Monday, April 26, 2021

Vegan Tandoori Tofu Tikka

This shop has been compensated by Inmar Intelligence and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #GrillingWithMazola

An easy to make grilled recipe that needs tofu and a marinade with just EIGHT ingredients; this Tandoori Tofu Tikka is a great appetizer or a side for mains!

Grilling season is upon us and we are ready to make some delicious recipes for family. Kicking off the season with a delicious platter of Vegan Tofu Tikka. This easy recipe calls for a super easy marinade with ONLY eight ingredients. An important ingredient here is Mazola® Corn Oil. A clinical study showed Mazola® Corn Oil reduces cholesterol 2x more than extra virgin olive oil. To learn more about this claim, visit MAZOLA.com.

The MOST commonly asked question when I talk about grilling is whether there are enough Vegetarian or Vegan recipes to make on the grill.

The answer is YES; there are plenty of recipes that are perfect for a Vegetarian diet or even if you are looking for a completely plant based grilling experience.

Various vegetables like mushroom, corn, broccoli, potato, cauliflower, peppers and onions grill really well. So do tofu, paneer, pineapple, tempeh and cheese.

What is Tofu Tikka?

Tofu is an excellent ingredient to incorporate in grilling. The super firm variety holds up well when marinated and grilled.

This Indian style tofu dish is made using tofu and a mix of spices. The tofu pieces are marinated, grilled and served with some sliced onions, chutney and ketchup.

While this dish is a great appetizer it works well to convert it to a meal too. Place the tikka with chutney and onions on a naan or with some saffron rice to make it a delicious meal.

What you need to make Tandoori Tofu Tikka

Super Firm Tofu: Tofu is needed for the recipe and the super firm one is the only one that works perfectly. Any other variety will crumble or not hold it's shape through grilling.

I would suggest pressing the super firm tofu on some kitchen towels for a while before using. That way all the moisture is eliminated.

Peppers: To add some crunch to the recipe I have added some red and green peppers.

Onions, broccoli, corn on the cob or cauliflower can be added too.

Mazola® Corn Oil: For the marinade we use Mazola® Corn Oil. It creates marinades that make great-tasting food because it has a neutral taste that lets the flavor of your dish stand out.

Mazola® Corn Oil is an all-purpose cooking oil that is a heart-healthy* choice for your family. Variety of uses include baking, grilling, sautéing, stir-frying or mixing up a marinade or dressing. To learn more about this claim, visit MAZOLA.com.

Vegan Yogurt: An ingredient used in the marinade to get a great coating on the tofu and to absorb the spices. Any yogurt works well.

I have used Greek yogurt alternate and it works well. If the yogurt you use is thin, drain it in a muslin cloth before using.

Vegan yogurt can be replaced with some sour cream or regular dairy based yogurt if making a non-vegan version.

Spices: The spices used in the recipe includes Tandoori Masala, turmeric powder, garam masala and red chili powder.

Along with that some salt and garlic powder are added too.

If you cannot find tandoori masala, add some more garam masala and make the recipe. The tofu will not have the same color as the one here but will have a more brownish color.

Frequently asked questions

Which grill is needed to make the recipe?

The recipe works well on an outdoor grill, using an indoor grill or in the oven.

Any of the methods can be used based on availability. I have tried it a few times in the air fryer too. It works really well and is perfectly mess free!

Can tofu be substituted with anything else?

Yes certainly! If you would like to make the same recipe with paneer or vegetables; it works just as well.

The recipe can be Vegan if you use a non-dairy yogurt or vegetarian if you use a dairy based one.

How to get it right each time

  • Use super firm tofu to avoid crumbling. Press it between paper towels before using to remove extra moisture.
  • Greek yogurt substitute works best for the recipe. If using regular yogurt, drain in a muslin cloth before using.
  • The recipe doesn't need a lot of marinating time. If you desire the marinated tofu can be refrigerated overnight before grilling.
  • Use fresh vegetables if you like. Peppers, onions, corn, broccoli and cauliflower works well with the tofu.

Steps

1- In a bowl add all the ingredients for the marinade. Mix well.

2- Dip tofu and peppers in the marinade and coat evenly.

3- Heat the grill and cook for 7-10 minutes until the sides begin to char.

4- Remove and serve with sliced onion, chutney and ketchup.

Yield: 3
Author: Smruti
Vegan Tandoori Tofu Tikka

Vegan Tandoori Tofu Tikka

An easy to make grilled recipe that needs tofu and a marinade with just EIGHT ingredients; this Tandoori Tofu Tikka is a great appetizer or a side for mains!
Prep time: 15 MinCook time: 10 MinTotal time: 25 Min

Ingredients

For the Marinade
  • Vegan Yogurt 1/2 cup
  • Mazola® Corn Oil 3 tbsp
  • Garlic Powder 1 tsp
  • Turmeric Powder 1/2 tsp
  • Red Chili Powder 1/2 tsp
  • Tandoori Masala 2 tsp
  • Garam Masala 1/2 tsp
  • Salt 1/2 tsp
Other Ingredients
  • Super Firm Tofu 14 oz
  • Green Pepper 1/2 cut into large pieces
  • Red Pepper 1/2 cut into large pieces

Instructions

  1. Before you start press the tofu in kitchen towels and place a heavy weight on it to remove excess moisture. 
  2. In a bowl add all the ingredients for the marinade. Mix well.
  3. Dip tofu and peppers in the marinade and coat evenly.
  4. Heat the grill and cook for 7-10 minutes till the sides begin to char.
  5. Remove and serve with sliced onion, chutney and ketchup. Wrap in a naan or serve along with some saffron rice. 

Notes:

  • Use super firm tofu to avoid crumbling. Press it between paper towels before using to remove extra moisture. 
  • Greek yogurt substitute works best for the recipe. If using regular yogurt, drain in a muslin cloth before using.
  • The recipe doesn't need a lot of marinating time. If you desire the marinated tofu can be refrigerated overnight before grilling. 
  • Use fresh vegetables if you like. Peppers, onions, corn, broccoli and cauliflower works well with the tofu.


Created using The Recipes Generator

DISCLAIMER: Corn Oil is a cholesterol-free food that contains 14g of total fat per serving. See nutrition information on the product label or at mazola.com for fat and saturated fat content.

DISCLAIMER *very limited and preliminary scientific evidence suggests that eating about 1 tablespoon (16 grams) of Corn Oil daily may reduce the risk of heart disease due to the unsaturated fat content in Corn Oil. FDA concludes that there is little scientific evidence supporting this claim. To achieve this possible benefit, Corn Oil is to replace a similar amount of saturated fat and not increase the total number of calories you eat in a day. One serving of this product contains 14 grams of Corn Oil.

Tuesday, April 13, 2021

Stir-Fried Sesame Asparagus

With the flavors of chili oil and garlic; this stir-fried asparagus is quick, delicious and makes a great side or appetizer for any meal!


This is a sponsored post on behalf of de Buyer. All opinions are mine alone. 

Some of the links below are affiliate links, meaning, at no extra cost to you, I will earn a commission if you click through and make a purchase. 

Spring is here and we are loving all the Spring produce! Asparagus, strawberries, artichokes, peas, kale, potatoes and so many other fruits are all over the market.

Plus, as the days get warmer it is great to enjoy quick and light meals with kids or family. 

Asparagus is something that is always in my produce shopping through the warm days. 

Slender stalks of asparagus can be prepared in SO many ways and they all taste delicious. Plus, they generally cook really quickly making them perfect for busy weeknights. 

The added advantage now is that my toddler loves it! And we are having far more asparagus these days than we did before.  


What is Asparagus Stir-Fry?

Spears of asparagus are sautéed on high heat to make the stir-fry. They get a slight char on them because of the hot pan. 

The stalks remain tender inside and are super flavorful from the garlic and chili used. 

The recipe comes together in under 15 minutes and is great with some steamed jasmine rice or noodles on the side. 


What you need to make this Stir-Fried Sesame Asparagus?

Asparagus: I used a whole bunch of asparagus in the recipe. For two people I would recommend about 15-20 stalks. 

To prep them, cut the bottom part till the stalk is no more stringy and cuts easily. Once it does, chop the remainder of the stalk in 3-4 inch pieces. 

Slender and thick stalks will work here; with the only change being in cook time. 

Garlic and Red Chili: For the recipe you need about 4-5 cloves of garlic. It gives everything a perfect flavor and taste. 

If you are not a fan of garlic, using 1 inch ginger piece works too. Or some diced pink onions. 

Dried red chili is added to the recipe for spice. Use a couple if you like it spicy or use just half. 

Garlic Chili Oil: A super flavorful mix of dried red chili and garlic in sesame oil, this condiment adds a lot of flavor to the dish. 

Available at most grocery stores, this can be substituted by Chili oil or skipped completely. 

Sesame Seeds: I use a LOT of toasted white sesame seeds in the recipe. They add crunch and flavor to the asparagus and I would strongly recommend adding them.

Sesame Oil: Like most Asian recipes I make this recipe in toasted sesame oil. It gives the pungent flavor that cannot be achieved by any other oil. 

Other than these, salt and pepper are added for taste. Green onion is added as a topping. Some soy sauce or vinegar can be added too but not required. 


Using a Carbon Steel Pan

For the longest time I have used cast iron pans for such recipes. Recently I was introduced to de Buyer's Mineral B Carbon Steel Pan

Their pans that are really sturdy yet light and last for generations. Made from carbon steel these pans conduct heat quickly. This makes the pans great to use for so many recipes. 

For 200 years de Buyer has been making innovative pans, cutlery and other things for the kitchen. Made in France, these are elegant and are easy to season with oil. 

These pans come with a beeswax coating to prevent oxidation. Once you scrub the coating and completely dry it on high heat, it is time to season it. 

To do so, add some oil and 'cook' on an open flame till the oil smokes. Made from 99% cast iron and 1% carbon; these pans work like non-stick once seasoned well. 

No artificial coating that peels or chips with usage, these pans are made to last for years. Read more about their care here

Check out their wonderful product offerings on their website


Frequently asked questions

Can you add other vegetables to the recipe?

Yes of course! Adding Brussels sprouts, carrots, mushrooms and peppers will be great in the stir-fry. 

You can also add them all and broccoli and onions to make an Asian style stir-fry recipe. 

Is this a good recipe for meal prep?

If you would like to prep the recipe in advance, I would recommend trimming and chopping the asparagus and garlic before hand. 

When it is time for dinner, the recipe will come together in under 10 minutes! It is best enjoyed fresh, leftovers can be reheated in the microwave or air fryer. 



How to get it right each time

  • The recipe comes together quickly and if left unattended the asparagus can burn and turn weird. Do not multitask while preparing it.
  • Use a flat bottom cast iron or carbon steel pan for the recipe. A non-stick pan will not give the same result.

Steps

1- In a pan add oil. Heat on high flame. 

2- Add minced garlic and dried chili. Mix and let the garlic cook for a minute.


3- Add the Garlic Chili Oil and sauté for a few seconds.

4- Add the trimmed and cut asparagus and mix well. Let the stalks cook for a minute or two. 


5- Season with salt and pepper. Mix and cook for 2 minutes till the asparagus starts to char on the sides. 

6- Sprinkle half the toasted sesame seeds and mix well.


7- Top with green onion and remaining sesame seeds before serving. 


Yield: 2
Author: Smruti
Stir-Fried Sesame Asparagus

Stir-Fried Sesame Asparagus

With the flavors of chili oil and garlic; this stir-fried asparagus is quick, delicious and makes a great side or appetizer for any meal!
Prep time: 5 MinCook time: 7 MinTotal time: 12 Min

Ingredients

  • Asparagus 1 bunch (18-20 stalks)
  • Garlic 2-3 cloves, minced
  • Garlic Chili Oil 1/2 tsp
  • Sesame oil 2 tbsp
  • Toasted Sesame Seeds 2 tbsp
  • Salt 3/4 tsp
  • Ground Pepper 3/4 tsp

Instructions

  1. In a pan heat oil on high flame.
  2. Add minced garlic and dried chili. Mix and let the garlic cook for a minute.
  3. Add the Garlic Chili Oil and sauté for a few seconds.
  4. Add the trimmed and cut asparagus and mix well. Let the stalks cook for a minute or two.
  5. Season with salt and pepper. Mix and cook for 2 minutes till the asparagus starts to char on the sides.
  6. Sprinkle half the toasted sesame seeds and mix well.
  7. Top with green onion and remaining sesame seeds before serving.

Notes:

  • The recipe comes together quickly and if left unattended the asparagus can burn and turn weird. Do not multitask while preparing it.
  • Use a flat bottom cast iron or carbon steel pan for the recipe. A non-stick pan will not give the same result.


Created using The Recipes Generator

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Sunday, April 4, 2021

Rice Paper Crisps (Rice paper Nachos)

Vietnamese inspired appetizer made from fried rice paper with vegetables, tofu and a peanut based sauce. This recipe is delicious and super easy to make!

Some of the links below are affiliate links, meaning, at no extra cost to you, I will earn a commission if you click through and make a purchase.

Spring is here and it feels wonderful! Longer days, mild cool winds and so much sunshine. And when so much like Spring; you ought to make some SPRING ROLLS.

This is a variation to the classic using fried rice paper and toppings. It is almost like a platter of Vietnamese Nachos with diced vegetables, seasoned tofu and a yummy peanut based sauce. 

What are rice paper rolls?

Rice paper rolls are a super popular and delicious appetizer served at various Asian restaurants. 

I learnt about fresh rice paper rolls a few years ago from an Asian friend who taught me how to make them at home and I have been a fan since. 

Rice paper rolls or Vietnamese Spring Rolls make an appearance on our Spring and Summer dinner table at least once a week. 

Made using store bought rice paper, freshly chopped vegetables, tofu and herbs; these are BEST enjoyed with a delicious peanut dip. For those who enjoy meat and sea-food; it might be a great idea to add that in the rolls too. 

These Rice Paper Crisps 

The traditional version of the rolls are stuffed and rolled into a tight roll with the rice paper dipped in hot water. They are served with a dipping sauce. 

Instead; I decided to fry the rice paper and use it as a base to build the Nachos. 

On frying the rice paper turns pretty similar to the Indian Papad and tastes great as is. Further, top them with tofu and vegetables and you have an addictive recipe for sure. 

The Indian papad are made with rice flour and some seasonings and salt. They puff up on frying and the same happens when you fry rice paper. 

Only difference is that these are far thinner and fry within seconds compared to the Indian version. The crisps make a great side or topping for Asian dishes too.

What you need to make these Rice Paper Crisps

Rice Paper: To start with; you will need a few rice papers. I have tried the recipe with a couple of brands and they all work well. Use round or square sheets and they give the same result. 

My go-to brand is this one from Amazon. I always have some papers in my pantry. 

Vegetables: For topping the fried crisps I used diced vegetables. Carrots, pink onions and green onions are used here. 

Minced cabbage, broccoli, sautéed mushrooms etc would be great too. Add or subtract what you would like on the Nachos.

Peanut Sauce: The recipe uses a peanut butter based sauce to make it delicious. I made some extra sauce and cooked the tofu in it. 

The sauce is made with creamy peanut butter (any other version will not give a smooth sauce), hot sauce, garlic, soy sauce, vinegar, salt and pepper. 

This sauce is excellent for dipping or even to make some peanut sauce noodles. The sauce makes it creamy and delicious.

I always make some extra sauce and use it in a couple recipes within a day or two.


Tofu: I used firm tofu and pressed it in paper towels to remove any moisture. Then I cook them on all sides on a pan. Using an air fryer works great for the recipe too. 

I add some of the peanut sauce to the tofu while it cooks. This way the tofu is flavored and does not taste bland on the nachos. 

Oil: Oil is needed to fry the rice paper. You only need about a cm of oil in the pan that you are using to fry. However, do not skimp on that else the rice paper will curl up and remain uncooked in parts. 

Any oil works for the recipe. I have used olive oil and vegetable oil and the result does not vary much. 

Peanuts: I used salted peanuts for topping the nachos. They give the required crunch in the recipe and make it delicious. Using flavored peanuts will work well too.

 

How to get it right each time

The key thing in this recipe is frying the rice paper. Topping it is as easy as it can get. The recipe is not necessarily healthy but is super delicious. We make it when we are craving something easy yet delicious!  

  • To fry the rice paper I cut it into 4 parts with a pair of scissors before frying. I use a shallow pan with just a centimeter of oil in it. That is enough to fry the rice paper without leaving it raw in parts. 
  • Use super hot oil to fry. If the oil is not hot the rice paper will become transparent and look like plastic instead of puffing up on frying. 
  • Fry the rice papers with a pair of tongs. They puff up in 5-10 seconds and can burn if left for a long time in oil. Drain on kitchen towels and use as the base of the Nachos. 
  • While the crisps can be stored in an airtight container, they tend to get soggy if kept for a long time. I would suggest frying them only before serving or a while before but too much in advance. 

Frequently asked questions

Can the rice paper be air fried or baked?

Unfortunately the recipe will not work except fro frying. I ended up sticking bits of rice paper to my air fryer coil when I tried. I would not suggest that AT all. 

Does the recipe needs LOTS of oil?

Thankfully NO! It only needs a centimeter of oil and if you use a pan that is not very wide; the total oil needed is no more than 1/2 cup. 

Can these be made in advance?

While the nachos need to be made right before serving; frying the rice paper is also suggested just before serving. 

That way the rice paper is crisp and tastes awesome. Limp rice paper does not taste the best and should be avoided. 

Serving suggestions

These rice paper nachos make a great appetizer or snack. We are guilty of having it as a meal but if you would like another dish along with it; here are some suggestions:

Steps

1- Cut the rice paper into 4 parts using a pair of scissors. Heat oil in a pan till it is hot.


2- Drop a piece in the oil to test the temperature. If it puffs up immediately, remove and repeat for all the pieces. Else heat the oil a little more. 

3- Drain and set aside on kitchen towels. 


4- To make the sauce, mix all the ingredients and stir till it is smooth and even. Set aside. 


5- Heat some oil in a pan. Once hot, add diced tofu and cook till it is brown on all sides. 

6- Once it is crisp on the sides, add onion and let it cook for a couple of minutes. 

7- Add 2 tbsp of the peanut sauce and mix well. Once the sauce starts to dry up, turn down the heat and set the tofu on the side. 


8- To assemble, place the rice paper crisps on a plate. Top with diced carrots, onions and green onions. Add the sauce on top and some salted peanuts. Serve immediately. 


Recipe Card

Yield: 4
Author: Smruti
Rice Paper Crisps (Rice paper Nachos)

Rice Paper Crisps (Rice paper Nachos)

Vietnamese inspired appetizer made from fried rice paper with vegetables, tofu and a peanut based sauce. This recipe is delicious and super easy to make!
Prep time: 15 MinCook time: 15 MinTotal time: 30 Min

Ingredients

For the sauce
For The Rice Paper Crisps
Other Ingredients
  • Carrots 1/2 cup, peeled and chopped
  • Onion 3/4 cup, chopped
  • Green Onion 1/4 cup, chopped
  • Firm Tofu7 oz pressed with a heavy object and diced
  • Oil 1 tsp
  • Salted Peanuts 1/4 cup, roughly chopped

Instructions

  1. Before you start press the tofu block with a heavy pan for 30-40 minutes. Remove excess moisture on paper towels and cut into cubes. 
  2. Cut the rice paper into 4-6 parts using a pair of scissors. Heat oil in a pan till it is hot.
  3. Drop a piece in the oil to test the temperature. If it puffs up immediately, remove and repeat for all the pieces. Else heat the oil a little more and fry the rice paper.
  4. Drain and set aside on kitchen towels.
  5. To make the sauce, mix peanut butter with hot water till it dissolves. 
  6. Then add all the ingredients under sauce and stir till it is smooth and even. Set aside.
  7. Heat some oil in a pan. Once hot, add diced tofu and cook till it is brown on all sides. Keep turning it as the sides turn brown. 
  8. Once it is crisp on the sides, add 1/4 cup onions and let it cook for a couple of minutes.
  9. Add 2 tbsp of the peanut sauce and mix well to coat the tofu pieces. Add a few drops of water if required. 
  10. Once the sauce starts to dry up, turn down the heat and set the tofu on the side.
  11. To assemble, place the rice paper crisps on a plate.  You may choose to break them a little.
  12. Top with diced carrots, onions and green onions. Add the sauce on top and some salted peanuts. Serve immediately.

Notes:

  • To fry the rice paper cut it into 4 parts with a pair of scissors before frying.
  • Use a shallow pan with just a centimeter of oil in it. That is enough to fry the rice paper without leaving it raw in parts. 
  • Use super hot oil to fry. If the oil is not hot the rice paper will become transparent and look like plastic instead of puffing up on frying. 
  • Fry the rice papers with a pair of tongs. They puff up in 5-10 seconds and can burn if left for a long time in oil. Drain on kitchen towels and use as the base of the Nachos. 
  • While the crisps can be stored in an airtight container, they tend to get soggy if kept for a long time. I would suggest frying them only before serving or a while before but too much in advance.
  • Use creamy peanut butter. Using a crunchy one will not give a smooth sauce.


Created using The Recipes Generator

DISCLOSURE: WE ARE A PARTICIPANT IN THE AMAZON SERVICES LLC ASSOCIATES PROGRAM, AN AFFILIATE ADVERTISING PROGRAM DESIGNED TO PROVIDE A MEANS FOR US TO EARN FEES BY LINKING TO AMAZON.COM AND AFFILIATED SITES.