September 14, 2012

TVP Korma

Korma is a traditional dish originating in South/Central Asia. It is usually a rich sauce made with butter and heavy cream. A korma can be made with a variety of ingredients - lamb or goat meat, chicken, paneer, or even mixed vegetables. While I have always enjoyed the rich flavors of Korma, I definitely do not miss the heaviness with which it settles in the stomach. So here's a 'no-added-fat' version of this classic dish. 

TVP Korma

Prep Time: 30-35 min

  1. 2 cups TVP (Nutrela) Chunks
  2. 1 medium Red Onion, diced finely
  3. 1 large Tomato, diced finely (I used a can of Hunt's Fire Roasted Diced Tomatoes)
  4. 1 tbsp Ginger-Garlic paste
  5. 1 cup fresh or frozen Peas
  6. 1/3 cup Raw Cashews
  7. 1/3 cup Almond Milk
  8. 1 cup Vegetable Broth
  9. 3-4 tsp Garam Masala
  10. Salt and Pepper, to taste
Directions: One of the biggest revelations :) following my conversion to a plant-based lifestyle was that I do not need to use oil for cooking. It has changed my entire perspective on cooking. I now use vegetable broth, nut milk and just plain old water to saute and pan fry my ingredients. As an Indian, I grew up with caramelized onions and caramelized tomatoes ... and I was taught that you need to use oil for caramelizing these ingredients that are vital in Indian cuisine. Here's a quick tutorial on caramelizing tomatoes as well as onions - with water or broth. 

Line a non-stick skillet on medium-high heat with water and add diced onions. Sprinkle a teaspoon of salt and mix well. Keep a measuring cup with water handy. Once the water comes to a boil, the onions should turn transparent. Keep stirring and allow the water to evaporate. As the onions dry up, some might stick to the bottom of the pan, which is fine. Add a splash of water, which will allow the  caramelized onions at the bottom of the pan to soften up again. Repeat the process until the onions are are rich red color.   

Once onions are done, add the tomatoes, and another pinch of salt. And repeat the same process with the tomatoes as with the onions. Cook until the tomatoes are cooked down and the onions and tomatoes together make a thick red paste.   

Voila!! Caramelized Onions and Tomatoes without Oil!!! Add Garam Masala, Peas and another splash of water. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and let simmer for 5 minutes. Meanwhile boil a pot of water and hydrate the TVP chunks by soaking for 5-7 min. Drain and run cold water over the colander. 

As the chunks cool off, take handfuls and squeeze out as much excess water as possible and set aside. 

Once the peas are soft, add drained TVP chunks to the pan, and 1 cup of Vegetable broth. Mix well, cover and continue to simmer for another 5-7 minutes.  Put the raw cashews in a coffee grinder and pulse a few times to get a fine granular powder.  Add cashews and almond milk to the skillet, mix well, simmer for a minute and its ready to serve!!  

Garnish with some fresh herbs, and freshly cracked black pepper. I served it over steamed brown rice.  

LOVED TVP Korma tonight ... !!!
My Assessment: While this dish does not have any added oils, it does have a higher fat content compared to any of my other recipes because of the cashews. It might be possible to achieve the same level of creaminess with Mori-Nu tofu, or nutritional yeast. I'll have to try that soon!!  The TVP chunks had a meaty texture to them. For folks that don't enjoy TVP, this recipe can be made with any kind of meat, or a bunch of mixed vegetables - corn, peas, carrots, potatoes and cauliflower would make for a lovely combination. 

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