Sunday, May 06, 2007

Tandoori Tofu and Vegetable Kebabs

Tonight we had Tandoori Tofu kebabs from the September 2005 issue of Cooking Light. I followed the recipe as directed, except I substituted bell peppers for the mushrooms. It took a long time to make, since the tofu has to bake and then everything has to marinate. And unfortunately, all that effort goes to waste since it's not a particularly flavorful dish (despite its claims to have 'intense spices'). I couldn't taste any of the spices or marinade. The tofu had a nice grill flavor from my grill pan, but it was almost as if I'd just thrown all the ingredients straight onto the pan, rather than seasoning them beforehand. It was bland and not worth the effort. We will not make this again.

Tandoori Tofu and Vegetable Kebabs
Prebaking makes the tofu appealingly chewy, allows it to absorb the marinade more effectively, and reduces sticking and crumbling on the grill. Golden raisins in the rice pilaf are a sweet balance to the intense spices in the tandoori marinade.

1 (16-ounce) package water-packed firm tofu, drained and cut into 16 cubes
Cooking spray
1 cup finely chopped onion
3/4 cup plain low-fat yogurt
2 teaspoons ground coriander
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
2 teaspoons grated peeled fresh ginger
2 teaspoons canola oil
1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 garlic clove, minced
16 large mushrooms (about 10 ounces)
2 small red onions, each cut into 8 wedges
2 2/3 cups water
1 1/3 cups uncooked basmati rice
2/3 cup golden raisins
1 teaspoon salt, divided

Preheat oven to 375°.

Arrange tofu in a single layer on a foil-lined baking sheet coated with cooking spray. Bake at 375° for 25 minutes or until tofu releases 3 or more tablespoons liquid.

Prepare grill.

Combine chopped onion and next 8 ingredients (through garlic) in a large bowl. Add tofu, mushrooms, and onion wedges; toss gently to coat. Let stand at room temperature 30 minutes.

While tofu and vegetables marinate, prepare rice. Bring water to a boil in a medium saucepan; stir in rice. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 15 minutes or until liquid is absorbed. Stir in raisins and 1/4 teaspoon salt. Let stand 5 minutes; fluff with a fork.

Remove tofu and vegetables from bowl; discard marinade. Thread tofu cubes, mushrooms, and onion wedges alternately onto 8 (6-inch) skewers. Lightly coat kebabs with cooking spray; sprinkle with remaining 3/4 teaspoon salt. Place kebabs on grill rack coated with cooking spray; grill 4 minutes on each side or until lightly browned. Serve with rice.

Yield: 4 servings

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