Tag Archives: braised tofu


Rice, broad beans & braised tofu

Rice, broadbeans & parsley(6)

It never ceases to amaze me the extent to which rice lends itself to variation with good results and how well it marries with most vegetables, tofu, seitan, lentils, beans dry fruit and nuts.

Rice makes a vital contribution to our diet and specially vegans and vegetarians are very fortunate to have this humble, unassuming grain as part of their culinary repertoire. It cheerfully accommodates and adjusts to suit tastes and palates all round the world – I feel blessed…….

Layering rice with a central layer of some sort of stew or spicy mixture is known as biryani as opposed to rice cooked in broth with vegetables, which is called pilau or pilaf. Biryani was traditionally prepared for feasts or special occasions and as such good quality Basmati rice was used.  However, these days most families will have it once a week – Sunday lunch perhaps?

For this recipe I made a mild stew with lots of fried onions to add sweetness, broad beans and flat leaf parsley and replaced tomatoes with soya yogurt.  It turned out to be a delicious and very satisfying meal and required very little besides a simple salad of onion, tomatoes and cucumber.

Serves 4


2 small cups (about 300 grams) Basmati rice, soaked for 1 hour
3 medium onions, sliced
5 tablespoons oil
2 inch piece ginger, finely chopped
3-4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 teaspoon turmeric
1 teaspoon coriander powder
½ teaspoon cinnamon powder
5 tablespoons natural soya yogurt (I use Sojade)
1 good cup broad beans (I used frozen)
200 grams button mushrooms
1 cup flat leaf parsley, chopped
1 tin Marigold braised tofu, cut into 1 inch pieces + good pinch of turmeric


  • In 1 tablespoon oil fry the button mushrooms, remove and set aside
  • Fry onion in 3 tablespoons oil until golden
  • Add spices, yogurt, beans, a little salt and half cup of water
  • Cover and cook on low heat for about 10-15 minutes until broad beans are cooked
  • Add fried mushrooms and parsley to the beans, cook for a further 2 minutes

Rice, broadbeans & parsley(2)

  • Rinse the rice and bring to a boil in plenty of water with 1 teaspoon salt
  • Boil for about 3-4 minutes until the rice is almost cooked but still slightly al dente and strain in a colander
  • Put about ¼ cup of water in the pan and 1 tablespoon of oil
  • Lay about one-third of the rice in the pan and tip the broad beans on the rice
  • Add rest of the rice to the pan to complete the layering
  • Cover the lid with a clean tea cloth and place firmly on saucepan

Veggie biryani(8)

  • Steam rice on medium heat for 5 minutes, then lower heat to low and continue to steam for a further 15 minutes by which time the rice should be steaming

Rice, broadbeans & parsley(3)

  • Separately fry the braised tofu with a good pinch of turmeric for about 5 minutes
  • Place the fried braised tofu on the rice before serving


Rice, broadbeans & parsley(4)


Tomato rice with roast vegetables & braised tofu

Tomato rice with roast veggies

Asian and Persian rice dishes almost always use white rice – in countries where rice is a staple, white, polished rice is the preferred choice.  The better the quality of rice, the longer the grain with a wonderful aroma – you can smell rice boiling in the kitchen throughout the house. Most people wouldn’t dream of replacing this long grain white Basmati with brown…despite the health advantages and I will admit I am one of those. One reason for this is that you get the best result with superior quality white Basmati if you are cooking pilau rice or biryani – the grains are long and fluffy and, cooked properly, stay separate.

However, brown rice has a lovely nutty flavour and texture and, moreover, is better for you – with that in mind, for this tomato rice I have opted for gorgeous, long grain, brown Basmati cooked in a simple fresh tomato sauce and served with simple roast vegetables and braised tofu…. perfect for the family or a simple dish to treat your friends to!  The tomato sauce is quite plain with just a little turmeric and flavoured with cinnamon; in contrast, the veggies are roasted with a sprinkling of spices.  Feel free to use whatever combination of herbs and spices for the veggies – no rules for this one!

Please don’t let the long list of ingredients intimidate you!  I’ve just listed all the veggies I used but in fact it is a very simple recipe.  Basically a tomato sauce with rice and veggies popped into the oven! Voila, feast ready to go!

Serves 4
300 grams, brown Basmati rice
1 medium onion, sliced or chopped
3 tablespoons olive oil (not your best olive oil!)
3 large tomatoes (about 450-500 grams), chopped (you could use a tin of chopped tomatoes)
1 teaspoon turmeric
2 inch cinnamon stick
1 teaspoon salt
Fresh coriander for garnish
Roast vegetables & braised tofu – these are the veggies I used – you can take your pick or add any other
Half large aubergine
1 large courgette
1 small red pepper
1 small yellow pepper
1 small sweet potato
About 10-12 button mushrooms
1 tin Marigold Braised Tofu (available from Holland & Barrett in tins – see here)
1 teaspoon cumin powder
1 teaspoon coriander powder
Sea salt to taste
3 tablespoons olive oil


  • Fry the onion in olive oil until golden
  • Add turmeric, tomatoes, cinnamon stick and salt

Tomato rice with roast veggies(4)
100ml water added to tomatoes – always use a large, wide pan to cook rice

  • Add 100ml water, cover and cook tomatoes for 20 minutes until soft
  • Rinse rice and add to tomatoes with 400ml water (I usually eye ball the water – should be about an inch above the level of the rice)
  • Bring to boil, lower heat to lowest, cover and cook for about 22-25 minutes, gently stir the rice intermittently to ensure it doesn’t stick to the pan
  • During this time the rice should be cooked and the liquid absorbed – if not, uncover and let it dry off
  • Roast the vegetables and tofu as below and serve with tomato rice, sprinkled with a little chopped fresh coriander

Tomato rice with roast veggies(5)
Veggies coated with spices and oil, ready to go in the oven

  • Cut all the vegetables into bite size pieces and coat with olive oil, spices and a little salt (save a small amount of spices for the tofu!)
  • Put in roasting tin and roast on 200C, 400F or gas mark 6 for about 25-30 minutes, turning the vegetables once during cooking time
  • Drain the liquid in the tin, cut braised tofu into bite size pieces and drizzle with a little olive oil (I didn’t use any spices for the tofu but please sprinkle a little if you wish). Roast in a separate dish for the same time as the vegetables, turning the tofu at least once during cooking time (the tofu may need a few minutes less in the oven)