Once a month I clean out the refrigerator, and create a soup or stew out of what I find. Usually it’s veggies that I did not get around to cooking for one reason or another. I love Indian food and cook it often. A friend of mine studied and lived in India; she brought back some great recipes and methods for cooking Indian food. This recipe is a modification of two of her recipes. One of my favorites is fish curry from the Goa region of India. Today, I came up with a tofu and vegetable curry. I used cauliflower, yellow squash, onions, garlic, sweet peppers, carrots and jalapeño peppers. This recipe calls for tamarind. You may find tamarind and garam masala spice at an Asian market. The other method is to soak the tamarind pods and strip the fiber strings off the pods. The paste in the jar is much easier to use. Trust me on this bit of advice.
1 package or extra firm Tofu diced
½ a head cauliflower chopped
½ package of tiny cut carrots
½ package of frozen peas
1 medium red onion chopped
2 cloves garlic chopped
1 green jalapeno pepper chopped
8 oz can of diced tomatoes
1 can coconut milk reduced fat
2 tablespoons tomato paste
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground coriander
Large handful of fresh cilantro chopped fine for garnish
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes or more to taste
1 teaspoon Garam Masala
2 tablespoons tamarind paste or ¼ cup of juice
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon ground black pepper
2 teaspoons turmeric powder
2 inch peeled and grated fresh ginger
2 tablespoons lemon, lime juice or vinegar
12 oz. of free range chicken or veggie stock
1 tablespoon sesame or olive oil
¼ each sweet red, yellow and orange peppers diced
1 medium yellow squash peeled and diced
Or use your veggies of choice.
The key to cooking Indian food to is to know when to add the spices, including salt and black pepper. A very commonly used spice is garam masala which is a combination of Indian spices and can be found in most health food stores. As for diabetics (I am one) the only real fat it the dish is the sesame oil and coconut milk. There are carbohydrates in the veggies but I divided this dish into 8-10 portions so the carbohydrates will be lower per serving.
In a food processor (I use mini processor) put in the jalapeno pepper, onion, garlic, lemon, lime juice and grated ginger. I have a little tip about ginger; I keep it in the freezer in an airtight bag, it so much easier to peel and grate. Pulse the mixture until it forms a wet paste. Put mixture into a deep pot, add all the spices at the same time keep stirring so the mixture does not burn or stick. It may take 5 minutes or more for the mixture to dry out and become paste like. Add the tablespoon of oil, it will thin the mixture and smooth it out. At this point add tomatoes, chicken or vegetable stock, vegetables, tomato paste and cook on medium heat until bubbling. Add coconut milk, stir until smooth, turn down heat to low and simmer for 20-30 minutes or until all the vegetables are done and stew is thick. Add in the tofu, cover and simmer a few more minutes. Serve with rice, top with the chopped cilantro leaves. Enjoy.