“Of all the bright cruel lies they tell you, the cruelest is the one called love.”
― George R.R. Martin
What is love?
To be honest, I don’t know if I can answer this question anymore. For someone who talks as much as I do I somehow feel ill-equipped to answer this question.
I guess I have reached an age where I can put my hand on my heart and say I don’t know what love is. As human beings, we are always looking for meaning in everything we do. And maybe love is a term that was coined when someone felt the stirrings of a deep-rooted ache in their heart for someone else and decided to give it a name.
Well, whatever it is I believe that if we love and that love could be for anything or anyone, it has to be honest and with full intent. If you are not committed with your heart and soul to the object of your affection you might as well not do it.
Hence I ensure I give my all to the one that rocks my boat “Food.” Not only am I committed to it, but it is also the reason for comfort and happiness. I cook for all moods and occasions. I cook when I am happy, and I cook when I am stressed, I cook when I am sad, I cooked when I am glad. I cook when I cannot get my act together and I cook when I want to impress. It is a therapy that I indulge in every single day and never seem to tire. For me cooking for the people I genuinely care about is also a way to show them how much I value them and care for their health and I guess that is what love or whatever it is, is all about.
So while the jaded cynical me doesn’t really care about Valentines Day, the foodie in me is definitely more than happy to indulge in some “Tofu Tikka Masala” for dinner because I really don’t need a special day to share my love of food with the world.
Don’t you think so?
Recipe (cooking time 60 minutes) – Serves 6
450 gms firm Tofu (you can use Paneer or chicken as well)
4 large ripe tomatoes (Blanched in hot water and pureed)
1/2 cup unsalted cashew nuts, soaked in 1 cup water for 15 minutes.
1/2 cup curd (you can also use lactose-free curd)
Juice of 1 lemon
2 tbsp store-bought Tandoori masala (If you don’t have Tandoori masala, make a mixture of 2 tsp Kashmiri chili powder, 1 tsp Turmeric powder, 1 tsp Coriander powder)
1 Cinnamon Stick
2 Bay Leaves
1 ½ tsp Ginger Garlic and Green chili paste
1 large tbsp vegetable oil
Almond slivers & pomegranate for dressing
Mix the Tandoori masala, Lemon juice, and yogurt together.
Cut the Tofu into pieces and marinate in the Tandoori masala for atleast 30 minutes. You can leave this in the fridge for up to 2 days.
Heat 2 tsp vegetable oil in a nonstick pan and shallow fry the Tofu till golden on all sides. Alternatively preheat an oven to 180 degrees C, line a tray with baking paper and place the Tofu, brush some oil on it and bake for till slightly crispy. With Tofu, you need to ensure that you do not overcook it or it will taste weird.
Throw away the excess water in which the cashew nuts were soaked and grind to a smooth paste.
Heat Oil in a pan and add the Cumin seeds, Cardamon, Cloves, Bay Leaves, Ginger Garlic & chili paste. Add the Tomato puree and cook on low heat till the oil starts to separate from the sides.
Add the Cashew nut paste, Salt, red chili powder and cook for 10 minutes on a low flame. You can add ½ cup of hot water if the gravy is too thick. Season the gravy with Salt if needed. At the time of Serving put the Tofu in the sauce and let it come to a rolling boil and turn off the heat.
Garnish with Almonds and Pomegranate and serve with Naan bread.