This delicious tofu stir-fry with rice and vegetables is a perfect one-dish weekday dinner. Add in a lot of seasonal vegetables and use brown rice instead of white rice to make this a healthy nourishing meal.
Some days you just want a comforting and nourishing meal. No fancy jazz and simple to put together. On Friday night, after finishing all the preparations for the weekend’s big children’s carnival at the orphanage, I wanted something really simple. I had some leftover cooked brown rice from the day before and a veg tofu stir-fry was like the perfect answer to my tired and hungry soul. Rice stir-fry or pulao as we call them in India, is a great recipe for reusing leftover rice. All you need is to sauté a mix of seasonal vegetables and then add in the rice.
While tofu is not traditionally a part of Indian cuisine, it has in recent past become popular as more people adopt a vegan lifestyle. Tofu is made from the curds of soy milk, just like how paneer is made from regular milk. You can find many vegan tofu Indian recipes which were originally made with paneer. But tofu is much more than just a paneer alternative.
Health Benefits of Soybean
Tofu is an excellent way of adding the benefits of soybean in your diet. Soybean is rich in protein, dietary fiber, iron, manganese, phosphorus, and several B Vitamins including folate. Especially for women, soybean, when taken in moderation, can help in relieving breast tenderness during menstruation, ease menopause symptoms, reduce the risk of breast cancer, and improve cholesterol levels for a better heart health.
But you need to be careful to choose organic Soy products made from non-GMO soybean crop. Did you know soybean is one of the biggest genetically modified crop in the US? It is scary how if we are not careful about reading packages, we may expose ourselves to so many chemicals.
How to cook Tofu
You would find both soft and firm (and also extra firm or hard) varieties of tofu in the market. They usually either come inside a brine solution or vacuum packed. Just like paneer, tofu can be eaten raw and doesn’t necessarily need to be cooked.
If you wish to cook firm tofu, you can pan fry them lightly or sauté with other vegetables in a stir-fry. You can also bake tofu in an oven. I usually like it uncooked. The plain firm variety is good for stir-frys and for adding over salads as it doesn’t break easily.
The soft or silken tofu is great for adding to soups like you can replace tofu with paneer in this moong dal and paneer soup. Soft tofu is very delicate and if you try to sauté or fry it in a pan, it will quickly break so it is best to use it uncooked.
This recipe is also a perfect make-ahead lunch-box recipe. Make extra serving for dinner and pack for the next day! It is easy to pack and stays well in the refrigerator. I love such simple meals that also reduce morning madness :-). If you like this recipe, please take a moment to rate it and/or leave your comments at the end of the blog. It will really encourage me to keep exploring, learning and improving.
- 2 tbsp vegetable oil
- 1 tsp cumin seeds
- 1 green chilli , chopped
- 2 carrots , peeled and chopped
- ½ broccoli head , cut into small florets
- 2 stalks spring onions , chopped
- 1 tbsp tomato ketchup
- 2 tsp cumin powder
- ½ tsp turmeric powder
- 1 tsp Kashmiri red chili powder , or to taste
- Salt , to taste
- 100 gm firm tofu , cut into cubes
- 2 cups cooked brown rice
Heat oil in a broad pan or kadhai.
Add cumin seeds and when the seeds start to spatter add chili, carrots and broccoli florets.
Carrots and broccoli take longer to cook, so we add them first. Cover and let them cook for about 3-4 minutes till they start to soften. Stir in between so that the vegetables are evenly cooked and don’t stick to the pan.
Next, add the spring onions, all the spices, and tomato ketchup (you can also use your own homemade tomato chutney instead of ketchup).
Mix well and sauté for a couple of minutes. Add the cooked brown rice and stir everything together nicely.
Add the tofu in the end and gently stir everything together just one more time. Tofu tends to break easily which is why I always add it in the end.
Adjust seasoning and serve hot.
I’ve cooked this stir-fry with a mix of Indian spices but you can also make it very Asian by using soya sauce and vinegar for seasoning.
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