Introduced to Goa by the Portugese, this vegan version of the popular Goan chicken dish features a milder version of a traditionally spicy marinade. Extra firm tofu is baked to perfection, topped with the sharp, full-bodied (and chili-free) coriander based paste. Enjoy with a simple salad of mixed lettuce, raw cut onions, and tomatoes doused with salt and fresh lemon juice.
Make sure you press as much liquid as you can out of your tofu. You want solidity here because, remember, the more water you get out of the tofu, the more it will soak back in. The blocks of tofu should soak up all of the cafrael marinade liquid (there’s not a lot, but it’s enough to flavour it substantially). Sometimes I like to cheat and poke holes with toothpicks into my tofu encourage its marinade to really get up close and personal.
And by the way, you don’t need to be that anal with tofu sizes/weights. Just get something vaguely in the ball park.
And now, onto the deliciousness that is cafrael tofu. Seriously, get your bottom in gear and make this ASAP.
- Preheat your oven to 175 C (350 F).
- Using a pestle and mortar (or a spice/coffee grinder), grind all of the ingredients but the tofu into a paste. It won’t be perfectly smooth, so don’t worry about a few lumps. Tip the paste into a container large enough to hold the tofu pieces.
- Coat the tofu in the coriander paste, ensuring all sides are well covered. You can poke some holes in the tofu with toothpicks to help it soak in the liquid while you marinate, but it’s not a completely necessary step (if you’ve pressed as much liquid out as possible, the curd should soak in the marinade juices). Leave to marinate for at least an hour, flipping the tofu slabs every so often.
- Add a little bit of oil to the bottom of an oven proof dish. Spoon away any excess paste from the tofu and rub around in the oil to coat all sides. Top the bean curd with the remaining paste and drizzle with a little bit of oil. Bake for 20-25 minutes and serve hot with salad, bread, or your favourite Indian sides.