Veggies on the counter

Spicy Tofu with Peas and Mint

Posted in main courses, salads by veggies on the counter on November 14, 2010

My week has been really busy, and all I’ve been eating lately is kind of boring and predictable stuff (basically, lots of sandwiches and soup). So today, I finally gave myself some time to go into the kitchen and prepare a proper lunch. That lunch – for which the recipe follows – relies on a favorite combination of mine: peas and mint. As far as the preparation time goes, this is the kind of dish that will only take you a couple minutes to make, but even so, you can certainly prepare the tofu and rub the spices onto it and left the whole thing in the refrigerator until you start cooking.

Typically, I’d serve this along with some raita (with all natural, unsweetened, soy yogurt, grated cucumber, and good pinch of salt), but today, after an hour running, I was craving a more satisfying meal and made, instead, some buckwheat pancakes to go with it. I often like my tofu the simple (and easy) way – coated in a little olive oil, sprinkled with sea salt, and therefore grilled until golden brown – but rubbing a spice mix into it before grilling/frying, might be a new favorite method. Actually, as I type this, I can’t help myself but thinking on variations to the  mixture of spices suggested below: feel free to add curry powder for a more indian scented flavor, or even going a completely different way, by substiting the cumin, ginger, paprika and turmeric, for dried herbs such as rosemary, thyme and oregano.

Spicy tofu with peas and mint

(serves 4)

400 grams extra firm tofu, rinsed, pat dry, and cubbed

450 grams frozen peas

1 teaspoon powdered garlic

2 teaspoons ground cumin

¼ teaspoon black pepper

1 teaspoon ground powdered ginger

½ teaspoon turmeric

1 tablespoon paprika

2 ½ tablespoons lemon juice

1 ½ tablespoons tamari

a few fresh mint leaves, finely chopped

2 tablespoons olive oil

1. Combine the garlic, cumin, black pepper, ginger, turmeric and paprika in a large bowl. Add the lemon juice and tamari and mix well.

2. Rub the spice mixture into the tofu cubes, making sure they’re all well coated. Set aside.

3. Bring enough salted water to a boil, add the peas, and cook for 3 to 4 minutes. Drain the peas, wash them under cold running water and drain again.

4. In a large frying pan over medium-high heat, add the olive oil. Once hot, but not smoking, add the tofu cubes and fry for 6 to 8 minutes, or until golden brown.

5. Transfer the peas and tofu to a large serving plate, and garnish with fresh mint. Serve immediately.

recipe inspired by Rose Elliot’s The Vegetarian Supercook, published by octopus Publishing Group in 2006

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