July 22, 2013 25 Comments
This curry features tempeh, white potatoes, basil leaves, garlic, tamari, coconut cream, and curry powder. It isn’t vibrantly colourful or photogenic like last week’s recipe –Rainbow Salad – but I believe it is just as delicious.
The quantity of curry powder listed in the recipe achieves a ‘kid-friendly’ spice level. By all means, up the ante if you prefer a spicier curry (like I do!).
If you don’t like tempeh, use firm tofu instead (read on to discover why I should have taken this ‘advice’). Seitan-lovers may prefer to use seitan in place of tempeh.
You could use diced carrots instead of cauliflower – carrots would certainly add some colour to the dish. (We are the proud recipients of two whole cauliflowers, so considerations of colour and visual appeal took a ‘backseat’ to that reality when preparing this meal.) Purple cabbage would be a good substitute for green – it is certainly more visually pleasing.
I have included a recipe for Spiced Brown Rice. This rice is subtly flavoured with cardamon, cinnamon and a bay leaf. Ground turmeric gives the rice a light yellow tone.
Tempeh and Potato Curry
Serves 5 – 6
500g/17oz organic tempeh, cubed (I use Nutrisoy brand)
2 cups cubed white potatoes (I leave the skin on)
1 cup finely shredded green cabbage
1/2 cup small cauliflower florets
1 large onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1/2 cup basil leaves, roughly chopped or torn
1 1/2 Tbsp curry powder (I used a Sri Lankan dark roasted curry powder)
1/2 tsp turmeric (if your curry powder does not contain turmeric)
1 tsp sugar
2 Tbsp tamari or soy sauce
400ml/13.5 fl oz coconut cream or coconut milk
3/4 cup water + 1/4 tsp vegetable stock powder OR 3/4 cup vegetable stock
1 tsp olive oil (optional)
1. Pre-heat oven to 200 C/392 F (fan-force oven).
2. Add potato to a mixing bowl, and drizzle olive oil over the potato. Mix well, then spread potato on a lined baking tray. Bake for 25 minutes (rotate tray after 15 mins.)
3. While potato is baking, heat a non-stick fry pan or skillet. Cook tempeh until it is browned on all sides. (I use my non-stick ‘cafe style’ sandwich press for this step.)
4. Once tempeh and potatoes are cooked, set them aside. Heat a large saucepan on a medium heat, and add 2 tablespoons of water. Add chopped onions and saute for about 5 minutes. Add more water, a tablespoon at a time, if the onions begin to stick to the pan.
5. Add the garlic, curry powder and turmeric. Mix well, and cook for 1 minute on a low heat.
6. Add cabbage and cauliflower and mix well to coat the vegetables. Then add water, stock powder, coconut cream, tamari, and sugar. Mix well. Cover saucepan and, on a medium heat, bring liquid to a boil. Then turn heat to low and simmer for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally during this time.
7. Add the potato, tempeh and basil. Stir, then simmer on a low heat, uncovered, for 5 mins.
8. Garnish with basil leaves (I had run out, so I used coriander), and serve with rice and lightly-steamed broccoli.
Spiced Brown Rice
Serves 5 – 6
1 1/2 cups brown rice
3 cups water
5 cardamon pods
1 bay leaf
1/4 tsp ground turmeric
1/4 tsp salt
1/8 tsp ground cinnamon
granulated peanuts or flaked almonds for garnish
1. Wash the rice first. I do this by adding it to a saucepan, and covering it with water. I use my hands to ‘swish’ the grains around. Remove any visible husks or matter that floats to the surface of the water. Pour the water out of the saucepan, being careful that the grains don’t flow down the sink with it! (use a sieve or colander if you need to).
2. Add 3 cups of water to the rice. Add bay leaf, cardamon pods, turmeric, salt, and cinnamon. Stir. Put saucepan on a medium heat, cover, and bring water to the boil. Then, simmer on a very low heat until all of the water has been absorbed (about 40 minutes, maybe more). Remove saucepan from heat, and keep covered for about 10 mins.
3. Remove bay leaf and cardamon pods. Fluff rice with a fork.
4. Transfer to a serving bowl and sprinkle with granulated peanuts or flaked almonds.
The Tiny Vegans’ Verdicts ( or, ‘why I should have used tofu’)…
The initial reaction to this meal was an ominous sign of things to come.
As I was preparing dinner, 6 year-old Tiny Vegan sauntered by, observed my food preparation in action, halted in his tracks and requested:
‘Can I have mine without tempeh’?
He didn’t always feel this way about tempeh. When he was a toddler, he enjoyed eating thinly sliced, lightly-browned, plain tempeh. Well, clearly, those days are gone!
So, for dinner, I served him a bowl containing rice, potatoes, cauliflower, cabbage and broccoli, covered in the sauce. He ate that quite happily. Phew!
Meanwhile, 4-year-old Tiny Vegan announced that he hated it. Yep! I believe the phrase: ‘I hate it’, was uttered at least 3 times.
OK, I think I am beginning to recall why I haven’t bought tempeh in ages. It isn’t solely due to the fact that our local supermarkets are sporadic in stocking it.
Little Baker even refused to eat it! He usually has a hearty appetite. He crawled up onto my lap, seeking a breastfeed.
My daughter, our heartiest of hearty eaters, ate in silence. When I asked if she was enjoying the meal, I detected a slight shoulder shrug. Then, in a burst of diplomacy fit for a UN peacekeeper, she uttered: ‘I like tempeh but I’m not a fan’. Diplomatic, but somewhat confusing! I have interpreted her words as meaning: ‘I’m not keen on this meal Mum, but I don’t want to hurt your feelings’. She did say that she really liked the sauce. This declaration had a ring of absolute truth to it.
Mat and I, on the other hand, thoroughly enjoyed our meal. I suppose it helps that we both like tempeh. Sadly, our offspring have not followed in our footsteps.
So, I leave it to you, dear reader. Which opinion holds more weight in your eyes? Do you relate to the Tiny Vegans’ disdain for tempeh? Or do you agree with the pro-tempeh viewpoint of the Parents of Tiny Vegans? 🙂
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Every Monday, I (aim to) feature a delicious vegan recipe that is enjoyed by my own family – I hope your family enjoys it too!