COOKING VEGAN BUTTER CHICKEN ON THE AFTERNOON EXPRESS SHOW

If you love the aromatic ambiance of curried Indian cuisine as much as I do, you will adore this recipe! Recently, Afternoon Express phoned me up with another incredible opportunity to feature on their lifestyle show. From the 17th of September to the 17th of October the Indian community celebrates Purtassi, an annual festival during which the community only feasts on vegan foods. To make it as easy (and tasty) as possible for their viewers to eat vegan during this fast, Afternoon Express asked me to whip up a traditional Indian recipe with a plant-based twist.

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Since Indian cuisine already consists of many vegan curries, I wanted to create something out of the ordinary and challenged myself to vegify a creamy Butter Chicken using Quorn’s vegan savoury pieces. These little nibbles are one of my favourite products in their vegan range as they are super versatile and mimic the texture of chicken incredibly well. I was inspired to give it a go for the show, and to my surprise this spicy dish knocked the saucy socks right off me.

Even though summer is on its way, this still makes for a delicious dinner or left-over lunch. It is a get-together meal best enjoyed with good friends, red wine and crispy naan on the side.

 

VEGAN BUTTER CHICKEN WITH QUORN

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 box Quorn spicy patties, cut into bite-sized chunks

FOR THE MARINADE:

  • 1 can coconut cream
  • 2 tsp garam masala spice mix
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon fresh ginger, grated
  • Juice of 1/2 lime / lemon

FOR THE SAUCE:

  • 1/2 cup raw cashews, soaked overnight in 1 cup of water
  • 1 tablespoon olive or coconut oil
  • 1 small white onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon fresh ginger, grated
  • 1 tablespoon garam masala, plus additional to taste
  • ½ teaspoon paprika
  • 1 ½ teaspoon turmeric
  • 1 ½ teaspoon cumin
  • 6 tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1 tablespoon nutritional yeast
  • ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • Salt & pepper, to taste
  • Fresh coriander to garnish

INSTRUCTIONS:

  • Combine all the marinade ingredients in a bowl and add the Quorn cubes Set aside and let it marinate while you prepare the sauce.
  • Blend the soaked cashews with the water until it becomes a creamy sauce, scoop a dollop out and keep aside for garnish
  • Heat oil in a deep non-stick pot. Add chopped onions and cook over medium-low heat until translucent.
  • Add garlic, ginger and garam masala, paprika, turmeric and cumin and mix until the onions are coated and fragrant.
  • Add chopped tomatoes, tomato paste, and a pinch of salt to the pan and mix. The tomatoes will release a lot of liquid.
  • Simmer for 30 minutes to an hour, until all of the excess juices have evaporated.
  • Once mixture is reduced to a paste, add it to the blender with the cashews and blend until smooth. Add additional water if needed.
  • Return the sauce to pan and add the Quorn cubes along with the marinade. Simmer until heated through.
  • Add cayenne pepper, nutritional yeast, and salt & pepper. Taste and adjust flavor, adding more garam masala if needed.
  • Serve hot with basmati rice or naan bread. Garnish with the dollop of cashew cream and fresh coriander.

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Vegan Mac & Cheese Bake

Happy Election Day! With a stain on my thumb, I decided to cook up a comforting dish on this cloudy & grey Cape Town day. This vegan Mac & Cheese Bake is an ultimate favourite – so I thought I’d share it with you too. Traditional Mac & Cheese is not one of the healthiest dishes around, but this recipe is actually pretty good for your heart – and your waistline. No cream, no oil, and no cheese… but just as flavoursome as the real deal. I adapted it from the Green Monday version: I use Fry’s Thick Cut Chunky Strips instead of seitan, whole-wheat macaroni instead of elbow macaroni and fresh garlic instead of garlic powder. I’m actually not a big fan of the breadcrumbs either. I did add it today, but decided to omit it in the future. Hope you enjoy this hearty dish as much as I do!

Vegan Mac & Cheese Bake

  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Ingredients

  • 250g whole-wheat macaroni
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil (just to add to your water so the macaroni doesn’t stick)
  • 1 box Fry’s Thick Cut Chunky Strips, defrosted
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 cup firm tofu, drained
  • 1½ cups Almond Breeze, unsweetened
  • 1 cups vegetable stock
  • ½ cup nutritional yeast
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder (optional)
  • ½ teaspoon turmeric
  • Salt & pepper to taste
  • 2 tablespoons breadcrumbs (optional)

Directions

  1. Cut the Fry’s chunky strips in small blocks & let it marinate in the soy sauce.
  2. Boil a pot of water, add a dash of olive oil and cook the macaroni until it al dente.
  3. While your macaroni is cooking, add all the other ingredients (except the breadcrumbs) to your blender and blend until frothy. Set aside.
  4. Transfer your marinated Fry’s to a pan and cook over medium heat. Remove from heat and set aside.
  5. Preheat the oven to 190° C. Spray a baking dish with Cook & Spray and set aside.
  6. Drain the cooked macaroni, rinse with water, and return it to the pot.
  7. Add the Fry’s blocks and sauce mixture to the pot, and heat it up over low heat. Mix the ingredients well. (Don’t keep it on the heat for long, just heat it up slightly).
  8. Transfer the mixture to the prepared baking dish, sprinkle with the breadcrumbs, and bake until the crumbs are nicely browned (about 25 minutes).
  9. Serve hot.

TIP: You can also use 4x Fry’s Spicy Asian Burger instead of the box of Chunky Strips and you can swap the tofu with a small can of coconut cream.

Adapted from Green Monday SA