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.
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
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
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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