Potato, Okra & Chick Peas in Tomato Curry

It’s cold, gray, and rainy here down South today… I’m paying for all of the times I’ve mocked “fake Georgia winter.”  There has been plenty of soup weather this winter, that’s for sure.  Soup weather isn’t much good for wanting to get outside, but it IS good for soup, warm fuzzy socks, and when the soup gets repetitive… there’s always curry!

I’ve been really enjoying this simple, easy (easy enough to make on a Monday night when I couldn’t get my act together on Sunday!) version all season.

Potato, Okra & Chick Peas in Tomato Curry

1 block extra firm tofu
1 large white potato
1-2 Tbsp oil (I use canola)
1/2 large onion
6 Tbsp Patak’s curry paste, 1/2 mild and 1/2 hot (because my store never has medium!)
1 1/2 cup water (start here and add more later if necessary; you don’t want the curry dry but you don’t want to dilute the flavor.  You can also add more paste if you need, obviously)
1 can (drained and rinsed) chick peas
1 bag frozen sliced okra
1/2 cup diced tomatoes
Salt to taste

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The first step is to set the oven at about 350, cube your tofu into pieces of about 1/2 inch, line a baking sheet with parchment (of course!) and let your tofu bake while you prep everything else – let it go until the cube corners get golden brown, which usually takes mine 20 minutes.

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Step two (or at least, how step two goes every time I make this on a weeknight): realize your potato is still raw.  Peel potato and cube to match the tofu chunks.  Place potato in microwave safe bowl, cover, and nuke for approximately 5 minutes or until soft through.  I really meant to boil the potato the first time I made this but, I forgot.  And continue to forget.  The thing is though, the microwave gives it a little bit of a chewier texture that actually holds up better in the dish in my opinion.  If you’re a purist, feel free to plan ahead and avoid the microwave.

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After that, it’s really a matter of starting some oil & curry paste in a pan (or tomato paste + curry powder if you’d like to avoid the jar stuff, which I’ll do next time but I had some jars to use up), and throwing your ingredients in to get friendly.

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Heat about a tablespoon of oil in a large skillet at no more than medium heat (a large pot could suffice too, but this makes a BIG, eat it all week batch – I actually bought a new large tupperware in its honor the second time I made it) and add your onion.  Cook until transclucent – about 5 minutes, and then add your paste, then your tomatoes and water.  Give the tomatoes a couple minutes to meld, and then add your chick peas, okra, potato, and tofu.  Stir regularly, simmering for at least 10 minutes… I usually go longer to let the tofu soak some spice up.

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Serve over rice.  As always… this is good with spinach thrown in for extra greens, if you have some hanging around.  I toss it in whenever I do.

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