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Vegan Jamaican Curry with Tofu and Potatoes


An easy, tasty Jamaican Curry with chunks of tofu and potatoes in a flavorful sauce spiced with curry powder. Gluten-free and with 185 calories and 11 grams of protein in each serving, this recipe is not just delicious — it’s also very healthy and waist-friendly.

Vegan Jamaican Curry with tofu and potatoes in a black bowl with scallions, avocado and white rice and two forks.

This Jamaican Curry with Tofu and Potatoes is perfect eats for a weeknight meal in a rush, or for an indulgent weekend dinner.

It is easy to make, and it brings together two things I love–tofu and potatoes. All of it in an appetizing orange-red sauce spiced with curry powder.

The tofu is awesome in this recipe–chewy and crust on the outside and soft on the inside, and it soaks up all of that curry flavor like a sponge. Scotch bonnet pepper (or habanero) adds a spicy note but you don’t have to use much: a little adds flavor without burning your whole mouth.

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Jamaican Curry with tofu and potatoes in a black saucepan with a wooden ladle and scallions.

What you’ll love about this recipe

  • It’s delicious.
  • It’s easy.
  • It’s one pot.
  • It’s got contrasting flavor and texture notes–spicy and tangy, chewy and soft.
  • It takes 30 minutes from start to finish.
Vegan Jamaican Curry with tofu and potatoes in a black bowl with scallions, avocado and white rice and two forks.

Ingredients

  • Red palm oil (or coconut oil): Red palm oil is an ingredient new to me but common in African and Asian cooking. I was inspired to try it after watching a video where the cook used it in a Nigerian recipe, and I have tried it in a few dishes since. It is touted as a superfood by some because it is packed with vitamins A and C. The beta carotene tints the oil, which is solid at room temperature, with a lovely yellow-orange hue. I also found that it gave the tofu a really nice crust, although coconut oil would have the same effect, so use that if you don’t want to use the red palm oil.
  • Extra firm tofu: Make sure you press the excess water out before use. Cut into large slabs for the first step, and you can cut it into cubes before adding back to the curry.
  • Shallots or red onions. Thinly sliced.
  • Garlic. Crushed or minced.
  • Turmeric
  • Paprika
  • Curry powder
  • Scotch bonnet pepper or habanero pepper. Half would be enough for most, but use more if you can tolerate the heat. Deseed peppers for less heat and mince.
  • Yellow or red potatoes. Cut into approximately ¾th-inch chunks.
  • Bay leaf
  • Dry thyme
  • Cornstarch (or tapioca starch or rice starch). This is mainly for thickening the curry and you can leave it out if you want a thinner consistency.
  • Cilantro and/or scallions (for garnish, chopped)
Vegan Jamaican Curry with pan fried tofu and potatoes and scallions in a skillet.

Step-by-step instructions

Step 1: Cut the tofu block into largish slabs–about 2 inches square. You’ll cut this further into cubes, but I like keeping the pieces large when I pan-fry the tofu for ease. Heat two teaspoons of red palm oil or coconut oil in a wide, non-stick saucepan or a cast iron skillet large enough to hold the curry. Add the tofu slabs to the pan and fry each side until they develop a nice, golden crust. Remove the tofu cubes and place in a plate lined with a paper towel. When cool enough, cut each slab into smaller cubes.



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