Spicy Tofu Palau (Afghanistan's National Dish - Vegan Style!)

READY IN: 1hr 5mins
YIELD: 4-6




  • Wash the rice well and soak in plenty of cold water for 1 hour.
  • Combine the spices to make the spice mix.
  • Slice the tofu into long strips(about the size of french fries). Lay about half of them out in a layer (I do it in a rectangle tupperware container so that I can put the lid on and shake it all up) and sprinkle 1 tsp of the spice mix over it. Lay the remaining tofu on top and sprinkle another teaspoon of the spice mix. Drizzle the 2 tbsp olive oil over the top, put the lid on and shake it all up (you can also just mix it in a bowl and mix it around every now and then). Leave to marinate for at least 20 minutes, preferably 30 minutes.
  • Place a large non stick pan over a medium heat and add 3 tbsp vegetable oil. Add the onions and the carrots and fry for 3-4 minutes, or until the carrots are slightly tender, but not quite cooked yet. Add the brown sugar and the raisins. Cover with a lid and cook over a low heat for another 2-3 minutes, or until the carrots are just cooked.
  • Remove the carrots & raisins from the pan and set aside. Add the tofu and all of the spice/oil marinade to the pan. Fry over a medium heat until the tofu is browned on both sides. Remove from pan and set aside.
  • Drain the rice and rinse well. Bring a large pot of water to the boil. Add the drained rice to the boiling water. Bring back to the boil and cook for 8-10 minutes, or until the rice is only just cooked. Drain.
  • Heat the remaining vegetable oil in the wok and add the remaining palau spice mix. Fry for 1 minute, the spices should become very fragrant, but careful not to burn them.
  • Add the rice to the pan and stir well so that the spices are mixed through. Add the hot vegetable stock and the carrots and raisins. Cover and simmer over a low heat for 5 minutes.
  • Remove from heat and stir through the chopped nuts. Top with the fried tofu and serve.