• Lexi Mestas

Coconut & Lime Tofu Curry

When I was 20 I had the incredible privilege of studying abroad in Hyderabad, India. I’d been fascinated with India since I was a child - a fascination I really couldn’t explain. It just felt like a huge tug on my heart. That tug was strong enough for me to turn down the program that fit the minor requirements I still needed to fulfill. It was strong enough to spend six months away from my family. It was strong enough to thumb my nose at the never-ending preparation requirements - driving 20 hours for a 15-minute visa appointment, three rounds of vaccines, and the constant questioning from my study abroad advisor “ARE YOU SURE INDIA?!”

I spent the first few weeks truly in awe at the chaos swirling around me - no queues, cars completely ignoring all lines on the road, the frequent suggestion to wait “five more minutes” or “come back tomorrow.” Within three months' time, the chaos was comforting. I let go of my need to control time, accepted things may take a different course than expected, hopped on the back of a motorcycle willing to stop for me to get to class, looked forward to seeing the family of water buffalo during my walks, and came to adore the tradition of sharing afternoon tea with my friends. 

I learned to slow down, let go, take in all that was around me and take it all with me - maybe most affectionately the moments cooking with my Hindi teacher and her family. Their techniques and recipes were some of the first things I shared when I returned home to my family. Their curries, jalebis, samosas, ginger chai, and pakoras - these recipes themselves are beautiful stories in their own right. Stories that mixed with my own experience to create curries like the one I’m sharing with you.  


Prep Time: 15-minutes + 4 hours pull water from tofu

Cook Time: 40 minutes

Total Time: 4 hours 45 minutes

Serves: 2


Ingredients:

- 1 block silken tofu

- 1/4 cup golden raising

- 1 cup canned coconut milk

- 1 tsp cumin

- 3 tbsp curry powder

- 1/4 cup fresh cilantro

- 1/2 onion, diced

- 1 lime, juiced

- 3 cloves garlic, chopped

- 1 cup water

- 2 tbsp honey

- 3 tbsp Greek yogurt or sour cream


Directions:

1. Four hours before cooking, remove tofu from packaging, drain, and wrap in a thick towel. Place a heavy cutting board or object on top. This will remove a lot of the moisture from the tofu so it will maintain its shape and silky texture without crumbling.


2. In a medium skillet over medium heat, add 3 tbsp olive oil and onion, sauteing until golden brown.


3. Add garlic and continue sauteing, stirring constantly for three minutes.


4. Add fresh cilantro and stir to combine until wilted.


5. Stir in curry powder and cumin, coating onions and garlic. Add lime juice and stir in.


6. Add coconut milk and golden raisins. Stir until completely combined with spices. Add 1 cup water - stir to combine. Add kosher salt to taste.


7. Increase heat to high heat. When at an aggressive simmer, stir in 2 tbsp honey. Add tofu and gently fold in.


8. Continue at an aggressive simmer for 15-minutes until thickened and coating the tofu.


9. Reduce heat to low. When the curry is no longer bubbling, add 3 tbsp Greek yogurt or sour cream. Gently mix in so the tofu stays intact.


10. Garnish with caraway seed, cilantro, and a squeeze of lime. Serve over rice.



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