Fragrant Curry Bowls with Salt & Pepper Tofu & Black Rice

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

To serve

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


  1. Heat the oil in a large saucepan, add the onion, and sauté until translucent and lightly golden.
  2. Add the grated garlic, ginger and turmeric, and cook for a further minute over a low heat. Add the garam masala, cardamom seeds and black pepper, and cook for another minute.
  3. Add the coconut milk and vegetable stock, and heat, stirring, until the mixture is fully combined.
  4. Drain the cashews, add them to the pan, and blitz until silky smooth – you can use a stand or hand blender for this. If the mixture is a little thick, add a few more splashes of stock until you reach the desired consistency.
  5. Return the contents to the pan and place over a low heat. Stir in the tamari sauce, lime juice, chilli and lemongrass.
  6. Taste for seasoning – the sauce might require more tamari, pepper or lime juice. Let the curry bubble gently on a low heat to allow the chilli and lemongrass to impart their flavours, while you get on with making your rice (if you're not using microwave rice) and tofu.
  7. Add the cornflour or arrowroot, salt and pepper to a bowl, and stir to combine. Add the tofu and gently toss until it's coated in the mix.
  8. When you're ready to serve, start prepping the green veg you've chosen.
  9. Depending on how you've chosen to cook your tofu, preheat the oven, or heat 200ml oil in a wok or small frying pan, carefully adding the tofu when it's very hot. You can test the heat of the oil first by dropping in a piece of bread – it should sizzle and turn golden once it hits the oil.
  10. Shallow-fry the tofu in batches, carefully removing each cooked batch from the pan with a slotted spoon, and draining on kitchen towel.
  11. If you're using microwave rice, cook it as per the packet instructions now.
  12. To serve, add half a packet of black rice to middle of 4 bowls. Remove the chilli and lemongrass from the sauce, then pour around the edge of the rice using a ladle or large spoon.
  13. Top with the crispy tofu, coriander leaves, chilli slices and a wedge of lime, and serve with your chosen vegetables on the side.

Work with me.

Work with me.

Whether you’re looking for inspiring recipes, food photography, or professional styling, I’m open to hearing about your project. Find about more about working with me, or if you’d like to get in touch I’d love to hear from you.

Mailing list sign-up

Are you feeling passionate about plant-based food? Sign up to the NOURISH newsletter today, and get exclusive access to inspiring recipes, product news, and plant-based tips, delivered straight to your inbox.

Thank you for subscribing!