I like to think I’m pretty eclectic with the food I eat or make. I definitely love to try food from around the world. The first time I had Indian food was in 2003 in South Africa and I was hooked. I just didn’t have too many restaurants near me, but I did have a favorite in the next town over. So, when I moved to California I was on the hunt for a restaurant that could become my new go-to. In the meantime, I’d just have to enjoy the smells coming from my neighbor’s apartment.
One day I asked my neighbor what was on the menu and she told me it was a simple curry with brown rice. Where did “Punjab” come from? Her husband. I think he wanted to make sure I understood that curry dishes differed between the regions. They made me a to-go bowl and I just had to have the recipe! As I usually do, I made a few changes. Actually, I just made one. I switched out chicken for tofu because I was making it for dinner with a vegetarian friend.
The best part of this dish is that it’s one-pot! We all know when you’re cooking disabled-ly the fewer dishes, the better! So let’s get started. As always most of my measurements are estimates. Adjust to your taste.
What you’ll need:
- Dutch oven or deep pan
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 cups Brown Rice
- 3-4 cups water
- 1 Package Firm or Super Firm tofu, drained and cubed
- 1 cup Dry peas
- 1/2 cup Shredded Coconut (optional but highly suggested)
- 1/2 cup Raisins (optional)
- Curry Powder
- Garlic (or garlic powder)
- Minced onion (dried is fine)
What you have to do:
- Remove the tofu from the package. Drain the liquid. Place the tofu block onto 1-2 paper towels and press down to squeeze out any extra liquid. Cut it into cubes.
- Heat olive oil in the dutch oven/pan over medium heat. If it sizzles when you flick a little water in it, it’s ready.
3. Add the cubed tofu to the pan and brown on both sides.
- Remove the tofu from the pan and set aside
5. Add the dried peas and water to the pan. Bring the heat up to rapid boil for 1-2 minutes then reduce to a simmer. We are cooking disabledly so, canned (drained) or frozen peas will work just fine. If you use frozen or canned, you can add them after the rice so they aren’t too mushy, unless you like mushy of course!
6. Next, add the rice, raisins, shredded coconut, curry powder, garlic powder, and onions to the simmering pan and stir. Here, you will add a little more water so that the water is about an inch (or finger tip) above the rice. Cover while simmering
NOTE: After a few minutes, taste the liquid to make sure the flavor is where you want it. Add more seasoning (in this case curry powder, garlic, or onion) if needed.
7. Once most of the liquid has been absorbed, add the tofu (or chicken) back to the pan. Stir just a little to get it incorporated. Let it simmer until the peas are done.
And that’s it! You’ve made Punjab curry with brown rice.