Ever seen the movie, The Big Fat Greek wedding?
There's this hilarious scene where the groom is desperately trying to explain to the bride's family that he's vegetarian and they keep questioning him in disbelief. The matter is finally settled by serving him 'Lamb'! Naturally chaos ensues after that!
I'm sure when you are hosting an Iftar party at home, and that 'one' guest pops up saying they are vegetarian, eyebrows are raised and panic bells ring in the mind of the host! Everyone looks around like there's an alien amongst them.
A vegetarian Iftar? Unheared of. What on earth do you serve a vegetarian for dinner? Would salad count as a meal? Let's not even imagine the scene if the guest proclaims he's vegan! lolz
This dilemma is very much an ongoing issue during the Holy Month of Ramadan for many folks. I'm sorry to say, but people need to lighten things up a bit and add some variety to their meals. I'm not against meat, I love meat, infact all kinds, but it isn't appealing when you go for a meal and all you see is a carnivores feast with the only vegetarian fare being juice and a few sad salad leaves placed as an after though! Serving an eclectic mix of vegetarian fare along with the meat main courses brings a good balance to the meal.
Here's a simple two step Kebab idea with Tofu, so dinner hosts, please don't fret, you can use the same marinade for chicken or fish. Just make sure they are marinated and cooked separately from the veggie food.
1 pack firm Tofu
3/4 cup thick yogurt
2 tsp ginger-garlic paste
2 Tbsp lemon juice
1 tsp garam masala
1/2 tsp Kashmiri Chilli powder (optional)
1 Tbsp cornflour
Himalayan salt to taste
1 bell pepper of any colour, cubed
1 onion cubed
Cooking oil for frying
Cut the tofu into bite sized cubes. In a deep bowl mix together the yogurt, ginger-garlic paste, Chilli powder, lemon juice, garam masala, salt and cornflour. To this marinade add the cut veggies and Tofu. Let it sit for 1 or 2 hours, refrigerated before the cooking process begins. Start inserting the veggies and Tofu into the skewers, alternating with each other. You can cook this kebabs in two methods, one is by grilling it in the oven, all you do it grease a baking tray and grill it in a pre-heated oven for 10-12 minutes on either side. The second manner is on a skillet, like I have shown here. Just heat around 2 tbsps of cooking oil (I used Rice Bran oil) and place a single layer of the kebab skewers and fry on all sides until it gets that lovely dark char grilled kebab colour.
Serve this hot along with some salad or mint chutney, yum!
Tip- Vegetarians can use Paneer instead of Tofu and try other veggie combinations like Broccoli, baby corn, mushrooms as well. Skip the garam masala and Chilli powder if you want to make this child friendly.