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Sweet plantains are simmered in rich and creamy peanut butter sauce and served with smoky tofu cubes to make this cozy curry. This one is loaded with flavor and can be on the table in just 30 minutes!

Well, I went to the produce store and made a bunch of impulse buys last week. Included in my purchase were a bunch of gorgeous figs, a 2 ½ pound mango, and some ripe plantains.

The mango was the only buy that was a bit disappointing. This sucker was big and I had such high hopes! But it didn’t quite ripen evenly and I ended up with a mix of pale, not quite sweet enough parts, and some mushy spots. The figs were awesome and I’ve got a recipe on the way.

And that leaves us with some plantains!

I’ve been itching to try plantains in a curry for a while, so I was ready when I got home with these guys. I went with what I think of as an African-inspired peanut butter curry. If you’re a fan of African peanut stew you’ll enjoy this one!

I love curries this time of year, because they help me pretend it’s cold out already. We’re almost there, but yesterday it was still in the eighties here in southeastern Pennsylvania. Not for long! I’m ready with curry.

Also, curries are so easy! One pot is all you need. There are a bunch of ways to cook plantains, but I like them in a stew because you can just chop and toss them in. Check out this chili recipe if you want another chop and toss plantain recipe.

This one starts with some aromatics: onion, garlic and ginger. Add some curry powder, and then in with tomatoes and peanut butter. Stir it up, add the plantains and simmer until they’re soft.

Cook up your smoky tofu while the curry simmers. I used frozen tofu for this. While freezing the tofu certainly isn’t a requirement, it gives it a great texture and creates little pockets for it to suck up the smoky seasonings.

Pan-fry the tofu in a bit of oil, then add your seasonings and cook for a few more minutes until the liquid dries up.

Stir the tofu into the curry when it’s all done simmering, and then serve with rice and peanuts.

Vegan comfort food at it’s best.

Tips for Making Awesome Tofu & Plantain Curry

  • What’s the best way to go about freezing tofu? There’s no real trick to it. You can either keep it in the package, or remove it stick it in a freezer bag. The only requirement is that it freezes completely.
  • You can thaw your frozen tofu on the counter or in the microwave. You’ll find that it releases quite a bit of water, so keep it on a plate with a lip if it’s not in the original package.
  • Look for plantains that are yellow with some brown spots. This means they’re nice and ripe. Don’t use green plantains for this.

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4.67 from 6 votes Print

Smoky Tofu, Peanut Butter & Plantain Curry

Sweet plantains are simmered in rich and creamy peanut butter sauce and served with smoky tofu cubes to make this cozy curry. This one is loaded with flavor and can be on the table in just 30 minutes!

CourseEntree CuisineAfrican-Inspired, American Prep Time 10 minutes Cook Time 20 minutes Total Time 30 minutes Servings 4 Calories 420 kcal Author Alissa Saenz


For the Curry

  • 1tablespooncanola oil,or high heat oil of choice
  • 1medium onion,diced
  • 3garlic cloves,minced
  • 2teaspoonsfreshly grated ginger
  • 2teaspoonscurry powder
  • 1teaspoonground cumin
  • Pinchcayenne pepper,or to taste
  • 1cup vegetable broth
  • 1(14 ounce) candiced tomatoes
  • ¼cuptomato paste
  • ¼cupcreamy natural peanut butter
  • 2ripe plantains, sliced (½ inch thick)
  • Salt to taste

For the Smoky Tofu

  • 1tablespoonsoy sauce
  • 1teaspoonliquid smoke
  • 1teaspoonmaple syrup
  • ½teaspoonground cumin
  • 1tablespooncanola oil,or high heat oil of choice
  • 1(14 ounce) packageextra firm tofu,optionally frozen and thawed, drained and pressed

For Serving

  • Cooked rice
  • Chopped peanuts
  • Fresh cilantro


  1. Begin by making the curry. Coat the bottom of a large pot with oil and place it over medium heat.

  2. When the oil is hot, add the onion. Sauté for about 5 minutes, until soft and translucent.

  3. Add the garlic, ginger, curry powder, cumin and cayenne pepper. Sauté until very fragrant, about 1 minute.

  4. Stir in the broth, tomatoes, tomato paste and peanut butter. Raise the heat to high and bring the liquid to a boil. Stir in the plantains.

  5. Lower the heat and allow the mixture to simmer for 15-20 minutes, until it’s thick and the plantains are soft. You can add a bit of water if it gets too thick during simmering.

  6. While the curry simmers, make the tofu. Stir the soy sauce, smoke, maple syrup and cumin together in a small bowl.

  7. Coat the bottom of a large skillet with oil and place it over medium heat. When the oil is hot, add the tofu in an even layer.

  8. Cook the tofu for about 10 minutes, flipping once or twice, until browned on multiple sides.

  9. Add the sauce and flip a few times to coat the tofu. Cook for 1-2 minutes more, until most of the liquid has evaporated.

  10. When the curry has finished simmering, remove the pot from heat and season it with salt to taste. Stir in the tofu.

  11. Serve over rice and top with peanuts and cilantro.

Recipe Notes

Nutrition information does not include rice, cilantro or peanuts.

Nutrition FactsSmoky Tofu, Peanut Butter & Plantain CurryAmount Per ServingCalories 420Calories from Fat 181% Daily Value*Fat 20.1g31%Saturated Fat 2.9g15%Sodium 1110mg46%Potassium 467mg13%Carbohydrates 47.9g16%Fiber 7.5g30%Sugar 25.4g28%Protein 16.7g33%Calcium 190mg19%Iron 4.3mg24%* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.« Sweet, Savory & Smoky Butternut Squash HummusMediterranean Stuffed Eggplant »

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Loved this! Full flavored and easy to make. Made it exactly as written, although I was tempted to bake the tofu so as not to use oil because some of the die-hards on some WFPB groups act like any oil guarantees illness—but my husband got to it first and sauteed them with a little bit of algae oil (his new favorite—don’t know if you know about it—no oceany taste, but high smoke point and less saturated fat). Served it with quinoa instead of rice and sauteed spinach. Yum! Looking forward to the leftovers. It may be the type of dish that actually gets better as it sits. The sauce was quite thick but to me that’s a good thing and I wasn’t tempted to water it down. Thanks!


  • So delicious 😋. I was searching for a savory recipe using plantains and I think this will be my go to recipe. 🙂


    • Yummy


    • The liquid smoke was strange. I got a strong smoky smell while cooking, but after I added the “smoked” tofu to the curry, the smell was gone and the flavor was masked by the other flavors. I just made it again tonight and left it out. Liquid smoke doesn’t add anything to the dish. Also, this time, I pureed the tomatoes and onions before adding the plantains and tofu because I like a smoother curry.


    • Made this dish last night, it was so delicious!!! Another great recipe and very easy to make! The sweetness of the plantains paired with the peanuts + curry really complement each other well, making it a great belly warming dish. Also, I added some chickpeas and kale to mine. This was the first time I’ve made tofu with liquid smoke- SO good! Looking forward to eating some left overs!


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