Nutrient Rich Food for a Healthy and Happy Lifestyle

Tofu with Black Limes


I found dried black limes, a Middle Eastern staple, in Waitrose recently and immediately searched the internet for a recipe to use them in as I hadn’t come across them before. I have adapted this fabulous recipe by Andrew Zimmern from Food & Wine to use tofu rather than chicken, I wasn’t sure how the tofu would hold the flavours but marinating overnight was exactly what you needed to do.  It tasted fantastic and I’m delighted to be able to share this with you. It is surprisingly easy to make so please do give it a go and let me know how you get on.  I’d also love to hear any recipes you’ve created using black limes or any other unusual ingredients.



3 dried black limes plus 1 for crushing

1 tablespoon minced fresh peeled ginger

1 tablespoon fennel seeds

1 tablespoon Aleppo pepper

1 teaspoon ground turmeric

4 garlic cloves, minced

4 cardamom pods, crushed, shells discarded

1 pinch saffron

¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil

¼ cup water

2 packets of extra firm tofu (450g packets, 900g in total)

1 tsp sea salt

3 tablespoons coconut oil

3 red medium onions, chopped

1 litre vegetable stock 

1/2 cup unsulphured dried apricots, chopped

1 tablespoon tamarind paste\1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

1/4 cup finely chopped parsley

2 tablespoons finely chopped mint

I served with brown rice and steamed broccoli

How to Make it

In a mortar, combine the crushed black lime with the ginger, fennel seeds, Aleppo pepper, turmeric, garlic, cardamom seeds and saffron; using the pestle, finely grind the mixture. 

In a blender add the black lime ingredients, ¼ cup of olive oil and ¼ cup of water.  Blend until smooth

Slice the tofu into steaks, they should be roughly ½ inch thick and then cut in half.  You should be able to get 8 out of each packet.

Rub the marinade onto each steak making sure you cover each steak well, place in a flat dish, cover and leave in the fridge overnight or for at least 2 hours.

When ready to cook grab a heavy based pan with a lid and heat the oil.  Fry each steak until golden brown trying not to burn the marinade, keep moving the tofu around, this will take about 5-6mins.

This will need to be cooked in batches so transfer the browned tofu onto a plate or bowl until needed.  Repeat with the remaining tofu. Make sure you keep all the marinade that is left in the bowl as these needs to be added to the dish.

Add another 1tbsp of coconut oil and add the onions, cook over a medium heat, stirring continuously so as not to burn the marinade, until the onions are soft and browned.

Add the stock, apricots, tamarind and whole black limes, remaining marinade (scrape from the marinade bowl) and bring to a boil. Return the tofu to the pan, cover and braise for about 30-40 minutes.  The sauce should reduce by about a third.

When you’re ready to serve add in the lemon juice, parsley and mint and season with salt.