Light tofu and pea curry

Light tofu and pea curry

I Love Curry
3–4 moderately
Jonathan Gregson

This is a dish I eat regularly as it tastes good and is healthy. It is based on the classic mattar paneer (paneer with peas) but, as paneer can be heavy, I’ve substituted tofu for years. Though it has a completely different taste, it is still a vegetarian protein and absorbs other flavours in the same way, so works well here. You can, of course, use paneer instead if you prefer. I eat this with brown rice.


Quantity Ingredient
12g fresh root ginger, peeled weight
3 garlic cloves
2 tomatoes, quartered
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
3/4 teaspoon cumin seeds
8 black peppercorns
3 cloves
5cm cinnamon stick
1 large bay leaf
1 onion, finely chopped
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
1/8-1/4 teaspoon chilli powder, or to taste
2 level teaspoons ground coriander
salt, to taste
200g peas
200g firm tofu, cut into cubes
100ml whole milk
small handful chopped fresh coriander leaves


  1. Make a smooth paste of the ginger, garlic and tomatoes, using a little water to help (I use a stick blender).
  2. Heat the vegetable oil in a non-stick saucepan. Add the whole spices and bay leaf and, once the cumin seeds have darkened, tip in the onion and cook until golden brown. Add the tomato paste, turmeric, chilli, coriander and salt. Bring to a boil and cook over a moderate flame until the paste releases oil droplets on the base of the pan, around 10 minutes, then gently sauté the paste for a further five or six minutes; it will deepen in colour and flavour.
  3. Add the peas and tofu and stir for two or three minutes. Add the milk with 350ml water and bring to a boil. Simmer for five or six minutes, or until the curry has a light, creamy consistency. Taste, adjust the seasoning and serve, scattered with chopped coriander.
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