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Tofu Shrimp Curry in a white bowl with slabs of tofu
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5 from 4 votes

Tofu 'Shrimp' Curry

A spicy vegan fish curry with tofu in a roasted red pepper sauce
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time45 mins
Total Time1 hr
Course: Main Course/Curry
Cuisine: Fusion Indian
Diet: Vegan, Vegetarian
Keyword: vegan fish curry
Servings: 8
Calories: 101kcal


  • 14 oz extra firm tofu (water pressed out, then cut into eight slabs)
  • 1 tsp garlic (grated)
  • 1 tsp ginger (grated)
  • Juice of ½ lemon
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 2 tsp vegetable oil (divided)
  • 1 1- inch ball of tamarind , soaked in ½ cup of warm water for about half an hour. Squeeze the solids to extract the tamarind pulp and strain if it's too lumpy. Reserve the pulp.
  • 2 ancho chillies (Remove stems and seeds. Cut down to one ancho for a less smoky version, or substitute this with a mild paprika if you'd rather)
  • 2 arbol chillies.
  • ¼ tsp fenugreek (methi) seeds
  • 1 tbsp coriander seeds
  • 1 tsp black peppercorns
  • 1 large onion (chopped)
  • 4 cloves garlic (minced)
  • 2 tbsp cashew nuts
  • 1 tsp black mustard seeds
  • 1 sprig curry leaves
  • ½ cup coconut milk
  • 1 tbsp jaggery (can use regular or brown sugar instead)
  • Salt to taste
  • ¼ cup cilantro (chopped)


  • Soak the deseeded anchos in water for about 30 minutes.
  • Make the marinade for the tofu by whisking together ginger, garlic, black pepper and 1 tsp vegetable oil. Marinate the tofu slices, making sure you dredge both sides in the marinade.
  • After 30 minutes, , bake the tofu in a 400-degree oven for about 30 minutes or until it's golden brown on top and quite chewy. Once cool enough to handle, cut the tofu slabs into smaller cubes.
  • Toast the fenugreek seeds, coriander seeds and peppercorns in a dry skillet set over medium heat, about 2 minutes or until the spices start to get fragrant and the coriander seeds turn a couple of shades darker. Don't walk away because you do not want the fenugreek-- or anything else-- to burn.
  • Remove the spices from the skillet and set aside to cool.
  • Toast the soaked anchos and the arbol chilies in the skillet until they start to change color. Flip over and toast the other side. Altogether this won't take more than 2 minutes.
  • Add the anchos, arbol, toasted spices, onion, garlic and cashew nuts to a blender. Add enough water to make a thick, smooth paste. I like to make mine really smooth because I love the velvety texture of the finished curry.
  • Heat the remaining 1 tsp oil in a saucepan.
  • Add the mustard seeds and when they sputter, add the curry leaves.
  • Toast for a few seconds, and then add the blended chili and onion paste.
  • Cook over medium heat, stiirring constantly, until the mixture turns a few shades darker and the water has evaporated.
  • Add the tamarind pulp along with 1 cup water. If the curry is too thick, add more water.
  • Add salt, bring to a boil, then reduce the heat so the sauce simmers. Let it cook for 15 minutes without covering it.
  • Add the tofu cubes and let the sauce simmer for another five minutes.
  • Add the coconut milk and jaggery. Mix well and warm through. Turn off the heat and garnish with coriander leaves.
  • Serve hot with Dill Rice (recipe below).


Calories: 101kcal | Carbohydrates: 7g | Protein: 5g | Fat: 6g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Potassium: 185mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 48IU | Vitamin C: 7mg | Calcium: 38mg | Iron: 2mg