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Waffled Tofu with Spiced Eggplant "Gravy"



The waffled tofu is based on an Instagram post I saw and an absolute revelation, and the spiced eggplant "gravy" is solely based on my cravings at the moment and is basically a (very successful) cross between Indian Bagara Baingan and Thai peanut sauce. Delicious, but not authentic.


I will definitely make this tofu again. It is crispy on the outside and soft on the inside and the perfect, pillowy vehicle for something saucy. My tofu waffles are round because I have an itty bitty round waffle maker for one person so I had to trim the block of tofu to fit. Waffled tofu will be easier to make for those of you who possess a regular waffle iron.


Should you not possess a waffle iron, please make the "gravy" anyway. It is fabulous. It is delicious over rice, would probably work with any kind of grain, or couscous, and the leftovers made a pretty fine lunch stirred into half a can of cannellini beans and reheated.


For the waffled tofu:

1/2 block firm tofu

Cornstarch

Olive or vegetable oil

Salt


Cut your block of tofu in half. Reserve one half for use in something else. Slice the remaining half in thirds, lengthwise.


Blot it very well with several layers of paper towels.


In a deep dish, mix about a tablespoon of cornstarch with some salt. Dredge each piece of tofu lightly in the cornstarch.


Heat your waffle iron. Brush the top and bottom plates with a little bit of olive oil. Brush each side of the tofu pieces with a little oil as well.


Place the tofu in the waffle iron (you may have to make this in several batches depending on the size of your waffle maker.) If your waffle iron does not close all the way, set a couple of cans on top to weight the lid down further.


Let sizzle away -- and it will as the water contained in the tofu evaporates - - for five to seven minutes. The tofu in the image above was in for exactly five minutes, and could have used a bit more time to brown more.


That's pretty much it.



For the spiced eggplant "gravy":

1/2 eggplant, finely diced

1/3 large red onion, peeled and finely diced

1/2 tomato, finely chopped

1 generous Tbsp of peanut butter (I used creamy)

1 generous Tbsp of coconut cream (the thick layer of stuff at the top of a can of full fat coconut milk)

1 tsp freshly ground ginger

1/2 tsp garam masala

1/2 tsp hot Kashmiri chili powder (or regular red pepper flakes if that is what you have in the pantry)

1/4 tsp turmeric

1 Tbsp olive or vegetable oil

1 tsp fresh lime juice

1 tsp fish sauce

Chopped mint or coriander for garnish


Measure the spices, the onion, the ginger and the olive oil into a large saucepan. Heat over low heat, stirring to keep the spices and ginger from burning, until the spices are fragrant and the onion has started to soften. This will only take a couple of minutes.


Stir in the eggplant and the tomato. Add one cup of water and cover. Cook for fifteen minutes, checking and stirring from time to time, until the eggplant is meltingly tender.


Add the peanut butter and the coconut cream to the pan and stir until they have melted into the sauce.


Stir in the lime juice and the fish sauce.


Check for seasoning and adjust with more salt, chili powder, lime juice or coconut cream to suit your preference if needed and serve.








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