Our weekend plans went from wine-drinking and bird-watching in the country to doona-hiding and slackery as quickly as it took Cindy to develop flu-like symptoms. Her illness sapped her tasting powers, which meant that we needed something spicy to cut through. Luckily we had just the thing - this simple tofu recipe from the indolent cook.
The recipe had a lot going for it - it looked straightforward, it promised big flavours and it gave us another excuse to use some of the makrut lime leaves that we've got growing in the communal area of our apartment block. We stuck closely to the recipe, just doubling everything to make sure we had plenty to eat and then adding a side of sesame stir-fried green beans and some brown rice.
The tofu was everything promised, loaded up with incredible flavours. The chilli garnish gave the odd bite a really great kick but the whole thing was limey, spicy and sweet - I even got a bit of delicious charring onto the tofu (at the expense of our previously 'non-stick' fry pan). We've got so many rad tofu recipes these days, but this one has immediately jumped into our regular rotation - fantastic.
Chilli lime tamarind tofu
(from the indolent cook)
500g firm tofu, cubed
4 small red chillies, cut into fine rings
6 makrut lime leaves, shredded
2 heaping teaspoons of tamarind paste
2 tablespoons tamari
1 teaspoon brown sugar
Oil, for frying
Combine the lime leaves, tamarind paste, tamari, sugar and almost all of the chilli (or all of it if you don't want any fresh chilli garnish) in a bowl and stir into a thick marinade.
Tip in the tofu, toss it all together and leave for 15 minutes or so while your rice is cooking.
Heat some oil in a frying pan and, when it's nice and hot, throw in the tofu cubes (reserving most of the marinade). You want to get the tofu cubes fried up and a little charred - it adds a bit of smokiness to all the other flavours.
Once the cubes are basically cooked, pour over the marinade and cook it off - it should leave a thick saucy residue.
Serve on rice with a side of whatever easy veggie dish you can be bothered whipping up.