It is commonly thought that tofu was first invented a couple of centuries ago in China. It is soya bean curd, produced in a similar way to cheese. Traditionally tofu was fermented, although you will find that is less common these days. Tofu comes in silken, soft, and firm forms. For the purpose of this recipe, I am using firm tofu, because it keeps its shape and holds together better than silken or soft. Tofu has very little flavour or smell to it, and therefore depends on other ingredients to jazz it up.  This green bean tofu curry does just that!

Use a good, firm organic tofu to add to your curry

Be sure to get organic tofu. Non-organic soya beans are typically genetically modified, so avoid any that are not organic. Organic soya/tofu however is awesome stuff and excellent for anyone looking to increase their plant-based protein intake.

In the UK my favourite brand is called Tofoo, available in all major supermarkets. They are firm and ready to use right out of the packet with zero fuss. They also use the traditional Japanese method of tofu making, using nigari, a natural ingredient created from seawater. I asked them recently on Instagram if they fermented their tofu and they confirmed that they do not. Still my favourite though.

Green bean and tofu curry with coconut milk by Anastasia, Kind Earth

Green beans are actually a fruit! Who knew!!

That always baffles me because I can never quite get my head around vegetables that are really fruits. I wrote a fun article called ‘vegetables that are actually fruits – how many can you guess?’ which explains the whole phenomenon there.

In temperate zones, green beans grow in abundance in the summer and late autumn. They get picked when young before the bean pod has time to mature. You eat the whole pod and can cook it in a little over 5 minutes, which makes them an excellent vegetable when you are in a hurry.

Jam-packed with a variety of antioxidants and helpful nutrients, green beans also make a wonderful compliment to a healthy plant-based diet. These green treasures are especially good for vitamin K, manganese, vitamin C, and folate (folic acid).

Tips for making this green bean tofu curry

How to thicken curry with flour

In this recipe, I am using coconut milk. Coconut milk is liquidy, which usually means that after the cooking period, the sauce will need thickening.

My favourite way to thicken the curry sauce is to use flour. In my video, I use maize meal. You can however use any flour that you have, for example, spelt, wheat, rice, coconut, or cornflour. They will all do the job nicely.

The key is to put the flour into a tiny little bowl and then mix in a little amount of COLD water to dissolve it. If you miss out on this step then the flour won’t work as a thickening agent. For example, you can’t toss the dry flour into the curry and expect it to work. Without mixing in a small amount of cold first it will simply go lumpy.

Mixing maize meal to use as a thickening agent…Mixing maize meal with cold water to use as a thickening agent in my curry

After you have mixed it in water, then mix it into the curry. Keep stirring and it will thicken the sauce very quickly.

It’s also important to add this flour/water blend at the end of the cooking period, otherwise, the sauce will become too thick.

Green bean and tofu curry with coconut milk by Anastasia, Kind Earth

Green Bean Tofu Curry with Coconut Milk

Yield: 3 portions
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes

An easy green bean, tofu, and potato curry with coconut milk. This is vegan and high in protein.

Ingredients

  • 1 large potato (approx 300g)
  • 150ml water
  • 250g (8oz) green beans
  • 250g (8oz) to 300g firm tofu
  • 1 tablespoon medium curry powder (add more if you want)
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt (adjust to preferred taste)
  • 1 can (400ml) full-fat coconut milk

Thickener (important... add at end)

  • 1 tablespoon flour (I used maize meal but use any flour)
  • 2 or 3 tablespoons of cold water

Instructions

  1. Chop the potato into small cubes (half to an inch cubed) and cook in the water with the lid on your pan, for about 5 minutes.
  2. Top and tail the green beans and then chop them into inch-long pieces. After the potatoes have cooked for about 5 minutes toss the green beans into the pan to cook. Cook for a few minutes further.
  3. Meanwhile, chop the tofu into small pieces (half an inch cubed works well).
  4. After the green beans have cooked for a few minutes add in the tofu, curry powder, sea salt, and, coconut milk.
  5. Mix everything together, bringing the pan back to a boil, and simmer for up to another 10 minutes. It is ready when you can easily pierce the potatoes with a fork.

How to thicken the curry...

  1. This next step is to be done right at the end of the cooking period.
  2. Mix the flour in with enough cold water to 'dissolve' the flour and to make it pourable. It is important that you use cold flour for this.
  3. Mix this flour/water mix into the pan with the curry. Stir it in and watch it quickly turn into a creamy sauce. The curry is now ready to serve.

Notes

If you leave the curry to serve later it may well thicken further upon leaving it to cool and sit. This is no problem. Simply add a generous splash of water and mix it in to loosen the curry sauce up again as you heat it.

Did you make this recipe?

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Green bean tofu curry with coconut milk. Quick and easy. Vegan, gluten-free and very healthy.