This creamy masala curry, is a perfect addition to a cozy dinner, served hot with Indian Naan Bread or Basmati Rice. Depending on your spice preference, reduce the heat (cayenne, hot green chile) and serve it with Naan bread or Rice or over cooked Quinoa. Tikka Masala, butter masala , Makhani are curries often used interchangeably in restaurants. These are not totally authentic to Indian cuisine. The origins of the tikka masala stem from butter masala/makhani versions from Punjab, North India and Pakistan. Meat Tikka masalas or Paneer(cottage Cheese) Tikka masala are a staple in most restaurants now.
The base curry is very similar. Makhani or butter masala. is usually the creamier version with more butter and fresh cream or cashew paste.
Tikka Masala. is the tangyier version with more tomatoes/tomato paste. The curry is glutenfree. To make soy free, use seitan or cubed soy free patties or chunky veggies.
Tempeh Tikka Masala with Kale
- 4 oz Tempeh cut into small cubes,about ¾ cup (ensure tempeh is gluten-free if necessary)
- ½ cup water
- ½ teaspoon garam masala
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon chili powder or cayenne
- ½ teaspoon paprika
- 2 tsp nondairy yogurt
- 2 teaspoons organic canola oil
- ½ teaspoon garam masala or to taste
- ¼ teaspoon paprika or Kashmiri mirch
- 1 teaspoon coriander powder
- a generous pinch of asafoetida(hing) - optional - omit to make gf
- 1 teaspoon dried fenugreek leaves (methi)
- ¼ teaspoon turmeric powder
- ½ medium onion chopped small (1/2 cup)
- ½ cup packed finely chopped Kale leaves or greens of choice
- 3 medium tomatoes chopped
- 1 inch ginger
- 5-6 cloves of garlic
- 1 green chili or to taste
- ½ tsp salt
- ½ teaspoon raw sugar
- 3 tbsp plain unsweetened non dairy yogurt
- ¼ cup or more nondairy milk such as almond milk
- Mix all the ingredients of the marinade and add Tempeh. Let sit for 5 mins (optional)
- Transfer to a pan and cook the mixture over low-medium heat, partially covered for 15 minutes or until all the liquid is absorbed by the tempeh.
- Once the tempeh is dry, add a teaspoon of oil and toss on medium for 2-3 minutes, until the edges of the tempeh become golden. Take off heat and keep aside.
- Meanwhile, in a deep medium pan, add 2 teaspoons oil and heat over medium.
- Add the onion and cook for 7-8 minutes, stirring occasionally till it becomes translucent and golden.
- Blend the tomatoes, ginger, garlic and chili into a smooth puree and set aside.
- Add the spices (turmeric, coriander powder, hing, garam masala, paprika and fenugreek leaves) to the onions, and mix well. Add Kale, mix and cook for another minute.
- Add the tomato puree to the onion mixture and cook over low-medium heat for 15-20 minutes stirring occasionally, until the mix thickens, comes together and leaves oil on the sides.
- Add the crisp tempeh, and non dairy yogurt, salt and sugar and mix well.Taste and adjust spices, salt.
- Add almond milk to get the curry consistency you like. Mix well and bring to a boil on low medium heat.
- Take off heat, serve hot topped with fresh chopped cilantro, with Indian flat breads (Roti/Naan) or Basmati rice.
You can also freeze the sauce. Make the sauce, add non dairy yogurt at step 6 (dont add the non dairy milk) and simmer for a few minutes to thicken. cool and freeze. Thaw, add non dairy milk as needed and simmer with the veggies, tofu, chickpeas, beans, lentils etc or whatever you want to make the tikka masala of.