This recipe came together out of fate. I happened to have most of the necessary ingredients on hand and stumbled upon Archer Farms Vindaloo sauce at Target that looked good. I love Indian food and had been looking for a reason to try cauliflower rice that didn’t scare me. Cauliflower just smells so – cauliflowery – that I’ve been reluctant to try it with anything other than a fragrant sauce that smothers it. I also had some tofu on hand and have never tried to prepare if any way other than as a filling, like in my Stuffed Shells Recipe.
This was very simple to make, but very hot! Eric couldn’t take a full serving. It was my fault for buying Hot Vindaloo sauce, but I’m pretty sure the jar I originally picked up said Medium and, somehow, after looking at the ingredients in the Vindaloo as well as the ingredients in Tikka Masala sauce, I accidentally bought the jar of Hot. I’m thinking that I will pick up a jar of Medium or Mild next time I’m at Target and I will look for a good slow cooker vindaloo recipe so that I can cook everything but the tofu all day and pan-fry and add the tofu before serving.
HOW TO MAKE CAULIFLOWER RICE (adapted slightly from this link):This is so freaking simple, it made me wonder why I never made it before.
1. Cut cauliflower head into florets… I used about a third of a head of cauliflower.
2. Pulse fresh cauliflower in food processor until it is all about the size of bulgar (or rice). You could also shred it with a cheese grater (but I’m not sure a lot of vegans would have that in their kitchens).
3. Microwave in a covered dish (I cracked the lid on the dish slightly to let the steam out and microwaved it for about 2 minutes). DO NOT ADD WATER.
HOW TO MAKE THE VINDALOO:
– One can of chickpeas
– One bell pepper, de-seeded and chopped
– One can of chopped tomatoes
– One container of tofu
– A few tablespoons of Liquid Smoke
– A couple of tablespoons of Tamari sauce
1. First, cut the tofu into the strips.
2. Ahead of time, maybe in the morning (or at least an hour ahead) press the tofu. You can use any technique you like, but I placed a towel on a plate, then paper towels on top of that, sandwiched the tofu between more paper towels, then another plate, and stacked cans of beans on top.
3. After pressing the tofu, I marinated it. I didn’t want a marinade that would compete with the Vindaloo, so I used Liquid Smoke and a little bit of Tamari sauce (like a soy sauce, without the salty flavor). I let it marinate for about 30 minutes, but I’m sure it would only improve if it sat longer.
4. Next, I tried a great tip that I found at delish.com, I tossed the marinated tofu strips with about 1/2 a cup of cornstarch before pan frying it. It helps create a crispy outer coating. Pan fry the tofu until all the sides turn a golden brown.
5. Cook the tomatoes, chickpeas, and bell pepper for a little bit in a large skillet (maybe 5 minutes).
6. Add the Vindaloo sauce and simmer for a few more minutes until the bell peppers soften a bit.
7. Add tofu, mix all ingredients, and serve over cauliflower rice.
I originally made the mistake of adding the tofu too soon, so it looked and smelled amazing when it went into the skillet, but was a lot softer when served. It still tasted amazing, but next time I will follow the directions I posted above.
I served it with green beans and Trader Joe’s Tandoori Garlic Naan Bread.
Go ahead and give it a try if you come across the Archer Farms Vindaloo sauce at Target or something like it.