Vegan tofu korma with greens

Ingredients

CURRY SAUCE

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  • 20 g / ¼ cup desiccated coconut
  • 20 g / ¼ cup blanched almond flakes + more for serving
  • 1 tbsp poppy seeds
  • 2 tbsp oil (I used rice bran oil)
  • 1 yellow onion, finely chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 30 g / 1 oz fresh ginger, finely chopped
  • ½ tsp cinnamon
  • 1 heaped tsp turmeric
  • 8 dried curry leaves
  • 4 green cardamom pods, seeds crushed
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • ¼ tsp ground fennel seeds
  • 1/8 tsp ground cloves
  • ½ tsp ground cumin
  • 1 heaped tsp garam masala
  • 1/8 tsp grated nutmeg
  • ¼-½ tsp hot chilli flakes, adjust to taste
  • about ½ tsp fine sea salt, adjust to taste
  • 1-2 tsp maple syrup or sugar
  • juice of ½-1 lemon or lime, adjust to taste
  • coriander leaves for serving

OPTIONAL ADD-INS

  • 200 g / 7 oz tender stem broccoli or kale or fine green beans (or a mixture of all three)
  • 200 g / 7 oz firm or extra firm tofu, pressed
  • 30 ml / 2 tbsp soy sauce or tamari
  • 165 g / 1 cup cooked chickpeas
  • 2 cups rice, cooked
  • 2-4 tbsp vegan yogurt, to serve

Method

  1. Place the first three ingredients in a small bowl and cover with boiling water, set aside for at least 30 minutes (you could also soak them in cold water overnight).
  2. Heat up oil on a medium heat, in a heavy bottom pan. Once the oil is hot, add the finely chopped onion and allow it to get almost translucent.
  3. Add garlic, ginger and chopped coriander stalks. Cook for 2 minutes stirring frequently so that the ginger does not stick to the pan.
  4. Reduce the heat to low and add all the spices: cinnamon, turmeric, curry leaves, cardamon, coriander, fennel seeds, cloves, cumin, garam masala, nutmeg and chilli. Mix the spices into the aromatics. Fry the mixture off gently for a few minutes until all the spices are fragrant, stir frequently.
  5. Place the soaked coconut, almonds and poppy seeds in a blender and add enough water (about 240 ml / 1 cup) so that you blend them easily until smooth. If you like your curry sauce smooth, add fried aromatics and spices into the blender too. Don’t worry if you need to add more water, it will cook off in the curry.
  6. Add coconut mixture (or return the entire sauce) to the pan. Season with salt, sugar (if needed) and lemon (or lime juice).
  7. Add veggies into the sauce (unless you would rather cook them separately, which I prefer as you’ve got more control over the ‘doneness’). Let everything come to a gentle boil, simmer covered until the veggies are tender (about 4 minutes).
  8. Taste and adjust spicing if needed. I added a bit more salt and 2 teaspoons of maple syrup. Add the optional cooked chickpeas into the sauce, just to warm them up.
  9. Serve garnished with chopped coriander leaves, with a side of rice or a roti.

OPTIONAL ADD-INS

  1. To cook vegetables separately, you could either chop the broccoli / kale / fine green beans small and stir-fry them in a tablespoon of oil in a hot wok until crunchy (about 4 minutes). Alternatively you could steam them or simply boil them in the sauce (for about 4 minutes).
  2. To prepare the tofu, cut it into equal size cubes (I went for 16 flat pieces) and sprinkle with about 2 tbsp of soy sauce (or tamari) on both sides and set aside for the soy sauce to infuse the tofu. Pan-fry it in a little bit of oil on a hot pan until charred on both sides. Alternatively, you can bake it in an oven preheated to 200° C / 390° F oven (180° C / 355° F fan forced) for about 20 minutes, flipping the pieces to the other side with a spatula halfway through.