Tuesday, September 7, 2010

'Beef' Curry with Toasted Spices

For this final recipe using my Homemade Curry Powder, I turned to the frozen beefless tips from Gardein. If you haven't yet checked out Gardein, an amazing line of vegan meat alternatives out of Vancouver, I highly recommend doing so! You'll need 3 (9.5 ounce) packages of the beefless tips for this curry.

Ahead of time, prepare the spices: heat a skillet over medium-high heat and add 1 tablespoon coriander seeds, 1 and a 1/2 teaspoons cumin seeds, 1 teaspoon fenugreek seeds, 2 whole cloves, 1 (1/2-inch) piece of cinnamon stick, 1 dried hot red chile, and 1 bay leaf. Cook for 1 minute, shaking the pan almost constantly.

Transfer the mixture either to a spice grinder or - my personal favorite - a mortar and pestle, along with 1 tablespoon raw sugar, 1/4 tsp. ground cardamom, and 1/8 tsp. salt. Process until finely ground, whether with the touch of a button, or your pestle; set aside.

For this next step, I had to adapt the original recipe, since I was using vegan meat, and not real beef. The real beef was marinated in a dry rub of spices for two hours, but since Gardein beef is frozen, I wasn't sure if it was safe to thaw it ahead of time and not cook it right away. Instead, I combined 28 ounces frozen 'beefless tips' with 1 and 1/2 teaspoons Homemade Curry Powder and 1 teaspoon black pepper, tossing to coat, just before cooking.

Heat 1 and 1/2 teaspoons olive oil in Dutch oven; add the 'beef' mixture and saute for 5 minutes. Remove the 'beef' from the pan and set aside - it should be lightly browned on all sides.

Add 1 and 1/2 cups sliced onion and 1 and 1/2 tablespoons minced and peeled fresh ginger to the pan; reduce the heat to medium and cook for 6 minutes.

Add 2 tablespoons minced garlic, 1 tablespoon paprika, and the toasted spice mixture; cook for 1 minute, stirring constantly.

Return the 'beef' to the pan, along with 1 cup plain soy yogurt (such as Wildwood), 3/4 cup vegetable broth, 1/2 cup chopped red bell pepper, 1/4 cup minced cilantro stems, and 1/4 cup tomato puree.

The original recipe was then simmered for 1 and 1/2 hours, but Gardein beef doesn't need to cook nearly that long - continue to simmer for a final 5 to 10 minutes, and you should be good to go!

As with the Warm Spiced Lentils I made last night, this dish is even better if you make it ahead of time, then reheat just before serving, so the flavors have time to blend. Serve over some basmati rice, if you like. It's also really great with my Mango and Mint Chutney on the side!

1 cup of beef curry is 270 calories.

fenugreek seeds $3.50
ginger $0.40
red bell pepper $1.13

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The Vegan Pantry

  • Vegan yogurt - Whole Soy http://www.wholesoyco.com/
  • Vegan milk - Silk http://www.silksoymilk.com/
  • Vegan Feta - Sunergia http://www.sunergiasoyfoods.com/
  • Vegan Cheese - Galaxy Foods http://www.galaxyfoods.com/
  • Vegan Eggs - Ener-G http://www.ener-g.com/
  • Vegan Butter - Earth Balance http://www.earthbalance.net/product.html