Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Vegan Kheema!

In my last post I said I would be back with a picture of my textured soy protein creation.  Feast your eyes on this Indian yumminess:

That's a bed of cooked millet, topped with Mock Kheema adapted from The Indian Slow Cooker, and surrounded by Punjabi-Style Cabbage from Vegan Indian Cooking.  Anupy Singla, I love you.

I've talked about The Indian Slow Cooker before.  It's not a vegetarian book, but most of the recipes are vegan.  I love, love, love this book because the recipes produce huge quantities of yummy Indian food with very little effort.  The other recipes I've made have all been bean dishes, which I have especially liked because unlike traditionally prepared Indian legume dishes, they do not call for any ghee or oil.

The kheema recipe is different.  Traditional kheema is made with lamb, and apparently it's supposed to be greasy, so there is a full half cup of oil in it.  I never cook with anywhere close to that much oil, but I wanted my first try of the recipe to be at least semi-authentic, so I didn't cut back.  The recipe is so big, and the serving size is so tiny, that I figured out there is only about a teaspoon of oil in each serving.  I've never eaten kheema before, so I don't know how authentic this version is, but I do know it's delicious.

Anupy's recipe calls for packaged "meatless grounds" like the Boca crumbles, but I thought since so many spices were going into the recipe I could use plain textured soy protein.  I figured out that 8 oz of dry TSP, reconstituted, is about the equivalent of four bags of frozen crumbles, which is what the recipe calls for.  Here it is as I adapted it:

8 oz dry textured soy protein crumbles (about 5 cups), reconstituted with an equal volume of boiling water
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 red onion, peeled and chopped
1 4-inch piece of ginger, finely chopped in the food processor
10 cloves garlic, peeled and finely chopped in the food processor with the ginger
1 6-oz can tomato paste, mixed with 2 cups boiling water until smooth
4 green cardamom pods, lightly crushed
6 bay leaves
1/4 cup ground cumin
1/4 cup ground coriander
1/2 tsp cayenne
2 T smoked paprika (or regular paprika, if you don't have smoked)
1 T salt
2 tsp turmeric
2 tsp garam masala
2 cups frozen peas

Put everything except the peas into a 6 quart slow cooker and mix well.  Cook on high for 3 hours.  Add the peas and cook for another 10 minutes or so.

The result is rich and spicy (but not too hot) and wonderful.  I figured out that a serving is 1/3 cup -- that contains the same amount of protein as a cup of cooked beans, about 14 grams. This recipe makes a lot.  I may end up having to freeze some.

Here's what it looks like close up:

My girlfriend thought the texture was scarily similar to ground beef.  I don't actually remember what ground beef is like, so to me it is just yummy.  Put it on top of a bed of cooked grain and mix it in.  Om nom nom.

I think next time I will cut back on the oil somewhat -- although my girlfriend begged me not to cut back too much.  I might try 1/3 cup, certainly no less than 1/4 cup.

How do you say "bon appetit" in Hindi?

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