This recipe is inspired from kadai paneer, from Northern India. I replaced Tofu in the place of paneer in this recipe. So what is ‘Kadai’ ? It is basically an indian wok, and this recipe is inspired from popular Indian side dish kadai paneer. It is a stir fry recipe made with bell peppers, onions and paneer, in this case it is Tofu.
Tofu, also known as bean curd, is a food prepared by coagulating soy milk and then pressing the resulting curds into soft white blocks. It is a component in East Asian and Southeast Asian cuisines. Tofu can be soft, firm, or extra firm. It has a subtle flavor and can be used in savory and sweet dishes. It is a good source of protein and contains all nine essential amino acids. It is also an excellent source of iron and calcium and the minerals manganese, selenium, and phosphorous.
A recipe for this Kadai Tofu that’s lip smackingly delicious and nutritious. Cubes of tofu are dunked in a creamy tomato onion sauce, sucking in all of the spice and flavor.
The flavour comes from “Kadai masala”. It’s the star of the show. Whole spices like fennel seeds, black peppercorns, cloves, coriander seeds, black cardamom, dry red chilli are slow roasted , cooled and ground to a fresh powder and added to the cooked tofu and the capsicum towards the end of the recipe to have the punch of the flavour.
You can prepare the kadai masala ahead of time and store it in an airtight container. The uniqueness of this recipe comes from the freshly roasted and ground kadai masala. But for busy days, I like to make a quick kadai masala spice blend and works amazingly. I have used the same in the recipe.
List of Whole Masala
Dry red chilli – 2
Whole coriander seeds – 1 tbsp
Fennel seeds – 1 tbsp
Cloves – 3
Cumin or Jeera – 1/2 tbsp
Black peppercorns – 1/2 tsp
Black cardamom – 1
Tofu – 300 gms (if using extra-firm tofu, press out all the water you can by swaddling the tofu block in paper towels and placing it in a colander with a weight on top. Leave it for at least an hour to drain out most of the water from the tofu)
Two small capcicums cut into cubes (red & yellow)
Baby onions cubed – 2
Finely chopped onions – 2
Tomato puree – 2
Grated ginger – 2 tbsp
Grated garlic – 1 tbsp
Oil – 3 tbsp + 3 tbsp
Turmeric – 1/2 tsp
Coriander powder – 1 tbsp
Paprika – 1 tsp + 1 tsp
Greek yogurt – 1/2 cup
Green chilli – 2
Himalayan pink salt to taste
Few fresh coriander leaves or Dry coriander leaves powder
- In a skillet, dry-roast the whole spices (mentioned above) until a couple of shades darker and fragrant. Remove to a spice grinder or blender and process to a coarse powder. Set aside.
- Heat some oil in a pan, add finely chopped onions and saute it ( add salt and turmeric, it helps onions to cook faster ). Then add ginger, green chilli and garlic paste and sauté for a few seconds till the onion becomes translucent.
- Add coriander powder, red chilli powder (1 tsp) with little water.
- Add tomatoes puree and cook till the masala thickens and the oil separates and starts floating on the sides.
- Now add beaten greek yogurt with 1/2 cup water, salt to taste and cook for 5 minutes.
- In another pan, add ghee and saute onions cubed, capcicum and tofu for 5 mintues with grounded kadai masala.
- Add sauteed tofu, onions and capcicum in a prepared onion tomato gravy.
- Gently mix everything and cook for 5 minutes on low flame (covered).
- Finally add chopped coriander leaves and switch off the flame.
- Enjoy with naan, plain paratha.