October 20, 2008

Ceylon Style Tofu Curry

by IsaChandra

Serves 4

While working in a vegetarian roadshow cafe, I was asked to come up with dishes that would appeal to veggies and non-veggies alike. So with curry being one obvious choice I decided to make a vegan Ceylon style curry that went down well with every one.

This dish is usually served with basmati rice.

500g Onions, chopped
4 Cloves of Garlic, crushed
3 Green Chillies, deseeded & finely chopped
40g Fresh Ginger, peeled & finely diced

300g Tofu

6 Cardamom Pods
3cm Piece of Cinnamon
6 Cloves
1 tsp Coriander Seeds
1/2 tsp Cumin Seeds
1/2 tsp Fennel Seeds
1/2 tsp Fenugreek Seeds
1 tsp Mustard Seeds
1 tsp Turmeric

Juice of 1 Large Lemon
100g Creamed Coconut
500ml Vegetable Stock

Seasoning to taste

1. Drain the tofu and wrap in kitchen paper for 20 minutes to absorb excess mosture.

2. Saute the onions for a few minutes until lightly browned.

3. Add the chillies, garlic and ginger and fry for a few more minutes.

4. Lightly toast the coriander, cumin, fennel, fenugreek and mustard seeds. Then grind them into a powder with a pestle & mortar.

5. Add the ground seeds into the sauce pot with the cadamom, cinnamon, cloves and turmeric and mix in well.

6. Add the lemon juice with the stock and melt in the creamed coconut.

7. Chop the tofu into cubes and add to the curry.

8. Bring to the boil and then simmer gently uncovered for about 45 minutes or until the sauce has thickened.

9. Serve with rice.

  • November 9, 2010 at 6:17 am: CedarForests

    Is there anything I can use other than tofu? We are trying to stay away from processed foods, particularly soy.

  • November 9, 2010 at 1:22 pm: ExpatVegan

    You could try potatoes instead of the tofu.

  • December 16, 2010 at 4:29 pm: Donsie

    I suggest you try tempeh. It’s only processed as far as cooking and then fermenting the soybeans. If you want to avoid soy altogether, though, potato and mixed vegetables should be fine.

  • January 21, 2011 at 11:19 am: Mateusz

    How about cauliflower? It would make a good tofu substitute, and it has a lot of texture.

  • July 17, 2011 at 5:34 pm: greenmandarin

    I just made this for dinner and it is AMAZING. Thank you!

    I didn’t have creamed coconut and haven’t seen it where I live (Mauritius) so I ground up coconut powder until I got a creamy paste.

  • October 21, 2011 at 4:48 am: Chris

    I recommend using chickpeas instead of tofu, if you don’t want tofu. I just made it that way with just the chickpeas and nothing else. SO GOOD.

  • May 2, 2012 at 12:36 am: Zach

    This question probably doesn’t have any good answer, but as someone who is allergic to coconut, is there a good replacement I can use for creamed coconut?

  • September 22, 2012 at 1:14 pm: Fran

    What about soaking casjews and blendering them to a paste like Isa did with the Korma? It wouldn’t be the exact taste, but you would have the creamyness. And if all nuts are a problem, what about using soy or rice cream (and then subbing the tofu, eg. by gabanzos, to prevent soy overload)?

  • July 26, 2013 at 6:08 pm: Eileen

    The flavours were great; I had most of the spices on hand. It was a bit too tofu-centric for me; the leftovers will be adorned with added veggies. Agree with comments of using other things than tofu.

  • November 12, 2013 at 9:36 pm: DECOLONIZE VEGAN


    Ceylon is the colonial name of Sri Lanka, an island nation off the coast of India that gained independence from the British in 1948. You should refer to this dish as “Sri Lankan Style Tofu Curry”, or try a different name unless you plan on your pathway of recolonizing the island with your neo-colonial take on vegan curries.


  • January 21, 2014 at 5:30 am: Gita

    Dear friends, Brahmakumaris are vegetarian… and emphasize the importance of keeping thoughts pure… when preparing food… they either enhance or

    decrease the vibes of what we eat…thus affecting our health… vegetarian lifestyle is also more conducive to achieving total peace of mind.
    There is Brahmakumaris meditation…that relaxes the mind…nurtures a healthy balance between inner and outer worlds…recharge… rejuvenate the inner-self…