Travel inspirations, Veg-friendly, Vegetable dishes, Winter warmers
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In search of perfection: soy tikka masala

I have a problem. I have a husband, too, but he is not the problem. The problem is, I am happiest in the kitchen when I’m going deep on some quest: studying cookery books, trying to do everything from home-made gelato to creamy mussels. The problem is that my husband prefers familiar food. Who could blame him for that?

As that alone wasn’t enough, I have to admit that I have been a pescetarian now for over 15 years and leaving side by side with avid meat-lover sometimes might be tricky. I have to give him a huge credit for supporting me and keeping me company throughout all of my experiments.

Since we moved to UK, I wanted to try one of the nation’s most popular dishes – a brilliant curry – tikka masala. To the joy of my husband, I quickly figured that soy chunks have a very good quality of absorbing gravy, so no time wasted, and my take on spicy & tangy classics have hit our dinner table :). 

In search of perfection: soy tikka masala

Preparation + cooking time: ~ 2 h / Serves: 2/ Veg-friendly

For fantastic soy tikka masala we would need:

Tikka:

  • 200 g soy chunks

Marination ingredients:

  • 4 tbsp of low fat natural yoghurt
  • 1 tsp of red chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp of turmeric powder
  • 1 tsp of garam masala powder
  • 2  tbsp of corn flour
  • Salt to taste

Masala gravy:

  • 50 g of cashew nuts
  • 50 ml of milk / coconut milk for vegans
  • 2+2 tbsp of vegetable oil
  • 1/2 tbp of cumin seeds
  • 1 cardamom seed
  • 2 cloves
  • 1/2 of small cinnamon stick
  • 2 medium sized onions, finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp of minced garlic and ginger
  • 5-medium sized tomatoes, roughly chopped
  • 4 tbsp of tomato purée
  • ½ to 1 tsp sugar (optional)
  • handful of coriander stocks, finely chopped
  • 1/2 of red chili powder
  • 1/2 of turmeric powder
  • 2 tsp of coriander powder
  • 1 tsp of garam masala powder
  • 50 ml of double cream / coconut milk for vegans
  • 1 onion, roughly chopped
  • 1/4 of bell pepper (green or yellow), chopped
  • Salt to taste
  • Coriander leaves for garnishing (optional)

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Soak soy chunks in hot water for 20 minutes, till they are soft. After that squeeze them so that all liquids come out.
  2. Whisk marination ingredients till smooth in a large bowl, add the soy chunks and gently mix so that all chunks are evenly coated. Cover the bowl and let it marinate for at least 40 minutes in the refrigerator. If you can leave it overnight even better.
  3. Soak cashew nuts in milk for 40 minutes.
  4. Heat oil in a large pan. Add marinated soy chunks and stir-fry for 5-10 minutes till crisp and browned. Keep the fried soy tikka aside.
  5. To the same pan add 2 tsp of oil and toss cumin seeds along with cardamom, cloves & cinnamon, allow it to sputter. Add in chopped onions with a pinch of salt. Once the onions turn golden brown, add ginger & garlic and sauté for 1-2 minutes.
  6. Put in chopped tomatoes, cover with a lid and sauté on low heat for 10-15 minutes.
  7. Add 4 tbsp of tomato purée, coriander stocks and cook for another 10 minutes. If the gravy tastes bitter to your taste, add a tsp of sugar.
  8. After that toss in chili powder, turmeric powder, coriander powder, garam masala powder and give it a good stir.
  9. Grind the cashew nuts into a purée and add to the gravy. Cashews give a creamier consistency with a nice sweetness.
  10. Put in soy chunks along with double cream and mix nicely. Adjust salt as per taste.
  11. Lastly, add roughly chopped onion and bell pepper for extra crunch and flavour.
  12. Serve hot with rice, home-made chapathi and yoghurt. Bon app!

Tip: The masala gravy could also work with fish or paneer.
If you feel like you need more water at any stage, please feel free to add.

With love,
Marie

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