Friday, February 27, 2009

Aubergine & Tofu Bake

I have Vaishali of Earthvegan to thank for this dish and her first food blog event - Its a Vegan World. She is one of my favourite bloggers and I love how she does so many interesting things with recipes. Of course, we all know how much she loves her bananas ;)! But seriously, though I am not a vegan, I have learnt a lot about how one can adapt recipes without losing any of the flavours.
So, while trying to think of something to make for her event which was not a pasta based dish (the theme is Italian this time), I really racked my brains and pushed myself to come up with something as original as she might have thought up. AND I promised myself not to take the easy way and peek into her blog .....

A tall order indeed then - to make an Italian dish which was vegan and not pasta based. I finally remembered that I make a pretty decent Italian aubergine bake (which turns out a bit like this recipe) and if I did away with the milk, parmesan cheese and the egg white I usually added - I could adapt it quite well to suit the vegan theme. Once I started thinking on those lines, I decided to add some tofu with the aubergines and to substitute the parmesan cheese with a soy milk based white sauce.The funny part is that as I adapted and improvised the recipe it almost resembled a vegan moussaka! Well, call it what you want but it sure tasted delicious and made a great one dish meal for us. The bread crumb crust was crisp and golden while the tofu bits combined with the creamy mashed potatoes and the crispy aubergines made for an interesting texture. Sending this to Vaishali's first event - Its a Vegan World - Italian.

Aubergine & Tofu Bake
1 (bharta type) round aubergine - medium, sliced in 1/4" thick slices and sprinkled with salt and set aside for about 30 minutes. (the aubergine slices may look too much in the beginning, but will shrink after roasting)
1 tsp dried thyme
1 tsp freshly crushed black pepper
2 tbsp olive oil

200gm extra firm tofu cut into 2" slices, sprinkled with tabasco sauce, salt and pepper and kept aside.
50 gm extra firm tofu crumbled
1 big onion, finely chopped
3 tomatoes, chopped
5 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 tsp red chilli powder
1 tsp jeera powder
salt to taste
1tsp olive oil
5-6 fresh basil leaves

3 medium potatoes cooked in a pressure cooker till soft, peeled and mashed along with the ingredients below:
salt to taste
crushed black pepper
1 tsp olive oil
1/4 cup soy milk

1 cup bread crumbs (I usually toast leftover bread, powder it and store in the fridge)
1 tsp dried thyme
salt to taste
minced garlic clove-1
Mix together and keep aside.

1 cup soy milk
1 tbsp flour
salt to taste
freshly crushed black pepper
2 tsp olive oil

1. Arrange the salted aubergine slices (after draining any liquid) on a baking tray, sprinkle with the dried thyme and pepper and roast in a pre heated oven at 200C for about 15- minutes
2. Heat 1 tsp olive oil in a pan, add the minced garlic and finely chopped onion and saute 10 minutes.
3. Put in the cumin powder, red chilli powder, tomatoes and salt and fry for another 5 minutes till the tomatoes turn mushy. Add the crumbled tofu (not the sliced one), basil leaves and salt and remove after another 3 minutes.
4. Pre heat the oven to 180C, grease a deep 8"oven proof dish and arrange half of the aubergine and tofu slices on the bottom and top with half the tofu tomato mixture and then half of the mashed potato mixture.
Repeat - aubergine & tofu slices,
- tofu tomato mixture
- mashed potatoes.
5. Make the white sauce, by frying the flour on a low flame in 2 tsp of olive oil till it loses its rawness but doesn't burn. Add the soy milk a little at a time and then whisk over a flame till there are no lumps and the sauce thickens and is smooth. (about 7 minutes)
6. Pour the sauce over the pre arranged layers in the oven dish and then cover with the seasoned bread crumbs.
7. Bake the casserole for 30 minutes at 180C till the breadcrumbs are golden. Remove, slice carefully and serve warm.


Arch said...

Wow !! that looks real neat - its amazing how you can get to make vegan when you do put wnough thought into it. Very nice dish Miri

Cham said...

Look like u adapted so well the eggplant parmesan into vegan. I will never feel guilty to dig the whole bowl for myself! Wonderful vegan creation :)

Vaishali said...

Miri, what a delicious and healthy dish this is! Love how you creatively replaced the eggs, cheese and milk in this. Thanks for sending it in, and thanks for your kind words-- you're right, I do love those bananas! :)

Asha said...

Hi Miri, good to see you back. I have been busy too, it snowed 6" today, kids are home! :)

What a hearty and delicious bake, looks like a great lunch.

Soma said...

That sounds very very Unique! Very creative of you.

Aparna said...

Looks lovely. Even though I cook this vegetable in Indian dishes, I just haven't gotten around to baking it.

Cynthia said...

It's easy to see how this can become a favourite.

Sia said...

Miri, that's got to be one of the best vegan dish around!

Miri said...

Thanks everyone for your kind comments :)

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