Monday, August 14, 2017

Tofu Colombo Curry

3 pounds of zucchini go into a BIG pot of this curry, along with marinated tofu, two types of potato and a Scotch Bonnet for heat. Get out the milk, this is spicy! 

Tofu Columbo Curry

Yup, it's another curry!

With the absolute glut of zucchini coming out of the garden at the moment, we've been on the search for recipes using lots of it. There are only so many times I can wheedle my way into baking treats with it - poor Mom is the only one who can eat them at home - but savoury meals my mom can eat for lunch? No problem.

With the pile of squash growing ever higher on our kitchen table, I did what any modern-age person would do - turn to Mr. Google. After sifting through lots of zoodles, fritters and desserts, as well as a fair amount of ratatouilles (which I would have made, had our eggplants and peppers been ready), I wound up in an unlikely place, looking at an unlikely recipe - a pork-based, multi-part curry with potatoes, habaneros, eggplant and - yes - zucchini.

Like I said, our eggplants and peppers aren't ready yet this year. Not only that, but my mom hasn't eaten pork in a year or so, preferring fish or vegetarian options. Chicken has largely been off the menu lately as well, after recent shopping trips found us victims of the edible, but unappetizingly spongy woody-breast chicken. Still, the other ingredients appealed to me, and what I knew my mom would enjoy as well. She agreed when I described the combination to her, and she sounded intrigued, asking if I could swap the pork for tofu, and dropping the hint that she "doesn't like habaneros".

Lucky for me, I had the slightly fruitier, yet still fiery Scotch Bonnets in the freezer instead! I nixed the eggplant in the original recipe as well, and piled in the zucchini, as well as doubling the starchy mixture of both Yukon Gold and Caribbean sweet potato - there was a goodly amount of protein and veggies going on in there, not to mention spices, so I wanted to make sure there was enough bulk to temper it all! I pulled on some of the other goodies I had in the garden for extra flavour, namely my Egyptian onion (which tastes like scallions and/or shallots depending on the part you use) which made the bulk of the marinade, the garlic and the thyme which perfumed the body of the stew. While a whole Scotch Bonnet goes into the tofu marinade, you have the option to mince a second and add it all to the pot, or simply stab one and let it slowly infuse before removing it for a more subtle heat. I opted for the latter, although there was so much stuff in the pot I could have gotten away with the second one for sure.

Note on the spice blend - you can certainly buy Poudre de Colombo, if you can find it at your grocery store or order it online, but my town is simply not blessed with stores that carry it. Thankfully, it's super simple to whip up, and the fresh-toasted flavour is simply unbeatable. If you do use storebought, make sure to toast the rice flour separately and add it to the pot at the same time.

Tofu Colombo Curry
Adapted heavily from LA Times
Makes 1 large pot, 10 servings

2 lbs extra firm or pressed tofu, cut into 2-inch cubes
1 cup minced scallions (white and green parts)
4 cloves roughly chopped garlic
½ tbsp minced ginger
1 Scotch Bonnet (or habanero) pepper, seeded and minced
Pinch ground cumin
2 tsp tamari
¼ tsp freshly ground pepper
2 tbsp canola oil
2 tbsp white-wine vinegar

Poudre de Colombo:
17g cumin
17g ground coriander
6g ground mustard
9g ground fenugreek
8g black pepper
1g ground cloves
17g ground turmeric
2 tbsp rice flour

2 tbsp canola oil
Marinated tofu (above)
2 cups vegetable broth
3 cups water
1 large onion, chopped
2 cloves minced garlic
3 sprigs thyme
1 bay leaf
¾ tsp salt
1 Scotch Bonnet (or habanero) pepper, seeded and minced (for less heat leave whole and pierce with a fork 2-3 times)
All the poudre de Colombo (above)
3 medium Yukon Gold potatoes, cubed
1 large (about 1 ½ lbs) Caribbean sweet potato (purple skin, white flesh), peeled and cubed
3 lbs (about 3 large) zucchini, halved and sliced ½” wide
1 tbsp lime juice
  1. Place all the marinade ingredients in a large sealable plastic bag.
  2. Cover and refrigerate overnight.
  3. Mix together all the poudre de Colombo ingredients.
  4. Heat a dry frying pan over medium heat. Add the poudre de Colombo and toast, stirring, until it smells “roasted”. Pour into a bowl and set aside.
  5. Heat 2 tablespoons oil in a heavy Dutch oven or large pot over high heat.
  6. Add the tofu, along with the marinade, and cook 5 minutes.
  7. Stir in the broth, water, onion, garlic, thyme, bay leaf, salt, poudre de Colombo and habanero.
  8. Cover and bring to a boil and cook for 15 minutes.
  9. Stir in the potatoes, cover and reduce the heat to a gentle simmer. Continue to cook for 15 minutes.
  10. Toss the zucchini with the rice flour and add to the pot. Cook for 10 minutes, until potatoes are tender.
  11. Discard the bay leaf and thyme stems
  12. Add the lime juice and season to taste.
Amount Per Serving
Calories: 284.7
Total Fat: 10.1 g
Cholesterol: 0.0 mg
Sodium: 323.3 mg
Total Carbs: 37.6 g
Dietary Fiber: 7.3 g
Protein: 13.4 g

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