Tofu Tikka Masala!
This dish is a take off on Paneer Tikka Masala, which I’ve never actually had. I have had Chicken Tikka Masala which was one of my favorite Indian dishes in my pre-vegan life. I figured that the firm tofu would work well and I was excited to try to replicate some of the delicious flavors of the dish I enjoyed. The result was a tasty and authentic Indian dish, but not quite the same as the restaurant version. I found the recipe for this dish on the One Green Planet website and you can take a look at it here.
I made this dish pretty much as written. I did add a fair amount of salt and the juice of half a lemon for some much-needed acid. I had to track down some spices (cardamom pods and fenugreek seeds), but I had the rest of the long list of spices on hand. And of course, this dish is all about the spices, sautéed in a bit of oil “until a nice aroma fills the kitchen”. That nice aroma is likely to be filling my kitchen for the next few days 🙂
I was most impressed with the creamy consistency of this Tikka Masala. This is all achieved using only one teaspoon of oil and a quarter cup of soy yogurt for marinating the tofu and peppers. Like many “creamy” vegan dishes the creaminess comes from blending the slowly-cooked vegetables and spices in a high speed blender. No butter or cream in sight. Kind to the animals and much better for our health.
Flavor-wise I liked this dish but I think I can do better with it next time. First, I would leave out the cinnamon stick. This might be less authentic, but I’m just not a fan of cinnamon in savory dishes. I should know this about myself already but I keep trying. If this doesn’t bother you, keep the cinnamon in there. Second, I think I cooked the spices a bit too long. While I didn’t think they were burning I detected a slight bitterness. Plus the color of the sauce was deeper than I expected, and I think it was from the same problem.
So I recommend this recipe. If you have more experience cooking Indian food than I do (i.e. you can do better with the spices) give this a try. It’s a lot of satisfying flavor and creamy texture in a surprisingly healthy dish.