Ever heard this song from the movie ” Howrah Bridge”?
Mera Naam Chin-Chin-Chu
Chin-Chin-Chu, Baaba Chin-Chin-Chu
Raat Chaandani, Main Aur Tu
“Hello, Mister, How Do You Do?”
I love Geeta Dutt’s vocals in this and the lovely Helen gyrating to this peppy number. But this is as authentic representation of the land of Confucius as the cuisine from my birthland espousing the Indo – Chinese fare. Authenticity apart, if we do not innovate then we probably would never have anything new to go by at all.
This weekend, I found myself in of those health stores and I spotted a pack of sprouted, non GMO,organic tofu – extra firm. I wanted to make something that would appeal to all 3 A’s but would appeal more to A1 if I dump some hot sauce in it.
So here we go, Tofu Chili Stir Fry served with hot steaming rice. C’mon , it would be hard to resist this fare. The best part is it takes only a few min to cook.
Active prep : 15 min
Marination & resting: 30-60 min
Cook time : 15 min
Ingredients for Tofu Pepper Chili Stir fry:
- Tofu : 1 big log/block – extra firm.
- Bell peppers: Mixed colors , cut in big pieces : 2 cups
- Onion : Medium size, red, Cut in strips
- Ginger garlic paste: 1 tsp.
- Veg Oil : 2 Tbsp.
- Stir fry/ Soy sauce : 1 tsp.
- Hot chili ketchup : 1 tsp.
- Red chili flakes/ powder : 1/2 tsp. (Optional)
- Corn flour : 1 tsp + 2 Tbsp. water
- Salt to taste
- Fresh Cilantro : Chopped : 1/4 cup.
- Ginger garlic paste : 1 tsp.
- Honey : 1/2 tsp.
- Cornflour : 2 tsp.
- Soy sauce/ Stir fry sauce : 1 Tbsp.
- Salt : A pinch
Prep the tofu first :
- Wrap the tofu block in paper towels, and express out the moisture. It helps, if you place something of a heavy nature on it and drain it out if required through the colander. Take care to not to smush it. We need to cut it in cubes. This could take anywhere from 15 – 30 minutes depending on the nature of your tofu.
- Once drained, cut the tofu into big cubes.
- Mix everything listed in the marinade to make a thick paste of sorts. Toss the cubes of tofu in it. Let it marinate for about 15 minutes. If you can wait a bit longer, you can let it sit for about an hour.
- In a big wok or skillet, add in 1 tbsp. of oil and when heated, add in the pieces of tofu to sauté/ brown it evenly on all sides. Remove and set aside.
- Add in one more tbsp. of oil in the same skillet and add in the ginger-garlic paste, red chili flakes /powder and thin strips of onion. Cook the onion till it is translucent and then add in the mixed peppers and a bit of salt. Cook the peppers till it retains a bit of a bite in it.You want the peppers nearly cooked but not completely cooked, so you will have a bit of crunch to it.
- Add in the sauces, ketchup and the cornflour paste and the cubes of sautéed tofu.
- Stir, check for salt and garnish with fresh cilantro and serve hot with steaming cup of rice.
Quick Veg Tossed Rice:
Prep time : 10 min Cook time : 15 min Serves : 4
- Frozen peas and Carrots mix : 1/2 cup
- Onions: thin strips : 1/4 cup
- Butter : unsalted : 1 Tbsp.
- Oil : 1 tsp.
- Cumin seeds: 1 tsp.
- Black peppercorns: 1/4 tsp.
- Bay leaves: 2
- Green Cardamom: 1
- Salt : 1 tsp./ to taste
- Basmati Rice: 1.5 cups
- Water : 3 cups
- In a big non stick sauce pan ( this needs to have a lid) , add in the tbsp. of butter and oil and warm it.
- Once it heats, add in the cumin seeds. Add in the whole spices as well.
- Add in the thin strips of onions and saute till well cooked.
- Now add in the peas and carrots and stir for about a couple of minutes.
- Add in the washed rice and stir it too along with the spices and veggies for another minute or two.
- Salt it with about a tsp of salt. Mix well.
- Add about 3 cups of water , give it a stir and cover and cook for about 15 minutes in medium to high heat.
- You should have perfectly cooked rice in that time.
- Turn off the flame and then gently toss it with a fork and serve.
An awesome winning combination up your sleeve!