Saturday, June 25, 2011

Tofu makhani

I have been trying to perfect my makhani gravy which is used so often in Indian dishes offered in restuarants. Paneer makhani is one of the most popular vegetarian dishes. I recently went to a restaurant that had great reviews online Their website looked decent and boasted about their first restaurant which became very popular in Europe. I should have listened to my instincts about staying away from the likes of Maharajas and Heritage restaurants (but I did not). So we ended up going to this place. On the recommendation of our server we ordered a wide array of dishes, which included paneer makhani, dal makhani, navratan korma and hyderabadi baingan ka salan. Even though the decor and the look of the place felt decent it was eerily empty during lunch hour. I was expecting to see a buffet as it was a weekend lunch hour, but the server announced that they do not have buffets on a weekend! So then we ordered a la carte.  After waiting for more than twenty minutes the food arrived and it was awful! The baingan ka salan had a thin runny and tastless gravy which tasted of raw turmeric. The eggplant itself was not well cooked and tasted raw. The rest of the food just had a gravy of cream and tomatoes with no other flavor. I left feeling ripped off with a bad taste in my mouth. A few days later I decided to try making restaurant style makhani gravy at home, but without using copious amount of cream in it. Here is the recipe.

1 pack tofu cubed
2 cups chopped tomatoes (preferably roasted)
1/4 cup cashews soaked in water and ground to a paste
2 bay leaves
2 tsp ginger garlic paste
1 tbsp honey
1/2 tsp green cardamom powder
1/2 tsp ground cloves
1 tsp pepper
2-3 black cardamom
1 tsp tandoori masala or garam masala
1 tsp turmeric
2 tbsp kasoori methi
1 tsp red chilli powder
1 tbsp butter
Salt to taste
Oil for cooking

Heat some oil in a saucepan and add all the ingredients in it except honey and kasoori methi. Cover the saucepan and cook for at least 10 minites. Keep stirring till the gravy becomes thick (anohter 5-10 minutes).
Cool a little and transfer the mixture to a blender and puree it. Transfer the puree back to the saucepan and add the honey,  kasoori methi and butter. Saute the pieces of tofu in a non stick pan and add it to the prepared gravy. Serve with rice or roti

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