|For the tofu|
|For the curry paste|
|2 ⅛ oz|
|2 cloves||(0.21 oz)|
|1 tbsp||(0.23 oz)|
|1 tbsp||(0.22 oz)|
|1 tbsp||(0.26 oz)|
|½ tsp||(0.05 oz)|
|1 dash||(0.01 oz)|
|For the vegetables|
|1 large||(5.3 oz)|
|9 ½ oz|
|4 ⅛ oz|
|1 tbsp||(0.48 oz)|
|For the tomato and bean purée|
|375 ml||(13 oz)|
|5 ½ oz|
|1 bunch||(0.7 oz)|
Begin by preparing the tofu
Drain the tofu well and then press.
The recipe calls for firm tofu.
The author describes the best way to press tofu: “For the best results, press tofu for 30 minutes. To do this, cut the tofu into eight slices, place them between two cutting boards, and set over the sink to drain for 30 minutes. Or use a tofu press.”
For the curry paste
In the meantime, prepare the curry paste. Peel the shallots and garlic. Mince the shallots. Peel and mince the ginger. Place all curry paste ingredients in a blender or food processor and purée.
When preparing this recipe, the author recommends using 1–3 chili peppers along with mild curry powder for four servings. We have purposely reduced the amount of salt from 1 teaspoon to a pinch. Since the use of salt is an individual preference, you should adjust the amount to your taste. For additional information about the topic of nutrition and salt, please see the book review of “Salt Sugar Fat.”
For the vegetables and prepared tofu
While the tofu finishes draining, prepare the vegetables for the broth. To do so, peel the onion and then cut in half from stem to blossom end. Place the onion cut side down on your cutting board and cut nice thick slices crosswise. The slices should look like half circles. Cut off the roots and green parts of the leek, slice in half lengthwise, and wash well to remove the dirt. Chop the leek into 1.5 cm (½-inch) pieces. Chop the cauliflower, zucchini, and green beans into bite-size pieces.
When the tofu has finished draining, cut into 1.5 cm (½-inch) cubes. Heat half of the coconut oil in a large wok over medium heat. Stir-fry the tofu until it is evenly browned, about 6–8 minutes. Remove the tofu from the wok and place on a plate.
Heat the remaining coconut oil in the wok, add the onion and leek, and stir-fry for about 5 minutes, or until translucent. Add the curry paste to the wok, stirring constantly for 2 minutes. Add the cauliflower, zucchini, and green beans to the wok and stir-fry for an additional 2 minutes.
Prepare the tomato and bean purée
Place the cubed tomatoes, white beans, and water in a blender and purée until smooth. Pour the purée over the vegetables in the wok and simmer for 15 minutes. The vegetables should be tender but not mushy, and the sauce will have thickened.
Taste the curry and add more salt or lemon juice if you like. Stir in the frozen peas and cilantro, simmer for one minute, and then remove the wok from the heat.
Be careful at this point because the curry is very hot! If you can, allow it to stand for a few minutes before serving so that it can cool down a little. Serve with hot cooked rice or bread.
The author recommends serving this dish with basmati rice or cilantro mint garbanzo flatbread. The recipe for the flatbread is in the referenced cookbook on page 84.
Serve this creamy tomato tofu curry with cilantro garbanzo flatbread or rice. The bean and tofu purée provides protein and velvety richness.
Serving size: The author indicates that the original recipe makes four servings. We suggest that this recipe is enough for six servings since you will usually include a side dish with this meal.
Side dish not included in the recipe: Cilantro mint garbanzo flatbread is pictured here with the curry. While we have not included the recipe for the flatbread, this is a side dish option suggested by the author in addition to rice and is included in the referenced cookbook on page 84.
Making tofu: Also known as soybean curd, this Asian food is especially popular with vegans and vegetarians as it is an excellent source of protein. It is also lactose -, cholesterol -, and gluten-free. The first step in making tofu is to prepare the soy milk. You do this by soaking the soybeans in water, puréeing them, and finishing with a cooking process. The cooking step serves to remove toxins (enzyme inhibitors) and improve the digestibility of the finished product. The next step is to coagulate the soy milk using coagulants such as calcium sulfate or nigari (in Okinawa, sea water is used here, and the final product is called Shima-dofu, or island tofu). The resulting soybean curds separate from the rest of the mixture and are then pressed into tofu cakes that are cooled and cut into the desired shape. The exact process of making tofu depends on the type of tofu being produced.
White beans: All of the beans in the genus Phaseolus contain phasin, a toxin that is destroyed when the beans are heated to temperatures greater than 70°C. However, several vitamins are lost during the cooking process, including vitamin C. Cooked white beans can be eaten in larger amounts, but you should be careful because beans can give you gas. The reason for this is that the beans contain trisaccharides, for example, raffinose, which humans can’t digest. However, intestinal bacteria can metabolize trisaccharides by excreting fermentation gases.
Beans contain large amounts of protein and many, but not all of the essential amino acids. They are also rich in minerals, vitamins, and folic acid.
Curry: The term “curry” is used to describe both a stew-like dish and the characteristic seasonings used to flavor it. Curry powder is a spice mix that contains about 13 different ingredients. While the combination of spices used can vary quite a bit, most curry powder recipes include turmeric (which gives curry its typical yellow color and is always included), coriander, cumin, black pepper, and fenugreek as these give curry much of its distinctive flavor
Ginger: Ginger is a fragrant, flavorful spice. It owes its distinctive spicy and citrus flavor mainly to gingerol, which is thought to have anticarcinogenic and anti-inflammatory properties. Borneal and cineol are the organic compounds that give ginger its digestive and antiemetic (antinausea) properties; stimulate the production of gastric juice, saliva, and bile; stimulate the appetite; and increase circulation. Fresh, dried, or ground ginger rhizomes are used in cooking. Young ginger rhizomes, sometimes called green ginger, are juicy, tender, and fleshy with a very mild taste.
Tofu, uses: As described in the notes above, the final step in the process of making tofu consists of pressing the soy curds into cakes. Plain, unseasoned tofu has very little flavor or smell of its own. However, this makes it ideal as a carrier of seasoning and flavors and explains why it can be used in so many different types of dishes. Tofu can be used in savory main dishes as well as in sweet recipes. This quality is what makes it such a versatile food. In East Asia, tofu is often eaten plain or just lightly seasoned.
Notes from the author: “There is no limit to the types of vegetables that can be used in curries. I use tender, quick-cooking summer vegetables in the recipe above. You can easily transform this into a hearty winter stew by adding potatoes and pumpkin if that’s what you have on hand.
A few ideas for winter curries : Instead of cauliflower, use cubed waxy potatoes OR use half potatoes and half cauliflower. Replace zucchini with cubed pumpkin, butternut squash, or any favorite winter squash. Omit the green beans and instead add 2–3 handfuls of chopped kale or spinach along with the green peas. When puréeing the tomatoes, beans, and water, increase the amount of water to 625 ml (2½ cups).
The MOST IMPORTANT thing to keep in mind: When using potatoes and pumpkin, be sure to cook the curry long enough that the vegetables are completely cooked. You may need to simmer for up to 40 minutes. Watch it closely and add up to 125–250 ml (½–1 cup) of water if the curry is getting too thick or looks like it is starting to burn. You may also need to add more salt. Taste when almost finished and add more salt and lemon juice if needed.”
Spice: You can adjust the number of chili peppers you use to suit your taste. The peppers and ginger will add the most heat to your curry paste. If you want a milder paste, you can reduce the number of peppers and increase the number of dates.