Friday, May 14, 2010

The story of an obsession: Mango Curry

Growing up in Central Maine doesn't afford one many opportunities to try food from around the world. Not only were there very few options, but my family was never the type to go out to eat, and never ever did we get take out or delivery.  I recall one time that I convinced my mom to let me go get us some pizza for dinner.  When I came back to the house with it, she had cooked veggies and made a salad. I just shook my head at her and said 'you don't understand how this works, do you?'.

As the grown up that I attempt to be these days, I've come to really appreciate that 'cook it yourself' upbringing. I find I eat healthier, enjoy my homemade meals more and save money by not ordering out very often. But there are a few foods that I've come to see as an exception, at least until I can master making it myself. The #1 exception? Indian food. Specifically the Mango Walla from Bengal Tiger. Ohhhh sweet love. It is so wonderfully delicious.

One of my dear friends is very aware of my obsession with this mango walla, and knowing that I much prefer a meal I can make at home with more rice than anyone normal would think to serve, she very kindly got me a jar of some mango curry she found at the store. While it was surely missing some ingredients (I suspect, mainly, heavy cream), I sauteed up some veggies, tossed in some tofu and poured the mango curry over it. Served over rice it was quite delicious!


This is a recipe that will work with any bottled curry, or even a quality teriyaki sauce. I highly recommend it if you're looking for a quick but flavorful and filling dinner! It may not be the same as the Mango Walla from Bengal Tiger, but it's pretty delicious all the same!

Mango Curry with Veggies and Tofu, Served Over Rice

Be sure to read through this before you start. You can include tofu in a variety of ways, depending how you like it. Since I don't like the taste or texture of tofu very much, I crumble it, coat it in flour and pre cook it a bit, but some people prefer to just cube it and toss it whatever you wish, and of course, feel free to do chicken or some other meat instead.

For the Veggies
Ingredients: 1 onion, diced, 2-3 cloves of garlic, minced, assorted vegetables (broccoli, carrots, zucchini, etc), cut into small pieces, olive oil
Directions: Pour a small amount of olive oil into a pan and over medium to medium low heat saute the onions until softened, 2-3 minutes. Add the vegetables and continue to saute.  If you like softer broccoli, you can parboil it for a few minutes to soften it a bit. Add the tofu and garlic and stir until fragrant, about 30 seconds.  Add the curry and mix well. Add enough curry to more than coat the veggies, you want extra curry sauce that will seep into the rice.  Turn heat to low and let the flavors meld for a few minutes.

For the Tofu
Ingredients: Extra firm tofu,1/2 cup flour, garlic salt/powder, salt and pepper, oil for frying.
Directions: Press as much moisture as you can out of the tofu by hand, and then wrap it in a towel (paper or cloth). Set a cutting board with a heavy-ish object on top of it to extract more moisture out of it.  Depending how you like your tofu, cut into cubes or crumble the tofu (I prefer my tofu crumbled).  Combine the flour, garlic powder, salt and pepper together in a bowl. Toss the tofu with the dry ingredients. I use 1/4-1/3 of a package for myself, half for two people or the whole thing for a larger group. In a separate pan from the veggies, put oil in a saute pan.  Depending on how fried you like your tofu, put more or less oil. Cook the tofu in the oil for as long as you like, stirring occasionally. If you like your tofu more crispy, cook in more oil for longer, if you like the texture of tofu as it is, just cook it a little. If you really like tofu how it is, you can just add it to the veggies without the flour mixture at all.

Serve over rice, and enjoy! 

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