I watched 'Aarti Party' yesterday. I had followed the 'foodnetwork star' just because she was there in it. No, I am not a big fan of her or anything. I just liked the idea of an Indian being there. It was time for food network to have some Indian cooking show anyway. Is she the right candidate? I am not so sure. She is good on the camera, no doubt. But, she is far from being capable of representing Indian Cuisine - just my opinion. Feel free to differ. Some of the stuff she was saying "It is so hot in India" isn't true. I am from a place where the weather is so nice all the time (or was nice when I lived there). And she repeated the sentence "Some of my friends are coming over for dinner" 3 times in 15 minutes which made me turn off the TV and go for a walk. I am not saying she is bad, but is she good to attract the viewers to tune to her show? I doubt it since most of the Indian cooking involves good amount of work and not many people I have met in my life here in U.S are fond of cooking. But, setting aside my view of her, good luck to her and time will only tell how successful she will be.
I am always trying to come up with dishes that use Tofu. This is another trial of mine and I should say a very good one.
Extra firm Tofu - 1 19 Oz block
Red Onion - 2 medium or 1 large chopped fine (I used yellow since that is what I had on hand, but would suggest using red onions)
Tomatoes - 2 medium chopped fine
Garlic - 3 -4 pods crushed
Oil - 4 TBSP divided use
Yogurt or sour cream - 3/4 cup
Turmeric - 1/4 tsp
Red Chilli powder - 1/2 tsp or more
Black Pepper powder - 1 tsp
Cumin Powder - 1/2 tsp
Coriander powder - 1/2tsp
Cilantro - chopped 2 TBSP
Salt - to taste
Drain the tofu block. Line with couple of paper towel and a clean kitchen towel. Place the block of tofu on it. Cover with some more paper towel. Place a plate on the top and place some heavy weight on the top of the plate. A box of salt, or a can of beans work fine. Leave it out like this for an hour or two. When all the water is completely drained, Cut the tofu into cubes of 3/4" or smaller if you prefer smaller cubes. Set aside.
In a large skillet, heat 1 TBSP of oil. When hot, add the tofu cubes so that the cubes are in a single layer. Toast them stirring frequently so that all the sides get browned. You could do this in the oven too. Take out the tofu cubes and set aside. To the same pan, add the remaining oil. When hot, add garlic. Stir for 10 seconds. Add the chopped onions, turmeric and some salt. Let the onions cook. When the onions are cooked, add red chilli powder, cumin powder, coriander powder, black pepper powder. Mix well. Add chopped tomatoes and let it get soft - for about 3 minutes or so. Now, add the tofu cubes, yogurt or sour cream. Mix well. Add some water to thin it down to desired consistency. Remember that once cool, it gets thick. Add water keeping this in mind. Check for the seasonings and adjust accordingly. Simmer for about 8 - 10 minutes on low heat stirring occasionally. Garnish with cilantro and turn off the heat. Serve hot/warm with rotis, chapathis, naans and rice.
This one is very similar to paneer butter masala only difference is it doesn't have paneer or heavy cream or butter. If you like the rich taste, use heavy cream instead of yogurt. Use butter instead of oil. In that case, you might want to add some amchoor powder or squeeze couple of TBSP of lime/lemon juice to get the tangy taste. If you don't want to use fresh tomatoes, you could use crushed tomatoes from the can about 1/2 - 3/4 cup.