Tofu Makhani

This is not in any way traditional, but it is kid and veggoe friendly, so it is a winner in my house.

I use a combination of coconut milk and yoghurt, rather than butter and cream, because it gives the right amount of creaminess and tang to really make the dish. Yeah, I guess that means it’s not a true Makhani, but shut up, you don’t know my life.


500g tofu, cut into 1-2cm dice

1 medium head broccoli, cut into small florets

200g frozen peas

400g can coconut milk

100mL plain yoghurt

125g (or half a jar) of tomato paste

1 medium brown onion, diced

4 cloves garlic, sliced thinly (or crushed, your call)

4 bay leaves

20(ish) curry leaves

1 cinnamon stick

2 brown cardamom pods

1 tsp ground cumin

1 tsp ground coriander

1 tsp ground turmeric

1/4 tsp ground fennel seed

And for umami: 1 tsp of mustard and a tbs of soy sauce

Also cook: 2 cups of brown rice in 6 cups of water


1. Put the rice on. I am not going to tell you how to cook it, because I am terrible at rice, but it takes a while, especially for brown rice.

2. Fry off your onion and garlic in a good, high smoke point oil. I recommend rice bran oil. Cook on medium-high heat until translucent.

3. Add spices and maybe a touch more oil. You are trying to create a flavourful oil as the base of your dish, and onion and garlic can soak up the oil first. You don’t want it swimming in it, though. Aim for an oil slick across the pan, not a pool.

4. Chuck in the diced tofu and get it covered in the spiced oil.

5. Once the tofu is covered in oil and warmed through, throw in the broccoli. You want to give the broccoli stems a head start on breaking down, hence throwing them straight on the heat.

6. Add coconut milk, yogurt, tomato paste, mustard, and soy sauce. And salt and pepper. Let it simmer for a bit, then taste it. Too bland? Add more mustard or more salt. They are your friends.

7. Let it simmer for a bit while you have a glass of wine. Go on. You deserve it. Keep an eye on it, but you can probably leave it for about 15-20 mins.

8. Check to see if the broccoli has softened. If not, crank the heat up, let it boil for a couple of minutes. I have no shame in taking short cuts, especially in such a robust dish.

9. Add the peas while it is boiling. If you didn’t have to boil it, well lucky you, eh? Add the peas anyway. Turn off the heat once the peas are cooked.

10. Hopefully your rice is ready now. If not, we all fucked up. You, me, Jamie Oliver. In fact, I think it’s his fault.

Serve in bowls, kinda like this, or rice and Makhani separately in big bowls, if you want to be fancy.

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