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Cucumber + Mango + Curry?

Cucumber Mango Tofu Curry: it sounds odd, but it works. This dish actually sounded like it represented me too. How? Cucumber: it's a refreshing taste. I've been told I can be a breath of fresh air.

Mango: "If you were a fruit, what would you be?" That was one of the themes of a college admission essay. My answer? You guessed it, a mango.

Tofu: Don't get me wrong, I love my meat. And actually, the recipe called for chicken. But my dinner guests and sous chefs, the Schaefer sisters, include a vegetarian. And I feel like eating tofu is very "Portland" of me.

Curry: I don't think this line needs any explanation. (Confused? You obviously haven't seen a picture of me.)

Last night's dinner comes to us c/o All Recipes dot com: Spicy Indian Chicken and Mango Curry aka Cucumber Mango Tofu Curry once I modified it. (Psst. If you haven't checked out allrecipes.com yet, Ctrl+T as fast as your little fingers can and get your eyes over there. Your stomach and tastebuds will thank me later.)

This was the first time any of us made this and all we could say afterwards was, "YUM!" and "That was SO easy to make!" We're already talking about the next time we're going to make it--and some modifications. You can easily throw in some more veggies in here: we're thinking spinach and maybe some basil too!

Cucumber Mango Tofu Curry

Whatchya need:

2 mangoes

1/2 English cucumber

A package of firm tofu

A can of coconut milk (We used the light kind and it tasted fine!)

Shallots (We weren't sure how to "measure out" shallots. So we took two "bulbs" of medium-sized shallots.)

Curry paste (Megan, if you read this, what was the name of the kind you brought over?)

Spicy chili paste (Again, Megan, necessito tu ayuda.)

Few spoons of oil (We went with grapeseed oil.)

Rice (type and amount depends on your preference, we made 2 cups of brown rice)

Cilantro (if it doesn't taste like soap to you)

A frying pan

A medium sized pot

A blender

Whatchya do:

First, get your rice going.  Normally I make it on the stove in a pot, but we used a rice cooker this time. (For the record, last week I realized I was the only person at a dinner party who didn't own a rice cooker. Apparently this was funny because I was the only Asian person there. My response? Exactly: I'm Asian, I know how to cook my rice ;-) I came home that evening and realized I did, in fact, own a rice cooker. A Tupperware one that goes in the microwave, but a rice cooker nonetheless. It's now made it's way to the front of the cupboard :))

Second, chop away. I dislike cutting vegetables which is why having dinner guests aka sous chefs is fantastic! Cut everything up. Slice one of the mangoes and cube the other one. Slice the cucumber the way you would if you were going to use them on your eyes (circles, not sticks). Chop up the shallots. And cube the tofu.

Third, heat some oil in a frying pan and throw the tofu in there. It'll take about 5-7 minutes but you want to get it crispy brown. (Definitely flip it half way through. If you're fortunate to have a sous chef like I do, she'll make sure each piece is perfectly crispy on all four sides. No, you can't have her. But I will share.)

Fourth, (you can do this while the tofu is cooking), combine the mango slices (that would be one mango) and coconut milk and blend until, well, blended. It'll be a pale orange liquid if it's done right.

Fifth, so the tofu is almost done (or if it is, remove it from the heat), and your mango milk is waiting. Now you'll want to take the pot, put some oil in it and a few spoons each of the curry paste and the spicy paste. (How much is up to you: we did 4 spoons of curry and 2 of the chili. When I make it again, I'll do 3 of the curry instead.) Sautee this for a minute until you can smell the deliciousness.

Sixth, throw the shallots and tofu into the pot of paste. Sautee until the tofu is coated (about 2 minutes). Then throw in the mango milk until it's heated (about 5 minutes).

Last, throw in the cucumber and mango and let it simmer for a minute or two. Top with cilantro and serve over rice. Enjoy!

283 and counting...

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