Savoury Tofu Korma with Fenugreek (Methi)

Savoury Tofu Korma with Fenugreek (Methi)

Tofu is one of my most favourite foods. It is so versatile and used in both sweet and savoury recipes. Here, I infuse it with a creamy vegan korma sauce and enhance it with dry fenugreek leaves. Dry Fenugreek leaves (or Kasuri Methi) is a popular dried herb that adds earthy, smoky flavour to many dishes. It can transform any bland dish into a savoury succulent one. It is native to Asia and the Mediterranean but primary used in Indian, Middle Eastern and African cuisine. It’s flavour resembles that of celery and fennel with a hint of maple syrup. It enhances any sauce, stew or soup. It has so many medicinal benefits that it can also consumed as a tea. If however, you prefer not to use the fenugreek, that’s fine, this dish still shines without it.

I use firm tofu as it holds its shape and soaks up all the flavours when drenched with the sauce. I also bake the tofu cubes in the oven first to make them crispy and remove the tofu moisture. You can use the cubes without baking them first, it’s really a matter of preference. If you decide not to bake the tofu before adding it to the korma sauce, just fold it in gently and stir carefully while cooking so the tofu cubes keep their shape and don’t break.

The korma sauce comes together so easily and quickly that I wait until the tofu comes out of the oven before I start making it. I always use ginger and garlic paste because it adds to the velvety and creamy texture of the korma sauce. Puree them together to make the paste, no need to grind them separately – or you can use store bought – either work just as well. Cook the garlic and ginger together in the hot oil until golden brown. This enhances the flavour and eliminates the raw bitter taste. Just be careful not to overcook or it will taste bitter. The trick is to stir constantly and cook on low-medium heat just until they are a golden colour.

Add the tomato puree and cook so the sauce is infused with all the favours and the rawness of the sauce disappears. This enhances the flavour of the sauce and tempers it with all the goodness of the spices. Stir in the coconut cream/milk and remaining ingredients and combine until creamy and the tofu is infused with all the deliciousness of the korma sauce. Enjoy over rice, quinoa, naan or any flatbread.

Savoury Tofu Korma with Fenugreek (Methi)
Preparing the Tofu
  1. Preheat your oven to 375 degrees F.
  2. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
  3. Cut the tofu into cubes about 1/2 inch by 1/2 inch. In a medium size bowl, add the tofu cubes and drizzle 1 Tablespoon of oil and sprinkling of salt and pepper. Combine carefully with a spatula so that the cubes do not break or crumble but are all infused with the oil mixture.
  4. Place the cubes in the baking tray, spreading them out so the do not touch each other.
  5. Bake in a preheated oven for 30 minutes, turning them mid-time so the bake evenly.
  6. When baked, remove from oven and set aside to cool.
Making the Korma Sauce
  1. Place a flat, heavy frying pan on medium-low heat. Add the oil and when it begins to shimmer, add the ginger and garlic puree.
  2. Sauté, stirring constantly until the ginger and garlic are golden brown. The ginger and garlic must be stirred constantly or they will stick to the bottom of the pan.
  3. Add the salt and chilies and stir.
  4. Add the tomato puree first and then the dry fenugreek and cook until the mixture is completely combined (about 2-3 minutes). The idea here is to heat the tomato puree and allow it to absorb all the garlic, ginger, fenugreek and spices and thicken ever so slightly. This will enhance the favour.
  5. Add the coconut milk and stir to combine. Cook 1-2 minutes longer.
Assembling the Dish
  1. Add the tofu cubes and stir until until the cubes are all drenched with the tomato sauce.
  2. Sprinkle the ground cumin and smoked paprika and stir until the spices are all incorporated.
  3. Serve with rice, quinoa, naan or any flatbread.