This week it’s back to further seasonal cooking and time to enjoy some purple sprouting broccoli!
Tofu is a strange ingredient, and to be honest I compare it to Marmite. You either love it or hate it, and to date that is the reaction I have come across from most people. However, its health properties and low calories should not be ignored. So I have devised a recipe that I hope will place you in the latter category.
One of the things I have noticed is that although the vegetables I cook with are seasonal in the UK, (and I am able to purchase it from my local farm shop), when I went to some of the larger supermarkets I was really surprised to see that despite being in season here, they are either from Spain or Morocco. So please do try and look at the packaging whenever possible.
Preparation time: 10 minutes
Cooking time: 20 minutes
Freezing – not suitable
Gluten free – be sure to buy a suitable alternative to chapatti or naan, or serve with plain boiled rice
Please note that in all my tofu recipes, the tofu can easily be swapped for paneer instead.
200 – 250g purple sprouting broccoli (discard the thick/woody stems, cut into even-sized pieces and keep the leaves if they look fresh)
I pack of paneer or tofu
1 – ½ tablespoons of rapeseed oil
For the tomato sauce
1 tin of tomatoes
1 – 2 tablespoons of tomato puree (crushed or I blitz them with a hand blender)
1 tablespoon rapeseed oil
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon turmeric
1 inch ginger – finely chopped/minced (please note that it is perfectly accepted to use ready minced – there are some good quality ones available, especially if it will mean there will be no wastage
2 cloves of garlic – finely chopped/minced (please see comments above)
½ green chilli or 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 level teaspoon cumin seeds
1 – 2 teaspoons of fresh lemon juice – optional
A large non-stick frying pan is ideal to prepare the curry, you will need another saucepan and a steamer to steam the broccoli
Prepare the tofu/paneer
1. Heat the oil into a frying pan on a medium – high heat. If using tofu, pat it with a clean tea-towel or kitchen roll to remove any excess moisture. Cut into even –sized pieces. Once the oil is hot, gently put in the tofu/paneer pieces. You will need to turn them reasonably frequently so that they are a nice golden brown colour on all sides. You will need to do this in two batches, and may need to add a little more oil for the second batch. Drain on some kitchen towel.
Make the tomato sauce.
2. Wipe the pan clean. On a medium heat, add 1 tablespoon of oil. After 20 seconds or so add the garlic and ginger. Stir constantly so that it does not burn, say for about 30 seconds. Add the cumin seeds, fry for a further 30 seconds or so. There will be a lovely aroma by now. Then add the blended tomatoes, tomato puree, salt, turmeric and green chilli/cayenne pepper and stir well. Turn the heat up, and once it starts to bubble, reduce the heat. Cover. Cook for a few minutes until you achieve a fairly thick sauce. Take it off the heat, adjust seasoning to taste.
Prepare the broccoli
3. Put some water to boil in a kettle. Once boiled, pour it into the pan with the steamer. Add the broccoli. Cover and keep the heat medium. Watch it like a hawk, the last thing you want is mushy broccoli! I steam mine for 2 minutes only – (it will cook further once you add the sauce). Remove from the steamer and set out on a large plate/tray.
4. Just before serving, heat the tomato sauce. Add the tofu/paneer, stir gently so that it is coated with the sauce otherwise the pieces may break. Add the broccoli and give it even more TLC as it is very tender. Heat through until it is hot. If desired, sprinkle some fresh lemon juice at the end.
The tomato sauce can be prepared 2 – 3 days in advance or frozen. Just defrost before use. The tofu/paneer can also be fried beforehand and frozen if desired, although I would not recommend freezing the tofu.