Turmeric Tofu and Roasted Roots Curry
This recipe is a combination of South Indian flavours with seasonal British vegetables. The fresh turmeric, mustard seeds, curry leaves and coconut milk make a fragrant, creamy sauce that contrasts the subtle sweetness of roasted root vegetables. I first made this turmeric tofu and roasted roots curry to use up some already-roasted carrots, parsnips and swede, and have since found it a great recipe for leftover veg during the winter months. I added some firm tofu to complete the meal, keeping it vegan and adding a contrast in texture.
Be wary of how easily fresh turmeric stains everything it comes into contact with. I’m very good a getting it under my finger nails, despite precautions, and then having strangely yellow nails for a few days. If you’d rather not tackle fresh, ground turmeric will work just fine although it’s a little less intense in flavour.
It’s a quick dinner, as you can make the curry in the time it takes to roast the roots, and even quicker if you are using pre-roasted veg. For this, skip step 1 and instead warm the veg through in the sauce for 5 minutes before serving. A great way to save time, and reduce waste whilst your at it, is to not peel the vegetables. Unless the skins are really old and wrinkled, root veg can often just be scrubbed thoroughly to remove any dirt and then they are good to go. A lot of the nutrients is between the skin and flesh of the vegetable anyway, so peeling it off isn’t worth it for anyone. I serve this turmeric tofu and roasted roots curry with rice but it could be enjoyed alone for a lighter meal or with some roti.
Turmeric Tofu and Roasted Roots Curry Recipe
800g root vegetables (carrots, parsnips, swede, turnips, celeriac etcetera)
400g firm tofu
1tsp black mustard seeds
10–12 curry leaves
1 onion, diced
2 garlic cloves, crushed
2cm piece ginger, finely chopped
1 green or red finger chilli, finely chopped (optional)
2cm piece fresh turmeric, finely chopped (or 1/2tsp ground turmeric)
400ml can fairtrade/organic coconut milk
small handful fresh coriander, chopped
1 Heat the oven to 200°C/180°C fan/gas 6. Scrub the root vegetables and roughly chop them into similar sized batons. Spread out on a roasting tray, toss in a little oil, season with salt and pepper and roast for 20–25 minutes until tender and lightly browned.
2 Cut the tofu into 2–3cm cubes. Heat 1tbsp of coconut oil in a large pan and fry off the tofu, stirring regularly, until golden on all sides. Remove the tofu with a slotted spoon and set aside on a plate.
3 Add a little more coconut oil to the pan and, once hot, add the mustard seeds and curry leaves. Once the seeds start popping, about 30 seconds, add the diced onion. Cook on a medium–high heat for around 8 minutes until softened. Stir in the garlic, ginger, chilli and turmeric (if using ground turmeric add this a minute later). Cook for a further minute then add the coconut milk and simmer for 10–15 minutes.
4 Season the turmeric broth to taste then stir in the roasted vegetables. Finish with fresh coriander.