A southern favorite: Deviled Eggs sans the eggs
I often get a weird look when I come up with a vegan version of a dish whose main ingredient is not vegan. And of course, when the dish has the ingredient on its name, we run into a problem.
Or do we?
Yes, admittedly these don’t really 100% taste like the original, as it is difficult to recreate eggs. but using a little ingenuity, a doctored up cookie cutter, and the help of black salt, and we arrive at a delicious combination that is also easy on the eyes.
Kala Namak, or black salt is found at most Indian markets or online. It is a salty and somewhat pungent spice that resembles the smell of eggs with its high concentration of sodium chloride. It is available in rock form or powder. I prefer the powdered version. This is the key ingredient of this recipe. Order it, find it, use it, love it.
Although I use doctored up cookie cutters to give these their characteristic egg shape, there is no harm in square eggs with a little messy yolk. After all, deviled eggs are a little rough, down home, and slightly dirty country good eats. Well, vegan good eats.
- 2 inch round cookie cutter smashed to make an oval shape
- 1 1/2 inch round cookie cutter left alone for the egg yolk mixture
Ingredients for 16 deviled eggs plus left over eggless egg salad:
- 2 pounds (2 packages) organic firm tofu
- 1 can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
- 3 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- 2 teaspoons pickles, minced finely
- 1/2 teaspoon turmeric
- 1/2 teaspoon paprika
- 3 tablespoons red onion, minced finely
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic, minced finely
- 1 teaspoon black salt plus more for coating the tofu egg whites
- pepper to taste
- paprika for sprinkling
- chives for garnish
Start by draining the tofu of any additional water by squeezing it gently over the sink, wrapping it in a tower, and putting a little weight, like a can of something on top to pressure the water out. Let rest for about 30 minutes.
Take out of the blocks and cut it horizontally in 4, carefully to get even slices. Cut it first in half, then each half in half to get 4 sheets for the egg whites.
If there is still some water, pat the tofu sheets dry. You can either cut each into quarters, or use the cookie cutter to get four egg whites out of the tofu.
With your finger, rub each tofu piece with a little more black salt, be generous or else they will taste bland. Season also with pepper.
Reserve the left over tofu and put it in the food processor with the rest of the ingredients, chickpeas, onions, garlic, pickles and seasonings. You can also add 1/4 cup of vegenaise for a richer version. I like it without. Process until smooth and well mixed.
Using the smaller circular cookie cutter, place about a tablespoon of egg yolk on top of each egg white.
Use your finger to allow the mixture down, shape gently into a round. You will have some left over, enough for another 16 deviled eggs. So if you are feeding a crowd, just get another block of tofu for the egg whites. If not reserve as egg salad and enjoy.
Sprinkler with paprika and top with minced chives.
If I feel like being extra fancy and bring down home cooking to a haute level, serve these in a gorgeous oversized white plate on spinach leaves.