Monday, October 19, 2009

Indonesian Curry

I have a confession to make: this post was a draft I've had lurking around since July, I just never published it ...I'm super short for time today, so this all I've got.

I didn't post it last July because I wanted to wait until I redid it with seitan. I think it would turn out a lot better with seitan...I was thinking of actually cooking the seitan in the coconut sauce so it would absorb the rich coconut flavor.

But, here it is now with tempeh. Sorry if this is kind of cheating for MoFo, but seitan made me do it;)

Indonesian Style Coconut Curry w/ Tempeh

Serves 4

1. First, marinate the tempeh:

16 oz tempeh, cut into large peices
1/2 cup double-strength vegetarian beef-style broth ( or use 1/4 Bragg's Liquid Aminos diluted with 1/4 cup water)
1 tablespoon vegan worchestershire sauce
1 tablespoon agave nectar
generous splash of rice vinegar

Mix marinade ingredients in shallow dish and marinate the chopped tempeh for at least 1/2 hour...longer if possible. I let mine marinate for about an hour, and could have gone longer, but I didn't want dinner to be too late. The time depends on the concentration of your marinade and how infused you want the tempeh to be. Be sure to turn the tempeh at least once during the marinating process so all sides of tempeh are exposed.

2. While the tempeh is marinating, make the spice paste:

4 tablespoon finely chopped shallots
2 cloves garlic, sliced
½ tsp. ground turmeric
1/2 tsp. finely diced scotch bonnet chili pepper

Blend all ingredients in a food processor until it forms a paste.

I'm sure there's a more traditional type of chili, but scotch bonnets were what I had. This makes it kind of spicy, so if you don't like heat, reduce the amount by half, or use a milder pepper.

3. When the tempeh has marinated for desired time, drain off the marinade and save it to use later in another dish. Mist the bottom of a pan with cooking oil of your choice and lightly brown the tempeh pieces on each side.

When browned to desired degree, remove tempeh and set aside.

4. Aromatize spice paste and coconut milk:

spice paste (see above)
1 tablespoon unrefined coconut oil
14 oz organic coconut milk
2 bay leaves
3 slices of ginger
6-inches worth of lemon grass stalk, outer peel taken off and bashed with the end of a knife
1 large carrot, julienne sliced
salt to taste

In large pan, heat coconut oil over medium heat and add in the spice paste. Let the paste saute for 2-3 minutes until fragrant.

Add coconut milk, bay leaf, lemon grass, and ginger. Reduce heat to medium-low and let simmer for 15-20 minutes stirring frequently.

Add the tempeh and continue to simmer until sauce is quite thick, gently stirring as needed. You want the tempeh to absorb a lot of the coconut sauce. About 5 minutes before serving, toss in carrots. Taste the sauce for saltiness, add salt to taste if needed.

Serve with brown rice or other grain of your choice, garnish with fresh veggies like radish, cucumber, and thinly sliced cabbage.


  1. Yum. This looks really good and I am not normally thrilled tempeh. However, in this sauce I think I would love it.

    Seitan made me do it...... very funny!

    Can't wait to see what you have planned for tomorrow.


  2. I'm not super keen on tempeh either, unless it's thin, like bacon-style, or crumbled. I think this would be a lot better with seitan, but if I made it again with tempeh, I would cut it into much smaller peices.

  3. I have to admit that I've never tried tempeh. The kind that you show in this post, which I think of as "basic" or "unflavoured" tempeh, I can't find where I live (Edmonton, Canada). All the tempeh here seems pre-flavoured, which out of pure ornery-ness I can't abide, so I've never bought it.

    This looks so good to me! I'm not totally keen on seitan, unless it's very finely crumbled...

  4. Zoa,

    I'm sort of the same way; I like it crumbled or really thinly sliced. The big chunks in this post were not ideal for me. :)


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