Curried Vegetarian Stew with Winter Squash and Tofu



  • 2 - tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 2 - large leeks, split lengthwise and thinly sliced crosswise
  • 2 - tablespoons minced fresh ginger
  • 1/2 - thai or bird chili or 1 serrano chili, minced
  • 1 - tablespoon curry powder
  • 1 - medium butternut squash (about 2 pounds)—quartered, seeded, peeled, and cut into 1inch cubes
  • 1 - teaspoon sugar
  • 1 - 1-inch piece of cinnamon stick
  • 2 - tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 - cup Coco Lopez® unsweetened coconut milk
  • 1 - 10 ounce firm tofu (bean curd), cut into 1-inch cubes salt about 6 cups steamed long-grain white rice, preferably jasmine.
  • 1/2 - cup roasted unsalted peanuts (about 2 ounces), coarsely chopped
  • 1/4 - cup fresh coriander (cilantro) leaves


Heat the oil in a medium dutch oven or enameled cast-iron casserole. Add the leeks and cook over moderately high heat, stirring, until wilted, about 3 minutes. Add the ginger and chili. Cook, stirring until fragrant, about 1 minute. Stir in the curry powder and cook until fragrant, about 2 minutes. Add the squash, sugar, cinnamon, soy sauce, and 3 cups of water. Bring to a boil. Cover and cook over moderately low heat until the squash is just tender, about 15 minutes.

(MAKE AHEAD: The recipe can be made to this point up to 1 day ahead; cover and refrigerate. Rewarm and proceed.)

Stir the coconut milk and the tofu into the stew and bring to a simmer over moderate heat, stirring gently.

Season with salt.

Divide the rice among 4 to 6 individual bowls and ladle the stew on top. Sprinkle with the peanuts and coriander. Serve at once.

* Reprinted from Food & Wine 1995 Annual by permission of Food & Wine.