Some people scoff at the idea of making Indian food at home.
“Leave it to the pros,” they say.
“I don’t own all of those fancy orange spices,” they say.
“Restaurants just do it better,” they say.
Well, here is a gentle reminder in matar masala curry form that all you need is one big old pot, some Bulk Barn spices and 30 minutes to make the curry of your turmeric-stained dreams.
If you haven’t already guessed it, I’m using tofu in this dish in the place of conventional paneer (cottage cheese). While I’m no stranger to dairy, I’ve always fantasized about the idea of using tofu to stand in for the job.
Like paneer, tofu is mild, soft, and soaks up whatever flavours you hit it with. Unlike paneer, tofu is inexpensive, easy to find, and suitable for those with dairy sensitivities.
Now let’s talk sauce. The curry “gravy” for this dish is creamy, tomatoey, rich and heavy on the spices. I liken it to be a lightened up version of butter chicken sauce.
Need any more convincing? All you need to do to get this in your bowl is:
Crisp up the tofu in a pan. Simmer the curry. Stir it all together and toast up some naan with a hearty dab of ghee or butter. Did I mention butter?
- 1 block tofu, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
- 1 400 ml can coconut milk
- 1 yellow onion, small diced
- 1 inch piece fresh ginger, minced
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 cups tomato puree or crushed tomatoes
- 1 1/4 cup frozen peas
- 2 tbsp butter (dairy free if vegan)
- 1 1/4 tsp garam masala
- 1 tsp coriander
- 1 tsp cumin
- 1/2 tsp turmeric
- 1 tsp curry powder
- 1/4-3/4 tsp cayenne
- 1/4 tsp cinnamon
- 1 tsp chili powder
- 3/4 tsp salt + more to taste
- Naan, basmati rice, or other desired grains for serving.
- In a large pan, heat a large drizzle of oil over medium high.
- When the pan is hot, add tofu. Season with salt and pepper. Cook for 6-9 minutes, tossing often or turning with a spatula. Set aside off heat while you prepare the curry.
- In a large pot, heat a drizzle of oil over medium high until hot. Add onion. Cook for 4-5 min, until translucent. Add garlic, ginger, spices, salt, pepper and a drizzle of oil (if the pan is dry). Cook for 1-2 min, until spices are aromatic. Be careful not to burn anything.
- Add tomato puree and coconut milk. Bring to a simmer over medium high. Once simmering, reduce the heat to low and cook, uncovered, for 8-10 min. Stir in butter, peas and tofu. Check seasoning and add more heat or salt as needed.
- Serve with toasted naan or over quinoa or rice.