Thursday, January 13, 2011

Potato, Tempeh and Chickpea Curry

It's been a while since I shared a proper recipe. Sorry about that. We've been doing a lot of experimentation here in the Cameron kitchen, and I prefer sharing tried-and-true recipes with you rather than random concoctions. Having said that, I fear that the recipe I have for you today might seem like a random concoction, plus it uses tempeh as a primary ingredient, which isn't so popular among the non-vegetarian food blogs.

It goes like this. We don't eat meat often in our home. I've been trying to incorporate more vegetarian protein into our diet: I'm supposed to have over 70 grams of protein a day while pregnant, and my daughter, so far a self-proclaimed vegetarian, doesn't get much protein that's not from cheese (the kid LOVES cheese), and she's been kind of phlegmy this winter, so I'm trying to find non-dairy options that she'll like as well. (There's a lot more to it but I am not here to externally process my food concerns and aspirations other than the one called MAKING DELICIOUS FOOD.)

So anyway, this dish was created more purposefully than randomly, and it is really really really tasty. If you are interested in vegetarian proteins (and especially if you don't care for tofu), give tempeh a shot. It's yummy and versatile and has a nice, substantial texture. It perfectly complements the potatoes in this curry. The chickpeas were thrown in because I wanted to use them up; they were good, but could easily be swapped for some peas or other vegetables if you aren't as obsessed as I am with having all your meals overflow with protein.

The recipe I adapted to make this curry is from 101 Cookbooks, which adapted and vegetarianized a recipe from Lora Zarubin's cookbook, I am Almost Always Hungry. I have never seen this book but am intrigued. (And jealous that Ms. Zarubin used that title before I got the opportunity.)

baby potatoes

Any waxy potatoes would be good. I used these ones, called gemstones (or gems or something like that). Pretty, eh?

chickpeas and onions
curry in pan
plated curry

The naan-like bread in the picture above is homemade too. I'll get the recipe for that posted within the week.

Oh and p.s. this isn't going to be a vegetarian blog any time soon. We just bought part of a cow. (Seriously.)

Potato, Tempeh and Chickpea Curry
Adapted from 101 Cookbooks
Yield: 4 servings

1 pound small waxy potatoes
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
2 tablespoon olive oil, divided
1/2 large onion, coarsely chopped
1 tablespoon fresh grated ginger
1 tablespoon curry powder (I used a sweet curry)
1 teaspoon amchur powder (optional)
1 cup cooked, drained chickpeas
1 15-ounce can diced tomatoes with juice
8 ounces tempeh, cut into 1/2" pieces
1/2 cup water
Juice from one lime

To serve: heavy whipping cream or plain yogurt, chopped cilantro

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Rinse potatoes and halve them so that they are chunks about 1" thick in diameter. Toss potatoes, 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a roasting pan. Place pan in the oven (you can do this while it's still preheating) and roast for about 20-30 minutes, flipping once after about 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, in a large skillet, heat the remaining tablespoon of olive oil over low heat. Add the onions and saute for about five minutes, until they are transparent. Add the ginger, curry powder, amchur powder, and chickpeas. Stir for about a minute. Add the tomatoes and remaining teaspoon of salt. Stir until the tomatoes come to a simmer. Add the tempeh and roasted potatoes, and stir until tempeh is heated through. Add 1/2 cup water, give or take a bit, if the curry sauce is drying out. Allow to simmer for 5-10 minutes, then stir in the lime juice. Serve hot over rice or with some pitas or other curry-friendly bread. Garnish each serving with a drizzle of whipping cream or yogurt and fresh chopped cilantro.

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