Tempeh Tikka Masala

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Tempeh Tikka Masala

I believe food can unite people from all walks of life, all cultures, all religions. Food brings compassion and harmony to the table and creates a deeper understanding of each other

Although I grew up in my Grandmothers Indian Kitchen, Tikka Masala was not on the menu. This is because this is one of the infamous dishes where the origins or the recipe are fiercely debated all around the world. My favorite story is one that originates from 1960’s Scotland, when a customer asked for some sauce for his Chicken Tikka and the chef inventively added some Heinz Tomato Soup and Yogurt and thus the masala was born. You’ll be interested to know that the Glaswegians tried to get the European union to recognize this in the origin of the masala and have it designated as so, but alas lost they campaign in 2009. I find this story so heartening in a world of devision, to see the Scottish so proud of their Indian hybrid dish that they would try and preserve it as part of Scottish culinary culture

This version of Tikka Masala is made with Tempeh. I had no idea what could be done with Tempeh until this wonderful book, Vegan Richa’s Indian Kitchen. Tempeh is a traditional soya product, originally from Indonesia and unlike tofu it has it’s own unique taste. In the west people like to cut it up and add it to salads as if it was chicken or cook it in large pieces and substitute it for steak. I personally think it works really well as a substitute for paneer (Indian cheese) and the double flavoring process here, allows it to take on a depth of flavor not usually associated with the product.

I made gluten free chia roti to go with this, but will save that for the next blog. In the meantime basmati rice is a great substitute.

Mr. B. loves Tikka and Tikka Masala, so this was an attempt to bring him a healthy version of one of his favorite dishes that was also dairy free and vegan, so we could eat it together. Suffice to say he gave it five nods.

Ingredients

Tikka Masala

  • 8 oz. Tempeh, cut into ½ inch pieces
  • 3 tsp. oil
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 tsp. garam masala
  • ½ tsp. paprika
  • 1 tsp. ground coriander
  • ½ tsp. turmeric
  • 4 medium tomatoes, chopped or one can
  • 1 inch ginger, chopped
  • 6 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 green chilli (optional)
  • ½ tsp. brown/coconut sugar
  • ¾ tsp. salt
  • ½ cup non-dairy yogurt
  • ¼ cup non-dairy milk
  • 1 tsp. cider vinegar
  • 2 tbsp. cilantro, chopped

Steamed Tempeh

  • 1 cup water
  • ¼ tsp. salt
  • ¼ tsp. garam masala
  • ¼ tsp. garlic powder
  • ¼ tsp. smoked paprika

Method

  • Combine the steamed tempeh ingredients in a pan with the tempeh, cook over a medium heat until most of the water is absorbed. Let the tempeh sit for a few minutes. For best results, marinate the tempeh for a few hours in the mixture before cooking. The reason to do this is before tempeh can be a little bitter when used raw and this takes the bitterness away, in addition to imparting more flavour
  • Add the steamed tempeh and 1 tsp. oil to a frying pan over a medium heat, cook until the edges are starting to go golden, set aside
  • Heat the remaining oil over a medium heat, add the onion and cook until golden, stirring occasionally, c. 7 minutes. Add the garam masala, paprika, ground coriander, turmeric and mix well. Cook for a few minutes to temper the spices
  • At the same time, combine the tomatoes, chilli, ginger and garlic in a blender until smooth
  • Add the puree to a frying pan and cook until thickens, 10-20 minutes
  • Add the tempeh, sugar, salt, yogurt and non-dairy milk and mix well. Stir in the vinegar and bring to the boil, reduce to a simmer and cook until you reach the desired thickness
  • Don’t forget to taste and adjust to your own palate, adding chilli and salt as desired
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Chard and Feta Filo Parcels

Chard and Feta Filo

Chard and Feta Filo Parcels

My lovely father in law has a beautiful little garden, which he likes to tend to every day. He grows beans, eggplants and chard among other things and loves to give me a parcel of veggies whenever I go over. It’s a bit like getting a farmers market delivery every month and I immediately get to work thinking about what new recipe I can make that will do his produce justice.

This is a play on spanakopita, but it much simpler than that and uses chard instead of spinach! I served it with a side salad and we had it as a main, but you could easily serve it as an appetizer.

Mr. B has started a nodding rating system to indicate how much he likes a dish (bobble head to come) and this one gets 4/5, missing one star purely as it is a savoury rather than sweet dish!

Ingredients

  • 1 head of chard
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 150g sheep cheese feta
  • 1 pack of filo pastry
  • 1 cup coconut oil
  • 1 tbsp. sesame seeds
  • Salt and pepper

Method

  • Put a pan of salted water on to boil
  • Preheat the oven to 350f
  • Heat 1tbsp. coconut oil and cook the onion gently for 10 minutes till translucent
  • In the mean time wash the chard and strip the leaves away from the stalks
  • Chop the stalks into small pieces and add them to the onions, add salt and pepper and cook for another 5 minutes
  • Add the chard leaves to the hot water and cook for 1 minute, drain and cool immediately under cold running water. Drain and squeeze as much excess water out as you can. Roughly chop the leaves.
  • In a bowl crumble the cheese together with the onions, chard stalks and chopped leaves. Set aside to cool.
  • Remove the filo from the packet and lay it out
  • Take out one layer and brush with coconut oil, add a second layer on top and repeat
  • Place two heaped tablespoons in the middle of the sheet and fold inwards to create a square parcel. Brush with coconut oil, flip and brush the back
  • Sprinkle the top with sesame seeds and bake for c. 30 minutes or until golden brown
  • Once out of the oven, let cool for a few minutes and serve whole or cut into half on the diagonal to create two triangle halves
  • Serving suggestion – accompany with a side salad of rocket, extra virgin olive oil, a squeeze of lemon and a dusting of lemon zest (the acid in this salad will help cut through the richness of the feta)

Beet tartare

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Life is your canvas…paint it with your dreams!

My dreams are normally full of food. If you know me well and see me staring off into the distance, you’ll know its because I am thinking about my next meal, the meal I just had or a recipe I am working on. It is therefore natural for me to combine food and art.

Beetroots have such amazing colors, my favourite is the deep ruby red because of the colour but also the antioxidant qualities you get with it.

This recipe is my healthy vegan version of beef tartar using those beautiful red beets to create a hearty, beet tartare. The dish has a lovely crunch and salinity from the capers and a smooth heat from the mustard.

I loved playing with this dish, as when you have finished you have a pink paint and a white cream cheese base to play with. It lets your inner artist (and child out) and what could be more fun than that!

This is a Tasha. Kitchen original, feel free to copy, creativity should be shared!

Ingredients

  • 2 small beets
  • 1 tsp. capers
  • 1½ tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 tsp. mustard
  • 1 tsp. apple cider vinegar
  • ¼ tsp. sea salt
  • 3 tbsp. vegan cream cheese (see prior recipe)
  • Chives, chopped (for garnish)

Method

  • Preheat an oven to 350c
  • Bake the beetroots in salt for 40 mins or until slightly tender
  • Remove from the oven and let cool
  • Once cooled chop into roughly 1cm x 1cm pieces
  • Whisk together the mustard, vinegar, oil, and salt.
  • Transfer beets to a small bowl and mix with the dressing
  • Smear plate with the vegan cream cheese and place the beetroot on top using a cookie cutter or ramekin
  • Garnish with chopped chives