Tandoori Tofu Tikka Masala (Vegan),Slow Cooker


Tandoori Tofu Tikka Masala (Vegan),Slow Cooker
Tandoori Tofu Tikka Masala
In my book, anything served on a stick is a winner. It seals
the deal if what’s on the stick is smothered in a charred
tandoori paste, restaurant style.
Here’s my take on a British-‘Indian’ dish. It’s loaded with
homemade tandoori spices, garlic, lemon, ground almonds and
coconut cream. The best thing about it is that it’s 100%
vegan. That’s got to get me extra brownie points, right?
Yeah, yeah, yeah, I know it’s not an ‘authentic Indian recipe’
and have heard far too many times, ‘Ask any Indian what tikka
masala is and they won’t know.’ To this I say, ‘Whatevs’. For
me, this started out as a guilty pleasure dish I’ve grown to
love and adapt to my own tastes, incorporating my love for
tandoori dishes. I’ve gotten over it and I promise once you’ve
tried it yourself, you will too!
I’ve been obsessed with tofu puffs for as long as I can
remember. I like to think of them as sailboats for any sauce
or spice you add. They soak in flavours like there’s no
tomorrow and you don’t have to marinate them for hours. A lot
of the time, we make our weeknight stir fries in a matter of
minutes and thanks to these spongy little fellas, they’re
filling and seriously flavoursome. In this recipe, tofu puffs
the perfect carriers for my homemade tandoori paste and creamy
vegan tikka masala sauce. If you like a mild curry that still
packs a punch in terms of being aromatic, this one’s for you.
As compromised as I feel for not owning my own tandoor (I keep
telling myself it will happen one day), this works just as
well in the oven. Whack the temperature up as high as it goes
and cook your skewers for about 8-10 minutes or until slightly
charred. It’s also worth noting that while it’s not exactly
authentic to add tomato puree to a tandoori masala paste, I do
because I don’t like adding red food colouring. It’s tandoori
paste, not red velvet cake. However, if you don’t like
tomatoes, go ahead and add some red food colouring. This is
your dish.
If you can’t get tofu puffs (I get mine from our local Chinese
supermarket), try this with cooked cauliflower florets, baby
potatoes, paneer, mushrooms, idli pieces or anything else that
will hold its own on a skewer. If you still want to use tofu
but can’t get the puffed kind, try using firm tofu, weighted
and pressed for a few hours to remove excess water, cubed and
lightly pan-fried. I’m afraid that medium or silken tofu won’t
cut it on the kebab skewer for this recipe.
Also, an FYI that I used metal kebab skewers – they get really
hot so be careful if you’re using them too. If you can only
get wooden skewers, soak them in cold water overnight to
ensure they don’t burn in the oven.
Serve with flaky paratha, rice and lime wedges. It’s also
delicious with garlic and coriander naan.
Tandoori Tofu Tikka Masala
Serves 4
300g tofu puffs
Fresh coriander, chopped, to garnish
Lime or lemon wedges, to garnish
Paratha or naan, to serve
Rice, to serve
For the homemade tandoori paste:
1 tsp whole coriander seeds
8 black peppercorns
2 dried red chillies (or fresh if you like)
2 inch stick cinnamon
1 tsp cumin seeds
1 star anise
4 cloves
Seeds of 4 green cardamom pods
1 black cardamom (optional)
1 tsp fennel seeds
1 tsp turmeric
2 tbsp concentrated tomato puree
2 tbsp coconut cream
1 tsp salt
1 tbsp lemon juice
For the sauce:
1 tbsp oil
4 cloves fresh garlic, chopped
1 tbsp grated ginger
3 red chillies, chopped (or to taste)
1 tbsp concentrated tomato puree
400g passata
2 tbsp ground coriander
1 tbsp ground cumin
2 tsp garam masala
2 tbsp ground almonds
2 tsp ground green cardamom seeds
2 tsp ground fennel seeds
400ml coconut milk
1 tsp kasoori methi (optional)
2 tbsp light brown sugar
Salt, to taste
1. To make the tandoori paste, heat a dry frying pan until
hot. Add all the spices apart from the coconut cream, lemon
juice, salt and concentrated tomato puree. Toast until
aromatic, a couple of minutes but don’t leave it unattended
because it can burn very easily.
2. Place all the spices in a high-powered blender or coffee
grinder. I use my NutriBullet. Once ground to a fine powder,
stir in the lemon juice, coconut cream, tomato puree and salt.
3. Add the tofu puffs to the paste and give them a good mix,
taking care not to break the tofu pieces up. Set aside while
you make the vegan tikka masala sauce.
4. Pre-heat the oven to 200C.
5. To make the vegan tikka masala sauce, heat the oil in a
medium, non-stick pan. Add the garlic, ginger and chillies.
Sauté for a few moments before adding the concentrated tomato
puree. Cook for 5 minutes on a medium heat, stirring all the
time. Add the passata, followed by the rest of the
ingredients. Give it a good whisk, cover and cook on a low
heat for 20-30 minutes, stirring often.
6. Lightly grease a non-stick oven tray. Skewer the tofu
pieces onto your kebab sticks. Arrange on the baking tray and
pop into the oven for 8-10 minutes, turning them halfway to
ensure even browning. Remove from the oven.
7. Serve immediately, bringing the kebabs and sauce to the
table, letting everyone mix their own sauce and tofu pieces
for a bit of fun and drama. Garnish with chopped coriander,
lime or lemon wedges and extra coconut cream. Serve with
jalebi paratha or garlic and coriander naan and rice.
Love Sanjana
Slow Cooker Aubergine Makhani
Beautiful, butter-soft aubergines simmered in a rich makhani
sauce for three hours are what you’ll be dreaming about
tonight. It’s velvety smooth and perfect with basmati rice and
fluffy Garlic and Coriander Naan.
I’ve recently fallen in love with my slow cooker and have been
batch cooking soya mince and black bean chilli, spicy coconut
daal and this delicious Aubergine Makhani. The basis my sauce
is an irresistible combo of butter (it’s not a makhani without
butter!), tomatoes, selective spicing and a touch of cream to
finish. It makes for a perfectly-balanced sauce to coat juicy
aubergine pieces.
Slow cooking is a great way of making sure your aubergines
remain chunky and don’t fall apart. If you’re looking for an
equally delicious aubergine recipe where they are first
blackened, then mashed, head this way.
One of my favourite dishes to eat in Indian restaurants is
Paneer Makhani or Paneer Butter Masala. If it’s on the menu,
there’s a 99% chance I’ll be all over it. After trying it in a
number of different restaurants, I soon discovered what I
liked about my favourites and disliked about the others and
got to work perfecting a recipe of my own. It’s the
combination of ground coriander, cardamom, kasoori methi
(dried fenugreek leaves) and creamy and tangy tomato sauce
which really makes it so satisfying. Season liberally with
salt and sugar too – you need to balance the intense spices
and sour tomatoes.
If you’re not a fan of aubergines, this easy vegetarian
makhani sauce recipe is also amazing with chickpeas, tofu,
paneer, potatoes, cauliflower… or whatever else you fancy. I
add a pinch of chai masala for a deeper heat but this is
totally optional. If you don’t have any, leave it out.
It’s so easy to make in a slow cooker – there’s no separate
cooking, it all goes in at once and is finished with a touch
of cream, kasoori methi, flaked almonds and fresh coriander.
Slow Cooker Aubergine Makhani
Serves 6
3 large aubergines, cut into 1 inch chunks
2 x 500g bottles passata (sieved tomato pulp)
2 tbsp concentrated tomato puree
4 cloves garlic, chopped finely
1 tbsp grated ginger
2 tsp coriander seeds, finely ground
2 tsp garam masala
Seeds of 6 cardamom pods, finely ground
¼ tsp fennel seeds, finely ground
3 small red chillies, chopped finely
¼ tsp chai masala (optional)
50g butter, melted
1 ½ tbsp sugar
3 tsp salt
100ml double cream, to finish
1 tsp kasoori methi, to finish
Toasted flaked almonds, to garnish
Chopped coriander, to garnish
Red onions, to garnish
1. Place all of the ingredients in the slow cooker apart from
the aubergines, cream and kasoori methi. Give it a good whisk.
2. Fold in the aubergines and make sure they’re well coated.
Place the lid on the slow cooker and cook on the high setting
for 3 hours.
3. Don’t stir the curry too much – you want your aubergine to
remain chunky so try to leave it to do its thing.
4. After around 3 hours, the aubergine should be beautifully
soft. Remove the lid and allow it to cool for 10 minutes.
5. Finally, rub the kasoori methi between your palms and add
to the curry. Finish with the cream, mixing thoroughly for a
delicious creamy finish.
6. Garnish with flaked almonds, red onions and chopped
Serve with basmati rice and/or Garlic and Coriander Naan.
Probably best to have both, though. Obvs.
Love Sanjana
Paneer Bhurji Kati Rolls
This is not just any old wrap. This is a flavoursome,
satisfying chapatti wrap filled with rich paneer, tangy lemon
and mouth-watering spices. Seriously, M&S would be
proud. These kati rolls are simple, filling and perfect for
lunch or dinner. You can stuff them with anything you like,
from scrambled paneer to Bombay potatoes.
Traditional kati rolls come from Kolkata where they are
essentially a kebab wrapped in paratha. Just like sandwiches
and wraps you’ll find all over the world, from gyros to banh
mi, kati rolls are a street food favourite because they lend
themselves to eating on-the-go – a must in any bustling city.
My take on kati rolls combines my passion for paneer bhurji
(North Indian-style spiced, scrambled paneer) and hot
chapattis. I figured if I was going to fill something with
pure paneer and vegetables, I’d better use a chapatti rather
than ghee-filled paratha. If you’re not bothered about the
extra calories, I’d recommend you go the whole hog and wrap
your bhurji in hot, buttery paratha. There’s nothing quite
like it.
One of my favourite places to eat in London is at Payal Saha’s
The Kati Roll Company which opened after the first store in
New York City's eclectic Greenwich Village was such a success.
If you’ve never been to the London shop, here’s the lowdown;
it’s a tiny little café-style restaurant with no more than
eight tables. The walls are plastered with vintage Bollywood
posters and they play filmi hits you’re more likely to bop
away to at a family wedding rather than the UK’s busiest
shopping hotspot. My point is that I love the Achaari Paneer
Kati Rolls here – it is where the inspiration for my Paneer
Bhurji Kati Rolls came from.
If you’re up for it, try making your own Homemade Paneer. It
will make a huge difference to the final texture of the
paneer. However, if you’re short of time, just use shop bought
– all you need to do is mash it up with a fork.
I love to cook my Paneer Bhurji in butter – it adds a
delicious richness to the juicy paneer and vegetables. A
squeeze of lemon juice at the end plumps up the paneer and
provides the perfectly-balanced tang you’re looking for in any
good paneer dish.
Paneer Bhurji Kati Rolls
(Makes 8 rolls)
450g paneer, crumbled
50g butter
1 large red onion, diced finely
1 tsp cumin seeds
2 tbsp freshly-grated ginger
2 hot red chillies, chopped finely
½ green pepper, diced finely
Handful shredded red cabbage
Handful petits pois or peas
3 spring onions, sliced at an angle
½ tsp amchur powder
1 tsp garam masala
½ tsp turmeric powder
1 tsp salt
Juice of half a lemon
Fresh coriander, to garnish
8 chapattis or paratha
Salad leaves, to serve
1. Melt the butter in a large pan and add the cumin seeds.
Allow to sizzle a little bit, and then add the chopped red
onions and red cabbage. Cook on a medium heat, stirring
frequently until soft.
2. Next, add the ginger, chillies, pepper, petits pois, amchur
powder, garam masala, turmeric powder and salt. Allow to cook
for 5 minutes on a low heat.
3. Finish by adding the paneer and lemon juice. Cook this on a
medium heat for around 5 minutes, stirring often. Don’t let
this become too dry – you want the paneer to stay juicy for
your kati rolls.
4. Garnish with fresh coriander and spring onions.
5. You can either serve the bhurji like a curry with hot
chapattis or naan or you can make perfectly-portable kati
6. To make kati rolls, take a hot chapatti or paratha and put
some filling inside. You can also add some fresh salad and
chutney at this stage (I love Sriracha and green coriander
chutney in these). Roll them up tightly and wrap with
greaseproof paper.
Serve hot with cold lassi, beer or a steaming cuppa chai.
Love Sanjana
Hot Saffron and Lemon Seeroh
with Pistachio Ice Cream
Seeroh is one of those desserts that brings out the greedy
little kid in me. Sweet semolina tossed with spices and so
buttery it melts as soon as it hits your tongue. Flippin’
gorgeous. And before you ask, it’s nothing like ‘school
dinner’ semolina. Not even close.
Years ago we’d make special trips to the mandir (temple)
during Navratri and Diwali to pray for the year ahead, see
family and have an amazing, spiritual evening. Of course, I
was there for all of these reasons, plus for the reason that
there would be prashad – sweets like Seeroh offered to the
gods that evening. After putting my hands together in prayer,
I’d open them up and wait patiently for my Seeroh.
I believe glace cherries have three purposes in life; to
garnish cocktails, top cherry bakewells and stud this
delicious addictive treat. If you really don’t like them,
replace with candied lemon or orange pieces. They’ll add an
incredible texture to contrast the soft texture of this
I love experimenting with different flavour combinations with
this recipe. The basic Seeroh is so simple that’s it’s easy to
get carried away with different flavourings. One of my
favourites is this saffron and lemon version. The other is my
mum’s orange and cardamom version. I could eat it all…. day…
There are two ways you can serve this dish; The first is to
set and cool this in a square thali so you can cut it into
pieces, and the second is to serve it loose as a hot pudding.
Top with a scoop of ice cream and be blown away by the insane
contrast of hot and cold.
You should always store Seeroh in the fridge because it can
spoil quickly at room temperature. This should keep well for
2-4 days – whether it will last that long is another story.
Hot Saffron and Lemon Seeroh with Pistachio Ice Cream
Serves 8-10
700ml hot milk
140ml hot water
100g sugar
50g golden syrup
140g salted butter
260g coarse semolina
Zest of 2 large unwaxed lemons – I love those beautiful Amalfi
A large pinch of saffron
2 tbsp glace cherries, halved
Homemade or shop-bought pistachio ice cream, to serve (I’ll
give you my recipe in another post)
Slivered almonds and pistachios to decorate
Icing sugar to dust, optional
1. Heat the butter in a large non-stick pan and add the
semolina. Sauté on a low/medium heat for around 3 minutes or
until golden and toasted.
2. Slowly add the hot milk and water, whisking all the time.
The mixture should thicken as you whisk. Add the sugar and
3. Cook on a medium heat for around 15 minutes or until a
buttery sheen becomes visible on the top and sides of the
mixture. Keep stirring all the time and cook for as long as it
takes for the mixture to become glossy.
4. Remove from the heat, add the lemon zest, saffron and glace
cherries. Combine.
5. Serve hot with a big scoop of pistachio ice cream.
That’s it. Pistachio and Rose Bombay Halwa, Gujarati Mohanthal
and Hot Saffron and Lemon Seeroh with Pistachio Ice Cream.
Three Diwali desserts to keep you sweet all year long.
Happy Diwali!
Love Sanjana

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