Choreographer Kyle Marshall Shares His Leftover-Friendly Coconut Tofu Curry Recipe

November 28, 2023

Kyle Marshall turns to cooking for stress relief. “I also eat a lot, so I like to make big meals,” adds the dancemaker and artistic director of Kyle Marshall Choreography. “This curry dish is something I started making as a dancer coming home and wanting something that felt really filling.” Marshall’s recipe is flexible—he works with what he has in the house—and is the perfect leftover-friendly fix to get through hectic tech weeks. 

Marshall learned to cook from both travel cooking shows and his mother. Many of his favorite dishes to prepare, like jerk fish, curry chicken, rice and peas, and plantains, pay homage to his family’s Jamaican heritage. “I cook with nutrition in mind, which is why I tend to undercook the vegetables,” adds Marshall, who shies away from processed foods. “But I also cook with color. Getting excited about that is definitely a fun way of making it creative.” 

Sans Salt 

Marshall doesn’t cook with much salt, a habit passed down from his family. “It’s mostly my Jamaican side,” he says. “They don’t use salt. It comes from the Rastafarian diet, called Ital. My grandmother used to say that salt is not a seasoning; salt is salt.” To bring out the flavors in food, Marshall instead relies on combinations of spices.


  • 1 package extra-firm tofu
  • 1 tbsp curry powder, divided in half (Marshall­ alternates between using Jamaican­ and Indian curry powder.)
  • 1 tsp turmeric, divided 
  •  1 tsp cumin, divided
  • 1 tsp chili powder, divided (optional)
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 carrots
  • 1 sweet potato (“I personally don’t peel the carrots and sweet potatoes,” says Marshall, “but you can if you want.”)
  • 1/2 yellow onion
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 1 bell pepper of any color
  • handful of additional veggies of choice, such as Brussels sprouts, peas, or broccoli
  • 1 cup white or brown rice
  • 2 cups water (additional 1/2 cup if making brown rice); plus 1 cup extra for Step 7
  • 1 tbsp coconut oil
  • 13 1/2-oz can coconut milk 
  • splash of white vinegar or lime juice (“My partner has a citrus allergy, so the vinegar is a creative solution for adding acid to finish it off,” says Marshall.)
  • cilantro to garnish (optional) 


1. Cut the tofu into 1-inch cubes and place it in a large bowl. Using paper towels, gently squeeze excess water out. 

2. Season the tofu with half the curry powder, half the turmeric, half the cumin, half the chili powder (if using), and salt and pepper. Mix gently and set aside. 

3. Prepare the vegetables: Cut the carrots and sweet potato into medium-sized cubes, place into a small bowl, and set aside. Cut the onion, garlic cloves, and bell pepper into medium-sized cubes, and set aside in a separate bowl. Cut any additional vegetables into bite-sized pieces, and place in a third bowl. (“I tend not to cut any vegetables too small because they’ll get kind of mushy and the nutritional content will get taken out,” says Marshall.)

4. Make the rice: Combine the rice and water in a large pot (use an extra 1/2 cup of water if making brown rice), and bring the water to a boil. Cover and reduce to a simmer until the rice is fully cooked, roughly 15 minutes for white rice and 30 minutes for brown. 

5. As the rice is cooking, add the coconut oil to a wok or large pot over medium heat. Add the sweet potato and carrots, moving constantly with a wooden spoon until all sides are gently browned. 

6. Add the onion, garlic, and pepper, and cook for 1 minute, stirring constantly. Season with additional salt and pepper, as needed. 

7. Add the tofu, coconut milk, and 1 cup of water, and stir the mixture together. Let it come to a boil, then reduce heat to a simmer. 

8. Add the additional vegetables, stirring gently, and the remaining halves of curry powder, turmeric, cumin, and chili powder (if using), plus salt and pepper. Let cook until vegetables achieve desired firmness.  

9. Just before taking it off the stove, finish with white vinegar or lime juice. 

10. Serve curry on top of a scoop of rice. Garnish with cilantro (optional) and additio­nal lime or vinegar.