Connie  |  Jan 22, 2021

During Veganuary I was constantly looking for healthy plant-based recipes that for a change, were not based on lentils and beans and chickpeas. Don’t get me wrong, I love pulses and they are super healthy, but my stomach just needed a little break :-)

Therefore this rather quick recipe from Ottolenghi* caught my eye as the photo looked stunning, and it featured all the ingredients I was longing for in a dish - lots of protein from tofu, lots of vibrant greens for my folic acid and phytonutrients and lime for flavour and vitamin C! 

I used regular limes instead of the black limes that were used in the original recipe - but it still turned out delicious. Nice to serve with some rice (wholegrain ideally) or some lovely crusty sourdough bread.

(credit to Ottolenghi: recipe from his new cookbook Flavour and  featured here: https://www.theguardian.com/food/2019/apr/27/yotam-ottolenghi-30-minute-recipes-beans-leeks-eggs-fried-tofu-salmon-potato-bake) 

Ingredients: (4 people, 30 mins)

Serves 4

Onions (optional): 

1 tbsp vinegar (Apfelessig or Condimento bianco)

1 tsp sugar

½ tsp salt

1 small red onion, peeled and cut into very thin rounds (use a mandoline, if you have one)

Toss all the ingredients and set aside


Salt and black pepper

400ml sunflower oil, for frying

About 500g firm tofu,  patted dry and cut into 2cm cubes

2 tbsp cornflour

1.Heat the sunflower oil in a small saute pan on a medium-high flame.

2.In a bowl, toss the tofu in the cornflour until well coated.

3.Fry the tofu in two - three batches, until crisp and lightly browned – about six minutes a batch – then transfer to a plate lined with kitchen paper, to drain well.

4.While the tofu is frying, make the sauce. 


2 onions, peeled and finely chopped

6 garlic cloves, peeled and finely chopped

4 Tbsp  olive oil

2 tsp cumin seeds, roughly crushed in a mortar (ground cumin will do too)

2 tbsp tomato paste (or 6 Tbsp Connie’s Kitchen Ketchup, then you can omit the 1 tsp of sugar)

300ml of water or bouillon 

3  limes, skin grated, juice of 1-2

20g parsley leaves, roughly chopped

250g baby spinac

1.Put the 4 Tbsp olive oil in a large saute pan on a medium-high heat, then fry the onion mixture, stirring occasionally, until softened and lightly browned – about seven minutes.

2.Add 2 tsp cumin and 2 Tbsp tomato paste and 1 tsp sugar (or 6 Tbsp Connie’s Kitchen Ketchup) and cook for a minute until fragrant.

3.Add 300ml water (or bouillon) the lime zest, a teaspoon salt and a good grind of pepper. Bring to a simmer, then cook, stirring occasionally, for 10  minutes, until thick and rich.

4.Add the lime zest and the juice, tofu, parsley and another grind of pepper, stir to coat, then add the spinach in increments, stirring, until it has just wilted – about three minutes.

5.Season to taste with salt and pepper and add more lime juice if you’d like it more zesty.

    Transfer to a shallow platter, top with the pickled onion and serve with some rice or crusty sourdough bread. 

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