Coconut Curry with Seitan

I haven’t always been a fan of curry. Until recently, my thoughts on curry were “this is tolerable” at best and “I’ve gotta spit this out or barf” at worst. I don’t know what in heaven’s name possessed me to make my own batch of curry, but I think it was the combination of happening upon a recipe that called for a full can of coconut milk (which I’m completely obsessed with) and the fact that Elesha left curry powder at my house randomly (which I have conveniently forgotten to remind her of since May). Besides that, I’d never experimented with Indian food and thought it was time to expand my horizons.

I made this recipe for the first time about six months ago and fell in l-o-v-e. Coconut milk tends to do that to me. What really puts this curry over the top is the long list of vegetables and herbs; it’s a vitamin jackpot! Did I mention the cilantro? Lots of it. YES. Add garlic, basil, and ginger and it’s one giant blast of flavor after another!

So much freshness goin’ on.

Coconut Curry with Seitan
Adapted from this recipe

Ingredients:

2 T coconut oil (or olive)
4 cloves garlic, pressed or minced
2 T finely minced ginger
1 medium onion, finely diced
1/2 cup finely diced carrot
1/2 cup finely diced green bell pepper
1/2 cup finely diced red bell pepper
1 bay leaf
1 lb seitan (or meat of choice), cut into strips
1 cup white wine
1 can full-fat coconut milk
1/2 cup chopped cilantro
4 fresh basil leaves, finely chopped
1 t salt
Dash of cayenne pepper
1 t curry powder
1/2 cup finely chopped green onion

Note: If you’re a seitan newbie, you can follow this recipe for a very soft texture, or use my current favorite seitan recipe, which is kneaded to create a wonderful meaty texture (that’s the secret: kneading activates the gluten!). I plan on posting the updated seitan recipe in the future. Also, don’t hesitate to use another meat substitute, chicken, fish, or whatever type of meat suits your fancy. Whatever it is, it will be smothered in curry in the end and entirely unrecognizable!

Instructions:

1. Sautee garlic, ginger, onions, carrots, peppers, and bay leaf in oil over medium heat for 5 minutes.

2. Add the white wine and coconut milk and cook for 5 more minutes. While this is cooking, get your seitan or meat ready. Cut into thin strips and grill in a separate pan until thoroughly cooked and browned.

3. Add the cilantro, basil, salt, cayenne, curry powder, and chives and continue cooking, stirring occasionally, for 20 minutes. Remove the bay leaf and set aside to cool. Put everything in the blender and blend until smooth. Return to pan and heat just until hot.

4. Add seitan or meat of choice to the curry and mix well. Serve immediately over rice or with other great Indian fare! Don’t forget to sprinkle extra cilantro on top. Extra cilantro, always. Another dash of cayenne wouldn’t hurt, either.

If you prefer, you can leave the curry chunky rather than blending it at the end. That’s actually how I made it the first time and served it over salmon and potatoes. I love it both ways! The blended version is thick and more traditional with a deep curry flavor, while the chunky version is rather thin and light and retains some of the individual vegetable flavors.

I suggest serving immediately after adding the seitan. I let it sit for a while so it would absorb some of the flavor, but after just a few minutes it had absorbed almost all of the curry! Look out, seitan is a sponge. Nevertheless, it was delicious!

Whether you’ve never tried Indian food or have loved it all your life, put this curry on your “to-make” list! You won’t regret it!

~ Becky, a skinnyfat girl

Kalachandji’s

Sometimes Becky and I go way too long without seeing each others faces.  Blogging helps us stay connected, but there really is no substitute for face-to-face interaction.  Since we are both huge foodies, our togetherness is often  always paired with food.  This time, we let our husbands come with us.  Have we ever mentioned that we both married Latinos?  Becky’s husband is half Mexican, half Colombian, and mine is half Puerto Rican, half Colombian.  If we looked more related, you probably wouldn’t have a difficult time convincing me we are sisters, separated at birth.

So, yes, back to the food.

Kalachandi’s.  Indian.  Vegetarian.  Delicious. 

That was the condensed version of what turned out to be a magnificant evening.  Kalachandi’s is located in a spectacular temple, the ceiling above the tables is a tree and between the branches you can see the stars.  The food was incredible, the Indian spices were not overpowering (even though I’m okay with that), their homemade whole wheat cinnamon raisin bread practically melted in my mouth, and please don’t get me started on the Tamarind Tea!  The tamarind tea ended up being the best part, aside from the company.  None of the four of us even like iced tea, but this stuff is like liquid heaven.  I’m not kidding!  Becky and I have certainly added this to our list of recipes to try to imitate so be watching for it!  I probably could have drank two pitchers full of it!

Here is a photo summary:

So, if you live in the DFW area, definitely make a trip to Kalachandji’s.  It will be well worth your while.  If you don’t live close, find your own special place and enjoy a few priceless moments with the special people in your life.  That’s really the most important part.

So, until next time, it’s skinnyfatgirls signing off.  

~Elesha, a skinnyfat girl

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