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.
- 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
- 1 cup water
- ¼ tsp. salt
- ¼ tsp. garam masala
- ¼ tsp. garlic powder
- ¼ tsp. smoked paprika
- 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
Beetroot, Potato, Peanut Butter Tikki
This recipe is a modern interpretation of the classic Aloo Tikki, also known as the potato tikki. The recipe is adapted from Chef Manish Mehrotra’s Indian Accent cookbook. His restaurant in New Delhi was recently named India’s best restaurant and his New York version is fast gaining in reputation.
When I first saw this recipe, I thought it seemed a little odd, but it really works. The tikki’s work with a full range of textures and tastes, from the sweetness of the beetroot to the creaminess of the potatoes, the saltiness and crunchy texture of the peanuts, heat and spice from the aromatics and garam masala and the subtle sweetness from the peanut butter.
My grandma used to make Aloo Tikki’s and we would love dipping them into her beautiful vibrant coriander (cilantro) and mint chutney (see older recipe), licking our fingers and the plate when we were done.
This one is for my Bigmama, my kitchen companion and inspiration.
- 2 beetroots
- 2 medium sized potatoes
- 2 tsp. ghee/clarified butter
- ½ tsp. cumin seeds/jeera
- 1 tsp. minced ginger
- ½ tsp. minced garlic
- ½ tsp. minced green chillies
- 1 tsp. garam masala
- Salt, to taste
- 1 tsp. crushed peanuts
- 2 tbsp. peanut butter
- Preheat the oven to 350f, wash the beetroot, wrap in foil and roast for c.30 minutes. Remove from the oven and when cooled, peel and grate
- Boil the potatoes and when cooled, grate
- Heat the ghee in a heavy bottomed pan, add the cumin seeds and allow to crackle, sauté the ginger, garlic and green chilli
- Add the grated beetroot, cooking for 15-20 minutes until the water evaporates
- Add grated potato, garam masala and cook for 5 minutes
- Add salt to taste
- Once cooked, transfer to a bowl and mix in crushed peanuts
- Divide the mixture into 6 equal portions and roll into balls. Place the ball one at a time into the palm of your hand and make a small indentation. Fill with peanut butter and shape into a patty. Repeat with the balance of the patties
- Put in the fridge, while clearing up, to firm
- When ready to eat, grease a baking tray with coconut oil and bake or pan fry
Vegan Chocolate Mousse
This chocolate treat has three main ingredients and takes not time at all in a blender. It is dairy free, gluten free, nut free, refined sugar free and high in protein. It has a deep, decadent texture and ‘you won’t believe it’s made of tofu’, which is a wonderful ancient healthy ingredient that takes on the taste of whatever you are making. Here it is really used for the silky texture and in blind tastings no one would ever guess it is the main ingredient.
I like to serve it with lots of berries to cut through the richness of the mousse, it also adds a little color to the plate. I have also added a little gold fairy dust here, for a magical finish.
- 300g soft silken tofu
- 80g vegan chocolate
- 3 tbsp. maple syrup
- ½ tsp. vanilla essence
- Pinch of salt
- Melt the vegan chocolate using a heat proof bowl over a pot of hot water, don’t let the bowl touch the water
- Stir the chocolate until it melts completely and then take it off the heat to cool for a few minutes
- In the mean time, prepare the tofu by taking it out of the packaging, squeeze a little to get rid of some of the water, then blend till smooth
- Add the chocolate and rest of the ingredients
- Transfer into glasses or ramekins, serve with berries to cut through the richness
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!
- 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)
- 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
‘Creativity is a way to share your soul with the world’
This is my healthy vegan version of Amanda Cohen’s popcorn beets, which have been deemed better than popcorn shrimp by the food critics.
Mr. B loves popcorn shrimp, so although I haven’t tried Cohen’s dish, I was inspired to make my own version and see what he thought.
Cohen’s version is soaked in buttermilk spiked with bourbon and deep-fried. I wanted to make a healthier and dairy free version, so I soaked mine in almond milk and baked them to make them vegan and a guilt free snack. She served her dish with a green curry sauce; I used vegan cream cheese and jalapenos to replicate the creamy and spicy compliments.
Mr. B loved this dish, noting it as moreish (as shown by the disappearance of the dish in 5 seconds) and addictive. Success! Thanks Amanda Cohen for the inspiration!
This is a tasha.kitchen original recipe, feel free to copy it, creativity should be shared!
- 2 red beetroots
- 1 cup cornmeal
- ¾ cup almond milk
- Pinch salt
- 2 tbsp. vegan cream cheese
- I tbsp. coconut oil
- 1 jalapeno, sliced
- Preheat an oven to 350c
- Bake the beetroot in salt for 20 mins until slightly tender
- Take them out and let cool, once cooled chop into roughly 2cm x 2cm pieces
- Pour almond milk into a shallow bowl/dish and cornmeal into another
- Coat the beet pieces with the milk and then the cornmeal
- Place pieces on the a baking tray with coconut oil and place in the oven
- Flip over half way and back until the cornmeal is hard
- Sprinkle sea salt on the pieces
- Serve with vegan cream cheese and slices of jalapeño
‘Balance is not something you find, its something you create’.
Mr. B loves hummus and I love Miso, so when this recipe fell into my lap, it was like the same serendipity that brought us together.
They say opposites attract and that was certainly true for the two of us. Mr. B is a night owl and I am a morning person, he has a sweet tooth and mine is salty, I like to eat every two hours and he likes to eat once a day, I like to swim and he likes to run, I like classical music and he likes rock. I don’t think that we agree on anything, apart from loving each other, but we certainly do balance each other out.
I love this recipe for the clash and ultimate balance, the unapologetic salinity and intensity of the umami-rich miso, which is balanced by the mellow richness of the tahini and chickpea.
This blog comes a little early as I am attempting to get some balance by taking my first day off this year.
- 1/4 cup (60 g) blanched almonds
- 2 cups (450 g) cooked chickpeas or 1 can of cooked chickpeas
- 1/4 cup (60g) tahini
- 1/4 cup (60g) white miso
- 2 cloves garlic, crushed
- Juice from 1/2 lemon/ 2 tbsp. plus more as needed
- About 1/2 cup (120 ml ice water)
- Fine-grain sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
- Toasted sesame oil (optional)
- In a food processor blend almonds meal, chickpeas until the beans are crumbly and light
- Add in the tahini, miso, garlic and lemon juice. Blend again for 2 minutes or so, then scrape down the sides of the machine
- Switch on the blender start drizzling in enough water so that the hummus billows up, aerated and fluffy
- Depending on the beans, you may not use all the water, or you might need more
- Let the machine go for 2-3 minutes after the consistency seems right. Taste and check for seasoning
- For a roasted accent, drip in some toasted sesame oil
This recipe is a transitional dish. It is so satisfyingly wholesome and comforting, that it is a virtual hug in a bowl on a cold day. It is also so vibrant both in color and taste and so is a reminder that spring is on its way.
After a few months of darkness and cold, our brains start to extrapolate and think that this is how the rest of the year will be, we spend more time in doors trying to seek out creature comforts and this is the exact time that mother nature plays her tricks on us, the clocks go forward and the days start to get lighter again.
This reminds me of a quote I once read, ‘Never cut down a tree in wintertime. Never make a negative decision in the low time. Never make your most important decisions when you are in your worst moods…wait…be patient…the storm will pass and spring will come’.
Whilst you are waiting for spring, I hope you will take comfort in this little hug in a bowl.
- 2 medium russet potatoes, peeled and chopped into 1-inch pieces (about 4 cups)
- 2 medium sweet potatoes, peeled and chopped into 1-inch pieces
- 1 medium onion, finely chopped
- 3 cups sweet corn kernels (fresh or frozen, defrosted), divided
- 3 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
- 1-3 tsp. kosher salt
- 4 cups vegetable or chicken broth (optional)
- 1 cup full-fat coconut milk
- 1 tsp. white wine vinegar (optional)
- Chopped basil and scallions (optional)
- Combine the potatoes, onion, 2 cups corn, garlic, salt and chicken broth in a slow cooker if you have one or large pot. If using a slow cooker cover and cook on high for 3-4 hours or low for 5-6, or until the potatoes are very tender. If using a pot, bring to the boil and then simmer until the potatoes are soft, c.60mins
- Carefully ladle the soup, in batches, into a blender and blend until smooth, if you have an immersion blender you can blend directly in the pot. Return the blended mixture back to the slow cooker or pot
- Add the coconut milk, vinegar (optional), and the remaining 1 cup corn, stirring to combine. Taste and add additional salt or vinegar to taste
- Serve with basil, scallion, and red pepper/chilli if you like
- Makes 6-8 servings
- This recipe is from http://www.realfoodwholelife.com