Our friend from Teasdale Utah, down in the middle of the state just minutes from Torrey, arrived last week bearing kale from her neighbor’s garden. With the wonderful variety of potatoes we have been getting from Ranui Gardens I made a spicy curry dinner. This coconut sauce and vegetables are perfect over steamed brown basmati rice with red quinoa —3/4 cup rice:1/4 cup red quinoa: 2 cups water. Serve with chutney and yogurt or raita.
In this recipe, the prep steps for the tofu, potatoes and kale are given separately. Multi-tasking is efficient here: prepare the potatoes while the tofu is being pressed, and boil the potatoes while the tofu is crisping and boil the kale while the onion and garlic cooks.
Curried Potatoes and Kale
1 (12 ounce) block extra firm tofu
1 tablespoon plus 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
4 medium potatoes, any variety, well-scrubbed
1 bunch kale, stems removed and discarded
1 medium onion, thinly sliced
1 clove garlic, minced
1 ½ teaspoons turmeric
½ teaspoon (or more, to taste) dried red chile pepper flakes
1 (13.5 ounce) can coconut milk
Salt to taste
Drain the tofu from its water and cut in half lengthwise. Place on a tea towel in a baking dish and cover with a part of the towel. Top with a second baking dish and place something heavy inside; it should weigh 1 to 2 pounds. Monitor so that the weight stays centered over the tofu pieces and press for about 10 minutes. The tea towel will absorb much extra moisture, even though you started with extra firm tofu. Dice the pressed tofu into ½-inch to ¾-inch cubes.
Heat the first tablespoon of oil in a large skillet over medium flame. Add the tofu cubes and cook about 10 minutes, turning the tofu after a few minutes, until the cubes are golden on at least 2 sides. Remove from the pan and set aside on paper towels.
Bring a saucepan of water to boil with a good amount of salt. Cut the potatoes into 1-inch chunks, add them to the pot and simmer until the potatoes are just tender, about 20 minutes. Remove the potatoes from the pot and set aside.
Add the kale leaves to the salted water. Simmer them until the greens are tender to your tongue, 10 to 15 minutes. Remove from the water, saving about 2 cups of the cooking water. Let the kale cool on a cutting board and then chop—about 1 inch apart with your knife, in both directions to cut the leaves.
Heat the remaining oil in the skillet over medium flame. Add the onion and garlic and cook and stir until the garlic is translucent, 5 to 8 minutes. Stir in the turmeric and cayenne and the pepper flakes. Add the coconut milk, and the cooked potatoes and chopped kale, stirring everything around. Stir in the golden tofu cubes and enough of the reserved cooking water to make a wet sauce. Cook, stirring occasionally to let the flavors meld and heat the vegetables and tofu. Season with salt and more chile pepper flakes to taste.
Makes about 4 servings.