History of Tofu: Tofu was invented in China, about 2000 years ago! Although the exact details is hard to claim, the story goes like this…accidentally cook dropped the seaweed in a pot of soy milk…seen them curdle and throw up into Tofu! Tofu was introduced to Japan, as early as 8th Century, where it gained its importance after 17th Century. The love for food and the greed for possessing all the nature’s best for themselves…made westerners to turn to tofu!! It was marketed as ‘meat alternate steak’!!
Science behind Tofu: Soya has isoflavones and oestrogen like substances, believed to be good for women’s health. Research says the phytoestrogens, genistein and diadzein forms as a receptors at estrogen docking sites! Thereby controlling the fluctuations in the hormones during menopause or even during irregular cycle and the hormonal imbalances. Isoflovones are believed to reabsorb calcium and strengthen bone…where osteoporosis is common in post-menopausal women. Tofu has significant amount of Iron and Copper. As you might be already aware of Iron and its importance(Iron is a key compound that is necessary for haemoglobin-red blood cells & oxygen transport)! Whereas copper, (so little studied, but still an important mineral to the body)it plays a good role along with magnesium, involves with an enzyme lysyl oxidase…they in turn act as cross-link between these collagen & elastin, which gives plasticity to the blood vessels, joints and bones…so ultimately they also reduce arthritis related pain!! Isoflavones also lowers bad cholesterol in the body, so prevents heart diseases. They are powerful anthioxidants, they maintain bone density and good for diabetic patient. More over Tofu is an exellant source of protein!!!
Caution: Soy beans has lots of isoflavones and thiocynates, so individual already having thyroid…please avoid it! As these components are considered as goiterogens(they interfere with thyroid gland’s function)!! Tofu is also rich in oxalates(guess, you guys remember about oxalates…I wrote few weeks ago). Well, oxalates may interfere with calcium absorption in the body also overdoing may lead to kidney troubles!!
Tofu, I can never relate it with my Indian counterpart ‘cottage cheese – Paneer’. Though in one way both are same, kind of bland but accepts all the flavours later while cooking!!
Extra firm, water packed tofu 100 grams – sliced
Turmeric 1/4 spoon
Chili powder 1 spoon
Garam masala 1/4 spoon
Lemon juice few spoons
Vinegar few spoons
Oil for shallow frying.
Marinate tofu with all the above said ingredients, except oil.
Then shallow fry them carefully till crisp on the outside!
Serve warm as an appetizers.