Tofu Tikka Masala

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Pre-veganism, paneer tikka masala was one of my favourite dishes. When choosing curry houses to dine in, my decision would always be based upon whether or not this dish was on the menu. Admittedly, this has been one meal that I’ve missed in the past 5 months but with so many great soya products around, I saw no reason why I couldn’t make a vegan version.

Marinated tofu cubes provide a texture very similar texture to paneer and Provamel soya cream adds a richness to the thick and creamy sauce.

INGREDIENTS (2 large portions)
•1 red chilli, deseeded and chopped
•4 garlic cloves, crushed
•A handful of fresh coriander leaves, chopped
•A 3cm piece of ginger, peeled and chopped
•The juice of half a lemon
•3 tsps of garam masala
•1 tbsp soya milk
•300g firm tofu, drained and cut into cubes
•3 tbsps oil
•1 onion, chopped
•1 can of chopped tomatoes
•1 tbsp tomato purée
•The seeds from a cardamom pod
•2 tsps brown sugar
•150ml soya cream
•1 tbsp ground almonds

For the marinade
1) Place the chilli, 1 garlic clove, ginger, coriander, lemon juice, 1 tsp garam masala and soya milk into a food processor and blend to form a smooth paste. Coat the tofu and leave to marinate for at least one hour.

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2) When ready to use, place under the grill until the tofu begins to crisp on each side.

For the sauce
1) Heat the oil and sauté the onion and 3 garlic cloves for 7 minutes. Stir through the tomatoes, remaining garam masala, cardamom and tomato purée then blend until smooth.
2) Stir in the cream and sugar. Taste the sauce and add more sugar and cream if necessary. Stir in the grounds almonds then mix in the grilled tofu. Leave to cook on a low heat for a further 30 minutes.

Serve with a dollop of cream on top and a scattering of coriander leaves. Enjoy with some basmati rice and poppadoms.

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Creamy Squash & Spinach Curry

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When it comes to curries, I don’t feel like there should be any set rules with regards to quantities of herbs and spices. Part of the fun should just be playing around with ingredients until you have it tasting just the way you want, which is exactly what I did with this flavoursome curry. I added Alpro soya cream to give it this creamy texture.

Ingredients (4 portions)
•1/2 an onion, roughly chopped
• 3 garlic cloves, crushed
•1 tbsp ground cumin
•1 tsp ground coriander
• 1 tbsp chopped fresh coriander (plus more to garnish)
•1/2 tsp tumeric
•1 tsp fresh ginger, peeled and chopped
•1 tsp ground black pepper
•Juice of 1/2 a lemon
•A pinch of chilli flakes
•1 tbsp veg oil
•800g butternut squash, peeled, de-seeded and chopped into chunks
•1 can of chopped tomatoes
•1 cup of water
•1 tsp sugar
•250g spinach
•200ml soya cream (more to garnish)

Method
1) Place the first 11 ingredients in a blender and blitz until a paste is formed.
2) Add to the pan and cook on a low heat for 15 minutes. Add the squash and stir so that the paste covers all the chunks. Cook gently for a further 10 minutes.
3) Stir in the tomatoes and add the water bit by bit. Cover and cook for 30 minutes.
4) Add the sugar and sample the sauce of the curry. Add more water and seasoning if necessary, before adding the spinach. Stir in the cream and leave to stand for 10 minutes before serving.

To serve, add a drizzle more of cream and the chopped coriander. For a healthy touch, serve alongside wholegrain rice.

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Enjoy!

Chana Masala with Coconut Rice

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A quick and easy week night meal and a great way of working with ingredients that you already have in the cupboard. I played around with the herbs and spices until my taste buds were satisfied!

INGREDIENTS (serves 2)
•2tbsp veg oil
•1 onion, roughly chopped
•2 garlic cloves, crushed
•2cm piece of fresh ginger, peeled and grated
•Pinch of chilli flakes
•1/2 tsp tumeric
•1 tsp ground coriander
•2 tsp ground cumin
•2 tsp garam masala
•1/2 tsp black pepper
•Juice of 1/4 lemon
•1 tbsp tomato purée
•1 can of chickpeas, drained and rinsed
•A couple of large handfuls of chopped spinach
•1/2 cup of water
•A handful of fresh coriander, chopped

Coconut Rice
•1/2 cup of brown rice
•2 cups of water
•25g creamed coconut
•1 green cardamom pod, crushed to release the seeds

Method
1) Heat the oil and gently simmer the onion and garlic. After 2 minutes, add the ginger and chilli, shortly followed by the other herbs and spices, stirring frequently.
2) Mix in the lemon juice and tomato purée then add the chickpeas. Stir in the spinach until it begins to wilt. Add the water and mix well. Taste and adjust flavours or add more water if necessary.

Coconut Rice
1) Rinse the rice in cold water for 30 seconds before adding to the pan of boiling water. Stir in the creamed coconut and leave to boil on a medium heat for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.
2) Drain and rinse for 10 seconds and then return to the pan, stir in the cardamom seeds, cover and leave to stand for 10 minutes. Fluff with a fork and serve.
* Note that the above steps apply for wholegrain rice. Times and water quantities will need to be adjusted for white rice.

Serve the masala and rice together, sprinkling the fresh coriander on top. Perfect!