Please, can you please all make this curry? Seriously, it’s soooo good! Like, I-want-to-eat-all-servings-by-myself type good. And guess what? Because this curry is really light and healthy, you can! If you are organised and disciplined (I am neither), you double or triple this recipe and freeze leftovers as it freezes really well and makes for a great stand-by on busy weeknights (I already see you dialling that takeaway number, but you will never again after you have tried this recipe). If you are looking for an alternative to Indian takeaway, enter my healthy Madras curry with chickpea tofu!
What I love about our local Indian takeaway is how you can customise the protein and the degree of spiciness in the dishes. What I am less keen on is the amount of cheap oils, butter and cream in Indian takeaway curries and the feeling that you have swallowed a whale (or turned into one). So I’ve been looking to come up with a good alternative that is healthy, easy, quick, inexpensive and, most of all, tasty. It seems like I nailed all these briefs at the first time! This stuff is hearty, satisfying, exotic, just the right amount of spicy, filling without sitting like a rock in your stomach, nourishing and comforting!
Using light coconut/almond milk, this dish is a lot less heavy than traditional Indian dishes and very low in fat, with the fat mainly coming from healthy coconut oil. If you like things extra creamy, you could use full-fat coconut milk or cashew cream although I really prefer the lightness of my recipe. I love my carbs so I tend to serve brown rice on the side with also lends this meal a nice crunch, but if you limit your carbs, you could try cauliflower rice. As a protein, I used Burmese chickpea tofu to create a soy-free vegan meal. I don’t mind soy anymore but I try to not go overboard with it. You can of course use “normal” tofu, tempeh, paneer or whatever protein suits your taste buds and dietary requirements.
If you aren’t familiar with chickpea tofu though, I’d definitely recommend trying it. I made mine using the recipe by the incredibly talented vegan Richa. I looked at several recipes for no-soy tofu, and hers was by far the most straightforward one. It literally comes together in ten minutes and is set in the fridge in under an hour. I was so pleased to have found a cheap, easy, healthy and lowfat alternative to regular tofu! The texture is almost the same as tofu and it has a subtle, not overwhelming earthy chickpea flavour which I love. I actually make a big batch and munch on it as a snack. With its gooey, slightly rubbery consistency, it feels like having naughty cheese, only that due to the chickpea flour, chickpea tofu is low in fat while boasting fiber, iron, potassium, manganese, copper, zinc, phosphorus, magnesium, folate, vitamin B-6 and thiamine!
Sounds too good to be true? Then get cooking!
Healthy Madras Curry with Chickpea Tofu
Makes 3 servings
1 tbsp coconut oil
1 onion, peeled and finely chopped (optional, leave out for low FODMAP)
3 garlic cloves, peeled and minced
1 tbsp ginger powder
2 tsp cumin
2 tsp dried coriander
1 tsp curry powder or garam masala
a pinch of turmeric
chili powder or fresh chilis, to taste
1 recipe chickpea tofu, chopped
1 tin (400g) tinned tomatoes
sea salt and pepper to taste
dash of lemon juice
dash of light coconut milk or almond milk
500 g steamed vegetables such as broccoli, cauliflower, green beans, peas
brown rice or cauliflower rice, to serve
Heat the coconut oil in a deep saucepan and add garlic, onion if using, ginger, cumin, coriander, curry powder, turmeric and chili powder. Fry the spices until they are aromatic. Add the chopped chickpea tofu and fry until lightly browned, then add the tomatoes. Season with salt and pepper. Leave to simmer for 15 minutes, adding a little bit of water as necessary. Stir in lemon juice, coconut milk and vegetables and serve immediately with rice.