the way you would paneer, just add them all cut in flat slabs into a wide saucepan with a teaspoon of heated oil. While the tofu sits there getting “shallow-fried”, add salt, a bit of red chilly powder, turmeric and a hint of garam masala. The result? Super-tasty tofu, perfect for Desi recipes. Plus you save a lot of oil going into the dish and so it's healthier. It's win-win!

Shown below: (a) Fresh cut tofu pieces and (b) Spiced tofu
3. Just make the gravy then (the usual mustard seeds-jeera seeds- saunf- ginger-garlic-cloves- onion-tomato) first cooked and then ground. I like to add capsicum to the above for a richer body, colour and taste. Make sure to have one coarse batch so that the gravy isn’t too liquid.
4. Then? Put them together and voilà, there’s your spicy Tofu.
Serve with chapathis/parathas or steamed rice. Bon Appétit!


Radhika said...

Looks very nice Jaya. The pictures are great. The spiced tofu picture makes you want to eat it just like that. I will certainly try it. Thanks for the recipe.

Gandalf said...

Like Radhika said, I could totally eat (b) for a snack.. slurp.

Jaya said...

Radhika -> Thanks so much. Do give it a shot and report back.
Gandalf -> Make some and surprise the Ms G... what say?

Neeti Dasgupta said...

Thanks for the tofu tips. Sounds very helpful. Great site you have here by the way. Will come back.

Jaya said...

Neeti-> Thanks a ton. Please keep visiting!

Anonymous said...

Hey I just made this today....I had no idea such recipe exists and instead of paneer I tried Tofu....tastes yummy.....

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