Ah me, where is the serenity, the unfathomable lightness, the sense of accomplishing and participating in the wild frenzied breath of the universe without pain, only bliss?
No clue. All I know is sometimes you just have to pull together the shards and remnants of all prior existences, the amorphous blobs of unforetold dreams, and the strands of countless prayers, combine them into a large casserole dish and bake until you’ve come up with a savory significance completely your own and completely worthwhile. No simple task, but your only other recourse is to throw in the towel and let life lead you. I’ll have none of that, so I’m going to rally my determination and find a way to make the ingredients in my cabinet froth into something grand. For my sake, for the husband’s sake. Life is too precious to let stupid obstacles crush you. (I speak in riddles mayhaps, but I’m in an incoherent mood, so play along!)
And as in life, so in the kitchen. Pulling together tidbits of randomosity and hoping for the best. Granted, this dish was thrown together with some sense of taste (not a wanton sense of whimsy) and natural understanding of flavors, but still. I just looked forlornly at my fridge hoping for something to lift me out of the doldrums, and this happened. Moral of the story? Tofu makes me happy. Coconut makes the husband happy. Curry makes everyone happy. So let the joy unfold.
- 1 package of firm tofu, cubed
- Red chili pepper
- Curry powder
- Dried basil
- 1 Onion, pureed
- 3 Garlic cloves, minced (about 2 tsp garlic paste)
- Coriander/cumin spice mix (or coriander and cumin powders separately)
- Bell Peppers, assorted and cut into strips
- ½ cup Coconut milk
- Fresh basil leaves
I left off the quantities because I didn’t even try to make note of them this time, I truly morphed into a mammoth condor and took flight (ie I winged it). But I’ll give some general measurements if possible.
Starting with the tofu, use red chili powder, salt, curry powder, and dried basil to season. I drain the tofu from the package, give it a nice rinse and a hearty shake, then using roughly ½ tsp salt and 1 tsp fo everything else, just toss and coat and let sit for a while.
In a large frying pan, heat a little bit of oil and toss in the onion puree. I have no idea why I did it this way—I think I was craving the onion to be completely disintegrated (I might suggest frying and then pureeing next time). There’s nothing wrong with this method though, except to keep stirring so it doesn’t stick and burn. Add the garlic with it and toss frequently. Throw in some red chili powder and curry powder and a coriander/cumin mix if you have (else 1 ½ tsp coriander powder and 1 tsp cumin powder will suffice) and mix up like the crazy DJ mixes my husband has been concocting in his makeshift studio these days (what?).
After about 5 minutes, add the bell peppers and let them fry in the onions. Don’t be afraid to toss them around a bit. Let them know who’s boss!
Right, well, eventually the onion will be melted and the peppers somewhat wilted, at which point throw in your tofu and let them sizzle and spurt for bit (if needed, add a little more oil to the pan). Cook the tofu on all sides, browning it a bit, and then squeeze ½ a lime and blend in. After 5-7 minutes, pour in the coconut milk and turn the heat on low, just letting it warm up. At this point taste it and NOW you can add additional salt as needed.
Finally, sprinkle your beautiful coconut concoction with fresh basil leaves coarsely chopped.