Tangy Turmeric Tofu Recipe

Tangy Turmeric Tofu Recipe

This tangy turmeric tofu recipe creates a savory and satisfying dish that is sure to please vegetarians and meat eaters alike.

How to Fry Tofu

Frying tofu creates crispy golden cubes that can be tossed into just about any dish. It is important to use firm or extra firm tofu when frying, and to press the tofu before frying to remove any excess water. Also, be sure to preheat your pan before adding any oil–this helps prevent the tofu from sticking to the pan.

Turmeric Tofu Recipe

Once the tofu is fried, it’s tossed in a pan-made sauce that includes the Tangy Turmeric spice blend. If you don’t have the blend on hand, powdered black lime and turmeric can be substituted. Also, be sure not to skip the pickled onion step, as they are a delicious and beautiful addition to this dish. This dish is perfect served over plain rice, or with this brown rice recipe.

What is Black Lime?

The dried black lime that provides the tangy-ness in this recipe is often used in Persian cuisine. Usually whole limes that have been sun-dried are added to soups and stews and allowed to simmer for hours. Black lime powder is those whole sun-dried limes ground to a powder, and has a sweet tang, a little funk. If you don’t have the blend listed below or any black lime powder on hand, try using sumac, another traditional middle-eastern ingredient, which has a similar flavor profile.

turmeric tofu recipe, how to fry tofu, what is black lime

Tangy Turmeric Tofu Recipe

Dried lime is the tangy-ness here, paired with turmeric and other spices makes this dish a winner! Adapted from Ottolenghi.
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Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Persian
Keyword: turmeric tofu recipe
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour
Servings: 4


  • 1 pound extra firm tofu
  • 1 small red onion, or 1/2 a large one
  • 1 Tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons sugar, divided
  • 1/2 cup avocado oil for frying
  • 2 medium yellow onions
  • 6 cloves garlic
  • 1 1/2 Tablespoons Tangy Turmeric Spice Club Blend
  • 2 Tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1/4 cup Italian parsley leaves
  • 8 oz. baby spinach
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt


  • Cut tofu into 1-inch cubes. Place in a colander over a bowl. Cover the tofu with a paper towel or clean dish towel, and place heavy object on top. Pressing the tofu like this removes some of the water, so that it becomes crispier when fried. Alternatively, you can purchase one pound of already fried tofu from a deli case, and skip the pressing and frying step all together. 
  • While tofu is pressing, thinly slice red onion and toss in a small bowl with cider vinegar, 1 teaspoon of the sugar, and 1/8 teaspoon salt. Set aside.
  • Heat a high-sided skillet over medium high heat. Add the oil and the tofu cubes so that they fit in one single layer (you may need to do this in two batches). Fry on all sides until the tofu is browned. Remove to a paper towel lined plate and set aside.
  • Meanwhile, while the tofu is frying, prepare the sauce. Peel the onions and garlic and pulse in a food processor until very finely minced (don't let it become a paste). Once the tofu has been removed from the pan, add the minced onions and garlic. Fry until softened and lightly brown, about seven minutes. Add the spice blend, tomato paste and cook for a minute. Then add 3/4 cup water, the last teaspoon of sugar, and one teaspoon of salt. Simmer for about six minutes, until thick and rich. Add the tofu, parsley, and spinach in increments, adding more as each handful wilts.
  • To serve, transfer to a shallow platter and top with pickled red onion.
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