This Indian tofu stir-fry is super flavourful yet secretly healthy! Plus, it is super easy to make & requires only simple pantry ingredients.
Living in Malaysia means that I get to taste and devour a variety of different dishes from different races. And I must say, Indian cuisine holds a really special place in my heart. Indian cooking always includes many different kinds of exotic herbs and spices that will leave your taste buds wanting more !
This tofu stir fry is hugely inspired by Indian cooking. But not to fear, this recipe is actually really easy to make and you probably already have most of the ingredients in your pantry ! To simplify this, I am making use of spice mixes, mainly curry powder and Garam Masala.
What is Garam Masala ?
Garam masala is a really popular spice mix and is commonly used in Asian cooking, especially in Indian cooking. A variety of different spices are toasted and grounded up into powder. Spices that are commonly used in garam masala includes cumin, coriander, bay leaves, black peppercorns, cinnamon, cloves, fennel seeds and cardamom seeds. If you are interested to know more or even make your own garam masala, I highly recommend checking out this How To Make & Use Garam Masala blog post by Two Sleevers.
Types of tofu
For those of you who are new to tofu, you may be baffled as they are a few kinds of tofu. Tofu is mainly categorized by its texture and can be mainly divided into 4 types - extra firm, firm, soft and silken.
- Extra firm -Contain the least amount of liquid and is the most dense and compact among all tofu. Holds it shape the best and are perfect for pan-frying, baking and stir-frying. This is what you want to use in this recipe.
- Firm - It is kind of similar to extra firm, but is less dense and contains more liquid. Works as a great substitute if you cant get your hands on the extra firm ones.
- Soft / Silken - Has the highest water content among all kinds of tofu. As the name implies, it is silky and has a custard-like texture. They are oftentimes used in soups, smoothies and even healthy dessert. Do not use them in this recipe.
🍅What you will need
List of substitutes / optional add-ins
- I recommend adding some sweetener of choice ( maple syrup, cocnut sugar, date syrup ) to really bring out the flavours of this dish.
- If tofu is not your thing, feel free to substitute it with tempeh, seitan or even cooked chickpeas.
- Diced tomatoes can be used as a substitute for fresh tomatoes. But you will need only 1/2 can.
- Any bell pepper works well in this recipe.
- Curry leaves are a great addition to this recipe if you can get your hands on it !
- Although you can skip marinating the tofu if you are short on time, I do not recommend doing so. Marinating for at least 20 minutes allow to the tofu to soak up the marinate, hence making them super flavourful.
- Be sure to press your tofu before using to ensure most of the liquids are being squeezed out. You can use a tofu press, or alternatively, stack something heavy on top of your tofu. I recommend reading this article - an easy method to press tofu by The Spruce Eats . It goes into detail on how to press tofu and ways to do it.
- To make it oil-free, simply omit the oil. You can use water or vegetable stock in place.
- For a lower sodium option, add less salt or substitute it with some coconut aminos, which are significantly lower in sodium.
❔ Common Q&A
Yes, all ingredients used in this recipe are gluten-free, making them naturally gluten-free.
Refrigerate leftovers in a sealed container for 3-4 days.
The best way ( in my opinion ) to serve this dish is to pair them with some brown rice ! Other grains like quinoa and couscous works well to.
🍽 More recipes using tofu
- Vegan Satay Skewers with Peanut Sauce
- Vegan Peanut Noodles With Crispy Tofu
- Chinese Style Vegan Tofu Mince
- Vegan Tofu Egg Fried Rice
Healthy Indian Tofu Stir-fry
For the tofu
- 1/2 block extra firm tofu , cubed * about 7 oz / 200g
- 1 tbsp soy sauce / tamari
- 1 tsp curry powder
For the stir fry
- 2 cloves minced garlic
- 1 small red onion, cubed
- 1/2 red bell pepper, cubed
- 1 medium tomato, cubed
- 1 tsp curry powder
- 1/4 tsp garam masala
- salt, to taste
- 1 tsp sweetener of choice ( optional , but highly recommended )
- Make the marinade by mixing together the soy sauce and curry powder. Toss the marinade into the cubed tofu and let it marinate for at least 20 minutes.
- Preheat oven to 200c . Arrange your tofu on a lined baking tray and let it bake for 20 minutes. Set aside.
- Heat up some oil in a pan ( omit to make it oil-free ) and start by sauteing the onion until caramelized, about 3-5 minutes.
- Add in the garlic, curry powder and garam masala and saute until fragrant. At this point, add in your tomato and bell pepper. Let it cook for 5-10 minutes, or until the veggies have soften.
- Toss in the tofu together with salt and sweetener ( if using ) and stir until everything is well incorporated.
- Serve it with some rice and enjoy while hot !