These are tricky times, even in Beverly Hills. In the last year, more businesses have closed than opened, and competition for consumers is fierce. Last year, our favorite local diner finally quit for good, despite serving some of the best sweet potato fries and veggie chili dogs in town. But a few months later, a little Indian restaurant moved in and, happily, the neighborhood got a spicy dose of optimism.
In a short amount of time, the new “quick-casual” Indian café has gained a huge following — it’s fresh, healthy, and exotic. Even my finicky kids now embrace the fragrant blend of turmeric, coriander, cumin and cinnamon called garam masala, the foundation for so many Indian dishes. As temperatures rise in the months to come, this spirited cuisine will be my pick for tasty summer fare.
Here, creamy meets spicy in a delicious sauce that you can easily pull off at home. Make a double batch and save some for later to smother on bites of seared tofu, cooked chicken or fish, garbanzo beans or sautéed tempeh. Serve it with basmati or brown rice, quinoa, or warm naan bread. Now that summer is here, cooking’s going to be all about quick and casual. I’d put money on it.
1 pound extra firm tofu, patted dry on paper towels
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 teaspoons grated fresh ginger
2 cloves garlic cloves, minced
1 cinnamon stick
2 teaspoons dried fenugreek leaves (optional)
1/2 teaspoon chile powder
1 teaspoon garam masala powder
1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
1 (15-ounce) can organic tomato sauce (about 2 cups)
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon honey or maple syrup
1 cup fresh or frozen peas
1/2 cup unsweetened light coconut milk
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro, for garnish (optional)
1. Cut the tofu into 1-inch cubes and season with salt and pepper; set aside.
2. In a large sauté pan, heat the oil over a low flame. Add the ginger and garlic and sauté until fragrant. Add the cinnamon stick and spices and sauté until fragrant. Add the tomato sauce, cover and simmer over low heat until thickened, stirring occasionally, about 10 minutes. Add the salt, honey, peas and coconut milk; simmer until warmed through.
3. Stir the tofu into the sauce and adjust seasoning if necessary. If a creamier sauce is desired, add additional coconut milk. Serve immediately, garnished with cilantro.
If you love tofu, try these other tasty recipes: Spaghetti with Tofu Bolognese Sauce; Tofu with Pea Shoots, Mushrooms and Balsamic Glaze; Addictive Sauce Verte with Seared Tofu; Breakfast Tofu Scramble; and Curried Tofu Salad Wrap.
Join the fun! Enter my June pie contest and your recipe could be featured here on this blog, plus you might win some stellar prizes! Give it a shot here.