If you’ve ever had tofu, you know that it does not have much flavor on its own. However, it’s very receptive to spices and spices are what is called for to aid in digestion of tofu’s heavy, wet, cold qualities. There are numerous spices in this recipe but one that stands out is fenugreek.
Fenugreek has a heating virya (energy), and its rasa (taste) is pungent, astringent, bitter, and sweet.
Pungency conquers tofu’s cold nature, while the astringent and bitter tastes help to cloy tofu’s excess moisture. The sweet taste nourishes and “deposits,” serving to balance out the “withdrawls” of the pungent, bitter, and astringent tastes.
The intelligence of spices optimize digestion and assimilation of nutrients from the foods we eat and enhance functioning of the liver.
Fenugreek’s Biomedical Actions & Effects on Vata, Pitta, & Kapha
- Carminitive: Relieves flatulence
- Cholesterolaemic: Reduces high cholesterol
- Anti-diabetic: Helps balance blood sugar
- Laxative: Alleviates constipation
- Demulcent: Soothes irritated/inflamed tissues—even though fenugreek is generally heating, it can benefit diarrhea and inflammation in the intestines by way of its demulcent properties.
- Aphrodisiac: Fenugreek has a particular affinity for the female reproductive system and is well known to be a galactagogue— encourage healthy flow of breast milk. It stimulates the male reproductive system and is used in formulas to treat low libido, impotence, and premature ejaculation.
- Reduces vata and kapha, may raise pitta in excess
If you shop at an Indian grocery store you may find fenugreek under the Hindi name, methi.
Recipe: Tofu Fenugreek Fries
Who knew that fries and healthy eating could go together but, where there’s a will, there’s a way. These fries are full of flavor and make food fun! Serves 2.
1 lb. organic extra firm tofu
2 Tbsp melted ghee
2 tsp fenugreek powder
2 tsp garlic powder
2 tsp onion powder
2 tsp chili powder
2 tsp pink salt
2 tsp dried oregano
2 tsp dried basil
1 tsp turmeric powder
- Pre-heat the oven to 400 degrees.
- Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Slice the block of tofu in half lengthwise and place the two pieces side-by-side on half of a dishtowel and then, folder the other half of the dishtowel over the tofu. Place something heavy on top of the tofu, such as a large pot of water or cast iron skillet, etc., to squeeze the excess moisture out of the tofu. *If the dishtowel gets soaked, replace it with a dry one to remove more moisture (the tofu must be very dry before baking or else it won’t get crispy).
- In a large bowl, combine the melted ghee with all the spices in a bowl and mix well.
- Slice the tofu into french fry pieces.
- Add the tofu fries to the bowl and gently coat them well with the ghee/spice mixture and place them on the baking sheet.
- Bake 15–20 minutes and then, flip them over and bake another 15–20 or, until golden brown and crispy.
- Serve with your favorite condiment!