South Indian Rice and Tofu Soup

This was originally a Jamie Oliver recipe for seafood and rice soup, using lots of spices and some coconut milk (but also seafood and white rice). Since I don’t eat seafood I added tofu, and I wanted brown rice instead of white. I also wanted to up the vegetable content with some spinach. I just made a few substitutions, and I’m happy to say it worked out really well.

Speaking of substitutions, the long term sub the district found for my maternity leave JUST found out she got a full-time teaching position, so they had to scramble to find another one pretty last-minute (school starts a week from tomorrow!) I am going to meet with her Monday to go over the ins and outs of my classes. I have no idea if she has science/PE/middle school/teaching experience, but I’m hoping for the best!

It’s amazing how much more productive I am when I actually have a reason to get out of bed and do something with my life. I made it to the gym by 5:30 AM the last two mornings and have been feeling fantastic. The workshop has been really awesome and I can’t wait to apply what I learned when I’m finally back to work, even though that feels like an eternity from now.

Recipe
(adapted from Jamie’s Dinners)

3 tbsp vegetable oil
3 tbsp mustard seeds
about 10 fresh curry leaves
2 tsp cumin seeds
1 tsp garam masala
a pinch or two cayenne pepper (or more, to taste)
2 tsp turmeric
a 2″ piece fresh ginger, peeled and grated
5 cloves garlic, finely minced
2 yellow onions, peeled and chopped
1 lb block extra firm nigari tofu, cut into small cubes
1 cup brown basmati rice, soaked for at least an hour, and drained
3 cups vegetable broth
1 14-ounce can coconut milk
2-3 handfuls fresh spinach, washed and torn into bite-sized pieces
juice of 1 lime

Heat the oil over medium in a large pot or dutch oven.

Add the mustard seeds, curry leaves, cumin seeds, garam masala, cayenne, and turmeric. Cook, stirring, for a few minutes, until the mustard seeds start popping and turn dark brown.

Add the onion, garlic, and ginger and cook until the onions are soft, about five minutes.

Add the tofu and mix well.

Stir in the rice and vegetable broth, and bring to a boil. Turn the heat down to low, add the coconut milk and simmer for about 20 minutes (adding a little more broth or some water if soup appears too thick).

Stir in salt to taste and continue simmering until rice is soft. Stir in the spinach and lime juice, and serve.

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4 Responses to “South Indian Rice and Tofu Soup”


  1. 1 Jen August 17, 2011 at 6:27 am

    this looks incredible and pantry friendly.

    awesome job on the early morning workouts! i’m glad that you are feeling so good!

  2. 2 Shauni August 17, 2011 at 9:32 am

    This looks DELICIOUS, but I live in a very rural area and do not have easy access to curry leaves or cumin seeds. Can I just use ground curry and ground cumin? Do you have an estimate of what quantities I would use? Thanks!

  3. 3 Kate August 17, 2011 at 9:51 am

    Worse case scenario, the sub can just show movies. A LOT of movies. She’ll be ever so popular ;-p

  4. 4 Julie @BananasforBourbon August 17, 2011 at 9:51 am

    Oh yum! That sounds fantastic! I’ve never ever seen curry leaves where I live (I’ve checked the Asian market, but haven’t made it to an Indian market yet), but I’ll bet maybe lemongrass and basil might make up for it? Would I be crazy for throwing seaweed in there? Or some reason when I saw you added spinach, my mind went there. Thanks for the recipe! I’ve definitely been craving a soup.


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