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Grilled Curried Tofu with Sweet & Spicy Tamarind Chutney
“Firm tofu is well suited for the grill because it does not fall apart. Seasoned with curry powder, the grilled tofu is not only filling, but also refreshing with its complementary sweet, spicy and tangy tamarind chutney served on the side for dipping. You may have extra chutney left over; serve it with grilled chicken or pork.”
1 cup tamarind concentrate, (see Note)
10 small dates, (about 2½ ounces), pitted and coarsely chopped
2 tablespoons agave syrup, (see Note)
1 teaspoon finely grated fresh ginger
½ teaspoon ground cumin
½ teaspoon salt, divided
Pinch- ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper, (optional)
2 14-ounce containers water-packed firm or extra-firm tofu, drained
1 tablespoon grapeseed or canola oil
1 teaspoon curry powder
¼ teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1Preheat grill to high.
2Blend tamarind concentrate, dates, agave syrup, ginger, cumin, ¼ teaspoon salt and cayenne (if using) in a blender until smooth.
3Cut each block of tofu crosswise into eight ½-inch-thick slices. Lightly brush each slice with oil and season on both sides with a light sprinkle of curry powder, the remaining ¼ teaspoon salt and pepper.
4Oil the grill rack (see Tip). Grill the tofu slices until golden and heated through, 2 to 3 minutes on each side. Serve hot with the tamarind chutney for dipping.
Make Ahead Tip: Cover and refrigerate the chutney (Step 2) for up to 1 week.
Notes: Tamarind is a tropical tree that produces a sour-sweet fruit in a brown pod, with edible pulp. It's used in Asian and Indian curries, beverages and desserts. Purchase either tamarind concentrate or pulp. We found Thai brands of concentrate and pulp to work best in this recipe; Indian brands were too thick, dense and strong in flavor. To make your own “concentrate” combine ¼ cup tamarind pulp and 1 cup hot water in a medium bowl. Let stand for 20 minutes. Break up the paste and mix it with the water with a fork. Pass the mixture through a fine sieve set over a bowl, pressing against the sieve to collect as much of the pulp as possible. Discard solids.
Agave syrup or nectar is the naturally sweet juice extracted from the agave plant. It has a lower glycemic index and is lower in calories than table sugar, but is even sweeter. Use it in moderation when substituting for table sugar. Look for it near other sweeteners in health food stores.
Tip: How to oil a grill rack: Oil a folded paper towel, hold it with tongs and rub it over the rack. (Do not use cooking spray on a hot grill.)