Tofu, Chhole Aloo aur Dhaniya ki Dandiyan (Tofu, Chickpeas, potato and Cilantro stems)
Posted by vivnidhi on May 28, 2008
Tofu, Chhole Aloo garnished with onions
There are numerous things that I want to post about, but boy! have I been busy!! Yes, my mother left for India a few days back and now its only me with two young kids……………:(. How do people manage twins…………I’d go nuts. On the positive side, my older son does manage to entertain my little one so that I can finish the daily chores. But that’s about it (even that is an achievement some days). One day as I was busy with my younger one, the son wanted me to do something else as well……..and I just couldn’t help saying ” I have only two hands”. Just then, the son remembered of Brahmaji (an Indian deity having 4 arms and 4 heads) His reply was ” You should be like Brahma, then you would have four hands” Now do you think , I could hide my smile.
Fresh Cilantro (Coriander leaves) are the best and most essential garnish in North Indian cuisine. The fresh leaves just really enhance the flavor in spicy curries. In order to keep these leaves fresher longer, I like to remove the leaves from the stems and save them either in a paper bag or the leftover boxes of berries which also have holes to breathe. So, that’s a reuse tip. Honest confession is that my kitchen pantry is full of plastic boxes that came with something else and are saved up to keep something else. I just can’t throw them in trash without thinking of me adding further plastic garbage.I know one day all this will be thrown but at least after being reused several times. Now, a PHD student’s wife also saves money on containers this way too;).
So, I got 4 bunches of cilantro and saved the leaves. I was left with really tender cilantro stems. Mom suggested I use them and when they were added to the curry, they just made the curry taste so very delicious, I could lick the bowl.
Fresh Cilantro stems and soaked and boiled chickpeas
Its quite a medley but delicious combination.
- 2 slabs extra firm tofu cut into cubes
- 1 cup soaked and boiled chickpeas
- 1 small potato cut into cubes
- 2 onions chopped very fine
- 1 tomato chopped fine
- 1 tomato cut into cubes
- 6 cloves garlic minced
- 2″ piece of ginger minced
- 2 Tbsp. Yogurt
- salt to taste
- 2 Tsp. vegetable oil
- 1 tsp. cumin seeds (jeera)
- 1 tsp. turmeric powder (Haldi)
- 2 tsp. red chilli powder
- 2 Tbsp. Coriander powder (Dhaniya)
- 1 tsp. Garam Masala
- 1-1/2 bunches cilantro stems chopped fine
Star of the show: finely chopped cilantro stems
Heat oil in a saucepan and add cumin seeds, turmeric powder, red chili powder and coriander powder. Fry finely chopped onions, ginger and garlic well till they change color to brown.
Add finely chopped tomatoes till they have almost melted in the onions.
Add the yogurt, mix well and fry for 2 more minutes stirring continuously.
Next add the potato, tomato, tofu ,chickpeas and salt. Add 1/2 a cup of water and cover.
When the vegetables have softened enough, check for gravy, add more water if need be.Add Garam masala and cilantro stems.Cover for 5 more minutes till the stems have mixed well in the gravy. This curry is very fragrant on its own. Even the kitchen starts smelling wonderful. Tastes great with paranthas or rice.
Tofu Aloo Chhole with paranthas and Coleslaw
Edit: August 8’08 : I mention in my post that its a good idea to keep the cilantro leaves in a plastic box which has holes to let the leaves breathe. This is a great idea if one has a lot of cilantro………like I did, 4 bunches. Soon, the leaves in the box will dry out and they can be used later. Keeping them in the box saves them from rotting. If there is a very small quantity of cilantro like a bunch which you know will be used in a week or so, it is best to keep the cilantro leaves in a brown paper bag. It will help the leaves from drying out. Cilantro stems are best in the crisper in a plastic bag.