Baked, Spiced Tofu

July 23, 2012 (CHICAGO)

There's a richness to paneer that if you grew up on it seems irreplaceable. There's also a love fest that Indians have with their dairy. Thus, my numerous attempts to replace tofu for cheese in dishes like mattar paneer and palak paneer were met with disdain at home until I discovered the art of baking tofu.

This tiny step will give you a wonderful, almost meaty texture to your dishes. Make a few batches, refrigerate them and keep them on hand for anything and everything! Pure vegan magic.

Yield: 2 cups baked and cubed

  • 14 oz. package extra firm organic tofu, sliced into 1/2-inch thick strips
  • 2 teaspoons garam masala (optional)
  • oil for spraying

1. Arrange oven rack on highest level, preheat oven to 350 degrees and lightly oil a baking sheet.

2. Sprinkle garam masala over one side of the tofu strips.

3. Place them, with the unseasoned side down on the baking sheet. Spray lightly with oil. Cook for 15 minutes. Flip tofu slices, season with remaining garam masala and spray lightly again with oil. Cook another 15 minutes. Remove from oven, cool for 5 minutes and cube.

4. Use immediately or store for up to a week in an airtight container in the refrigerator for use later. You can also freeze for up to 2 months.

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