Curried Tofu with Spinach and Tomatoes

  • Active Time 25m
  • Total Time 25m
  • Rating ****

Serves 3

For a casual supper, I always enjoy this colorful medley with its curry-yellow tofu, bright green splashes of spinach, and cherry dots of tomato. It's richly flavored with Patak's prepared mild curry paste, a condiment I've come to rely upon for its intensely good balance of spices. I particularly like making this curry with frozen tofu, which thirstily drinks up the sauce and has a delightfully chewy texture. You'll also have good results with pressed fresh tofu.
The fresh spinach will seem like a huge quantity, but it shrinks dramatically when cooked. I always include the roots and stems if the spinach is young and tender. Drain the spinach well after washing, leaving just the water clinging to the leaves. Serve the curry in shallow bowls over steamed basmati rice, with your favorite sweet mango chutney on the side.


  • 1-pound block extra-firm or firm tofu, frozen, defrosted, and drained
  • 1 tablespoon peanut oil or ghee (clarified butter)
  • 1 cup coarsely chopped onions
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/4 cup mild curry paste (see note)
  • 3 tablespoons unsweetened grated dried coconut
  • 3 large plum tomatoes, cored and cut into eighths
  • 3/4 pound spinach, trimmed, coarsely chopped, and thoroughly washed
  • salt, to taste
  • 1/3 to 1/2 cup chopped cilantro (optional)


Set the block of defrosted tofu between 2 plates and, pressing the plates firmly together, tip them over the sink as the tofu releases excess water. Release the pressure slightly, then press the plates firmly together again 4 or 5 more times, or until no more water is expressed. With a serrated knife, slice the tofu into 1-inch cubes. Set aside.

Heat the oil in a large, heavy saucepan or wok over medium-high heat. Sauté the onions, stirring frequently, until lightly browned, about 3 minutes. Add the water and blend in the curry paste and coconut. Stir in the reserved tofu, taking care to coat the tofu thoroughly with the curry sauce. Stir in the tomatoes.

Cover and cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until the tomatoes are soft, about 5 minutes. If the mixture seems quite dry, stir in 1/4 cup water at this point. Add the spinach. (If your pot isn't big enough, you may need to add half, cover, and let it wilt before adding the remainder.) Cover and continue cooking until the spinach is tender, 2 to 3 minutes. Add salt and the cilantro, if you like.


You'll find 10-ounce jars of Patak's curry paste (and a myriad of other pickles and chutneys made by this venerable British company) in any Indian grocery and in many specialty-food shops, or you can order it by mail or substitute your own favorite brand of curry paste.

Recipe reprinted by permission of Chronicle. All rights reserved.

RecID 1536

nutrition information per serving

371 calories; 18g total fat; 0mg cholesterol; 220mg sodium; 44g carbohydrates; 21g fiber; 22g protein

These nutrition facts are calculated according to the ingredients listed in this recipe. Any substitutions will change these facts. Although we strive for accuracy, please note that food manufacturers occasionally change their food formulas, which could affect the calculations as shown.

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