I really couldn’t decide what to call this recipe, everything I wanted to call seemed too long. This also doesn’t feel right, but I had to pick something.
In essence it’s a fragrant, coconut, cashew korma style sauce, heady with ginger and turmeric surrounding little islands of black rice and finished with crispy salt and pepper Tofu.
Black rice it’s not essential here any rice or Quinoa will do, but I like the fact that Black rice has little bite to it and nuttiness.
You can also incorporate the vegetables into the sauce itself, but I chose to serve them on the side.
I had some leftover sauce as only 2 of us ate and recipe is for 4, it was delicious with added chickpeas, spinach leaves and a splash more vegetable stock the next day for lunch.
I also used fresh turmeric in this recipe, which is pretty readily available in most supermarkets these days. It doesn’t give you that weird tongue numbing sensation of dried if you add too much and has a fresher taste. But dried is also fine to use.
½ diced onion
2 fat garlic cloves crushed
2 cardamom pods seeds only
1 tbsp. garam masala
1 fat thumb sized chunk of ginger grated
1 large piece of fresh turmeric grated or 1 tsp or dried
A very good grating of fresh black pepper
1 tin full fat coconut milk
½ cup cashews soaked overnight or for 30mins in boiling water, rinsed and drained.
400ml vegetable stock
1 tbsp. tamari
1 large red standard chilli spilt in half-length but not all the way to the stem.
1 lemongrass stalk green end cut off and bulbous base bashed with the back of a knife.
Salt and pepper tofu
1 280g block extra firm tofu
¼ cup cornflour or Arrowroot
1 tsp ground pepper
1 tsp sea salt
200ml light oil I use ground nut or coconut
2 packets of ready cooked black rice pouches or boil your own
Fresh coriander leaves
Green vegetables of choice
In a large sauce pan, Sautee the onion in 1 tbsp. of light oil until translucent and lightly golden.
Add the grated garlic, ginger and turmeric, cook for a further minute on a low heat. Add the garam masala, cardamom seeds and black pepper and cook for another minute.
Add the tin of coconut milk and 400ml of vegetable stock, stir to combine and heat until the coconut is fully incorporated.
Pour the contents of the pan and the soaked cashews into a high powered blender or use a stick blender. Blitz until silky smooth. If you feel it’s a little thick add a few more splashes of stock until you reach the desired consistency.
Return the contents to a pan and place on a low heat. Stir in the tamari sauce, juice of a lime and add the chilli and lemon grass.
Taste for seasoning, it may require more tamari, pepper or lime juice. Allow it to stay on a low heat for chili and lemon grass to infuse.
If you’re boiling your own rice you not the microwave type, then get it on now.
Dice your drained tofu, into approx. inch cubes.
In a medium bowl, add the cornflour/arrowroot and salt and pepper. Stir to combine. Add the tofu to bowl and toss gently until the cornflour mix has covered the tofu.
Prepare any green veg you might serve with it whilst you cook the tofu.
When you’re ready to serve, heat the oil in a wok or small frying pan, make sure your oil is very hot before adding the tofu. Do a test with a piece of bread, it should sizzle and turn golden once it hits the oil. Alternatively for a healthier version bake in a hot oven until crisp turning half way about 20-30mins.
Shallow fry the tofu in batches and drain on kitchen towel.
Cook the black rice per packet instructions if using precooked.
Add half a packet of black rice to middle of the bowl, using a ladle or large spoon pour some sauce around the edge. Top with the crispy tofu, some coriander leaves, chilli slices and a wedge of lime.