Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Peppers and Tofu curry

Last Saturday, I had a craving for a spicy curry which refused to go away. A hot spicy, coconut based, chicken curry. Well, I had decided I am switching to being vegetarian for a while, so I had to put on my thinking cap to decide about a vegetarian ingredient able to stand up to the spice and layers of flavor offered by curry. Potatoes, Chickpeas, all were out. So in walked Tofu. I figured extra firm could stand to all the boldness. I just had to tweak the curry a bit. I must say it turned good enough I simply had to share the recipe!

Coriander seeds 1 tblspn
Grated fresh coconut 1/4 cup
Cloves 3-4
Black peppercorns 5-6
Cinnamon stick 1/2 inch
Red onion 1 medium
Garlic 3 cloves
Curry leaves
Cumin seeds1 tspn
1 to 1-1/2 Green bell peppers, chopped into inch size pieces
1 cup extra firm tofu, cut into inch size cubes.

Roast coriander seeds. Add cloves, cinnamon and peppercorns, roast for a couple minutes. Keep aside. Roast coconut add curry leaves and roast for a couple minutes more. Fry onion and garlic keep aside. Add all the above ingredients to the blender and grind to a smooth paste. You can add upto 1/2 cup of water.

Heat 1/2 tblspn oil (I used olive oil) in a pan, fry the tofu till the surface of the cubes become brown. Take the tofu out, onto paper towels. To the pan, add 1 tblspn oil, when oil is heated, add cumin seeds. When the cumin seeds start changing color, add the green pepper and fry well in high heat. Turn the heat to medium, add the ground paste, and enough water to make a thick gravy. Add salt to taste. When the pepper has softened, add the tofu. Simmer for a bit. Serve with hot rotis or hot basmati rice.

If you'd like it spicier, add a tspn of red chili powder to the cloves, cinnamon and peppercorns and roast for a bit.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Marshmallowed Granola Brittle

I found the seeds of this recipe on a bag of marshmallows, which was a take on rice crispy squares, but I found that the dish turned much more interesting in this avatar.

Oats - 1-1/2 cup
Almonds,Walnuts,Cranberries,Dates,Raisins,Sunflower seeds - 1 cup
Vanilla essence - 1 teaspoon
Oil/butter - 1 tablespoon
Marshmallows - 1 cup

Mix oats and oil, toast well. I used a wok for this. Really works well. Roast the nuts separately.
Mix the oats, vanilla essence and the dry fruits well. Add the marshmallows over the mixture. Microwave for 1 minute on high, the marshmallow will puff up nicely. Bring it out of the microwave oven and mix quickly before the marshmallows set. Spread the mixture on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper, about 1/4 inch thick. Let it stand at room temperature until the mixture cools completely. Break into pieces and enjoy!

This makes for a slightly sweet brittle. If you'd like it sweeter, use more marshmallows.