Thursday, January 22, 2015

Sid's Latest Gastronomical Crush: Tofu Bhurji - Scrambled Tofu with Assorted Veggies



How can a five and half year old be so in love with Tofu? I mean I am also very fond this amazingly bland soybean curd, but Sid had taken it to the point of obsession. 
(When I say "amazingly bland", I mean it in a good way. It absorbs any flavors very well and hence I find it very versatile and utterly delicious.)

Packed with protein, iron and calcium and extremely low in calorie, tofu is a weight-watcher's dream super food. I should feel blessed that my son is making healthy choices so early in life. But try eating it every other day and you'll understand what I mean. I am running low on ideas. Ideas to make tofu a little more interesting to ME.... My freaking fussy palate! Any suggestion?



Here is Sid's latest gastronomical fixation. Tofu Bhurji. I have made it so many in the past few months that I can whip it up with my eyes closed. Its ingrained in my muscle memory.

So what is Bhurji?

In the Bhurji world, Aanda (egg) Bhurji is the most popular (and my personal favorite). Aanda Bhurji is a distant Indian cousin of Scrambled Eggs. I say distant because though the resultant dish looks similar, the cooking process is completely different. I will explain in details when I do a post on the Aanda Bhurji. Till then just assume so. Going by the logic Aanda Bhurji equals (albeit loosely. Stress on loosely) Scrambled Eggs, I hereby infer that Bhurji means scrambled!

So, Tofu Bhurji loosely equals Scrambled Tofu or Crumbled Tofu, if you so prefer!

QED

Please don't judge me too harshly if you beg to differ!

All mathematical derivation be damned. Tofu Bhurji is Crumbled Tofu cooked with veggies. Its a mildly spiced, dryish mishmash of silken tofu and crunchy veggies that can be eaten with roti/chapati or any Indian bread; or stuffed in between two sliced of bread; or wrapped in a tortilla (or lettuce, if you are like me). And currently its on Sid's "most loved dinners".




An array of vegetables can be added to the Bhurji. We personally prefer crunchy veggies. Its a great great contrast of texture; crunchy veggies and velvety tofu. This time I used bell peppers and mushrooms. I usually add some frozen peas. But was out of those today. I love those green pearls and the little bust of sweetness they bring to this dish. You can break or crumble the tofu with your hands. But I prefer grating it. Its more uniform that way. Use the largest holes of a box grater.




Another thing that takes this dish to a whole new level (and most probably why Sid is so in love with it) is the addition of "Amul Butter". Amul Butter is a particular brand of Salted Butter widely available and hugely popular in India. It has a magical and mesmerizing aroma that is difficult to describe in words. Lets just say, every dish Amul Butter touches becomes "utterly butterly delicious". Just a dab of this butter as a finishing touch takes it up a notch higher.

PS: Our Indian store has recently started stocking up Amul Butter, much to my delight. A lot of people say that Kerry Gold Butter, available widely in the US, is a very close substitute of Amul Butter, but I have never personally tried it.

Here goes the recipe.

Recipe Snapshot: Tofu Bhurji - Scrambled Tofu with Assorted Veggies
Serves: 4 serving

(1 serving = 3/4 cup)

What I used:
Extra firm Tofu - 1 (14 oz) packet, grated

Onion - 1 medium sized, finely chopped

Ginger - 1" piece, finely minced (or 1/2 tsp of ginger paste)

Garlic - 4 fat cloves, finely minced (or 1/2 tsp of garlic paste)

Bell Peppers - 2 medium sized, in any color ( I used one green and I red bell peppers), diced.

Cremini  or  White Mushroom - 1 box (8 oz approx), sliced.

Frozen Peas - 1/2 a cup (I missed adding it this time, but I usually love adding it)

Green Chilies - 2 to 3, chopped (optional but adds a nice flavor. Deseed then for a milder version)

Coriander Powder - 1 tsp

Red Chili Powder ( or Paprika for a milder version) - 1/2 tsp

Cilantro or Coriander leaves - a big handful, finely chopped

Olive or Canola or vegetable oil - 2 tbsp

Salt to taste

A dab of salted butter (optional but so worth it!)



What I did:

1. We need to press out as much as water from the Tofu. I usually place it over a wire mesh colander and let it drain all the excess water. I usually keep it like this for close to 2 hours and then dab it dry with a paper towel.

2. Once all the excess water is out, I grate it using the largest holes of a box grater and keep it aside. 

3. Heat oil in a deep skillet or a wok over medium-high heat. Once the oil is shimmering, add the chopped onions and let it turn golden brown. 

4. Next add the finely minced ginger and garlic and saute. A ginger garlic paste can be used, but chopped ones gives a better flavor and I love those tiny ginger bites. 

5. Once the onion and the ginger garlic looses their raw smell, add the chopped bell peppers and the mushrooms. Saute it for a minute.

6. Add the coriander powder and the red chili powder (or paprika) and salt. Add the frozen peas (no need to thaw) and mix well. Cover and bring down the heat to medium and cook for two minutes. 

7. After two minutes, uncover and give everything a good toss. The peas would have defrosted and the masala should be cooked by then. 

8. Its time for the grated tofu. Add that and give it a good mix. Even after draining the moisture for good 2 hours, the tofu will release quite a bit of moisture. Crank up the heat to medium high and keep stirring the mix till all the moisture is evaporated and you are left with a "scrambled egg" consistency. 

9. Check for seasoning. Tofu is essentially bland and it requites quite a liberal seasoning. Add salt if needed. Add a lot of chopped coriander leaves/cilantro for that bust of freshness. The cilantro livens up the bhurji

10. Add a dab of "Amul butter" or any salted butter. It just takes the dish to a whole new level. This is an optional step but totally worth it. Serve hot with bread of choice. It mostly homemade chapati/rotis for us. 


Notes/Tip: Do not restrict this delicious Tofu Bhurji as a side dish to roti or chapati. Stuff it in a sandwich or wrap it in a tortilla for a quick , filling and delicious lunch.

Diabetic Platter:
Tofu, made from soybean curds, is naturally gluten-free and low calorie, contains no cholesterol and is an excellent source of protein, iron, and calcium. It is an important source of protein especially for vegans, vegetarians and those looking to move toward a more plant-based diet.Tofu provides 44% of daily calcium needs, 9% of magnesium, and 40% of iron and also contains small amounts of vitamin K, thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, vitamin B-6, folate, choline, phosphorus, manganese and selenium. People who suffer from type 2 diabetes often experience kidney disease, causing the body to excrete an excessive amount of protein in the urine. Evidence from a recent study has indicated that those who consumed only soy protein in their diet excreted less protein than those that consumed only animal protein.

Source: http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/278340.php

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2 comments:

  1. Sid is a good boy. :-)
    You can make stuffed parathas, chilli tofu, koftas, tikkis. Shorshe tel,pyaj, bori, lonka diye steamed tofu mekhe dekhte paro. Bangali ami ektu makha ta beshi bhalobashi. :-p

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    Replies
    1. Thank you Sharmila for your suggestion. Shorsher Tel,Peyaj, Bori Bhaja, Sukno Lonka bhaja diye Steamed Tofu!!! Bhebei jeeb e jol!

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