Dragon tofu with lemon rice

For a splendid vegetarian meal try Shona Sutherland's chilli-hot tofu served with fragrant, lemon-flavoured stir-fried rice
Dragon tofu with lemon rice
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 4
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Prep Time: 25 minutes
  • Effort: easy



  • 500 g tofu, cubed
  • salt
  • eggs, beaten with a splash of water
  • cornflour
  • vegetable oil, for deep-frying

For the sauce:

  • 50 ml vegetable oil
  • 25 g garlic, finely chopped
  • 5 g red chillies, crushed
  • 5 g ground coriander
  • 50 ml tomato passata
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce
  • salt
  • sugar, to taste
  • roasted cashew nuts, to garnish

For the lemon rice:

  • 1 tbsp oil
  • 3 whole red chillies
  • 1 tsp mustard seeds
  • 5 g channa dal, (yellow split peas), soaked
  • juice of 1 lemons, or to taste
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric
  • salt
  • 75 g peanuts, roughly chopped or crushed
  • 500 g rice, cooked
  • 1 tbsp coriander, chopped
  • 1 sprig or a handful of curry leaves, quickly fried

Tips and Suggestions

The original recipe from a hotel in Kerala uses fish but Shona has substituted it with Tofu. Chicken, pork or even beef would work too.


1. Season the cubed tofu with salt, coat in the beaten egg, then dust with cornflour.

2. Heat the vegetable oil for deep-frying in a wok or deep fat-fryer. Deep-fry, drain on kitchen paper and reserve.

3. To make the sauce, heat 50ml of vegetable oil in a wok. Add in the chopped garlic and fry but do not allow to brown.

4. Add the crushed chilli, coriander, tomato sauce and soy sauce and season with salt.

5. Add the fried tofu and toss together. Check the seasoning and add sugar if necessary. Garnish with fried cashew nuts.

6. Meanwhile, cook the lemon rice. Heat the oil in a large frying pan. Add in the chillies and mustard seeds.

7. Once the mustard seeds begin to crackle, add in the channa dal and fry, stirring.

8. Once the dal begins to brown, add in the lemon juice, turmeric and salt to taste.

9. Add in the peanuts, stirring until coated, and then stir in the rice, mixing well to coat evenly.

10. Fry the rice until heated through, around 5 minutes. Garnish with the coriander and curry leaves.

11. Serve the dragon tofu with the lemon rice.

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