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Village-Style Carrots and Peas with Tofu

This vegetarian dish from the villages of the Punjab in northwestern India is normally made with paneer, but sometimes Madhur Jaffrey takes a shortcut and uses tofu. Also, in this version, she has added frozen peas. If you would prefer to use fresh ones, cook them at the same time as the carrots. If the fresh peas seem especially tender, add them after the carrots have cooked for 10 minutes.

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  • Servings: 4

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  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon minced peeled fresh ginger
  • 2 medium tomatoes, finely chopped
  • 2 teaspoons garam masala
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1 pound carrots, cut into 1/2-inch dice
  • 1 pound boiling potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch dice
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup frozen baby peas (5 1/2 ounces)
  • 1/2 pound firm tofu or Homemade Paneer with Indian Flavors, cut into 1/2-inch pieces


  1. In a large deep skillet, heat 3 tablespoons of the oil until shimmering. Add the onion and cook over moderately high heat, stirring occasionally, until lightly browned, about 5 minutes. Add the ginger and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add the tomatoes, garam masala, salt, cayenne and turmeric and cook until the mixture has thickened slightly, about 4 minutes. Add the carrots, potatoes and water and bring to a simmer. Cover and cook over low heat until the vegetables are just tender, about 20 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, heat the remaining 1 tablespoon of oil in a large nonstick skillet until shimmering. Add the tofu and cook over moderately high heat, shaking the pan often, until golden all over, about 5 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, add the tofu to the curried vegetables along with the peas. Cover and cook over low heat until the peas are tender and warmed through, 4 to 5 minutes. Serve hot.

Suggested Pairing

The mild heat of this curry calls for a simple white wine with just enough aromatic fruitiness to balance the spice. Look for a California Viognier.

Contributed By Published August 1999

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