Out of all the daily themes I've selected, Tempeh Tuesdays is the one that has filled me with the most concern. I've cooked way more mediocre tempeh meals that successful ones - as a result this has made me rather unadventurous with it. The prospect of cooking and eating four unappetising tempeh based meals in the space of a month has been weighing heavily on my mind but thanks to the success of this first effort for Vegan MoFo, I'm feeling more optimistic.
To kick off this theme I tried to play it as safely as I possibly could, combining the tempeh preparation method in my favourite lasagne recipe with a recipe we used to love back in our omnivorous days - kheema matar. Kheema matar is a dry Indian curry traditionally made with minced lamb meat and peas. I posted about it during my first vegan MoFo using a faux mince meat recipe courtesy of Diet, Dessert and Dogs made from cauliflower and nuts. This is a fantastic recipe but the downside is that it needs to be prepared in advance so I was hoping that tempeh would also work well in this recipe.
For the initial preparation of the tempeh I used the same technique that is used in this tempeh lasagne - frying the minced tempeh in oil until browned and then pouring soy sauce over the tempeh in order for it to absorb the salty flavours. The rest of the recipe was made in a fairly similar fashion to the meaty version in my favourite non-vegan cookbook The Food of India, although some of the cooking durations in the later stages were shortened a little as the minced tempeh began to clump together a little.
The man doesn't have the same issues with tempeh that I do, in fact he is quite the fan, so it wasn't surprising that he loved this version of kheema matar. The tempeh matar was served with cauliflower tikka masala - a recent addition to our rotation of curry dishes which was also veganised from The Food of India. This tempeh dish won't take the top spot away from my favourite lasagne but I'm happy to say that it is something I'll be repeating again!
Tempeh Matar (Adapted from The Food of India)
1 onion, roughly chopped
2 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
2cm piece ginger, roughly chopped
1 large green chilli, roughly chopped
1 medium tomato
300g tempeh, minced
3 tablespoons soy sauce
1 tablespoon ground coriander
1 tablespoon ground cumin
¼ teaspoon turmeric
½ teaspoon sea salt
1 tablespoon soy yoghurt
½ cup water
½ cup water
1 cup frozen peas
Pinch of garam masala
2 tablespoons chopped coriander leaves
Place the onion, garlic, ginger, green chilli and tomato in a blender or food processor and blend until it becomes a smooth paste.
Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a deep sided frying pan over medium-high and cook the minced tempeh for 15 minutes until browned, stirring every couple of minutes. Pour the soy sauce over the tempeh, stir well to combine and cook until the liquid has been absorbed. Transfer the tempeh to a bowl.
Heat the remaining tablespoon of olive oil in the same pan and pour in the contents of the blender. Allow to cook for 5 minutes over medium meat, stirring occasionally. Add the coriander, cumin, turmeric and salt and stir through for a minute. Add the tempeh back to the pan along with the yoghurt and water and stir to combine thoroughly. Cover and allow to simmer on low heat for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally - if it looks too dry and is sticking to the pan, add some additional water.
Add the peas and garam masala and cook for a further 5 minutes. Stir through the coriander leaves and serve.