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Meatless Monday: Grilled tandoori tofu with creamy cucumber salad

Patricia Conte has a background in marketing communications and works as an independent writer. In 2010, she was given the opportunity to combine her love of writing and food when she started as a contributing writer for the Food channel...

A traditional South Asian dish brings flavor and color to tofu on this Meatless Monday

Popular South Asian tandoori dishes come in an array of colors, from bright red to orange to yellow. Sometimes the vibrant red comes as a result of food coloring. This recipe for grilled tandoori tofu with creamy cucumber salad forgoes the food color but brings it on heavy with the zesty flavors.

Tofu and veggies don't have to be bland, and that's definitely the case with this recipe. You can find prepared tandoori paste at the grocery store (check the international section) to use as part of a marinade for tofu to bring on the flavor.

A traditional South Asian dish brings flavor and color to tofu on this Meatless Monday

Traditional tandoori dishes are cooked in a clay oven (a tandoor), but this one is easy to cook on a grill pan. Since the tofu and veggies have slightly different cooking times, I find it easier to add the veggies to one or two skewers on their own and then do the same with the tofu. You can remove them after cooking and rethread them, alternating, on a skewer for a pretty and colorful presentation.

There is a bit of spice to this colorful tandoori tofu and veggie dish. To help keep things cool, serve it with a creamy cucumber salad on the side.

Grilled tandoori tofu with creamy cucumber salad recipe

You don't need a clay oven or phony coloring to create a fantastic tandoori dish with tofu and veggies. Use seasonal vegetables and those with color of their own to enhance this dish.

Serves 4

Prep time: 10 minutes | Inactive time: 1 hour | Cook time: 42 minutes | Total time: 1 hour 52 minutes

Ingredients:

For the cucumber salad

  • 1-1/2 seedless cucumbers, peeled and ends trimmed, diced small
  • 1/3 cup plain Greek yogurt
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cumin (more to taste)
  • 2-3 tablespoons fresh cilantro leaves, chopped

For the tofu and vegetables

  • 16 ounces extra-firm tofu, drained
  • 1/3 cup plain Greek yogurt
  • 1-1/2 tablespoons prepared tandoori paste
  • 2 yellow bell peppers, seeds and membrane removed, cut into 2-inch pieces
  • 2 sweet potatoes, pierced all around and cooked in the microwave for about 8 minutes until fork tender
  • 2 small white onions, peeled and cut into quarters
  • Nonstick cooking spray

Directions:

For the cucumber salad

  1. Add the diced cucumber to a small strainer, and let it sit over a bowl for 20 to 30 minutes.
  2. Add the drained cucumber to the yogurt, and stir in the salt, cumin and cilantro. Taste, and adjust seasoning as needed.
  3. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

For the tofu and vegetables

  1. Line a baking sheet with a few layers of paper towels. Slice the tofu in half lengthwise, and place it on top of the paper towels. Add a few more paper towels on top of the tofu. Place a small saucepan on top of the tofu. This will help press out excess liquid from the tofu. After pressing, cut the tofu into 2- to 3-inch cubes.
  2. To a large bowl, add the yogurt. Add the tandoori paste, and mix to combine. Add the tofu cubes to the yogurt mixture. Use a spoon to coat all sides of all the cubes. Refrigerate for about 60 minutes.
  3. While the tofu rests, peel the cooked sweet potato, and cut it into 2-inch cubes.
  4. Spray a grill pan with the nonstick cooking spray, and place over medium heat. When the pan is hot, add the onion, sweet potatoes and bell pepper. Grill for 5 to 8 minutes on each side. Check often to make sure the vegetables don't burn. When heated through with nice grill marks, remove, and keep warm.
  5. Wipe the pan, and spray it lightly with the nonstick cooking spray. Add the yogurt-coated tofu cubes to the grill. Grill for about 5 minutes each on 2 sides. If you like, lightly brush the tofu with any extra yogurt as it cooks.
  6. When warmed through and lightly grilled, remove from the grill pan.
  7. Serve warm with the vegetables and the cucumber salad.

More Meatless Monday recipes

Green Thai curry with mushrooms and zucchini
Roasted carrot, mushrooms, Swiss chard and lentil soup
Caramelized fennel and fontina pizza

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