Chef Time!

Chef Time!

Monday, September 24, 2012

Tofu Tikka Masala For Vegans

Tofu tikki masala

Tikkas are eaten traditionally with chicken as the principal ingredient in a rich and tangy sauce. The other form of Chicken tikka chicken morsels marinated in yogurt spice mix and  cooked in a clay oven. These chicken tikkas form excellent fillers for wraps, subs and pizzas.
Crazy how popular this dish is. Of course, the meat eaters cannot have all the fun and since a major population in India is vegetarian, paneer is substituted in place of chicken. Some other popular tikka ingredients in India include baby corn and mushrooms.
Traditionally the tikka is marinated  in yogurt and spices. But my mission is to make this recipe vegan hence I am going to forgo the yogurt.
1 block of tofu
Juice of ½ lemon
½ tsp. cayenne pepper
½ tsp. turmeric powder
½ tsp. garam masala
1 clove of garlic crushed
½ inch piece of ginger crushed
Salt and pepper to season
½ tbsp. olive oil.
After marination:
Marinate and keep aside for 15 minutes. (If you are not the kind who keeps in overnight). But if you decide to do it, you bet it would add tons of flavor. Next bake it in a 350 oven for about 30 minutes till they are golden and firm on the outside.
For the gravy:
1 medium onion preferably red,  chopped
½ a can of crushed tomatoes
2 cloves of garlic minced
1 inch piece of ginger minced
1 small stick cinnamon
1 bay leaf
¼ tsp. turmeric powder
¼ tsp. cayenne pepper
½ tsp. garam masala
½ c. almond milk
2 tbsp. almond butter
Lemon juice to make the gravy tart (In traditional recipes, yogurt and heavy cream is used to make it creamy and tart)
Salt and pepper
1.5 tbsp. olive oil
In a skillet, heat the oil. Next add the whole spices i.e. bay leaf and cinnamon. Let is aromatize (I know not a word) for 15 seconds.
Add the onions, garlic and ginger and cook till the onions are translucent and everything smells amazing.
Next, add the crushed tomatoes. Cooking the tomatoes is the KEY step in this gravy. If the tomatoes stay undercooked,the taste of the final product will suffer. So how do you know, well add the tomatoes and the spices and cook till you see the edges of the tomatoes separating from the pan.
Next add the almond butter, ½ cup of water and almond milk. Mix and let it come to a boil.
Once it comes to a boil, add lemon juice and season to taste. Finally add the tofu and let it go for another 5 minutes, so that the tofu can soak the liquid and spices.
Garnish with cilantro.

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