Chicken or tofu in a red sweet pepper sauce

For a complete meal, pair this dish with brown basmati rice and spicy green beans or sauteed spinach.

Chicken or tofu in a red sweet pepper sauce

Adapted from the cookbook, Madhur Jaffrey’s Illustrated Indian Cookery, this dish is bursting with Indian spices and will transform chicken or tofu in a flash. It is delicious served with brown basmati rice and spicy green beans or sautéed spinach.

Servings: 8


  • 2 pounds of boneless, skinless chicken (breasts and/or thighs) OR 2 pounds of bone-in chicken OR 2 pounds of firm tofu
  • 1 small onion, peeled and coarsely chopped
  • 1-inch cube of fresh ginger, peeled and coarsely chopped
  • 3 cloves of garlic, peeled
  • 1 ounce almonds, blanched and slivered
  • 3 to 4 medium red bell peppers, trimmed, seeded, and coarsely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • 2 teaspoons ground coriander
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon canola or olive oil
  • 1/2 to 1 cup water
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper

Tip: Double the ingredients for the sauce and freeze half of it for another meal.


  1. Cut the chicken breasts, thighs or tofu into slices or cubes — your preference. Or, keep bone-in chicken whole.
  2. Combine the onion, ginger, garlic, almonds, peppers, cumin, coriander, turmeric, cayenne, and salt in the container of a food processor or blender. Blend until the mixture forms a paste, adding a few tablespoons of water, if needed.
  3. Add oil to a large, wide, and preferably non-stick pan over medium-high heat. When hot, pour in all the paste. Stir and fry for 10 to 12 minutes or until you see the oil forming tiny bubbles around it.
  4. Put in the chicken or tofu, with 1/2 cup of water, lemon juice, and black pepper. Stir to mix and bring to a boil.
  5. Cover, turn heat to low and simmer gently for 10 minutes (tofu) to 25 minutes (chicken) or until the tofu or chicken is tender. Stir a few times while simmering. Add more water if a thinner consistency is desired.

Nutrition information (per serving)

  • Serving size: 3-ounce chicken breast
  • Calories: 190
  • Total fat: 5 g
  • Sodium: 370 mg
  • Total carbohydrate: 6 g
  • Dietary fiber: 2 g
  • Protein: 28 g

Serving size: 3-ounce chicken thigh

  • Calories: 200
  • Fat: 8 g
  • Sodium: 390 mg
  • Carbohydrate: 6 g
  • Fiber: 2 g
  • Protein: 24 g

Serving size: 4-ounce tofu

  • Calories: 220
  • Fat: 14 g
  • Sodium: 310 mg
  • Carbohydrate: 11 g
  • Fiber: 4 g
  • Protein: 19 g