Tuesday, 2 April 2013

Garam Masala Tofu & Lentils

Garam masala ("hot spices") is a fantastic Northern Indian spice blend with about a million variations, but it generally includes peppercorns, cinnamon, cumin, cloves, star anise, nutmeg and cardamom.

It releases a warm, spicy aroma when heated and pairs perfectly with many hearty Indian dishes.

This one-pot meal comes together with very little prep and can be on the table within an hour.

My husband likes to add some mashed potatoes with a little Frank's Red Hot on top, and he eats this up like nobody's business.

I prefer mine just as is. It's delicious!

Garam Masala Tofu & Lentils

Prep time: 15 mins
Cook time: 35 mins

Serves 4-5


1/2 block extra-firm tofu, pressed & sliced into 1" cubes*
1 yellow onion, diced
1 carrot, peeled & sliced into half moons
1 cup spinach, roughly chopped
2 Tbsp. ginger, grated
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 Thai chili pepper, thinly sliced
1 cup red lentils, rinsed and picked over
1 tsp. safflower oil (or other high-heat oil)
1 Tbsp. garam masala (prepared blend or make your own)
1 cup low-salt vegetable stock
1.5 cups water

*To press tofu - remove from the package and slice tofu lengthwise, then place slices between two tea towels. Add heavy cans or bowls on top of tea towels and leave for around an hour. For even firmer tofu, freeze the slices after pressing, then thaw again before adding to a recipe.*


1. Heat a large, dry skillet over medium-high heat

2. Toast garam masala for one minute, stirring constantly

3. Add oil and tofu, stir to coat and cook for about five minutes or until tofu is lightly browned on all sides

4. Remove tofu from the skillet, add onion and cook for five minutes or until slightly translucent

5. Add hot pepper and garlic, cook for one minute, then add ginger and cook for another minute

6. Add lentils, carrot, water and stock; bring to a boil, then lower to medium-low heat

7. Toss in tofu and simmer for about 15 minutes

8. Add the spinach, stir and cook for an additional five minutes

This has to be one of the easiest dinner recipes I've ever made.

It's simple, quick and tasty, and the leftovers are fantastic.