Tuesday, 10 July 2012

Veggie Butter Tofu

When I was ten my family went out for Indian food for the first time. We had tandoori chicken and I thought I was going to die. As an adult, I'm known for being a wimp when it comes to spicy food so as a child, I pretty much couldn’t even handle chipotle. Tandoori is hot! I ended up sticking to naan bread all night. This shaped my relationship to Indian cuisine for years and I avoided it tirelessly. Until one day, as a 19 year old rebel, I tried it again. Just not the tandoori. To my surprise, it was amazing. I’m talking the most flavourful dishes you will ever try and perfectly cooked vegetables. Oh, also, as a newly veggie, I was so excited to go out for dinner and have more than a couple of options to indulge in. 

Needless to say, an ultimate favourite for many people is Butter Chicken. They also do what is called Shahi Paneer. Paneer is a delicious indian cheese, and this is the vegetarian version available at most restaurants of the butter chicken dish. If you have an Indian market close to you, they will have paneer too. I took inspiration from many takeout meals from our local favourite Indian place and turned it into a delicious vegetable based dish. I hope it inspires you to try more tantalizing Indian food!

Veggie Butter Tofu

1/2 head of cauliflower, chopped
1 cup of frozen green peas
1 yellow onion, chopped
2 cloves of garlic, chopped
2 tbsp butter
1/2 brick extra firm tofu, cubed
1 bottle of butter chicken sauce (most grocery stores have it in the indian aisle, or your indian market will have some great options)
1 tbsp cumin powder
1/2 tbsp salt
1/2 tbsp pepper
1 cup of brown basmati rice, cooked
  1. Saute one tbsp of the butter, the onion and the garlic in a skillet, for 2 mins.
  2. In a medium saucepan, bring 1 1/2 cup of water to a boil, add the rice, lower to simmer and cover, stirring occasionally.
  3. Add cauliflower to the onion/garlic/butter and saute for 5 minutes.
  4. Pour in the whole bottle of sauce, adding 1/3 cup of water and 1 tbsp of butter. Mix together. Increase to medium heat, or until its a rolling boil.
  5. Add the peas and allow to cook for 2 minutes.
  6. Lower to a simmer and add the tofu, cumin, salt and pepper.
  7. Cover and allow to cook for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. You want the cauliflower to be soft by the time the dish is done, it can simmer for awhile enhancing the aromatic flavours!
  8. Fluff rice, cover in veggie butter tofu and chow down!

The leftovers didn’t even make it past the end of the next day so I know we will be making this dish again. Which reminds me, back to my grocery list....

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