14 March 2019

Vegan Tikka Masala with Soy Curls

It's been a long time, dear readers, and I'm very sorry. In fact, this may be the longest time between posts on this blog - yikes! Life has just been busy for the two of us, which means we've been meal planning around events and/or meetings most nights. We've gotten involved with some local organizations pretty heavily, I took on a new 1/3 time role at work, last semester was rough on campus, my dad was diagnosed with and treated for cancer, and we are working to make a dream/business(?) of Shana's into a non-profit! All of this creates a hectic schedule and also means that I haven't had time to be creative.

Although I haven't been creative in the kitchen on my own, I have been tweaking and we have been eating some new foods, including this amazing vegan tikka masala sauce. I love my version of this recipe for the following reasons:
1. I can mostly throw things in the Instant Pot and end up with magic.
2. I had to purchase a new herb!
3. IT'S SO DELICIOUS!!! Seriously, it's magic.

The recipe for the sauce I've tweaked from Vegan Richa's recipe (her whole blog is SO good!), most importantly to remove the ginger since Shana is intolerant. In addition, the inclusion of soy curls makes this a hearty and satisfying main dish. While there are a number of components to make the recipe this way, I promise that your taste buds will thank you.

Vegan Tikka Masala with Soy Curls
1 bag Butler's soy curls
faux chicken broth, ideally warm
oil for sauteeing
1 medium onion, chopped
6 cloves garlic, minced/pressed
1-2 jalapenos, diced
1 tsp. turmeric
1/2 tsp. paprika
1/2 tsp. smoked paprika
1 tsp. ground coriander
1/2 tsp. cayenne
1/2 tsp. Garam Masala
2 tsp. dried fenugreek leaves (see Helpful Hints)
28 oz. can diced tomatoes, not drained
1 small red bell pepper, chopped
1/2 c. unsweetened non-dairy yogurt (see Helpful Hints)
salt to taste
1/4 c. cashew cream (or other non-dairy cream, see Helpful Hints)

The blackened soy curls!
Before cooking, combine the soy curls and broth to a bowl (enough broth to cover the soy curls) and let them re-hydrate.
1. Put a bit of oil in the Instant Pot, turn to saute, and add onions to saute for a few minutes.
2. Add garlic and jalapeno, saute for another 1-2 minutes.
3. Add all the spices and saute an additional minute.
4. Add tomatoes (including juices) and stir to scrape up delicious bits from the bottom.
5. Add the bell pepper and yogurt, stirring well.
6. Close the lid of the Instant Pot and set to the "sealing" position; cook on manual for 11 minutes.
7. Meanwhile, add oil to a large skillet on the stove (ideally stainless) and drain the soy curls; cook, stirring minimally, so the soy curls get crispy and blackened in some places.
8. After the 11 minutes, let pressure release for another 12 minutes and then manually release the rest of the pressure.
9. Using an immersion blender, blend the ingredients in the Instant Pot and then add the cashew cream, blending again.
10. Add the soy curls to the blended sauce, stirring to combine. Serve over rice.

Helpful Hints
  • Butler's Soy Curls can be ordered online. I tend to buy many bags and then store them in freezer. I think I usually need 3+ cups of broth to cover them during re-hydration. 
  • I tired to buy fenugreek leaves at my local grocery store and at Penzeys Spices, with no luck either place. But these can also be ordered online. I'd never cooked with them before, but as soon as I opened the bag of them, I was able to identify a smell I associate with a lot of South Asian food. While you could make this without them, the recipe will lose something, I think. 
  • I have used vegan plain yogurt in this recipe, which is very lightly sweetened. You could also use coconut or almond yogurt, but I can't find those around here easily. The important part is to make sure that the yogurt isn't too sweet. 
  • There are a TON of recipes for cashew cream on the internet. It's basically soaked raw cashews blended with water until smooth. The high fat of cashews makes for a rich taste in dishes. You could also use an unsweetened coffee creamer or maybe even coconut milk?
  • This dish is already gluten-free! To make it soy-free, you would need a non-soy yogurt and would need to add another protein in place of the soy curls, such as chickpeas. 

The post "Vegan Tikka Masala with Soy Curls" first appeared on Maggie's LesVegan Kitchen.

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