coconutThis recipe, very slightly adapted from Vij’s: Elegant & Inspired Indian Cuisine, one of two excellent cookbooks courtesy of Vij’s restaurant in Vancouver, is a staple in our house. It is also a great way to incorporate tofu into your diet, as this recipe capitalizes on tofu’s ability to absorb other flavours.

1 tbsp grapeseed or coconut oil
20 fresh curry leaves
1 tbsp black mustard seeds
1 1/2 cups finely chopped onions
1 tbsp chopped garlic
2 cups chopped tomatoes (2 large)
1 tbsp ground cumin
1 tsp turmeric
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ground black pepper
1 12 ounce can coconut milk
1 medium-sized block of firm organic tofu, cubed
1 eggplant, chopped into 1-1/2″ pieces
1 cauliflower, cut into 1-1/2″ florets
2 green or yellow bell peppers, seeded and chopped into 1″ pieces
3/4 cup cilantro, chopped

Note: I highly recommend dry roasting and grinding your own cumin, either with a mortar and pestle or a coffee grinder, to experience the full flavour of fresh ground spices. Other vegetables that go great with this curry include green beans, kale, and carrots.

1. In a large pot, heat oil on medium heat. Keeping your head at a distance from the pot, add the curry leaves and mustard seeds and allow them to sizzle for about one minute or until a few seeds pop.
2. Immediately add onions and sauté until golden brown, about 8 minutes.
3. Add tomatoes, garlic and remaining spices and sauté until oil glistens on top.
4. Stir in coconut milk and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium low. Add eggplant and tofu. Cover and simmer to five minutes. Add cauliflower and bell peppers, cover and simmer for another five minutes. Stir in cilantro.

Serve over brown basmati rice.