Introduction: Indian Spiced Tofu Puff Pastry Braid
Crumbled Indian spiced tofu with veggies of your choice are encased in a puff pastry “braid” and baked until golden brown. This vegan and flaky snack is so crispy and tasty, your friends and family will be begging for more!
Step 1: INGREDIENTS NEEDED:
1 packet of Puff Pastry sheets; 17.3 oz box (I have used Pepperidge Farm brand)
FOR THE TOFU SCRAMBLE:
16 oz firm tofu½ cup green peas (fresh or frozen)
1 tsp cumin seeds
1 small red onion, finely chopped
1 green chilli/jalapeno, finely chopped
1 small tomato, chopped
1-inch ginger, grated or finely chopped
1 large clove garlic, grated or finely chopped
1 tsp coriander powder
1 tsp red chilli powder
½ tsp turmeric powder
1 tsp garam masala powder
3 tbsp finely chopped cilantro/coriander leaves
½ lemon (optional)
Flour for rolling the puff pastry sheet
Melted butter or beaten egg for brushing the top (omit if making it vegan); optional
Step 2: How to Make Indian Spiced Tofu Puff Pastry Braids With Step-by-step Instructions:
Thaw puff pastry sheets according to box instructions.
Step 3: TO MAKE THE TOFU SCRAMBLE:
Press tofu between absorbent paper towel sheets to remove the excess moisture.
Then, crumble tofu with your hands; you will get about 2 to 2 ½ cups.
Boil fresh or frozen green peas in a little water until lightly cooked; drain and keep aside.
Heat oil in a large saucepan and once it is hot, sprinkle cumin seeds and wait for it to sizzle and dance around the pan. Stir in the chopped onions, green chillies, garlic and ginger and saute on medium heat until the onions are soft and lightly brown.
Toss in the chopped tomatoes and cook again, stirring often until they turn slightly soft.
Once cooked, mix in the spice powder; coriander, chilli and turmeric; mix well and fry again until the oil starts to separate, an indication the spices are well roasted.
Add the cooked green peas and crumbled tofu. Sprinkle salt to taste along with the garam masala powder. Mix well and continue cooking and frying on medium heat until the spices are well incorporated and most of the moisture is gone; about 5 to 7 minutes.
Adjust seasonings and once done, garnish with chopped cilantro, splash some lemon juice; mix well and remove from heat.
Step 8: TO ASSEMBLE THE PUFF PASTRY BRAID:
Preheat oven to 400 F or 200 C.
Line a baking pan with parchment paper or greased aluminum foil.
Layer a sheet of store-bought puff pastry on a dusted surface or use a silicone mat
To make things easier, you can do this on the prepared baking sheet too.
Working quickly, draw a rectangle into the center of the sheet leaving about 5 in border on each side and a 1 inch border at top and bottom of rectangle.
Start making diagonal cuts about 1 inch apart on both sides of the rectangle.
Discard the 4 corners of the dough.
Start layering the tofu scramble along the center of the sheet, as much as you want (about ¾ cup); do not overfill.
Fold the top and bottom of the sheet over the ends of the tofu.
Now, start folding the strips of dough over the filling, alternating each side (like braiding your hair!), until you reach the end.
Press any loose puff pastry sheets to seal lightly.
If not vegan, at this stage, you can brush top with beaten egg (gives it a good brown gloss). I have not used any as I wanted to make it totally vegan.
If you need another braid for more servings, use the other sheet to make one using the second sheet (make it on a piece of parchment paper and gently shift the braided tofu puff pastry onto the baking pan). Two braids will serve 8 to 10. Bake in preheated oven for 25 to 30 minutes until the top is golden brown.
As you can see, one is slightly longer than the other. I have rolled one sheet of puff pastry lightly to a lightly bigger size and the other one is not. It just makes for a thinner flaky pastry. Once baked, I found that it is best to not roll the sheet. Again, it is your choice.
Slice with a serrated knife and serve with a side of ketchup or tomato sauce.
Enjoy and Happy Baking!
Step 12: NOTES:
Add more vegetables like finely chopped carrots, bell pepper/capsicum, mushrooms etc. to make it more nutritious!
If you do not have or cannot get puff pastry sheets or if you have leftover tofu scramble, use these as fillings in sandwiches, wraps, on crisp toast, as a filling for samosas etc.
Parchment paper keeps the pastry from sticking to the baking sheet and also makes for easier cleanup. If you don't have parchment paper, you can spray the baking sheet with oil or even use greased aluminum foil.
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