Saturday, March 23, 2013

Tofu Rogan Josh Curry

vegetarian rogan josh currry with tofu

It's Saturday!  For many of us it is the start of a two day block of all play and no work. Well actually I, like many of you, begin the weekend on Friday at 5 or 6 pm. This past week was a busy one and I was absent from the the kitchen a few days. So I was motivated to kick off  my weekend by getting back into my favorite room and whipping up a healthy, fragrant meal.  And nothing fits that bill better than curry. This vegetarian curry dish is a favorite which I've adapted from Jamie Oliver's Lamb Rogan Josh recipe. His curry recipes are in a league of their own and nobody should miss out on them just because lamb {or fill in the blank with something that you do not eat} happens to be an ingredient. All the other curry ingredients drive the flavor of this dish, so swapping out meat for tofu works. 

You are going to love this dish. First the curry paste. It's an exotic blend of garlic, ginger, roasted red peppers, cilantro, tomato paste, a whole lot of spices and a chili pepper. I just throw all the ingredients in a mini food processor and hit pulse.  It's a snap and the result is a paste that has so much more depth than the kind that comes in a jar. The curry paste is then married with more ginger, chili and cilantro plus tomatoes and a little balsamic vinegar, which adds a welcome tang. Tofu gets some company with onions, carrots, peas and a handful of lentils. In the end you have a stew that is heavenly. Give this one a try - it is best served over rice with a side of fresh naan and some sweet and spicy chutney. 

{Note: The ingredient list is long, but the recipe is easy.  I think I spent about 30 minutes preparing and then grabbed a glass of wine and left the kitchen while I let everything simmer for another 30 minutes.}

 Tofu Rogan Josh Curry 

24 oz firm or extra firm tofu, drained, cut in half width wise and cubed
peanut oil
a pat of butter
2 medium onions, chopped
1 fresh chili pepper, sliced {red is preferred; I substituted green as that was what was available}
a thumb size piece of ginger, peeled and minced
a small bunch of cilantro
4 bay leaves
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/4 c baby carrots, sliced
1/2 c frozen peas
2 T balsamic vinegar
one 14 oz can San Marzano chopped tomatoes
3 c vegetable broth
2 handfuls red lentils
1 c low fat Greek yogurt {such as Wallaby Organic}
1 lemon
- and for the Rogan Josh paste
2 cloves garlic
a thumb size piece of ginger peeled and sliced
3 oz roasted red peppers. drained 
1 T paprika
1 t smoked paprika
2 t garam masala
1 t turmeric
1/2 t sea salt
2 T peanut oil 
2 T tomato paste
1 fresh red chili, sliced
a small bunch of cilantro
2 t toasted cumin seeds
2 t coriander
1 t black peppercorns

To prepare the curry paste, place all Rogan Josh ingredients in a food processor and pulse until you have a uniform paste. Set aside.

Pick the leaves from half the cilantro and set aside for later. Chop the remaining cilantro, stalks and leaves. 

Place a large saute or casserole pan over medium-high heat. Add about 2 T of oil and the butter. Add the onions, chili pepper, chopped cilantro and bay leaves and cook for 10 minutes. Add the tofu, carrots and frozen peas and cook for 2 minutes. Add the balsamic vinegar and cook for 2 minutes. Then add the tomatoes, stock and curry paste. Stir in the lentils. Bring to a boil and then simmer low with the lid on for 30 minutes. Taste and add more salt and pepper if you think it needs it.

To serve, spoon curry into 4 bowls {preferably over rice}. Place a big dollop of yogurt on top of the curry. Serve with reserved cilantro and lemon wedges. 

Serves 4
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Source:  Adapted from Jamie's Food Revolution, Jamie Oliver

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