Malaysian Tofu Curry

Malaysian Tofu

American Thanksgiving is just a week away!!  Yet I feel the need to share with you my Malaysian tofu recipe.

Welcome to my life as a “3rd Culture Adult.”

It’s autumn in the U.S. and blogs are abounding with beautiful and delicious recipes for all things pumpkin, apple, sage, stuffing, squash etc.  And I must admit, while I was visiting my Pa in October, I wanted nothing more than to eat oatmeal every morning and roasted veggies every night.  And yet… and yet…

Malaysian tofu curry.  At Thanksgiving time.

Malaysian Tofu

Why?  The better question is: WHY NOT??  The Expat Dietitian is an international blog, thereby giving me full license (it only expires if I move back to the U.S., ha!) to post out-of-season recipes whenever I want.  Case in point: red pepper soup in May, chocolate oatmeal in August, salmon salad in October… and now, Malaysian Tofu at Thanksgiving time.  Don’t get me wrong,  it’s not that I don’t loooove Thanksgiving just as much as the next warm-blooded American, I do!!  And it’s not like I didn’t try to do a Thanksgiving recipe post… I did!!

See... I tried!!

See… I tried!!

I made the ugliest (but still delicious) vegan pumpkin pie ever!!  And after 2 pictures I could just hear the pie saying, “Don’t take pictures of me… please, I beg of you… just EAT ME!!”  And who am I to not listen to a pie?  Umm… whatever.

So anyway, what with the weather being at least 93 degrees out, it’s difficult to determine the month of the year and very easy to forget it’s autumn and almost Thanksgiving in the U.S.  However, it’s super easy to share this delicious curry with you…

Malaysian Tofu

Malaysian tofu, people!!

This dish was inspired by a “Butter Chicken” recipe I picked up when I lived in Kuala Lumpur.  But I wanted to see if it would work without any butter, and using tofu instead of chicken… basically making it a different recipe altogether.  And it does!!  It uses a blend of Indian and Malaysian spices (I’ve adjusted the heat level to be friendly to [my] kids’ palates), which gives the finished dish a beautiful deep red-brown colour and a rich, spicy flavour.  It has a hint of sweetness from the coconut sugar and is balanced out by light coconut milk and calamansi (or lime) juice.

Malaysian Tofu

Both kids and adults love this fragrant & flavourful dish, and I have to say, it’s really best with white jasmine or basmati rice.  (Brown rice, I love you, but please take a back seat today.)  Feel free to increase the heat level to suit your taste (just add more chili powder)- the recipe as written will give you a solid “mild-medium” heat.

With all the Thanksgiving-ish foods you could possibly be eating this coming week, this just might be the dish you’ll be craving when it’s all over.Malaysian Tofu

Malaysian Tofu Curry.  I promise you won’t regret it.

Malaysian Tofu Curry

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 15 minutes

Yield: 6-8 servings

Malaysian Tofu Curry

Ingredients

  • 1 T. regular olive oil
  • 1 T. coconut oil (not extra-virgin)
  • 2 T. fresh ginger, grated
  • ½ T. garam masala
  • 1 t. paprika
  • ½ t. chili powder
  • 1 t. ground coriander
  • 1 t. ground cumin
  • ½ t. ground cardamom
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • ½ t. salt
  • ½ t. ground black pepper
  • 600 g extra-firm tofu, drained & pressed for 30 minutes
  • 2 T. tomato paste
  • 1 can (12-14 oz) tomato sauce
  • 1 T. coconut sugar
  • 1 can (14 oz) light coconut milk
  • 1 T. lime juice (or calamansi)
  • cilantro leaves, to serve
  • hot cooked jasmine rice, to serve

Instructions

  • Cut tofu into bite-sized pieces.
  • Heat oils over medium heat in a large skillet. Add ginger, garlic, and spices including cinnamon stick, and cook until fragrant, about 2 minutes.
  • Add tofu to pan and stir to coat with spices. Cook about 5 minutes or until tofu is seared on all sides.
  • Add tomato paste and cook, stirring constantly, for 1 minute more, then add tomato sauce and sugar. Lower heat and simmer for 7 or 8 minutes until sauce is thickened.
  • Stir in coconut milk and cook 3-4 more minutes until heated through. Remove from heat and add lime juice. Taste and adjust seasonings.
  • Serve topped with cilantro leaves over hot jasmine rice.

Notes

Feel free to increase the heat level by adding more chili powder (double or even triple it.) This recipe is pretty mild-medium to suit kids' palates.

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