I really couldn't decide what to call this recipe, because every suitable name I came up with seemed too long. This also doesn't feel quite right, but I had to pick something!
In essence, this dish comprises a fragrant coconut and cashew korma-style sauce, heady with ginger and turmeric, surrounding little islands of black rice and finished with crispy salt and pepper tofu. And how delicious does that sound?
I've used fresh turmeric, which is pretty readily available in most supermarkets these days. Using fresh helps avoid that odd, tongue-numbing sensation you get if you add too much dried turmeric, and it has a fresher taste – but if you can't find it, dried is also fine to use.
Black rice isn't essential here – any rice or quinoa will do – but I like the fact that it has little bit of bite and nuttiness to it. Feel free to incorporate your green vegetables into the sauce itself, instead of on the side, and if you'd like to make a healthier version, you can bake the tofu in a hot oven until crisp (about 20-30 mins) instead of frying.
After perfecting this recipe, I had some leftover sauce, which made for a delicious lunch when I stirred in some chickpeas, spinach leaves and a splash more vegetable stock – so I heartily recommend doubling up the recipe if you can.
For the sauce
1 tbsp light oil, such as groundnut
½ onion, diced
2 fat cloves garlic, crushed
1 fat thumb-sized piece of ginger, grated
1 large piece fresh turmeric, grated, or 1 tsp dried
1 tbsp garam masala
2 cardamom pods, seeds only
A generous grinding of fresh black pepper
1 x 400ml tin full-fat coconut milk
400ml vegetable stock
½ cup cashews, soaked for 30 mins in boiling water, or overnight
1 tbsp tamari
Juice of ½ lime
1 large red chilli, spilt in half lengthways up to the stem
1 lemongrass stalk, green end discarded, bulbous base bashed
For the salt and pepper tofu
¼ cup cornflour or arrowroot
1 tsp sea salt
1 tsp ground pepper
1 x 280g block extra-firm tofu, drained and diced into 1-inch cubes
200ml light oil – I use groundnut or coconut
2 x 250g packs ready-cooked black rice, or 200g dried rice
Green vegetables of choice
Fresh coriander leaves
1 chilli, sliced
1 lime, cut into wedges
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