Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Burmese Tohu

Chickpea Tofu
A weekly challenge on a food group in Facebook with a main ingredient of chickpea flour or besan (sounds like baisin) as it is known in Hindi, prompted me to try this for the first time. There were certain foods in Rangoon, Burma that were best left to the experts, the street vendors, with the result that they were rarely, if ever, made at home. Ohno Khaukswe, Mohinga and Tohu were among these. After leaving Burma, all we were left with were memories of these delicasies but now, thanks to all the foodies on the Internet, our shadowy memories are coming to life in our own kitchens.

After chilling in the refrigerator, the tohu develops a firm and creamy texture. This recipe yields 2 lbs. of tohu and can be used as a garnish for Mohinga and as the main ingredient in various salads. 

2 cups chickpea flour or besan
2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. ground turmeric (optional)
2 + 4 cups water
2 tsp. vegetable oil

  1. Grease two 8" x 8" glass baking dishes with vegetable oil.
  2. Mix chickpea flour with salt, turmeric and 2 cups water in a large bowl.
  3. Whisk until smooth and press through a strainer to remove any lumps.
  4. Bring 4 cups water to a boil in a wide skillet over high heat.
  5. Turn heat down to medium-high and stir the simmering water while pouring in the batter. 
  6. Lower the heat to medium-low and keep stirring until mixture thickens and appears glossy, for about 5 minutes.
  7. Pour batter into prepared baking dishes.
  8. Leave at room temperature until cool then chill in the refrigerator for an hour or longer.
  9. The longer it sits, the firmer the tohu will get.
  10. Keep refrigerated until ready to use.

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