This one was inspired by these amazing curries we had in the UK until the waiters of our local restaurant were rude to us and we decided to not ever go back. It honestly could have been a scene from Curb Your Enthusiasm. I won’t bore you with the details, let’s just say it meant that I had to learn how to make it myself. Being in Malta I have been missing a nice korma curry so this is what I came up with. I created a lightened-up curry that has a decent amount of vegetables in it but is also lusciously creamy. The combination of the luxurious but secretly healthy gravy and the crunchy seitan makes this one of the best recipes on my blog so far, and it is really easy to make too! I personally love a thick curry so if you don’t like that, you can always add some water to this recipe to make it a little thinner. Also, this makes a very mild curry so use more chilli if you like. Enjoy!
Ingredients (2-3 portions):
- 2 tablespoons of vodka (don’t omit, this really helps the flavours to come through!)
- 4 tablespoons of vegetarian stir-fry sauce
- Salt, to taste
- 1 tablespoon of sunflower oil (or any other neutral tasting vegetable oil)
- About 1/2 cup of raw seitan (you can sub this with tofu but you might have to increase the marinating time)
- A glug of sunflower oil to fry the seitan
- 4 small carrots, peeled and chopped into a few pieces
- A glug of sunflower oil (or any other neutral tasting vegetable oil)
- 1 teaspoon of curry powder
- 1 teaspoon of Chinese five spice powder
- 1/2 teaspoon of cumin powder
- 1/2 teaspoon of fenugreek powder (you can use other spices if you don’t have these, as long as there’s some cumin, turmeric, cloves and cinnamon in it you should be ok)
- 1 small onion, chopped finely
- 2 big green chillies, deseeded and minced (you can use more and/or other colours if you like it spicy)
- 4 medium sized pieces of garlic, grated or minced
- 1/2 small thumb sized piece of ginger, grated or minced
- 1/4 400 ml can so 100 ml of coconut milk (I also tried it with 200 ml and it works but it seemed to overpower the almond cream)
- 1/2 cup of almond cream (sub with cashew cream or simply more coconut cream)
- 1 tablespoon of sugar
- Salt, to taste
- Cooked basmati rice (1 cup of basmati rice + 1.5 cup of filtered water should do)
- Optional: coriander or parsley as garnish (it’s difficult to find coriander here so I used parsley and it worked)
- Whisk the vodka, stir-fry sauce, salt and oil together to make the marinade.
- Squeeze the water out of the seitan and pour the marinade over it.
- Poke holes in the seitan with your fingers and massage the marinade in.
- Stretch the seitan. It should be about as thin as chicken pieces in a Chinese restaurant. Let it rest for 15 minutes in the marinade.
- Stretch the seitan again, then pan fry over medium heat in a good glug of oil until browned and slightly crispy.
- Boil and puree the carrots with a blender, food processor or potato masher.
- Fry the curry, Chinese five spice, cumin and fenugreek powder in a good glug of oil over low heat for a minute.
- Add the onion and cook over medium-low heat until softened.
- Add the minced chillies, garlic and ginger and cook until soft. You can also just blend these together to a paste and then cook it but my food processor didn’t want to do that with such a tiny amount. It has standards.
- Add the pureed carrots and stir.
- Add the coconut milk and the almond cream and stir.
- Let it cook until you’re happy with the thickness of the gravy. You can always add some water if it’s too thick for you.
- Add the sugar and salt towards the end, season liberally!
- Cut the seitan into smallish pieces right before serving and stir it through the curry or place it on top of it. If you let it cook or rest in the curry the seitan will get soft so don’t do it!
- Serve the curry over basmati rice and garnish with coriander or parsley.
Storage and tip of the day:
You can keep this for about 3-4 days in the fridge and 4-6 months in the freezer. The texture of the seitan will change when you throw it in the freezer so I don’t really recommend this. This curry and even the seitan is even better the next day so if you can wait, it’s worth it!
Alcohol really helps to bring out flavours when you’re marinating food. I use vodka in my recipes now instead of wine because I can keep it in the freezer without it actually freezing. Wine goes off so quickly here and it gets a bit boring, decanting it and turning it into ice cubes. When you use vodka, you still get the benefits but don’t have to worry about that.