Tag Archives: curry leaves

Daal Biryani

Bryani is a dish that’s a regional specialty in one of my co-workers’ home town, Hyderabad, India. She gave me her recipe which calls for lamb and asked me to know how the vegan version pans out. I told her I planned to use lentils and she corrected me, “daal” so that’s what I’m calling it. We used the following:

1 cup of lentils or black-eyed peas, soaked and drained
1 cup split lentils, washed and drained
2-3 chili peppers (we’re using 2 jalapeƱos)
1 big toe sized piece of ginger, sliced
1 thumb sized piece of turmeric, sliced

some curry leaves if you’ve got them
2-3 teaspoons garam masala
2 teaspoons ground coriander
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1/2 carton of silken tofu
juice from 1 lemon

2 medium onions, sliced into strips
4 smallish tomatoes, chopped into bite sized pieces
4 medium white mushrooms, chopped into bite sized pieces
1 pinch of cumin seeds
3 bay leaves

corn oil

1 cup of basmati rice

Put a tablespoon or so of corn oil into a large pan and add the cumin seeds. Heat it until they start to sputter, then add the onion, peppers, ginger, turmeric, garam masala, coriander, cumin, tofu and lemon juice into a large pot, add a little corn oil and stir fry. Add about 1.5 liters of water and use a hand blender to mix everything into a smooth creamy broth.

Chop your veggies while that heats to a simmer.

Now mix in the veggies, legumes and rice.

We added eggplant in addition to mushrooms. They’ll float to the top, this isn’t a problem; it means you won’t need a lid.. Cook until all the water is absorbed and the rice and legumes are tender. This will take about 1 hour give or take 15 minutes on low heat. You can also bake it at 350F/180C in your favorite baking dish for about an hour.

This is a great meal for hungry people who like curry. I don’t know how it measures up to the carnist version, but we managed to eat all of it within 2 days and considering it was almost too big for the pot I was using, this is really saying something. Brent wanted to add some chopped green peppers to the mix immediately before serving next time for a sweet crisp crunch and I agree that would add something. If you try it, let me know. Enjoy!

This is Christie, signing off!

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Tofu Rogan Josh

So… Indian food… awesome… yeah. I’ve got a few Indian colleagues and one of them gave me her recipe for lamb rogan josh and I did my best to veganize it.You’ll need the following:

1 package water packed tofu, pressed and chopped into bite-sized chunks.
1 package of baby bella mushrooms, quartered
1 green bell pepper, cut into bite sized pieces
1-2 tbsp corn oil or other oil suitable for frying
5-6 cloves of garlic, minced
1 big toe sized piece of ginger, minced
1 pinkie sized piece of turmeric, minced
2 teaspoons ground coriander
2 teaspoons ground cumin
15-20 curry leaves
2 tbsp of vegan cream cheese
1 teaspoon of red chilli powder
2 medium onions, finely chopped
1 14oz tin of peeled plum tomatoes
1 lime, juice and zest, cut in half
curry leaves, to taste
salt and pepper to taste (garam masala works instead of pepper)

Getting the ingredients together was the hardest part. Finding fresh curry leaves was a mission but we did… did you know they grow on trees? I didn’t know that before our quest for curry leaves. They’re pretty important for this dish so I recommend seeking them out.
To start, add the onion to a large pot with the corn oil and fry it on high temperature until the onion starts to become translucent. Add the garlic, turmeric, curry leaves and ginger and keep frying. Add the dry spices and zest and keep frying.This should look and be very dry. When the spices become fragrant and everything in the kitchen smells awesome

Add the tomato, 1/2 lime juice and cream cheese and mix. If you’ve got a hand blender, now is the time to use it. Otherwise, before the tomato gets too hot, put it all in your blender and mix until smooth.

Add the tofu and mushrooms and allow to simmer for at least 45 minutes so the tofu takes on the flavors of the dish. Stir in the green bell pepper and coriander 10 minutes before serving.

So we served this with quinoa and red wine and it was not too far off from what I’ve had in restaurants: tart, creamy, herbal and rich. Did I mention I love Indian food?

It was loaded with veggies, protein and exciting herbs. Even if it wasn’t authentic, it’s still delicious and good for you. We hope you get to try it.

This is Christie and Brent, signing off!

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