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A mostly healthy and budget-friendly cooking blog

Easy Tofu Curry

| 45 Comments

I’m adding “spice shop” to my list of Dream Businesses To Own, somewhere between “bakery with the best scones in town,” “vineyard in Sonoma,” and “Nordstrom.”  In the meantime, I’m content with my plate of Tofu Curry.

Easy Tofu Curry with Tomatoes and Peas. Healthy one-pot meal!

Maybe I sniffed one too many seasonings at Penzys last week, but owning a spice shop sounds irresistibly exotic and romantic. I would wear boldly patterned silk dresses that flatter my figure and refer to myself as a “merchant.” My hair would smell like cinnamon, and I would have a mysterious ability to select the perfect spice for each customer. My every dinner would involve exotic spices that I first roast whole over an open flame, then grind with a mortar and pestle.

In reality, seasoning my dinners involves standing on a stepstool (best-case scenario) or hoisting myself on the counter (actual-case scenario) to rummage through an overcrowded, obnoxiously high cabinet/spice pit.  I am habitually out of basics like dried thyme, yet own three separate containers of smoked paprika. (Am I the only one who chronically believes that I am out of a certain spice?) Though I am intrinsically drawn to spices that smell like far away places I would like to visit—saffron, curry leaves, peri peri—and like the idea of grinding my own, I rely on my local grocery store for most of my spices, and my overworked cabinet doesn’t have room for a mortar and pestle.

This easy Tofu Curry has the wonderful flavor and richness of a traditional curry, but is healthier, prepared entirely with ingredients you can find at an average grocery store, and cooks up in a single pot. [One dish wonder alert!]

One Pot Tofu Curry. Healthy and perfect for weeknight dinner!

The tomato curry sauce is a vibrant blend of spicier ingredients (curry and cumin) and warm flavors (coriander and cloves.) In place of the heavy cream typically used to thicken and enrich curry, we’re calling in Greek yogurt. The Greek yogurt calms the spices and gives the sauce a lovely creaminess, without the excess.

The final zip of freshness in Tofu Curry is ginger. Ginger is an acrobat in the spice circus. It majestically walks the tightrope between “hot” spices such as cayenne and “warming” spices such as cloves, making it the ideal flavor to incorporate in Tofu Curry.

The ginger in this recipe arrives in two forms: fresh (I like to zest it right into the pot with one of my favorite kitchen toys) and via Asian Cuisine Cooking Oil from STAR Fine Foods. By sautéing the tofu in the STAR Asian Cuisine Cooking Oil (an olive oil that is infused with traditional Asian flavors, including ginger) I was able to add extra ginger flavor with zero additional effort. More flavor for the same amount of work? Sign me up!

If you are not a fan tofu (as I shared in my post for Ultra Crispy Unfried Tofu, I’m aware the subject is divisive), feel free to swap in chicken or try chickpeas for a hearty vegetarian twist.

Tofu Curry. Easy, healthy one-pot meal!

I may not be a spice merchant (yet), but I’m considering investing in a few boldly patterned silk dresses, just so that I can eat my Tofu Curry in style…with a mammoth napkin. I hear silk is dry-clean only. Memo to self: open future spice shop directly beside a dry cleaner’s. Ensure owner is cool with being paid in cinnamon.

Tofu Curry with Tomatoes and Peas

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 35 minutes

Total Time: 45 minutes

Yield: Serves 4-6

Tofu Curry with Tomatoes and Peas

A healthy, easy tofu curry recipe that's loaded with warm flavors. This one-pot meal uses simple ingredients and is perfect for weeknight dinner. Want to make super tasty tofu that tastes deep fried but isn't? Do you think all tofu is mushy? Be sure to check out my post all about Ultra Crispy Unfried Tofu. You can apply the same method to this recipe, and I highly recommend it!

Ingredients

  • 6 tablespoons STAR Asian (Soy & Ginger) Cuisine Cooking Oil, divided
  • 1, 14-ounce block extra firm tofu, pressed dry and cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 1 yellow onion, chopped (about 2 cups)
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 1 tablespoon curry powder
  • 1 bayleaf
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1 can diced tomatoes with their juices
  • 3/4 cup low-fat plain Greek yogurt, at room temperature
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 2 cups frozen green peas, thawed
  • Cooked brown rice, for serving
  • Chopped fresh cilantro, for serving

Directions

  1. Heat 4 tablespoons STAR Asian (Soy & Ginger) Cuisine Cooking Oil in a large non-stick skillet or wok over medium-high. Once the oil is hot, add tofu in a single layer and let cook undisturbed for a few minutes, until the tofu is brown on one side. With a spatula, carefully turn the tofu so that all sides brown, cooking for a few minutes on each side. Once tofu is lightly browned and crispy (about 10 minutes), remove tofu from pan and set aside.
  2. Add remaining 2 tablespoons STAR Asian (Soy & Ginger) Cuisine Cooking Oil to the skillet, along with onion and ginger. Cook until onion softens and begins to turn translucent, about 5 minutes. Add tomato paste, garlic, curry powder, bayleaf, salt, cumin, coriander, cloves, and cayenne and cook for 3 minutes.
  3. Remove pan from heat. Add tomatoes, yogurt, and water, return to medium heat and let cook 10 minutes. Add reserved tofu and peas, cover, and turn off the heat. Let sit 5 minutes. Remove bayleaf and discard. Serve warm with brown rice and garnish with cilantro.

Notes

STAR Asian Cuisine Cooking Oils are available at the Kroger Family of Stores (Bakers, City Market, Dillons, Ralphs, Fry's Food Stores, Fred Meyer, Gerbes, Owens, Pay-Less, Smith's Food and Drug Stores, QFC and King Soopers) and online here. Greek yogurt made curdle if added to the curry directly from the refrigerator (this will not affect the taste.) To help avoid curdling, ensure the yogurt is at room temperature and remove the pan from the heat prior to adding it.

http://www.thelawstudentswife.com/2014/02/tofu-curry/

Star Fine Foods compensated me for my time to develop this recipe. As always, all opinions are my own.

Crazy for curry:

Want to make tofu that tastes deep fried but isn’t? Check out this recipe for Ultra Crispy Unfried Tofu. I’m spilling my secrets for restaurant-style tofu that’s simple to make and healthy too!

Author: Erin Clarke

I'm Erin, and I'm on a mission to cook everything that's tasty, {mostly} healthy, and budget-friendly—all while Mr. Right is in the library. I'm convinced that cheese and chocolate are the answer, that you can love sweets and veggies equally, and that delicious, satisfying food should be accessible to everyone. The recipes here are affordable, approachable, and delectable, and I can't wait to share them with you!

45 Comments

  1. I relate to basically this whole post. Who doesn’t want to own a spice shop and smell like cinnamon and ethnic yuminess. Let’s move to Morocco and get this thang going!
    Also, hoisting myself up on the counter and having a billion containers of spices = my life.
    I seriously wouldn’t want to run out of smoked paprika though, that stuff is da bomb diggity. You can judge me for saying that.
    I am kinda wary about this tofu business girlfriend, but you haven’t steered me wrong yet! Maybe I’ll get on board the meat-less train.

    • YES for Morocco! It’s definitely on my short list of places to visit. And I will never ever judge you for saying “da bomb diggity.” Pretty sure I use that phrase at least twice a day. Fo’ sho’.

  2. Ohhh I’m totally loving this recipe. I’m not a huge fan of curry normally but I’ve been really craving it lately, like what is going on? But anyway, I LOVE spices in general – all of them. Use them way too much (ha, funny, there is no such thing as using too much ;) hehe)

  3. I would love to try this recipe, I love curry! I love your thoughts on owning a spice shop and how exotic you’d feel! Too funny! I have a Penzy’s near me and I’ve never even been in there! I need to change that!

    • Tanya, you MUST go to Penzys. You will go crazy in there! So many wonderful spices, and the prices are really reasonable. I tend to get a little carried away, but it sure is fun doing it :)

  4. I really like tofu, but most of the time I just cannot be bothered to do all the pressing and prep that is required. Maybe I just need to suck it up!

    {Teffy’s Perks} X

    • It is SO worth it Teffy. My other secret is to freeze it before using it. I promise you won’t regret it! No mushy tofu for us–it makes the tofu so “meaty” (forgive me), and it’s easy to brown it too.

  5. That spice combination + ginger sounds heavenly! And greek yogurt, too? Giiiirl, I’m sold. This looks amazing!

    • Thanks so much Erin! I’m a ginger fiend, so it definitely has a good showing here. And Greek yogurt? Let’s be real–I could put that creamy heaven on just about anything!

  6. I’m always wondering how to cook tofu and it taste good. This dish looks delicious! And I love that I already have all these spices in my cabinet…I think. ;)

  7. What a great dish you have here. . I love anything with tofu! I’ve been meaning to get out to Penzy’s spices . . now I absolutely have to!

  8. I love curry! This dish looks awesome!!

    Oh and so are your dream businesses! You can dream big and I love that!

  9. I love those Star oils! So good! Can I work for you at your bakery-spice shop-nordstrom fusion shop? ;)

  10. I’ve never had tofu, but I’ve always wanted to try it! A spice shop sounds so neat! Give us all a holla’ when it’s opened – I’ll come!

  11. I have four containers of marjaram (which I’ve probably used a total of 3 times), so you’re not the only one who compulsively buys spices she thinks she’s out of for some reason. I loooove tofu (and have a lot of coupons!) so this recipe looks like one I need to make for sure!

  12. I had some crispy tofu for the lunch today…need to get some more tofu to try this curry. Looks yummilicious!

  13. The Asian cuisine oil is one of my favorites. I used it for fried rice the other night!

  14. This looks so good Erin! Love tofu and curry and but have never had them together in one dish, sounds awesome with all those spices!

  15. This dinner is right up my alley!!! Tofu curries are always one of my go-to weeknight dinners. Love all the flavors.

  16. I haven’t cooked with Tofu very much, but man this dish sounds amazing! Great job :)

    Happy Blogging!
    Happy Valley Chow

  17. I love spices! When you open your spice shop (oh and nordstrom) I am soo there!

  18. Ha! I have to keep my spices in 3 different places at home because I have too many. And yes, I ALWAYS buy the same ones! Especially at Penzey’s! I love that place! But when I get there, and get so excited about everything they have, that I forget to buy the vanilla (I am forever out of vanilla!) and I buy 4 spices I already have at home. Because they smell amazing. Oh well, I’ll use them all eventually! :)
    Can’t wait to try this recipe! And yes, I do own the majority of the spices I need to make it!

  19. I recently made curry too! I’m obsessed! I love the addition of tofu in yours. Too bad my hubby “doesn’t like it” Maybe I can disguise it as chicken and he won’t notice??? If not, more for me! :)

  20. Oh, I’ve never heard of that particular cooking oil! I’ll have to look out for it. I’m getting really into infused oils lately, they add so much extra flavour with (like you say!) zero extra effort. LOVE the idea of this tofu curry. I used to hate tofu but I’m gradually starting to like it when it’s cooked in fragrant dishes like this. And re the spice shop? I get the dream! I’d love to do the same… ah, where can I find a rich investor?!

  21. This looks amazing Erin! I love curry especially curry lentils but I would love to try tofu! I’ve never dreamt of owning a spice shop but Nordstrom’s and a bakery have been on the top of my list since forever! I’ve also teetered more times then not up the counter to grab stuff on the top shelf even when I was about 7 months pregnant. I think the last 7 months has been the first time I haven’t climbed the counters in my whole life.

  22. Oh hey there big dreamer… can I have a bowl of this puhlease?! I’ll bring the wine :)

  23. I love curry – and I love tofu – so this recipe is vavavoom for me! Love the double dose of ginger in it too!

  24. This looks awesome, can’t wait to try it! I’m confused about the times listed in the recipe though — looking through your steps it looks like its about 25 minutes. Where dose the extra 30 minutes cook time come in??

    • Hi there! Great question. Here is how I broke it down:
      -Cutting the tofu and onion + measuring spices throughout: 10 minutes
      -Cook the tofu: 10 minutes
      -Saute ginger, onions, and garlic: 10 minutes (I added 2 extra minutes as a buffer in this step–the directions actually add up to 8)
      -Add tomatoes and yogurt and let simmer: 10 minutes
      -Cover and let rest: 5 minutes
      TOTAL: 45 minutes

      I tend to be more generous with the cook times, just because it always takes a little longer to make a recipe the first time. I think if you are determined to plow through it, you could certainly shave some minutes off of the clock!

  25. I’d love to own a spice shop too. Just imagine all those fancy spices we’d get to try. It sounds so so so cool! This dish looks fabulous and that sauce sounds like a winner! : )

  26. this looks so very good. i love a good spicy dish with my rice. yum.

  27. I always think I’m out of cumin because for a time I was and now I have multiple jars of it all the time.
    This curry looks amazing!!

  28. The yogurt made mine curdle. Still tastes great, it just looks a little less appealing. What did I do wrong?

    • Hi Becca! The curry was probably just a little hot when you added the yogurt. As you noted though, the good news is it doesn’t affect the taste :-) if you’d like to avoid curdling next time, measure and set out the yogurt right when you start cooking so that it gets closer to room temperature and make sure that you add it to the curry off the heat.
      Thank you so, so much for trying this recipe, and for letting me know how it turned out for you! I will add a note to the directions, based on your feedback. Bon appetite and have a great weekend too!

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