Tuesday, February 24, 2009

No-chicken curry

As I type this, the 'no-chicken curry' is cooking away. This is my quick week-night dinner with the Seitan that I made over the weekend. My 'curries' change every time I make it. It depends on the time that I have and what I feel like doing. Here are the basics. Em, you can make it for yourself when Mike is away?
I sauteed pieces of the Seitan first.
Heat oil. This is the only standard :)
I always add ginger and garlic cloves (cut up) and let them cook a little, with a couple of green chillis cut up. Sometimes, I add cloves, cinnamon and bay leaves too and let them brown.
Add one onion, finely chopped. Cook till translucent.
Add 1-2 cans of tomatoes (based on how watery I want the gravy).
At this point, you can cook it down like this for a few minutes and leave as is or puree the onions and tomatoes.
Today, it was chunky.
The spices I add are also inconsistent. Salt, turmeric are standard. The rest - depends on my mood, again. The choices are pre-made garam masala, paprika, chilli powder, kitchen king masala or a pre-prepared masala powder. Occasionally, I will dry roast some ingredients and grind them too... very very occasionally! Kasuri meth is an option too!
Add the protien - paneer, seitan (today), beans (garbanzo or kidney), black-eyed peas, other lentils, tofu and cook.
Sometimes I also add a vegetable at this stage - peas, spinach (today, I threw in some broccoli) - so, this one dish has it all :) Cook it all together well.
To end, again options include - cream, plain yogurt whippped together, coconut milk or just broth/water to make a tomato-based gravy. I had some left over coconut milk that needed to be used and so it was used! Boil again. If using yogurt, don't boil it for too long. You can also grind together dry-roasted cashews and add them... makes for a nutty texture. Sometimes, I just add cashews for my crunch! (Or I tend to revert to chips... bad, bad)
I *love* cilantro, so that always gets added at the end. Depending on the taste, I add some sugar to cut the acidity or lemon juice to add acidity.
Serve with rice/naan/chappati/tortilla....
The moral of this post - let your taste guide you!!
As the curry cooks, I should confess that I tasted a lot of the seitan when I was cutting it and I am not completely sold on the texture. It is very 'meaty' and I am not a huge fan of 'meaty' textures. So the jury is still out. I have some seitan left, so I will use it in a stir-fry later this week too and see what I think.
Any other Indian-food enthusiasts that read this blog - any other modifications you would make to your curry? Add it to the comments section, please.


  1. Congrats on the blog.
    We may be coming to IN in the spring or summer!!!

  2. Maybe that is why I like seitan - because it is so meaty. I actually made a seitan salad sandwich (like tuna salad) which tasted great but then I realized I was eating wheat, mayo and more wheat. Little bit much, I think.