09 May, 2013

Creamy Tofu and Pepper Curry Recipe | Vegan Tofu and Capsicum Curry

Learn how to make Creamy Tofu and Pepper Curry ~ Vegan curry of capsicums/bell peppers cooked in a mildly spiced creamy tofu and tomato gravy

"I do not claim that I can tell a story as it ought to be told. I only claim to know how a story ought to be told."
~ Mark Twain

I have a story to tell… This is a story of little boy and the moon. This is a story of their friendship that is growing stronger and deeper with every passing day. This is a story about smiling lips, twinkling eyes, dimpled cheeks, excited shrieks and infectious giggles. This is also a story of trembling lips, teary eyes, fiery tantrums, disappointed sighs and hopeful tomorrows. This is a story of little heartbreaks and break ups, and at the same time this is also a story of life long friend ships and make ups! Yes, I have a story to tell…a very special story to tell…

Creamy Tofu and Pepper Curry ~ Deliciously creamy without calorie high cream

I can’t tell you the exact time when they became friends. Perhaps it was the last winter when the sun set as early as half past three in the afternoon leaving behind a clear dark sky with a faint golden line in the west. The cold wind blowing around made the people walking on the streets to pull down their hats and warp the scarves around their neck little tighter. The street lights were switched on and the vehicles on road zoomed past with glaring headlights. Every single shop and buildings in the street was lit up with the bright lights. Although the sky was pitch dark, all the bright lights made it look like a day time.

An hour later little boy was waving good byes to his care takers and his friends at his day care. While the little boy was busy talking to his dad narrating his day’s event with excitement, his mother struggled to bundle up the small wriggling body in thick layers of pullovers and coats. The silky hair on his head was covered with a fleece cap lined with warm fur and his dimpled little hands were tucked inside the thick mittens to keep them all warm and nice. The red and black scarf lovingly knitted by little boy’s granny was wrapped around his delicate neck and the tiny feet were tucked inside the blue wellies which had his favourite story characters Gruffalo and the mouse. His mother checked him from top to bottom to make sure that he was comfortably bundled in layers of thick clothing to protect from the biting cold wind before they left his day care with a little boy in middle holding his parents hands tightly and dancing all the way back on the narrow slippery path covered in a thin layer of frost.

Creamy Tofu and Pepper Curry ~ Dairy-free and guilt-free

On that particular day the little boy didn’t want to go to his home straight away and he wanted to go on a long drive. ‘Vroom-vroom’, he told his parents and his parents decided to indulge him as they do most the times when he wants to go on long drives. They shared smiles with the knowledge that the little boy had inherited their nomad genes. Once he was safely strapped to his car seat, little boy’s daddy steered his car away from the bustling town to the narrow, bumpy roads of the countryside. Away from the blinding bright lights and noisy town the road ahead was poorly lit with very few houses or buildings. The dark evening sky which was impossible to see above bright lights of the city now stretched for miles. That’s when little boy saw millions of stars twinkling in the sky, just like the ones he had seen in the book that his mother read to him very often. And then to his wonder and surprise he saw someone whom he remembered seeing many times in the same story book. It was moon; full, round, bright and just like the cheese he loved to snack on!

“Look Amma, Moo-on!” he screamed in excitement as he went on pointing his chubby little finger to the sky. He continued to chant “Moo0-n, moo-n, moooooo-n”, for the next few minutes. The said object of attraction followed the little boy as his dad drove along the deserted country road and it excited the little boy even more. Within few minutes little boy declared that the moon was his new best friend and he will share all his new toys with his friend. From that day the ever lasting friendship blossomed between the little boy on earth and the moon in the sky!

Pureed Silken Tofu

Every night before going to bed the little boy went to his father with raised hand to lift him up and take him to the window. Once he was perched on top of window seat, the little boy would look up in the sky and search for his best friend. Often he would see his best pal, sometimes looking bigger than his dinner plate and shining bright in his full glory among millions of twinkling stars or playing peek-a-boo by hiding behind the cloud and showing just his face. But there were times when the moon was away from home, perhaps visiting his grandma’s house or his other friends. But he would come back, always come back, after a couple of days! On days when little boy met his friend they talked to each other for few minutes in their baby language. The topics varied from some serious discussion like “Amma (is) naughty. Amma did it (Mom gave me time out). Where? (where were you)” to laughing silly and many times they spoke in coded language which little boy’s parents found difficult to decipher! Every new toy was showed and moon was invited to for play dates and dinner. After all that talk a quick kiss was blown to the moon and ‘Nighty night” was said some dozen times before the little boy decided it was time for his Amma to narrate a story or sing lullaby or pat him to sleep! It was all merry and fine until the spring arrived…

Spring, the season of new life injected much needed colour and life into the world. Every shade of greys was replaced with vibrant colours in colour palette. But it also meant longer days and shorter nights. For a little boy who went to bed at 7 in the evening after ‘talking’ to his best buddy, it was bit confusing as why his parents wanted him to sleep when the sun was still shining high and bright in the sky! Every evening he would run to the window, eager to meet his best buddy, but only to be disappointed to not be able to meet him. “Moon? Where?” he would question his parents with worry lines etched in his forehead. The usual answers of his best friend visiting his grandma or friends home worked only for few days.

Creamy Tofu and Pepper Curry ~ Vegan and Dairy-free

And then that day came when little boy was really worried when he didn’t see his best buddy for one whole week and at last he made up his mind not to go to bed unless he said hello to his friend. After all anything could have happened to his best buddy. His best friend may be admitted to ‘hos-pitta’ and the ‘doc-turr’ may be poking his arms or testing his chest with ‘ste-tus-cope’ to listen to his heartbeat, just like he had experienced few days back. His buddy may be taken away by the naughty snack, just like the one in his favourite book ‘The Gruffalo’. Or worse, his friend may have gone to ‘In-dia’ to be with his little cousins as he was their friend too and forgotten him. No, he had to meet his buddy that night. None of cajoling and bribes from his parents worked and at last his parents decided to indulge him. The clock ticked and the time moved slowly… Once in every ten minutes little boy would eagerly run to the French doors in the living room to check if his best buddy has arrived only to go back to the task he had left with disappointment etched on his face.

As if by listening to his silent plea, the moon arrived in his full glory. The full moon on that night was as round as a little ones favourite dinner plate and as bright as little boy’s smile! There was no limit to little boy’s joy to meet his best friend at last. There was so many things to talk about, so many stories to tell, few new toys to show, and also some complaints to make for not meeting him for this long. While his parents watched him with smile on their face, little boy chatted away with his friend scolding him in between for being forgetful. It was only after moon was made to ‘po-mish’ not to stay away at his granny’s place for that long, little boy happily climbed on to his bed wrapping his favourite blanket and falling into deep, deep sleep. There was a beautiful smile on his face even when he slept… Smile on rosy lips that looked just like a crescent moon!

Although the moon comes late at night to play with little boy and they meet only once in a week or sometimes once in fortnight, they still remain to be the best of buddies and their friendship is going stronger with every passing moments. Little boy never forgets to ask about his friend moon every single night before letting the sleep to lull his tired little body. So far he trusts his mother completely when she says that the moon too is in his bed listening to the stories told by his mother and soon he too will be fast asleep just like him. And once he sleeps, his best friend will come in his dreams to play with him… :)

Creamy Tofu and Pepper Curry ~ Capsicum/bell peppers cooked in a mildly spiced creamy tofu and tomato gravy

That my friends, is a story of little boy and his buddy moon! While little one is dreaming about his best pal and they both are having a wonderful time in their dreams, playing with each others, let me quickly give you the recipe for Vegan Creamy Tofu and Pepper Curry. This recipe of Creamy Tofu and Pepper Curry was conjured up in last minutes when I opened the pack of Tofu to make a vegan substitute for Kadai Paneer or Karahi Paneer for friends who were coming over for dinner. The crumbling almost jelly like tofu wobbled on a plate when I opened the pack and that is when I realised that the DH of mine has brought home silken tofu instead of firm tofu!!! The grey ‘cooking’ cells that I am fortunate to have inherited from my mother, I had plan B in place with a minute to save my day! I ground the silken tofu to smooth puree and made it a base for the curry. To my great delight, this turned out to be one of most delicious curries! The gravy was rich and utterly creamy just like any rich cream based gravy sans high calorie or fat. Our friends were surprised to know that the base for the curry was indeed tofu. This Vegan Creamy Tofu and Pepper Curry is sure to change opinions of those who do not favour tofu and they will definitely ask for second helping! :)

I have used very few spices as the smoky flavour of bell peppers gives this curry a wonderful flavour and the pureed tomatoes gives it a wonderful tanginess. The fresh coriander is not just used as a garnish to make the curry look pretty, but is in fact one of the main ingredients in this Creamy Tofu and Pepper Curry. If you desire, you can also add a tsp of Garam Masala towards the end of the cooking process to add extra heat and flavour to the curry. I would recommend you to use fresh ginger instead of using ready to use ginger paste as it definitely enhances the taste. The silken tofu is a pleasant surprise and my head is bursting with different ideas as how I can use it in different sweet and savoury dishes by replacing high calorie cream or other diary products. I hope you do give this Vegan Creamy Tofu and Pepper Curry a try and judge for yourself how delicious it actually is! And when you do that, don’t forget to leave your feedback. :)

Ingredients used for Creamy Tofu and Pepper Curry

Silken Tofu for Creamy Tofu and Pepper Curry

Pureed Silken Tofu


Creamy Tofu and Pepper Curry (Vegan curry of capsicums/bell peppers cooked in a mildly spiced creamy tofu and tomato gravy)
Prep Time: 10 mins
Cooking Time: 20 mins
Recipe Level: Easy/Beginner
Spice Level: Low to Medium
Serves: 6-8 people
Shelf Life: Best served fresh but can be refrigerated for 3-4 days and frozen for a month
Serving Suggestion: With any Indian flat breads (Whole Wheat Naan or Butter Naan or with any stuffed parathas) or plain/flavoured Basmati rice

Ingredients:
3 large Capsicum/Bell Peppers, deseeded and cut into 1 inch squares or triangles
340 gms Silken Tofu, pulsed in a food processor to make a smooth puree (About 1½ cups)
400 gms Canned Tomato/4 large Tomato, pureed (About 1½ cups of puree)
1 medium Onion, finely chopped
1½ inch Ginger, peeled and crushed to rough paste
¾ loosely packed cup Fresh Coriander Leaves, finely chopped
½ - 1 tbsp Jaggery or Brown Sugar
Salt to taste

Spices Used:
1 tsp Red Chilli Powder (As per taste)
½ tsp Haldi/Turmeric Powder
1 tbsp Dhania/Coriander Powder

For Tadka/Tempering:
1 tsp Mustard Seeds
1 tsp Jeera/Cumin Seeds
1-2 Dry Red Chillies, broken
A generous pinch of Hing/Asafoetida
1 tbsp Oil
Creamy Tofu and Pepper Curry ~ Thick, creamy and delicious vegan curry

Method:
  1. Heat oil in a pan and add mustard seeds to it. When mustard seeds start to crackle and pop, add cumin seeds, dry red chillies and hing. Fry them till cumin seeds start to sizzle and change colour to deep brown, about 15 seconds, on medium flame.
  2. Next add finely chopped onions and fry it till its edges turn brown, about 2 minute. Mix in ginger paste and fry for a minute.
  3. Add pureed tomato and mix them well. Increase the heat to high and bring the gravy to boil, about 3-4 minutes, stirring continuously.
  4. Mix in half of finely chopped coriander leaves, jaggery, red chilli powder, turmeric powder, coriander powder and salt to taste. Next pour in 1½ cups of boiling water and mix everything well. Cover the pan with lid and let it cook on medium heat for about 5-7 minutes, stirring in between.
  5. Mix in chopped bell pepper and pureed silken tofu and add remaining coriander leaves. Let it cook uncovered for 5-7 minutes on medium flame or until you see bubbles forming on the surface. Adjust the seasonings as well as add little more water if you find the gravy too thick.
  6. Let it simmer for another 5 minutes before switching off the flame. Serve this delicious Vegan Creamy Tofu and Capsicum/Pepper Curry with any Indian flat breads (Whole Wheat Naan or Butter Naan or with any stuffed parathas) or plain/flavoured Basmati rice.
Vegan Creamy Tofu and Pepper Curry


Sia’s Notes:
  • I have used very few spices as the smoky flavour of bell peppers gives this curry a wonderful flavour and the pureed tomatoes gives it a wonderful tanginess.
  • The fresh coriander is not just used as a garnish to make the curry look pretty, but is in fact one of the main ingredients in this Vegan Creamy Tofu and Pepper Curry.
  • If you desire, you can also add a tsp of Garam Masala towards the end of the cooking process to add extra heat and flavour to the curry.
  • I would recommend you to use fresh ginger instead of using ready to use ginger paste as it definitely enhances the taste.
  • The silken tofu is a pleasant surprise and my head is bursting with different ideas as how I can use it in different sweet and savoury dishes by replacing high calorie cream or other diary products.


16 Spicy Trails :

Rosa's Yummy Yums said... Best Blogger Tips [Reply to comment] Best Blogger Templates

So creamy and mouthwatering! a fabulous curry.

Cheers,

Rosa

Nandita SS said... Best Blogger Tips [Reply to comment] Best Blogger Templates

Beautiful post Sia!!! Very well written. The curry looks so creamy and rich!!! It's hard to believe that it's vegan :)

Veena Theagarajan said... Best Blogger Tips [Reply to comment] Best Blogger Templates

looks so yummy.. Love the color of it

M D said... Best Blogger Tips [Reply to comment] Best Blogger Templates

That creamy tofu and pepper curry looks delicious! And loved the story of your tiny tot!

Samhita said... Best Blogger Tips [Reply to comment] Best Blogger Templates

Such a lovely & gripping write up Sia !! Much love to the little boy. I have a pack of tofu and can't wait to try this recipe. How i wish i could just fly to UK from Bangalore right away to eat this !! Not just this, every other dish you prepare !! You are one super woman.

Love
Samhita

Mallika said... Best Blogger Tips [Reply to comment] Best Blogger Templates

What a great rescue Sia... I would have never thought about pureeing silken tofu and using as cream/curd. Definitely will try. Big kiss to you little moon loving boy!

Ranjeet Raje said... Best Blogger Tips [Reply to comment] Best Blogger Templates

Hi Sia...the recipe looks really awesome and the clicks make it a must-try (as always :D ). Just needed to make a small suggestion - in case you like to bite a piece of the tofu along with the aromatic creamy curry, you could take some extra tofu apart from what is mentioned above and drop it in at the very end to let it boil and absorb the flavour of the curry ;). That'll make it kinda excellent replacement to Paneer I reckon !

NILIMA said... Best Blogger Tips [Reply to comment] Best Blogger Templates

Hi,

Lovely story of friendship.

Nilima

sushmita pandit said... Best Blogger Tips [Reply to comment] Best Blogger Templates

Yummmm............myyyyyyyyyyyy!!!!!!!!!

Sia said... Best Blogger Tips [Reply to comment] Best Blogger Templates

@Ranjeet Raje, Thanks for the suggestion :) I usually use Tofu in place of Paneer as we all love it. but in this case it's silken tofu and not the firm tofu that has been used and silken tofu breaks very easily even when u touch it :) So I just used it in a gravy.

Kiran @ KiranTarun.com said... Best Blogger Tips [Reply to comment] Best Blogger Templates

Pureed silken tofu looks like a delicious and creative twist. Yum :)

Vanamala Hebbar said... Best Blogger Tips [Reply to comment] Best Blogger Templates

Sometimes i usually do it the same way instead of panner ..tofu added. This gravy looks delicious

Nupur said... Best Blogger Tips [Reply to comment] Best Blogger Templates

Can there be something better than this Curry, all flavours blend in together for this amazing recipe.. I am highly impressed...

chitchat said... Best Blogger Tips [Reply to comment] Best Blogger Templates

I ground up silken tofu with onion, tomato and spice mixture and added cooked garbanzo beans and it turned out to be a great dish! Thanks for the idea of creamy tofu

Asha Shivakumar said... Best Blogger Tips [Reply to comment] Best Blogger Templates

A very nice twist to a great looking and tasty dish. The tofu looks really nice.

Srivi said... Best Blogger Tips [Reply to comment] Best Blogger Templates

I tried this out today with reduced chilly powder, no chillied and my 4 yr old loved it. Thank you

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