Kadai-fried tofu cooked dry style with two types of onions, crunchy green peppers and aromatic masalas. Make it mild or spicy and serve with roti, paratha or naan. Rice is also a great partner for this high-protein vegan curry.
300gleeks, halved lengthways and finely slicedif leeks are unavailable, try spring onions/scallions
2dried red chillies
2dried bay leaves
5cmpiece cassia bark or cinnamon
3-4piecesblack stone flowersoptional but recommended
2.5cmpiece gingerpeeled and julienned
4large cloves garlicpeeled and crushed (about 1 tbsp)
390gtin chopped tomatoes
1tspground coriander seeds
1/2tspKashmiri chilli powderoptional
10small mild green peppers (the kind that look like chillies) or 1 large green capsicumcut into rings
2red onionscut into quarters and then separated into petals
1 1/2tspkasoori methi
Onion flowersoptional (I grow them in the garden!)
To prepare the tofu:
If using medium tofu, drain and pat gently with absorbent kitchen towel. If using firm tofu, drain and press firmly with absorbent kitchen towel to remove excess moisture. Some extra-firm tofu may need to be pressed between paper towels for 30 minutes or so. Just use a couple of tins of beans for weight. I use medium tofu so skip this step.
Slice the tofu into triangles, about 1cm thick but you can cut the tofu into any shape you like. Cubes and batons are also a good choice.
Heat the oil in a large frying pan. Pan-fry the tofu on both sides, until golden all over. A sprinkle of salt over the tofu will help draw out any moisture from the tofu.
Place the tofu on a plate lined with kitchen towel. Set aside.
For the rest of the curry:
Heat oil in a smoking hot wok or kadai. I like to use a carbon steel wok for the smokiness it imparts on the curry. Add the bay leaves, dried chillies, cinnamon, black stone flowers and cloves. Sauté for 10-15 seconds and then add the sliced leeks.
Cook the leeks over a medium-low heat 10 minutes, stirring all the time, until very soft. When they begin to caramelise, it's time to add the crushed garlic and ginger juliennes. Cook for a further minute.
Next, tip in the tomatoes and add the ground spices: coriander seeds, turmeric, cardamom, optional chilli powder and salt. Stir well. When the mixtures comes to a volcanic bubble, add the yoghurt and stir vigorously until incorporated to prevent the yoghurt splitting in the sauce. Keep the heat high the entire time.
Continue to cook the masala for 7-8 minutes, stirring all the time, until it becomes a thick paste.
Add the onions and peppers. Toss or fold to combine with the masalas. Stir-fry for 2-3 minutes until only slightly softened. Add the tofu to the pan. Rub the kasoori methi between your palms to crush and add this to the pan too. Use a large spatula to fold everything together and coat the tofu with the masalas. Cook 1-2 minutes to heat everything through.
Garnish with fresh coriander leaves and ginger juliennes and serve.
If you'd like a curry with more sauce, simply add 250ml hot water to the paste before you add the onions and peppers.
Serve this Tofu Dopiaza with paratha, roti or naan. Rice is also a great accompaniment.
Store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days. Reheat thoroughly before serving.
This Tofu Dopiaza freezes particularly well. Pack it into an airtight container and freeze for up to 3 months. Defrost at room temperature and ensure the curry is reheated and piping hot before serving.