This one was a new one, though I was a bit hesitant to try indian cuisine again. The last time I tried to make palak paneer and it did not go well, it was trash worthy. Recently I was intrigued by Ethiopian cooking as I went for my first 2 times within the same month. So good. So, in an attempt to expand my cooking repotoire, I went online and bought their main spice: berbere. It was cheaper in bulk, so I bought an entire pound. Now, after trying to find additional recipes to use the spice, I found that most were stews that I did not want to make during summer heat. But by searching the web for recipes, I stumbled across a page that stated the history of Ethiopian cuisine and said that it had roots in Indian cuisine. Hmmm...And further, berbere spice was a good substitute for garam masala as the spices were extremely similar. Oooh, even better. Now my ability for using the berbere spice was greatly expanded.
This past week I tried to find recipes to use the vast quantity of tomatoes we had acquired. This recipe called for canned diced tomatoes, so I thought that my fresh ones could do the trick. This recipe was so tasty, and very similar to perhaps a korma sauce, that it is a keeper to go into my recipe booklet that is reserved for only our favorite recipes. Be warned: it is spicy! It fools you at first, with just a nice heat in the back of your mouth, but just wait, it builds. And builds. So, I would recommend for those less heat loving palates to decrease the amount of berbere spice a bit and drop the cayenne alotgether.
Spice Blend: 1 tablespoon garam masala seasoning (or berbere which is what i used) 1 1/2 teaspoons ground ginger 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon 1/4 teaspoon cayenne
Sauce 3 tablespoons butter 2 T veg oil 1 large onion, chopped (about 1 cup) 2 teaspoons jarred minced garlic 1 tablespoon tomato paste 1 (15-ounce) can tomato sauce 1 (14 1/2-ounce) can diced tomatoes in juice 1 pkg tofu, pressed and cubed
8-10 leaves swiss chard, torn from the stem and into pieces 1 (10-ounce) box frozen peas, placed in a colander and run under hot water to thaw 1/3 cup heavy whipping cream Hot basmati rice, for serving Pita bread, warmed according to package directions, for serving
To make the spice blend: Stir the ingredients together in a small bowl and set aside. Drain the tofu, press out extra water, then cut into 1/2" cubes. Saute tofu in skilled with a pinch of the spice blend and 2 T veggie oil. Saute on high heat (preferably in a wok) until the outside is browned.
To make the sauce: Melt the butter in a 12-inch nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring frequently, until the pieces just begin to turn gold, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic, tomato paste and spice blend, and cook for 1 minute, stirring constantly to prevent burning. The spices will be fragrant. Add the tomato sauce and diced tomatoes and stir will. Add the tofu, spoon the sauce over the top and bring to a simmer. Turn the heat to low and cook, uncovered, until the tofu is warmed through and the sauce is flavorful, about 10 minutes. Stir frequently. Add the swiss chard towards the 5 minute mark to allow to wilt.
Shake any excess water from the peas. Add the peas and cream to the sauce in the pan, stir well and heat through. Do not boil. Serve with rice and warmed pita bread.