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  • North Indian Tempeh Curry

    YIELD: 6 CUPS / 1.4 L
    TOOLS: You’ll need a food processor, a large mixing bowl, a whisk, and a 6-quart / 6-L sauté pan or Dutch oven with a lid.

    This is my vegan version of chicken curry. I’ve made it for my Whole Foods classes and many a meat eater has begrudgingly admitted loving it.

    • 1 medium yellow or red onion, roughly chopped
    • 1 (4-inch / 10-cm) piece ginger, peeled and roughly chopped
    • 10 cloves garlic, peeled
    • 2 cups / 470 mL plain, unsweetened soy or coconut yogurt
    • 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon plus 1 pinch salt, divided
    • 1 tablespoon turmeric powder
    • 1 tablespoon Garam Masala
    • 1 tablespoon red chile powder or cayenne pepper
    • 2 teaspoons ground coriander
    • 2 teaspoons roasted cumin, ground
    • ⅓ cup /10 g kasoori methi (dried fenugreek leaves), lightly hand crushed to release flavor
    • 24–28 ounces /680–790 g tempeh, Baked Tofu, or seitan, cut into slices or cubes
    • 3 tablespoons /45 mL ghee or vegetable oil
    • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
    • 2 (3-inch / 8-cm) sticks cinnamon
    • 5 whole cloves
    • 5 green cardamom pods, lightly crushed
    • 2 black cardamom pods
    • 1 large yellow or red onion, thinly sliced
    • 3 large tomatoes, diced
    • 3–4 fresh Thai, serrano, or cayenne chiles, stems removed and thinly sliced
    • 2 heaping tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro, for garnish
    • Brown or white basmati rice, Roti, or Naan, for serving
    1. In the bowl of a food processor, grind the chopped onion, ginger, and garlic into a smooth paste.
    2. Transfer the onion paste from Step 1 to a large mixing bowl and add the yogurt, the 1 tablespoon and 1 teaspoon of salt, the turmeric, the Garam Masala, the red chile powder, the coriander, the roasted cumin, and the kasoori methi. Whisk together all the ingredients until well combined. Dried kasoori methi can be found in an Indian grocery store. Omit it if you cannot find it. Do not substitute fresh leaves or fenugreek seeds, as they will alter the dish’s taste.
    3. Slowly add the tempeh to the mixing bowl, stirring gently, until every piece is evenly coated with the marinade. Cover and refrigerate for 2 hours to overnight. If using tempeh, you may wish to steam or pan-fry it before marinating.
    4. In a 6-quart / 6-L sauté pan or Dutch oven over medium–high heat, warm the ghee. Add the cumin seeds, cinnamon, cloves, and green and black cardamom and cook for 40 seconds, until the cumin seeds sizzle, turn reddish-brown, and become aromatic.
    5. Add the sliced onion and the remaining pinch of salt to the sauté pan. Cook, scraping the bottom of the pan to prevent burning, for 3 minutes, until the onion is slightly browned. Don’t worry, scraping the pan will only add flavor.
    6. Add the tomatoes to the sauté pan and, cook, uncovered and stirring occasionally, for 11 minutes, until the tomatoes break down. Use the back of the spoon to help break them down.
    7. Add the marinated mixture from Step 3 and the fresh chiles to the sauté pan and cook, uncovered and stirring occasionally, for 10 minutes. Remove from the heat, cover, and set aside for 5 minutes, until the flavors come together.
    8. Transfer to a serving bowl. Garnish with the cilantro and serve with the brown or white basmati rice, Roti, or Naan.

Indian For Everyone by Anupy Singla. Copyright © 2014 Anupy Singla. Published by Agate Publishing. All rights reserved.

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