…And in this case, that lucky lady who will be receiving a Tofu Xpress for Christmas turned out to be commenter number #196…
The Voracious Vegan! Long-time blog buddy and all around awesome person, I’m so thrilled to be able to share such a gift with this deserving vegan who had fate on her side. Gotta say, doesn’t that make you think there’s something to this whole “karma” concept? …No? Well, don’t peel away and storm off in a temper tantrum just yet, I still have something to share with you too.
No longer than 5 minutes after posing for it’s beauty shot did my super-extra-ultra-firm block of tofu find itself diced up and over the fire. Most excited to try using this uniquely textured bean curd as a paneer replacement, ideas and inspiration for different Indian dishes were limitless, and I just couldn’t make up my mind. Instead of making a traditional meal, I decided to make a mash up of my two top picks, matar paneer and dahl. Creating a completely inauthentic but highly delicious one-pot meal with little effort to speak of, this is one that will definitely be a staple for those cold winter nights ahead. It may not win any beauty contests, but it definitely hit the spot.
I served mine up with lightly toasted pita for a quick carb, but it would be the perfect sort of thing to pile on top a hill of rice or quinoa, too.
Matar Tofu Paneer Dahl
1 Tablespoon Coconut Oil
1/2 Medium Yellow Onion, Diced
2 Cloves Garlic, Finely Minced
1 1/2 Teaspoon Ground Cumin
1 Teaspoon Ground Coriander
1/2 Teaspoon Turmeric
1/2 Teaspoon Chilli Powder
1/2 Teaspoon Ground Ginger
3 Cups Vegetable Stock
1 Cup Moong Dahl (Split Mung Beans), or Red Lentils
1 Plum Tomato, Diced
2 Tablespoons Tomato Paste
1/2 Cup Frozen Peas
1 Pound Extra-Firm Tofu, Thoroughly Pressed for at least Two Hours
Salt and Pepper, to Taste
In a medium saucepan over moderate heat, melt the coconut oil and begin to sautee the onion in it. After a minute, add in the garlic and spices, and stir well. Allow the mixture to cook for 5 – 8 minutes, until the onion is translucent and the spices are highly aromatic. Deglaze the pan with the vegetable stock, scrapping the bottom to make sure nothing is sticking, and then introduce the beans/lentils as well. Cover the pot, turn the heat down to a low simmer, and let it sit, undisturbed, for about 20 minutes.
The if using mung beans, they will still be somewhat firm at this point, but red lentils will be nearly done. Stir in the diced tomato, tomato paste, peas, and pressed tofu, and let cook, covered, for another 5 – 10 minutes. Give the whole mixture a good stir to encourage your legume of choice to break down a bit, and test to see if its fully cooked. The lentils should be done, but mung beans will probably take another 15 minutes or so. Just be patient, and keep a close eye on the pot, making sure there is still enough liquid for everything to cook without burning on the bottom; add a splash of water if it seems too dry.
Season to taste with salt and pepper, and serve piping hot.
Serves 4 – 6