Tempeh Cauliflower Potato Tamarind Curry. South Indian Coconut and tamarind curry with veggies. Vegan Glutenfree Nutfree Recipe. Can be Soyfree. Jump to Recipe
My aim with the blog is to introduce flavorful new ways to add more plant focused meals to our and your repertoire. That means making some Indian cooking simpler and more approachable. Some of these options are home meals or regional recipes that are mostly never found in Indian restaurants.
Exhibit a this Tofu Amritsari Masala which keeps getting made so many times, Exhibit b Black eyed Pea Brown Rice Peanut Pulao which has amazing flavor and texture. There are several recipes in my drafts too, that I have to edit and schedule intermittently. Sometimes they take a back seat in favor of the more popular options.
The sauce today is inspired from South Indian style Tamarind Chiken Curry. I use Tempeh for the Protein and added potatoes and cauliflower because I had to use them up and all work really well in the sauce. You can make this soyfree with more of the veggies, some cooked chickpeas/beans/lentils or chickpea tofu.
As with some regional Indian cooking, sometimes the ingredient list is longer as they use whole and ground spices in combination to create their own flavor. The sauces and curries in many regional Indian cuisines are not just sauce base + garam masala. The flavor gets built up with various spices and ingredients.
For this sauce, the dry whole spices such as coriander, cumin, fennel, fenugreek and black pepper are toasted and then ground and blended with tomato. The mixture is then added to golden onions and simmered to make a deep flavored sauce. Add veggies or tempeh or anything else and simmer to infuse the veggies with the flavor. Garnish with lemon and Serve with rice or flatbread.
Ingredients used for this Tamarind Curry and Substitute options
- I use tempeh as the protein of choice. You can use tofu, chickpeas, beans or chickpea tofu.
- Potato and cauliflower make up the rest of the veggies with the sauce. Use any seasonal veggies of choice.
- Spices: Whole Coriander, cumin, fennel, fenugreek seeds and sesame seeds are roasted and then ground for an intricate flavor. You can use ground spices if you dont have whole spices. Lightly toast them and then blend with the tomato
- Whole black peppercorns and pepper flakes/dried chili add the heat. The heat is not that in your face in the beginning as you start eating but builds up. Use less of both for less heat.
- Tamarind paste: ideally Southern indian cuisine uses fresh pulp from soaked tamarind pods. Those can be hard to find in regular stores. So use tamarind paste or chutney.
- Coconut milk makes up the sauce that is a thick sauce for the veggies and tempeh. Use less or more to preference of the sauce consistency. You can also use any other dairy milk.
- Curry leaves round up the flavor. You can find fresh curry leaves in indian stores or dried leaves on amazon.
Step by Step Photos
Toast the whole spices on a dry skillet so they get aromatic and grind easily. Grind them and then blend with the tomato ginger and tamarind.
The blended tomato and spice mixture is cooked with onion and garlic to thicken. Then the veggies are added with coconut milk to simmer and cook to preference. The sauce can get hot because of the black pepper and pepper flakes. Add in some coconut cream or cashew cream for creamier sauce and to reduce the heat.
More Indian Recipes to try
- Butter Tofu- GF
- IP Tikka Masala Simmer Sauce GF
- Instant Pot Vegan Butter Chickin(soycurls). GF – Creamy, Delicious
- Mushroom Matar Masala
- Bombay Potato and Peas
- Tofu Pasanda
- Tofu Matar Masala
- Tofu in Spinach Curry – Saag Tofu
- Vegetable Jalfrezi – Veggies in smoky tangy curry
Tempeh Cauliflower Potato Tamarind Curry
- 8 oz tempeh
- 1 tbsp coriander seeds
- 1/4 tsp (0.25 tsp) cumin seeds
- 1/3 tsp (0.33 tsp) black peppercorns
- 1/4 tsp (0.25 tsp) fenugreek seeds
- 1/8 tsp (0.13 tsp) fennel seeds optional
- 1 tbsp sesame seeds
- 1/3 tsp (0.33 tsp) red pepper flakes
- 1 large or 2 small tomatoes or 1 cup diced
- 1 tsp tamarind paste or 1 tbsp tamarind chutney or pulp from fresh tamarind, or use 1 tsp lime juice + a dash of sugar
- 2 tbsp ketchup or use 1 tsp more tamarind paste
- 1/2 inch ginger
- 3/4 tsp (0.75 tsp) salt divided
- 1 tsp oil
- 1/2 (0.5 ) medium onion , chopped
- 4 cloves of garlic , finely chopped
- 6 to 8 (8 ) curry leaves fresh, frozen or dried
- 1/2 tsp smoked paprika ore regular paprika
- 1 cup (100 g) cauliflower florets
- 1 small potato , cubed
- 1 cup (236.59 ml) coconut milk
- cilantro and lemon for garnish
- Steam the tempeh for 12 minutes. Set aside. (If using tofu, you can panfry it on a skillet for 4-5 mins)
- Heat a skillet over medium heat. Add coriander seeds, cumin seeds and black peppercorn. Roast for 2 mins or until fragrant. Add the fenugreek and fennel seeds and roast for half a min. Add sesame seeds and chili flakes and roast for a few seconds. Take off heat. Grind the mixture in a grinder(I use my nutribullet 2 blade grinder and use the same cup for wet blending later with the 4 blade). If you dont have a grinder, just blend everything in the next step with the tomato it will take a few minutes to break the spices down.
- Blend the ground spices with the tomato, ketchup, ginger and tamarind until smooth. Use a few tbsp of water if needed.
- Heat oil in the same skillet over medium heat. Add onion, curry leaves, garlic and a good pinch of salt and cook until translucent. Add the steamed tempeh and cook for a minute to brown some edges.
- Add the blended tomato+ spice mixture, paprika and 1/3 tsp salt. Mix well and cook over medium heat until the sauce is drying out and sticking to the tempeh. 7 to 10 mins
- Add the cauliflower, potato, 1/3 tsp salt and coconut milk. Mix well to incorporate, cover and cook for 11 o 13 minutes or until the veggies are cooked through and the sauce has thickened a bit. Continue to cook uncovered if the sauce is too thin or add more coconut milk for saucier.
- Taste and adjust salt, spice and flavor. Add a bit of cayenne or garam masala if needed. Garnish with cilantro and a dash of lemon. Serve with flatbread, naan or rice. As with most Indian sauces, the sauce flavor develops more on sitting for a few hours. Refrigerate for upto 3 days.