Indo Chinese food gives me all the feels. It’s uniquely Indian, bears little resemblance to Chinese food, yet the nostalgia of it and the culinary ingenuity involved makes me immeasurably happy every time I eat it. Known to have originated from the Chinese (Hakka) population in east India, this style of cooking is beautiful fusion. It uses sauces & cooking styles of Chinese food, along with spices, chutneys & techniques from Indian food.
This chilli Tofu is an entire emotion, to say the least.
1 16oz block of extra firm tofu, drained, pressed to remove excess water, and cut into cubes
1 red onion, sliced thinly
2 cups of bell peppers, sliced into strips (I used red, yellow & green)
2 stalks of green onions, chopped (bottom inch with root discarded)
2 tbsp vegan butter (or oil)
5 cloves garlic, sliced
2 tbsp finely chopped ginger
2 green chillies, halved lengthwise
1/3 cup ketchup (I used an Indian brand of hot & sweet ketchup, you could use plain as well)
3 tbsp soy sauce
1 tbsp plain white vinegar
1 tbsp chinese black vinegar
1 tbsp kasoori methi (dried fenugreek leaves)
1 tsp coriander powder
1 tsp garam masala powder
2 tbsp Indian green chutney (store bought mint-coriander chutney works)
Melt butter in a large saute over medium heat. Add garlic, ginger & chillies. Saute until garlic is golden. Then add sliced onions & cook for about 6-8 mins until the onions have softened.
Add bell peppers, methi & coriander powder. Mix well & cook for 4-5 mins until the peppers begin to soften. Now add measured ketchup, soy sauce, white vinegar & chinese black vinegar. Toss well together & cook for 6-8 mins. Stir every few minutes until you have a thick glossy sauce. Add green onions.
Add the green chutney & garam masala. Use a few tbsps of water incase the mixture is too thick. Add the cubed tofu, gently toss everything together making sure all the veggies & sauce are evenly distributed & thoroughly coat the tofu.
Add another few tablespoons of water to create the right sauce consistency. It shouldn’t be too dry, nor too saucy like a curry. Let this simmer over medium heat for 15 mins. Keep tossing gently every few minutes. And it’s done!
This tastes incredible when made in the morning & eaten at night, or even the next day. The tofu absorbs the sauce and becomes really flavorful.