Last time I visited Newark Farmer’s Market, an international grocery near me, I picked up a package of fresh curry leaves. Curry leaves are basically the Indian Bay leaf and should be cooked with accordingly. The smell of curry leaves crackling in a few teaspoons of Ghee along with a few mustard and cumin seeds is out of this world. Once you cook with it you will forever be on the hunt for this humble little green leaf. The curry flavor it imparts is subtly herbaceous and delectable. Keep an eye out for it and toss it into your next Indian inspired dish and you won’t be disappointed. Also, we love tofu at my house but feel free to switch the tofu out for Paneer. Just add your Paneer at the last few minutes of cooking time, as it will get rubbery and tough if over cooked. Something I figured out the hard way. Shredded leftover chicken can also be tossed in, if it’s not your meatless night and you happen to have some on hand. The important part is the curry gravy anyway and whatever you decided to toss in it is just a vehicle for that.
1 pkg extra firm Tofu, drained and cubed
6 to 8 Curry Leaves
1 Sweet Onion, diced
2 cloves Garlic, minced
1 can Coconut Milk + 1 can Water or Vegetable stock
1 tbsp Curry powder, or to taste
1 tbsp Garam Masala
2 tsp Turmeric powder, or to taste
1/4 tsp Cumin seeds
1/2 tsp Mustard seeds
2 to 3 tsp Ghee
Salt and pepper to taste
Garnish: Toasted Onion, Red Pepper Flakes, Fresh Cilantro
In a large Dutch Oven over med high flame, melt the Ghee. Add in the mustard seeds and cover the DO with the lid until the seeds stop popping. Remove the lid and add in the Cumin seeds and Curry leaves and saute until fragrant, 2 to 3 minutes. Next add in the onion, salt, and pepper and saute the onions until just golden, about 3 to 5 minutes. Stir in the Curry powder, Turmeric, and Garam Masala and toast for about 1 minute more.
Add in the Coconut milk and 1 can water/veggie stock. Stir until the seasonings are well incorporated. Bring up to a simmer then reduce flame to med low. Continue simmering about 30 minutes, or until reduced to desired consistency. Add in the cubed tofu and simmer an additional 5 to 10 minutes. Taste and adjust seasonings as needed. Remove the curry leaves from the gravy and discard. Serve the tofu curry immediately with Basmati rice or Naan. Garnish with toasted onion, red pepper flakes, and chopped fresh cilantro, if desired.
1 cup Basmati Rice, thoroughly rinsed and gently toasted
2 cups Water
1/2 tsp Ghee or Butter
pinch of Salt and Pepper
Thoroughly rinse rice in a mesh colander until the water runs clear. In a small Dutch Oven over high flame, bring two cups of water to a boil. Once boiling stir in the Ghee, salt, and pepper. Add the rice and bring the water back up to a boil. Once boiling, reduce to low flame and cover with lid. Cook about 20 to 30 minutes until all the water is absorbed and the rice is tender. Before serving, fluff with a fork.