I love turkey. Really, I do. But there’s only so much turkey a girl can eat. Turkey sandwiches. Turkey casserole. Thanksgiving dinner part 2 with friends. By the end of the weekend, turkey and I needed to see other people and so the leftovers hung out by themselves one night and I tried my hand at a vegetarian Indian dinner using some new spices I picked up at the Indian grocer.
A colleague brought this dish to a group dinner that we had, and I fell in love. My version didn’t really bring the heat in the same way hers did, so I cheated and added a little Sriracha sauce at the end to “kick it up a notch”. Sadly it came out a little too quickly and the heat levels were borderline. Nonetheless, enjoyable and definitely worth making again.
Kadai Paneer (or in this case, Kadai Tofu)
250 grams (9 ounces) tofu or paneer
2 medium sized onions (finely chopped)
2 tomatoes (chopped)
1 green pepper
1 tbsp (tablespoon) coriander powder
1/2 tsp garam masala powder
1 tsp hot madras curry powder (Like it mild? Include only 1/2 tsp. Like it hotter? Add more.)
1 tsp red chilli powder
3 big cloves of crushed garlic
1/2 tsp ginger paste (in the absence of ginger paste, I used a couple of slices of whole ginger)
1/4 tsp cumin seeds
1 green cardamom pod
Salt to taste (I used about 1tsp)
1. Cut tofu or paneer into cubes and fry it a little bit till it is light brown (make sure you don’t overcook it)
2. Heat oil in a pan and add cardamom and cumin. Saute for about 5 seconds.
3. Add chopped onion and cook till translucent.
4. Add ginger and crushed garlic. Sauté for 2-3 minutes.
5. Add green pepper, tomatoes and salt and cook till the tomatoes are mushy. Lower the heat completely.
6. Add red chilli powder, coriander powder, garam masala powder and hot curry powder- mix well and cook for about 30 seconds. If you find the masala very dry just sprinkle a bit of water.
7. Finally, add the tofu or paneer cubes and mix it well. Cover and cook on a low flame for a few minutes so that tofu absorbs the spice.
8. Optional: Add a good dose of butter towards the end so that the mixture is soft and melts in your mouth.
9. Garnish with chopped cilantro and serve with naan or chapati.