In a pinch for time recently, I had run out of all the things I love to eat and was left with some basic ingredients. Plain chickpeas, tofu and a few pieces of fruit. In the back of my spice cabinet (which is extensive since my job as “the Spice Queen” years ago) lurked a tiny little container of imported Tandoori Spice.
This made a quick meal in under 20 minutes, provided you have the Tandoori Spice.
I usually make sweet potatoes, or cauliflower rice or plantains to round out this meal. Certainly, you can have Chapati, Naan or Paratha (which I do when I go out for Indian cuisine but don’t indulge at home for my husband’s sake.) Sliced cucumbers and tomatoes add color.
1/2 pkg Tofu, sliced into planks
1 Cup Channa (cooked chickpeas)
1tsp coconut oil
1-2 tsp Tandoori Spice Blend (see note below*)
Lime wedges for garnish
- Heat a skillet and pour in coconut oil and a 1-2 tsp of the spice.
- Slice a half package of tofu into 6 little slabs and pressed the water out with a towel.
- Stir oil and spice together then lay the slabs on top to absorb flavor and color.
- Flip tofu planks over after 10 minutes on medium-high or when just browned.
- Sprinkle Tamari sauce over planks to salt them.
A good bit of spice and oil will be left in the pan after the tofu finishes browning. While it browns, heat another skillet on medium heat and 1 tsp coconut or olive oil.
When the oil is melted, add sliced plantains to the skillet.
Remove tofu from first pan and add a heaping cup of Channa. Stir until the channa is coated with spice and heated through, remove from heat and serve.
When plantains have browned, 5-7 minutes, turn over and brown the other side. Season with sea salt.
*Tandoori spice cooks up to a wonderful shade of red. My spice was imported through a UK manufacturer. Europeans are far more concerned about the ill effects of chemical dyes on their population (the US not so much). But here, at Memphis and Lefty’s Fork, we do care. A whole lot. Memphis was always very affected by Red dye #40 and I could always tell when someone had given it to her.
To make your own dye-free tandoori spice, see our recipe below so you can still get the color effect, and the taste will be about the same.
Tandoori Spice Blend (with 100% natural coloring*)
2 tablespoons ground coriander
1 1/2 tablespoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground beetroot powder**
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 teaspoon ground cardamom
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground cloves
1 teaspoon ground fenugreek
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon ground mace
Blend all spices together and keep in an airtight container. Beetroot powder may prove difficult to find, but is easy to make. Scrub, peel and grate several beets. Dry in the sun, your oven or a dehydrator. When very dry, put in coffee or spice grinder to make powder and keep this in an airtight container. It is a vibrant shade of red and 1 tsp added to a bit of water will color almost anything you add it to. Please let us hear from you about how your plant-based life is going.