Burmese Tofu with Thai Curry Sauce and Rice
Burmese ‘Tofu’ is an alternative to traditional tofu – and is completely soy free. Its made using chickpea flour (gram flour or besan) using a similar method to that used when making polenta. Its packed with protein and ideal for anyone whocan’t eat soy or wants an tasty alternative to regular tofu. Its ideal for frying or baking and can be used as a snack with your favourite dips.
Its also easier to add flavours into it – the chickpea flour is whisked into simmering water (or vegetable stock) with optionally a little ground turmeric, and its at this stage where extra elements can be added to give it different flavours. Try experimenting with different whole spices, fennel, cumin, coriander, ginger, mustard seeds are all great ways to add aromatic elements to the dish, and its this element that distinguishes from tofu with no extra pressing and marinating needed as with the tofu.
Once the chickpea flour mixture has chilled and allowed to set, it can be sliced or diced and fried or baked to add to curries, stir fry dishes, salads or served cut into fingers and served with dips.
Here we have paired it with a creamy Thai inspired coconut and chili sauce – along the same lines as a Thai red curry, alongside some brown rice and sprouted lentils.
Burmese Tofu Ingredients
1 cup chickpea flour – sieved
½ tsp cumin seeds
¾ tsp fennel seeds
½ tsp ground turmeric
1 tbsp nutritional yeast
3 cups water
salt and pepper to taste
Curry Sauce Ingredients
¾ cup coconut cream
1/2 red bell pepper – large dice
1 cup mange tout or snow peas
1 cup baby corn – cut length ways
1 small red onion – large dice
2 cloves garlic – crushed
2 inches ginger – grated or finely chopped
2 inches galangal (optional) – grated
1 red chili – finely chopped
1/2 lime – juice
salt and pepper to taste
a few sprigs of Thai-basil (optional)
Serve with brown or wild rice and garnish with sliced fresh chili and spring onions.
Method for the Burmese tofu
Heat half the quantity of water with the spice seeds and turmeric and bring to the boil.
In a bowl, mix the rest of the water with the chickpea flour and a pinch of salt and pepper and stir until everything is combined into a smooth batter.
When the water has boiled, reduce the heat, then pour in the batter while stirring. Continue stirring until its thick and smooth with a glossy sheen.
Line a small loaf tin or food container with cling-film (or lightly grease) then pour in the thick chickpea mixture, then smooth down the top and leave to one side to cool. When cool enough to put in the fridge, cover and can be stored in the fridge for up to 4 days.
When fully set, cut into thick slices, dust it with a little chickpea flower and fry, or roast for a few minutes until its light golden brown colour.
Method for the Thai curry sauce
In a saucepan heat a few drops of sesame oil, then add garlic, ginger, galangal and cook for a few mins, add vegetables and stir well and cook 2 mins. Add coconut cream and stir well, and cook for another minute or so. The vegetables should still have crunch and bright colour. Add a few leaves of Thai basil and its ready to go!
Arrange a couple of pieces of the tofu on a plate, pour over some of the sauce and serve alongside some brown rice. Garnish with a few sliced spring onions, chilis and a leaf or two of thai basil.
A great alternative to regular tofu for those who can't eat soy, or just fancy a tasty variation