Vegan Kadai Tofu & Vegetables is a raid-the-fridge dinner. Balanced, flavoursome and so easy to prepare! Zero waste.
I get such a sense of satisfaction from emptying the fridge of the last of the vegetables. Knowing we’ve used up every last bit of fresh food without throwing anything out fills me with all the good feelings.
A rogue carrot, a handful of mushrooms and a glut of peppers bought two weeks ago. They all have their uses.
Vegan Kadai Tofu & Vegetables: A zero-waste recipe
Food waste is such a huge problem today and it makes no sense because there are also so many people struggling to feed themselves and their families.
Along with supermarkets and food manufacturers, we’re all responsible for ensuring we do what we can to cut down on the amount of food we toss in the bin.
Tesco have recently announced they will stop printing Best Before dates on some fruit and veg products which is a great start.
Having worked on a number of food TV shows in the past, I’ve seen an immense amount of (perfectly good) food being thrown in the bin. It’s just a sad thing to see.
How to make Homemade Kadai Masala
Along with Pau Bhaji and Biryani, my other raid-the-fridge dinnertime favourite is this Kadai Tofu and Vegetables.
You can make it with pretty much any veg you have in the fridge and it tastes like a restaurant-quality Kadai dish.
The flavour comes from the coriander seed, fennel seed and black peppercorn Kadai masala. It’s the star of the show.
What veg can I add to Vegan Kadai Tofu & Vegetables?
Mixed peppers, mushrooms, spring onions and red onions are all great. However. , you could also use squash, cauliflower, potatoes, asparagus or mixed root vegetables. Anything goes.
Can I make adapt this recipe to make Kadai Paneer?
For a vegetarian but non-vegan option, you could swap the tofu for paneer or even halloumi if that’s what you have. It will work with any non-melting cheese.
Other ways to customise this recipe
I’ve also tried it with soya chunks and it turned out great. Adding all the veggies at the same time and cooking them very briefly on a high heat. This ensures they stay deliciously crunchy but with that smoky, charred flavour you’d expect from a restaurant-style Kadai dish.
If you prefer your veggies tender, you can cook them a little longer. I add my chillies whole so I can pop them in my plate but the rest of the family can avoid them if they don’t want theirs too hot.
How to serve Kadai Tofu & Vegetables
Serve this dish hot with soft chapattis/phulkas, jalebi paratha or simply with jeera rice, salad and a cooling cucumber raita.
For the kadai masala:
- 2 tbsp whole coriander seeds
- 1 1/2 tsp fennel seeds
- 1/2 tsp black peppercorns
- 2 tsp kasoori methi
For the curry:
- 300 g firm tofu cut into cubes
- 3 tbsp cornflour
- 2 tbsp rapeseed oil
- 1 tsp cumin seeds
- 2 whole green chillies
- 2 large tomatoes cut into large chunks
- 1 tsp Kashmiri red chilli powder
- 2- inch piece ginger julienned
- 2 large red onions cut into 3cm wedges
- 3 peppers cut into 3cm wedges
- 5 spring onions trimmed and quartered
- 100 g button mushrooms wiped clean and sliced
- 1 tsp garam masala
- 1/2 tsp turmeric
- 1 1/2 tsp salt
- A few sprigs of fresh mint to garnish
For the kadai masala:
- Toast all the ingredients in a dry frying pan until aromatic, about 2 minutes. Transfer to a spice grinder or a pestle and mortar and grind to a coarse powder. Set aside.
For the curry:
- Heat 2 tablespoons of oil in a non-stick pan. Toss the tofu cubes in cornflour and carefully slide them into the pan. Cook on all sides until golden. Remove from the pan with a slotted spoon and set aside.
- Heat the remaining oil in the same pan and add the cumin seeds, ginger and chillies. Allow to sizzle briefly and then add all the vegetables, 3/4 of the kadai masala, garam masala, turmeric and salt. Stir fry over a high heat until slightly charred in places, about 5 minutes.
- Add the tofu and toss to combine. Serve immediately with the remaining kadai masala sprinkled over the top. Garnish with fresh mint.
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If you like this, you’ll love my recipe for Tofu Tikka Masala