Garam Masala Tofu Scramble

Garam Masala Tofu Scramble Recipe


I'm going to try to get you excited about a tofu scramble recipe today, and I suspect it's going to be a tough sell - in fact, I can imagine hundreds of you rolling your eyes right at this moment. But hear me out. Tofu scrambles are a great way to get a delicious, vibrant, balanced meal out of a single pan. Bonus points for being able to do it in a short time period - in fact, more often than not I'll throw together a skillet for dinner (vs. breakfast) if I get home on the late side. I did a favorite tofu scramble in Super Natural Cooking, but this version is quite different. Lately I've been using warm and sweet flavors like shaved fennel, a garam masala spice blend, caramelized onions and dried fruit, and then counter-balancing those flavors with cilantro and chopped nuts. I love the play between all the flavors and textures. Even if you think you aren't a tofu fan, this one might win you over, and I encourage you to give it a go.

Try not to think of the tofu scramble as a replacement for an egg-based scramble - even though we are appropriating the word here. The crumbled tofu merits its own realm of culinary exploration, and while many of the ingredients you might pair with an egg scramble might work here, the reverse is less likely to be true. I mentioned in my book that I've long since given up on trying to convince a certain slice of my friends that the tofu scramble is a worthy culinary concept, but I still think they're great. And for those of you who cook for others, they work really well for mixed crowds. This variation happens to be gluten-free, dairy-free, vegetarian, and vegan - but not because I set out to make it that way, and not because I was taking ingredients away from the original idea - it just is, which works out nicely.

 
 
 
 

Garam Masala Tofu Scramble Recipe

Cut the onion/fennel thinner than you would for a slaw - extra thin, but not quite whisper thin. You can buy garam masala spice blends, or make your own from spices like cardamom, cloves, cumin, and cinnamon. On the tofu front, I actually like to use a firmer tofu which lends more structure in the end, softer water-packed work as well but lend a looser, and in some cases creamier texture.

a splash of olive oil
couple pinches of salt
1 1/2 teaspoons garam masala spice blend
1 medium onion, halved and cut into thin slices
1/2 medium bulb fennel, cut into very thin slices
1/4 cup dried cranberries, chopped
12 ounces extra firm orgnic tofu, crumbled
1/4 cup chopped cilantro
1/3 cup pistachios, chopped

Add the olive oil to a big pot over med-high heat. Stir in the garam masala, and then quickly add the onions and fennel.

Stir in onions and salt and cook until the onions soften, just a minute or two. Now it's up to you in regards to how long you'd like to let the onions cook - it you are in a rush, just cook them for a few minutes until they soften. If you have a bit more time, let them start to caramelized and darken. Stir in the cranberries, cook them for thirty seconds and add the tofu. Stir and stir to combine the tofu with the other ingredients. Remove from the heat and stir in the cilantro and pistachios. Taste and add more salt if needed.

Serves 4.

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Your Comments


Jen
February 11, 2008

Ok, I admit I'm part of the population that cringes when seeing 'scramble' and 'tofu' used together...

BUT -- I am yet to be disappointed by any of your recipes, so I'm just going to pretend this is called 'Garam Masala Tofu Stir Fry' and make it for dinner tonight! :) Thanks for the recipe and for encouraging culinary adventures

 

mallory
February 11, 2008

i love tofu scrambles - but i agree, i wasn't a fan until i stopped thinking about them in relation to scrambled eggs. looks great, i'll definitely try it.

 

Eric Gower
February 11, 2008

I have the hardest time "selling" tofu scrambles, too. But I soldier on, because they're really great, if done right, as this one looks to be. Can't wait to try it.

 

Charcuterista
February 11, 2008

I think you've gotten me with the garam masala mixture, which has been finding its way into a lot of what I've been cooking lately. My current favorite is home-fried potatoes tossed with garam masala. I've been trying to work more tofu into my cooking, so I'll definitely give this a try. And Jen's right, I have yet to be disappointed by anything you've recommended. I just made your olive oil semolina crackers and posted about the fabulous results.

 

Anna
February 11, 2008

Heidi, I loved the Spinach-Curry Tofu Scramble recipe from your cookbook and cannot wait to try this version! Cheers!

 

BeckyAndTheBeanstock
February 11, 2008

Two of my favorites -- garam masala and tofu. Yes, for real. Tofu is one of my favorites. I know, I'm not normal.... Sometimes, I even crave it. Needless to say, can't wait to try this recipe.

 

Christy
February 11, 2008

Your photography makes even the 'dreaded' scramble look like royal fare. This instantly caught my attention, as Garam masala is my favorite spice mix. I can't stand saving it just for Indian dishes and curries, so I frequently use it on roasted vegetables (try butternut squash!), and sneak it in as a substitute whenever recipes call for allspice.

 

Suzanne
February 11, 2008

This seems a brilliant spin on tofu... I keep thinking of the many directions this could take... with various spice blends (cajun) and added veggies (red peppers or spinach)... yum... thank you for the ways you seem to keep connected to the pulse of stylish food options for nurturing those we care about!

 

Danielle
February 11, 2008

Heidi, I think this recipe is really exciting! Not because it's vegan or gluten-free, but because I won't have to drain and press the tofu! :) Between the tofu scramble and Allen's romaine stir fry, my skillet is going to see a lot of action this week! Thanks.

 

alma schneider
February 11, 2008

Thanks for giving tofu a chance! Sometimes I think people are just out to get tofu. I think it's really important to check out many different ways of preparing it because it can really taste different depending on the cooking method and spices used.
Thanks!
Alma
www.takebackthekitchen.blogspot.com

 

Vegetarian Cookster
February 11, 2008

Looks absolutely awesome!!! :)

 

Deva
February 11, 2008

Heidi

Thank you for your fun and interesting blog posts and lovely photographs. I enjoy them very much. I love tofu scrambles but am currently, sadly, off soy products because they interfere with absorption of thyroid hormone supplements. Are there soy free vegetarian protein sources that you would recommend for this recipe?

Thanks.

Deva

 

Britt
February 11, 2008

Hello,

I really enjoy this journal and all of the posts. I'm hoping some of you will have some cookbook suggestions for me: my husband needs to eat a low-carb, non-dairy diet for heart and allergy conditions. I also have a 5-year-old to feed. I'm struggling to find foods that will satisfy us all. Help??

Many thanks -

Britt

 

Jennifer
February 11, 2008

I used to live on tofu scrambles when I was younger. I used to do something similar to this, but I used asafoetida.

 

Anonymous
February 11, 2008

No need to TRY to get excited about tofu over here--I adore tofu scrambles, and this one looks like a winner. Must try it out.

 

Kate
February 11, 2008

what a great idea, never woulda thought of that! have tried about a half dozen of your recipes, all fantastic (I'm not vegetarian but not missing the meat :). and easy to substitute and come up with neat variations. thanks!

 

Pat
February 11, 2008

I really must give tofu a chance. I buy it, put it in the fridge, think about it, change my mind and eventually discover its use-by date has been and gone... I share Jen's tofu/scramble cringe ;-)

 

Alison G
February 11, 2008

I've always wanted to try scrambled tofu, but I must say I've always been a bit put off because I can't conceptualize the final product. If scrambled tofu has no relation to scrambled eggs (minus the technique), what's the texture like after cooking the tofu? Do you let it get brown so it develops a bit of bite, or just heat it through so the tofu remains soft and breaks apart instantly?

Whatever it feels like on the tongue, that picture sure makes it look delicious! Thanks, Heidi!

 

Kyra Reed
February 11, 2008

This is yet another fabulous recipe for those suffering from Candida. With the exception of the dried cranberries, the scramble is another meal my family can eat while we recover from this miserable illness. Thank you for so many great options on your site Heidi!

 

Nikki
February 11, 2008

I have close to 20 cookbooks, and I love looking at the pictures and reading them all. But I can count the number of recipes that I've actually attempted on two hands.

But I am obsessed with your blog and the recipes you post. I've tried to make the majority of your posts since I started following and you have yet to let fail me. Your recipes are incredible. My husband and I are vegetarian and the highlight of our week are the nights when I attempt to recreate your creations.

Thank you for keeping things interesting and healthy and beautiful and vegetarian. I can't wait to try the scramble.

 

monica
February 11, 2008

I have been eating lots of tofu scramble lately... throwing in various random veggies, but always include turmeric, onion, tomato and cilantro (what is it about cilantro that makes it so essential for tofu scramble?).

This combo with garam masala and cranberries sounds awesome... I'm going to try it next time I have a scramble (which will probably be before the end of the week knowing me). Thanks!

 

Charise
February 11, 2008

I love tofu, but I have never tried a scramble before.

I'm going to be cooking for just myself next week, so I think I'll scale down the recipe and try this! I love Garam Masala, so this looks like a great recipe!

 

Rachel
February 11, 2008

Fantastic! As a vegetarian who recently found out I was lactose intolerant (tragic!), lately I've been trying to spice up my tofu recipes. Can't wait to try this out! Thanks again.

 

JEP
February 11, 2008

Another tough sell when it comes to tofu...but the photo is amazing!

 

Eve
February 11, 2008

Hi Heidi,

This is the wrong place for this post but your mesquite chocolate chip cookies post no longer have a comment area. I finally found a place in Southern California that sells this but it's mesquite "powder". There are so many different terms... mesquite powder, mesquite meal, mesquite flour. I like to know if mesquite flour and "powder" are the same thing? Thanks!

 

Cindy
February 11, 2008

I get great fresh-made tofu at a local Korean market and had some in the fridge, but had no fennel. What I did have was half a head of Savoy cabbage hanging around, so I used that instead of the fennel. It was fabulous! I cooked up a mixture of brown rice, wild rice and lentils to go with it -- an easy, delicious, healthy, no-fuss meal. And to those who think their families will never eat tofu I'll tell you my secret: I don't advertise ingredients :-) They all ate it, even the self-professed tofu-haters.

 

Us vs. Food
February 11, 2008

the phrase "tofu scramble" causes me to make a grimace-y face, and i was a vegetarian once upon a time. but i do love all the flavors in this one. except, you know, the tofu.

i totally don't work for them, but i just ordered some spices from world spice merchants in seattle and the garam masala blend is fan-fricking-tastic.

-- Us vs. Food

 

Snehal
February 11, 2008

Tofu Scramble!! what a brilliant idea :) ... i can't wait to try this one. I love garam masala too .. although laying off all unusual spice blends since having the baby a month ago.

 

christine
February 11, 2008

Just made this delightful recipe but used carrot instead of fennel and walnuts instead of pistachios! Tasted great and will be added to the rotation!

 

Jill
February 11, 2008

I bought some tofu at trader joe's this weekend for the first time. I didn't know what I would try to make with it, but I think I will try this recipe- it looks amazing!!!

 

lucy
February 11, 2008

I came home tonight and drained some tofu, thinking that I might make a scramble, and I happened upon your recipe. Thanks! So I'm eating it right now. No cranberries in the house, so I added raisins (good). No pistachios, so I added almonds (okay). I also added some steamed spinach. Thanks for letting me use up some of the garam masala that was sitting, ignored, in my cabinet!

 

Lyn LeJeune
February 11, 2008

Hi, and I love this site. I just posted some of my Country Cajun Recipes on my blog and wanted to let you know. I'm doing this in conjunction with my project, Th Beatitudes Network-Rebuilding the Public Libraries of New Orleans. I am donating all of the royalties from the sale of my book, The Beatitudes, directly to the New Orleans Public Library Foundation. I'm 100% Cajun and food brings people to the table to eat and talk about books! Enjoy the recipes, like Pain Perdu (Lost Bread) that kept the Acadians alive during their trek from Canada to Louisiana. Merci mille fois- thanks a million. Lyn LeJeune

www.beatitudesinneworleans.blogspot.com

 

Mia
February 11, 2008

Heidi - This looks great. I was inspired by the tofu scramble in Super Natural Cooking a few weeks ago, and have been making them whenever I need a fast and satisfying meal. I made a great one the other night with spinach, broccoli, peas, and a spoonful of miso. Do you always use extra-firm tofu for your scrambles? I've been using silken, which has a really great, creamy texture ...

 

Anonymous
February 11, 2008

Hi Heidi. I'm not an egg fan, so I love the idea of tofu scrambles (and the couple I've tried)...scrambled goodness without egginess. Garam masala, cranberries & cilantro all sound like interesting & delicious additions...

 

YOYO Cooking
February 12, 2008

I will try to cook it next time~

love TOFU~

 

Anna/Village Vegan
February 12, 2008

Mmm. Tofu scramble was actually the first dish I ever made with tofu and enjoyed, so it will always have a special place in my heart.

I always put garam masala in my scrambles, but yours looks so much more elegant!

 

Megan
February 12, 2008

Hi Heidi,

I've been reading your blog for about a year, and almost every recipe I've read has made me want to race home to the kitchen. However, as I've been living in Korea for a year and a half, it's a bit of a challenge to find a lot of the ingredients you use. Nonetheless, I wanted to let you know that you've inspired me to try to incorporate more vegetarian meals into my diet, and to try to use a lot of new and different ingredients.
I also wanted to tell you that tonight, on the coldest night of the winter here in Seoul, I made your rustic cabbage soup. It turned out wonderfully-- so simple and good. I gave a bowl to my friend, who has a bad cold right now, and she said "this is delicious... I think it might heal me", which, in a strange way, might be one of the best compliments I've ever received.
I've ordered "Super Natural Cooking"- it's waiting for me in Canada, and I can't wait the two more months until I can go home and try all your recipes!

 

Anonymous
February 12, 2008

Not a tough sell for me ... this recipe looks fantastic. The nuts and cilantro would be a great combination. Thanks for this nice recipe.

 

Elizabeth H
February 12, 2008

I am with Jen on this one. I ordinarily would not be the first on the train to jump on a tofu recipe, but your recipes have never disappointed me, so I will definitley give this one a try. Also , I had just bought some dried cranberries and a carton of pistachios! Could someone be trying to tell me something, I wonder?

 

GianMaria Le Mura
February 12, 2008

STUPENDA RICETTA MOLTO BELLA.E NATURALE

 

Mrs Redboots
February 12, 2008

This does look good, although I only quite like tofu. But for me, an Englishwoman, "scrambled eggs" are literally just eggs, and never have anything else in them other than, perhaps, a little milk and butter (and seasoning, of course). So I found the heading misleading.... until I looked at the picture.

 

jen maiser
February 12, 2008

H,

What brand tofu do you use when you need firm? I've been using Wildwood for a while now (only when I need pretty firm - otherwise it's Hodo) but didn't know if you'd found something better ...

 

Jen O
February 12, 2008

MMmmm... I LOVE tofu! Thanks for doing some vegan recipes!

 

maninas
February 12, 2008

mmm interesting flavours...

 

Sadie
February 12, 2008

I like the idea of a low calorie, low cholesterol source of protein (I can only eat tuna so many time a week), and I love garam masala (I can't imagine sweet potatoes without it). Making tofu myself seems like a risky experiment, but I think it is about time to try again (I've had bad results attempting pad thai). Here it goes...

p.s. thanks for the recipe and inspiration :)

 

Vivek
February 12, 2008

Re: Deva, you could maybe use something like 'paneer' - (search for 'make paneer at home' on google and it'll bring up a bbc page).

 

anna
February 12, 2008

Well it certainly looks appetizing- and I'm always sold on looks so I guess I'll have to give it a try!

 

nichole
February 12, 2008

This sounds great...especially with the Fennel. Can't wait to try it!

 

Christy
February 12, 2008

It's not the tofu that gets me in this case: it's the garam masala. Unlike the other Christy who commented above, I can't stand the stuff. But with a different spice mixture, it sounds good.

 

Theresa
February 12, 2008

I absolutely adore tofu scrambles! Thank you for this creative, delish-sounding version--I'll try it tomorrow.

 

Theresa
February 12, 2008

I absolutely adore tofu scrambles! Thank you for this creative, delish-sounding version--I'll try it tomorrow.

 

Kat
February 12, 2008

We often use tofu in our curries, but for some reason I've never thought to couple garam Masala with it for breakfast- delicious, can't wait to try it!

 

Alyssa
February 12, 2008

Deva--

I'm a pharmacist, and your comment got me interested in the link between soy and thyroid hormone absorption--I hadn't heard of it before. I hope you were told that ALL food intake, especially high protein and high fiber (both of which are true for soy products if I'm not mistaken) can decrease absorption of thyroid hormone supplementation. The best way to take thyroid medication is on an empty stomach, at least an hour before or 3 hours after any food, milk, or mineral supplements. Also, if you choose to live a vegetarian lifestyle and now swear off soy, you are really running out of options for protein sources. That said, you can probably have your dosage tailored to your diet and any interference it may cause if you eat soy consistently.

I'm sorry to be preachy but I hate to hear someone giving up a perfectly healthy and delicious food for a reason that might be unnecessary! And Heidi--LOVE the blog!

 

Shira
February 13, 2008

Yum, I happened to have all these things in my pantry last night (except for switching the cranberries for tart apricots) It was so delish and satisfying. The perfect food for getting through a tough night shift- when I am never sure if I want dinner or breakfast before work anyway. I love the garam masala with the fennel- yum yum yum.

 

anjeeta
February 13, 2008

I am an Indian who lives in New York City and I make this tofu scramble regularly! I call it tofu bhurjee after the scramble egg bhurjee which is made in many Mumbai homes as breakfast dish.
For my tofu bhurjee I use a few green chillies, one small onion sliced thinly and one chopped tomato with a pinch of turmeric powder .. try it ..its quite yummy!

 

Foodeater
February 13, 2008

Thank you for posting this lovely vegan recipe! It sounds easy to make yet full of complex and fresh flavors... I'll definitely try this one out. One can never have too many great uses for tofu!

 

N
February 13, 2008

Heidi- This is wonderful! My mom used to make me and my brother something similar when we were growing up. Her ingredients were dried apricots, almonds, peas and cherry tomatoes, as well as an extra dose of turmeric for color. There'd always be a Tupperware full of it in the car for us to eat on the way home from soccer practice. Thanks for making me smile.

Megan- If you're looking for garam masala in Seoul, some good places to check out are the Indo-Pak stores in Itaewon, near the Mosque and, um, Hooker Hill. I bought dal, chapati flour and spices from them dozens of times. Itaewon's not that great on the whole, but it has some vibrant pockets.

 

kalyani
February 13, 2008

I'm Indian and we do scrambled paneer (cottage cheese Indian-style) at least once a week. Have recently started substituting paneer with tofu now and again, and it works fine. My recipe is somewhat different from yours - instead of the cranberries and pistachio, I add steamed corn or peas, finely chopped carrots, a chopped green chili and of course lots of cilantro. The result is colourful and has a nice combination of soft and crunchy textures. I also add the garam masala right at the end - we never fry garam masala, since we dry-roast the ingredients before grinding, and frying takes the edge off the fresh flavour.

 

charina gosavi
February 14, 2008

ooooohhhh...this stomach has started to make noise.. thanks for sending tips..All the best for you!

 

Courtney
February 14, 2008

I made this recipe last night. I'd never heard of a tofu scramble and was a little skeptical, but I really enjoyed this. I'm a relatively adventurous cook (I like to try new things) but I'm not very creative (on my own) so I've been looking for reasons to use the garam masala a friend brought me from India (aside from the usual curries) and this was perfect! I ended up using dried dates instead of cranberries and it was still good. I will have to try adding chillies next time...

 

sara
February 14, 2008

i am usually wary of tofu scrabble because they tend to be overly spiced with tumeric for color but this looks wonderful. i also want to chime in and say how much i've enjoyed your soup recipes. i want to know the quick and simple (but healthy and delicious) recipes that you eat all the time!

 

Heidi
February 14, 2008

Thanks for all the great feedback. Jen, I missed your comment earlier in the week (sorry!).... So, for something like this I'd also use Wildwood or Soy Deli (or whatever I come across that is organic and firm)...

 

Tasha
February 14, 2008

I love tofu. I'm not a vegetarian, but I am a fan of the stuff (and I hate eggs), so the tofu part of this recipe only attracted me to it more.

One thing I love about the recipes on this site are that they are usually quick and easy. While I don't mind putting effort into a meal, I do mind putting effort into one on a work night. This one was perfect--I shopped for the ingredients after work, went home, and was happily eating my dinner twenty minutes later.

This dish combines ingredients I wouldn't normally think about putting together, but the cranberries add a tart sweetness to the subtler flavor of fennel, and I mean, who doesn't love pistachios?

Once again, another great, fast recipe from a website I have recommended to as many people as will listen.

 

Brooke
February 14, 2008

Here's my concern: I like tofu, but feel that a scramble done by an amateur like myself might not turn out to be visually pleasing...

But I have yet to be disappointed. So maybe I should give it a try. Thanks for encouraging me to try things I normally wouldn't!

 

Jenny Mack
February 14, 2008

Thank you! I love tofu scrambles!
Made this the other night - it was very good...

Keep up the great work!!