Yields 6 to 8 servings
- 1 lb firm or extra-firm tofu, drained and cubed
- 2 large onions, thinly sliced
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 medium sweet apple (such as Fuji), peeled, cored, and pureed; or 1 c unsweetened applesauce
- 3 medium to large Japanese sweet potatoes, cut into bite-sized cubes (regular potatoes are fine)
- 5 carrots, peeled and cut into large chunks
- 1 T tomato paste
- 1 T vegan Worchestershire sauce, or shoyu/soy sauce
- 1/2 tsp sriracha (This amount adds a good amount of heat, so use less or omit for a milder result.)
- 2 T garam masala
- 2 T mild curry powder
- 1/2 tsp ground ginger
- 1 tsp ground fennel seed, or 1 star anise
- 1 bay leaf
- 3 c water
- 1 1/2 T cornstarch
- 1/2 c peas, fresh or frozen (optional)
- Spray oil, or 1/2 tsp mild-flavored oil
- Salt to taste
- Add oil to or lightly spray oil in a large nonstick pot, and place over medium-low heat.
- Mix together the garam masala, curry powder, ginger, and fennel seed, and set aside.
- In a separate bowl, combine the tomato paste, Worcestershire sauce, sriracha, and apple, and set aside.
- When the pot is hot, add onions and cook, stirring, until they are soft and slightly brown. (If you prefer to create a roux instead of using cornstarch as a thickener, at this point stir in the oil, then flour, and cook out the flour taste for a minute or two, then proceed.)
- Stir in the garlic, then add the spice mixture, stirring and cooking for a minute or two, until the spices are fragrant; add a splash of water and stir to prevent any sticking, if necessary.
- Stir in the apple mixture, then add the potatoes, carrots, bay leaf, and star anise (if using). Gently mix in the tofu.
- Slowly stir in the water and bring the pot to a boil, uncovered.
- In a small bowl, mix the cornstarch with 1 1/2 T water to create a smooth slurry (omit this step if using the roux method).
- Stir the cornstarch slurry into the boiling liquid.
- Lower the heat to medium-low and simmer uncovered, stirring frequently, until the potatoes are tender (time varies depending on the size of the pieces) and the sauce has thickened.
- Add salt to taste.
- Add the peas (if using) and simmer for an additional minute so that the peas are warmed through.
- Serve hot alongside steamed rice.
This recipe makes a fairly large amount of curry, so feel free to freeze portions of it to have no-fuss, box-free Japanese curry anytime. I hope you enjoy it!
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