Spiced Tofu with Spinach Masala and Pumpkin Rosti Recipe




  • 500g baby spinach leaves
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 3 tbsp vegetable or sunflower oil
  • 500g firm tofu, cut into 5 x 5 x 1-cm slices
  • 1 tsp black mustard seeds
  • 1 tsp whole cumin seeds
  • 1 small onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 green chilli, deseeded and finely diced
  • ½ tbsp ginger paste, or 2.5-cm piece of root ginger, peeled and grated
  • 1 tbsp garlic paste or crushed garlic cloves
  • 2 tbsp garam masala
  • 18 cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 100g creamed coconut block, mashed with 3 tbsp warm water to form a smooth cream, or 100 ml coconut cream

For the rosti

  • 1 small pumpkin or squash, peeled, deseeded and grated
  • 1 large potato, grated
  • 1 green chilli, deseeded and finely diced
  • 1 red chilli, deseeded and finely diced
  • 1 small bunch of fresh coriander, finely chopped
  • 2 tbsp vegetable or sunflower oil
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper

For the tamarind glaze

  • 2 tbsp sugar
  • 2 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 100g tamarind concentrate


1. Preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F) Gas 4. To make the rosti, place the grated pumpkin and potato in a large bowl. Add the chillies and the fresh coriander, and season. Squeeze the mixture in a clean dish towel to remove excess water, then divide it into four patties and squeeze them between your palms to make firm patties.

2. Heat the oil in a frying pan over medium heat. Fry the patties on both sides for 3 minutes or until golden. Transfer to a baking sheet and put in the oven for 15 minutes or until cooked through. Place the spinach in a pan and wilt over medium heat for 30 seconds. Blend using a food processor or blender to make a coarse purée, adding the salt and ½ tablespoon of the oil. Set aside.

3. Put the tofu slices in a shallow bowl and sprinkle over a little of the remaining oil and half the mustard and cumin seeds. Let marinate for 20–30 minutes. Heat the rest of the oil in a separate frying pan. Fry the tofu slices in batches until golden brown. Drain on paper towels and keep warm.

4. Heat 2 tablespoons of the oil in a pan over medium heat and gently fry the onion for 5 minutes until softened and lightly coloured. Add the rest of the mustard and cumin seeds and fry for a few minutes. Add the chillies, ginger and garlic, and cook for 2–3 minutes. Add the garam masala and cook for 1 minute, then add the spinach purée and the tomatoes and cook for 3–4 minutes.

5. Put the tamarind glaze ingredients in a pan with a little water over high heat. Reduce by two-thirds. Strain. To serve, place a rosti on a plate, then add some spinach masala and several pieces of fried tofu. Drizzle with tamarind glaze and coconut cream.

Recipe courtesy of Vegan Street Food by Jackie Kearney (Ryland Peters & Small).

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