Top | Seasonal Spice

Spicing Up Tofu - Tofu Pasanda

(post, Rinku Bhattacharya)


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I began using tofu instead of Paneer (Indian cheese) for a couple of reasons, firstly because tofu was more readily available and secondly I often encountered requests for vegan recipes. Tofu offered a fairly quick solution to converting paneer recipes into a vegan variation.

However, over time I learned to like this simple non-descript tasting product for its own virtues - it was much leaner than commercial paneer and it absorbed flavor perfectly. It displayed and embodied the depth of any spice that it was cooked with.

Soon, tofu featured on my table in curries, stir fries and in quick cook recipes like this pasanda kabab. A traditional pasanda, is meat based, made of long pieces of meat, flattened to a thin consistency. For best results I like to use the loose blocks of unpackaged firm tofu sold in chinese stores. I like their texture and shape.

Tofu Pasanda - Spice Rubbed Tofu Wedges

Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Serves: 4-6 poeple

Ingredients

1/2 pound extra firm tofu (cut into 2 by 4 inch wedges)
1 teaspoon amchoor powder (dried mango powder available in most Indian grocery stores)
1 tablespoon fresh ginger garlic paste(about 1-inch piece fresh ginger and 3 pods garlic)
1 teaspoon red chili powder
2 tablespoons wisked yogurt
1.5 teaspoons salt
2 tablespoons oil
1 tablespoon butter
1 teaspoon chat masala (prepared spice blend available in most Indian grocery stores)
Thinly sliced onion to garnish
1 tablespoon chopped cilantro
Freshly ground back pepper

Method of Preparation

1. In a mixing bowl, toss the tofu with the amchoor powder, ginger garlic paste, red chili powder, yogurt and salt. Marinate for 15 minutes.
2. In a flat heavy skillet heat the oil and butter, and place the tofu pieces in a single layer and cook for 7-8 minutes on medium low heat.
3. Turn and cook for 5-6 minutes. The tofu should be browned and lightly crisped at spots covered evenly with the spice mixture.
4.Remove and place on a plate. Toss with chat masala, onions and cilantro and sprinkle the ground black pepper on top.
5. Serve immediately, with chutney if desired.