Tuesday, August 28, 2007

A Masala Sauce (recipe)

Okay, so lets start with the masala sauce. This sauce forms the body and soul of the worlds most popular pseudo-indian dish. I'm working to bring it on the trail with me next weekend. Because heavy cream is not trail friendly, I've decided to substitute mori-nu tofu for the heavy cream. This dish, as prepared, is vegan and vegetarian.

I got distracted when cooks illustrated covered chicken tikka masala in their current issue. I made their recipe, and I didn't see what was so great about it. Honestly. I found it lacking in flavor, and color. It had great texture, but with heavy cream, texture isn't much to brag about.

I've tried to keep this recipe as trail friendly as possible. I didn't take pictures during the preparation because my battery was charging. I'll take pictures when I prepare it for this weekends adventure.

To make this dish backpacker friendly, I will prepare a simple spicy tomato sauce and dehydrate it at home. This will give me a fresh flavor tomato sauce without weight. It will also save me the need to carry an extensive spice rack with me.

On the trail, mori-nu tofu will be whipped into the sauce to add protein and thickness.

Masala Tomato Sauce
  • 6-8 ripe tomatoes
  • a slice of butter/veggie stuff (optional. I don't use fats in things I want to dry)
  • 2tbls minced garlic
  • one medium white onion, minced and optional
  • 1-2 jalepeno or equivalent chillies
  • 1-2 tsp Paprika
  • 1-2 tbls fresh coriander
  • "1/2 amount of coriander" cumin seed
  • 1/2-1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1-2tsp garam masala spice blend
  • 1 inch minced ginger root
  1. toast whole coriander and cumin seeds till fragrant and aromatic before grinding with mortar and pestle.
  2. puree tomatoes with Jalepenos, seeds and ribs included
  3. Cook onion in butter over medium -medium high heat 3-5 minutes
  4. add spices (parika, coriander, cinnamon, cumin, garam masala blend ) and cook 45s-1:30, till fragrant
  5. add tomato-jalepeno puree and minced ginger
  6. cook 10 minutes
  7. dehydrate on parchment paper till dry . I use my over on the lowest setting with the door propped open. I flip the sauce after 8 hours to dry the other side of the slap.
**NOTE: If you are making this at home, you could puree the tofu in with the tomatoes and jalepenos, or whip it in by hand during the cooking. **

On the trail, rehydrate the dried tomato sauce in boiling water, and add mori-nu silken soft tofu to cream up the sauce. I recommend mashing the tofu up right in the box with your knife or spoon before adding it to the sauce. This sauce is delicious with rice, noodles, dumplings, falafel balls, breads, and eaten plain with a spoon.

I'll be posting an update on my fake meat recipe soon . . . Thank you for reading my blog,

Tofu and Tomato sauce with masala spices (below)


tuttysan said...

I still don't get the drying process. If you leave the oven door halfway open, doesn't that use a considerable amount of energy?

Cayenne Redmonk said...

I leave the door open just an inch or so with some cork from a wine bottle. I'll show a picture sometime.

But your point is a good one, the oven is an inefficient way to dry food. I'd like to move to something better.

Lill said...

If you do much packing/ rafting, etc, investing in a food dehydator is worth the cost & effort. Use the "fruit leather" trays that come with the dehydrator to dehydate just about anything, I've done chili, masala sauce, spaghetti sauce, sometimes including diced chicken.
If you can, start rehydrating the food several hours before you want to eat it. Mix in water, stir it, let it sit, then keep doing this until it's the consistency you want.