This tofu tikka recipe is a plant-based take on an Indian classic

Tofu Tikka

Active time:30 minutes

Total time:55 minutes, plus optionally available marinating time


Active time:30 minutes

Total time:55 minutes, plus optionally available marinating time



When I hear individuals speak about the potential of adopting a plant-based food regimen, whether or not they imply vegetarian, vegan or one thing extra versatile, they typically focus on the detrimental. Could I quit cheese? Won’t I miss meatloaf?

It jogs my memory of the unique title of a journal that showcases gluten-free and different allergen-free recipes. It was known as “Living Without,” and each time I noticed it on the newsstand, I wished to search out a marker and cross out the title in favor of one thing with out a lot emphasis on what the eaters have been shedding.

In a telephone interview about his new guide, “Plant-Based India,” Sheil Shukla talked about his personal journey in precisely the alternative phrases, and I wished to cheer. Shukla, an inner medication doctor within the Chicago space, was born and raised in Wisconsin, the son of oldsters from the Gujarat area of India. His mom and grandmother have been each vegetarian, they usually have been the first cooks when he was rising up. He ate meat and seafood once they went to eating places, however transitioned to a vegan food regimen throughout faculty, beginning in 2013, simply as he was stepping into cooking for himself.

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“I found it was a great way to diversify the foods I was eating,” he instructed me. “By limiting dairy, I was adding more fruits and vegetables, experimenting with things I hadn’t tried before, and just letting the creativity come on. When I went to the grocery store there were always new fruits and vegetables I wanted to try.” One door closed, and the world opened.

His favourite instance of such selection isn’t technically a fruit or a vegetable however is on the middle of a lot Indian cooking: legumes, an ingredient close to and expensive to my very own coronary heart and the star of dals, dosa, rajma and extra.

When you cook dinner beans from dried, you get liquid gold. Put it to nice use on this recipe.

Shukla brings his perspective about consuming extra (and extra numerous) produce to his sufferers. He just lately began working in a new apply, so he’s principally seeing sufferers for the primary time at their annual physicals and checkups. “I always ask what they’re eating, and when we get their bloodwork back, we correlate,” he stated. “If things are significantly out of whack, we adjust the diet. My message is generally to increase the vegetables, increase the fruits, increase the whole grains, because we know that all these are protective against heart disease.”

Shukla’s guide, accompanied by his personal vibrant, color-saturated pictures, is a lovely information to all of the methods Indian delicacies will help anybody comply with his recommendation. The recipe I picked from it, tofu tikka, reveals how the versatile bean curd, when coated in sufficient taste, can present a lot satisfaction. My second-favorite a part of the recipe is Shukla’s instruction to stability the skewers of tofu, onion and bell pepper on the edges of a deep baking dish so air can flow into across the meals — and higher approximate the impact of a sizzling tandoor.

9 of our greatest recipes for frying, roasting, smoking and savoring tofu

The marinade is my favourite half. After a number of experiments, Shukla got here up with a potent mixture of flavors — anchored in tomato, garlic, ginger, lime and spices — that turns the gentle tofu into one thing spectacular. The spice that stands out is a mere 1/2 teaspoon of black salt, an ingredient with a sulfurous aroma and taste that has gotten stylish in recent times as a approach to make vegan takes on eggs style, properly, eggy. But it additionally has a lengthy custom in Indian cooking that has nothing to do with eggs or their absence.

In that means, black salt is the right metaphor for Shukla’s cooking. In his palms, it’s about extra, not much less.

Serve with raita (made with nondairy yogurt to maintain this vegan) and/or chutney, on flatbread or with rice, or flip into lettuce wraps.

Make Ahead: The tofu and greens could be marinated for as much as 24 hours earlier than cooking.

Storage Notes: Refrigerate as much as 5 days.

Where to Buy: Himalayan black salt (kala namak) and chaat masala could be present in Indian markets or on-line.

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Scale this recipe and get a printer-friendly, desktop model right here.

  • 2/3 cup unsweetened plain nondairy yogurt, reminiscent of oat or coconut
  • 3 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 6 cloves garlic, grated or pressed
  • 1 tablespoon grated recent ginger
  • 2 teaspoons recent lime juice
  • 2 teaspoons garam masala
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon positive salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon floor turmeric
  • 1/2 teaspoon floor crimson chile
  • 1/2 teaspoon Himalayan black salt (kala namak; optionally available)
  • One (14- to 16-ounce) block extra-firm tofu, drained and reduce into 1-inch cubes
  • 1/2 medium crimson onion (4 ounces), reduce into 1-inch chunks
  • 1 massive bell pepper, any shade, stemmed, seeded and reduce into 1-inch chunks
  • Generous pinch of chaat masala, for serving
  • Chopped recent cilantro or mint, for serving
  • Lemon wedges, for serving
  • Raita, for serving (optionally available)
  • Cilantro Mint Chutney, for serving (optionally available)

In a massive bowl, whisk collectively the yogurt, tomato paste, garlic, ginger, lime juice, garam masala, paprika, salt, turmeric, crimson chile and black salt, if utilizing.

Add the tofu, onion and bell pepper to the bowl and gently fold till every bit is properly coated. If you need, cowl and refrigerate in a single day and as much as 24 hours (though you can too proceed immediately with the recipe if desired).

If utilizing bamboo skewers, soak them in water for a minimum of 1 hour and as much as 24 hours.

Set a rack in the course of the oven and preheat to 450 levels.

Gently stir the tofu and greens to re-coat them with the marinade, then skewer onto bamboo or metallic skewers, alternating the tofu, bell pepper and onion. Reserve any remaining marinade.

Line the underside of a sq. baking dish with foil. Balance the skewers on prime of the baking dish rims so the tofu is touching neither the underside of the dish nor its neighboring skewer. Roast the skewers for about quarter-hour, or till beginning to brown in spots. Remove from the oven, brush with the remaining marinade, rotate every skewer 180 levels, then proceed roasting for an further 10 minutes, or till browning in spots. (If desired, you’ll be able to broil for 1 to 2 minutes so as to add charred spots harking back to tandoor cooking.)

Remove from the oven, and sprinkle with chaat masala and chopped cilantro or mint. Serve sizzling, with lemon wedges and raita and/or chutney, for those who’d like.

Calories: 190; Total Fat: 9 g; Saturated Fat: 4 g; Cholesterol: 0 mg; Sodium: 718 mg; Carbohydrates: 14 g; Dietary Fiber: 4 g; Sugar: 7 g; Protein: 10 g

This evaluation is an estimate based mostly on out there components and this preparation. It mustn’t substitute for a dietitian’s or nutritionist’s recommendation.

Adapted from “Plant-Based India” by Dr. Sheil Shukla (The Experiment, 2022).

Tested by Joe Yonan; e-mail inquiries to [email protected].

Scale this recipe and get a printer-friendly, desktop model right here.

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