Friday, October 11, 2013

Danny's Curried Tofu and Onions-Women's Day, 1966


This week Danny's recipe once again comes from his favourite set of cookery books, The Women's day Encyclopedia of Cookery. I don't know how Indian this recipe is, but it was well received. Danny substituted baked t5ofu for the chicken. The recipe for baked tofu will be included at the end. This would also work well with the vegetarian "chicken" products available at health food stores.
The rice has coconut, apricots, mint, and a lime leaf stirred in halfway through cooking. Nice if you have lime leaves, but no big deal if you don't. The curry was so flavourful it didn't really need anything beyond plain rice.

The recipe gave a choice of using butter or oil. I would interpret butter as ghee, and as we were pressed for time, I encouraged Danny to use oil. I know, five minutes of skimming and straining is hardly work, but oil is still easier. If I had ghee, I would have let him use it.

We put together an interesting chutney this week with dried apples, dates, pears, and pretty much whatever I had to use up. I'm forever finding bags of dried fruit with but a handful left because some people...(not naming anyone here) refuse to use up the old before opening the new. Thank god for chutney. Anyway, we made a large batch as there's no point in doing otherwise.

For the baked tofu:

Slice a 1 lb. block of extra firm tofu into fourths. Press between towels with a weight (a heavy pan will do) for 10 minutes. Change toweling, and repeat. Meanwhile, stir together 4 tablespoons oil, 2 tablespoons cider vinegar, 2 chicken or veggie flavoured soup cubes-crushed, 1 tablespoon honey, and some minced onion to taste. Pour into a casserole dish. Add the pressed tofu, cover and let marinate overnight. Next day, heat oven to 400 degrees F. Bake uncovered for 30 minutes. Carefully turn slices, and bake another 30-40 minutes or until firm, and nicely charred at the edges. You can make this up to 3 days ahead.

For the Curry (They called it Murgha Kari, but I have my doubts as this was an American cookbook from 1966 when curry powder was only for devilled eggs)

4 medium onions, chopped
2 tablespoons curry powder (he used half that as ours is strong)
1/2 cup butter or oil
1 8 ounce tin of tomato sauce
2 teaspoons salt (Danny halved that)
1 frying chicken (2-3 lbs) or the tofu as prepared above, disjointed and skinned
3/4 cup hot water

In a large pot with a lid (or a skillet with a lid) heat the oil, onions, and curry powder over medium heat for 10-15 minutes or until the onions are soft. Add tomato sauce and salt. Add chicken or tofu and cook uncovered over medium heat until tomato sauce is mostly dry, and the chicken tests done (the tofu will be fine, you need not worry about overcooking it). Add the hot water, cover, and reduce heat to low. Heat through 5 minutes. Serve with rice.

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