An incredibly flavorful classic Kerala delicacy, recreated with a new vegetarian star ingredient-“tofu”- marinated in a blend of spices & sealed in a banana leaf, infusing all the flavors into the soft juicy bean curd slices!
Tofu/Paneer- 250 g, cut into small cubes
Onion- 1, thinly sliced
Tomato- 1, finely chopped
Green chilies- 2, finely chopped
Garlic – 5 pods, coarsely crushed
Kashmiri chili powder – 1 tbsp
Turmeric powder- 1/4 tsp
Coriander powder – 1 tsp
Tandoori powder- 1 tsp
Mustard seeds- 1/4 tsp
Curry leaves- A small sprig
Lime juice- 1 tbsp
Salt- To taste
Oil- As needed
Method: Marinate the tofu cubes with tandoori powder, turmeric powder, & salt. Leave it aside for 30 mins. Heat oil in a pan. Add the tofu cubes and fry until they are golden on all sides. Transfer them to a plate and keep aside. In the same pan, add the crushed garlic and green chilies. Saute for 1 min until the raw aroma goes away. Add the sliced onions & curry leaves and sauté until golden & translucent. Add the chopped tomatoes are cook until they are soft and mushy. Add the chili powder, coriander powder, and salt (if needed) and fry until the oil starts to separate. Sprinkle lemon juice. To this, add the fried tofu/paneer pieces and mix well gently without breaking the tofu/paneer. Remove from flame.
Wilt the banana leaves over medium flame to make the leaves soft. Grease the leaf with a little oil. Sprinkle some curry leaves on top of the leaf. Spread the prepared paneer/tofu masala on the leaf. Wrap the banana leaf in the form of a packet and tie well using a banana string or twine. Heat a few drops of oil on a tawa and place the tofu/paneer parcel on the tawa. Close it with a lid and cook on low flame for 5-8 mins on one side. Turn it over and cook it again for 5 mins to get the banana flavor infused into tofu/paneer. Remove from flame and transfer it to a plate and unwrap the parcel. Serve with chopped onions, lime wedges, and steamed rice.