January 4, 2013

Seitan & Broccoli Korma

I posted a recipe for TVP Korma a few months ago. Today, the cold temperatures outside again made me yearn for the richness of a korma. I've been wanting to make it for the last couple of days and decided that a Friday night definitely called for a little extra effort for dinner. I modified my previous recipe just a tad today and used several whole spices (instead of powdered Garam Masala) and used a special ingredient :) - which made it pretty close to the authentic version found in Dhabas across India - i.e. a mom & pop style restaurant, which  are generally found along highways and interstates and usually serve home-made local cuisine; they often also serve as truck stops, so are best visited with locals, or at least someone who speaks the local language. 

Seitan & Broccoli Korma
Wikipedia describes a Korma as a South/Central Asian dish that can be made with yogurt, cream, nut and seed pastes or coconut milk; it is usually considered a type of stew. The korma I grew up eating in India was almost always made with a rich paste made with minced onions and tomatoes and heavy cream. Korma is a key dish in Mughlai cuisine which has strong cultural roots in India and Pakistan. Its flavors are based on mixing a variety of (very typical) Indian spices - ground cumin, coriander, onions, ginger, garlic, cloves, cinnamon, black pepper corns and cardamom. The traditional Shahi (Royal) Korma is often simmered for hours on a charcoal fire which gives it a nice smoky flavor.  

I also use Seitan (New Veggie #36which is essentially gluten - the main protein in wheat. Its an ideal chewy addition to this plant-based version of Korma. Commercially available seitan is light to dark brown in color (it is much lighter in color when made at home using vital wheat gluten). Like Tofu, it easily absorbs whatever flavors and seasonings are added to it, much like tofu. It is nearly fat free, and has 0 saturated fats and cholesterol. Because the starches have been washed away, it is also low in carbs but remains high in protein.

Prep Time: 30-40 min

Ingredients (4 servings):
  1. 8 oz Seitan strips 
  2. 1 or 2 large heads of Broccoli
  3. 1 medium to large Red Onion, minced
  4. 4-6 tbsp Hunt's Crushed Tomatoes 
  5. 1 tbsp Ginger-Garlic Paste
  6. 1/4 cup Raw Cashews
  7. 2-3 cups Water, or Vegetable Broth
  8. 1/2 tsp Turmeric powder
  9. 2 tsp Cumin powder
  10. 2 tsp Coriander seed powder
  11. 1 tsp Red Chili powder
  12. 2-3 pieces of each Whole Spice 
    • Cloves 
    • Green Cardamom
    • Black Cardamom
    • Black Peppercorns, 
    • Cinnamon stick
    • Bay leaves
  13. Special Ingredient - 2-4 drops of Liquid Smoke
  14. Salt and Pepper, to taste
  15. Fresh or Dried Cilantro  
Line a non-stick skillet on medium-high heat with water and add minced onions (I used a food processor to mince really fine) and caramelize using splashes of water or vegetable broth (see previous recipe for details on how to caramelize). Once onions are done, add the tomatoes and ginger-garlic paste, and caramelize. Cook until the tomatoes, ginger-garlic paste and tomatoes are cooked down to make a thick red paste. At this point add all the spices and salt, mix well and add a splash of broth.  As the whole spices release their aromas, add Seitan and a cup of vegetable broth, reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and let simmer for 5 minutes. Pulse the raw cashews in a coffee grinder until they are ground to a granular powder. Add cashews to the simmering mix, adding more broth as needed and simmer for a minute or two and then add liquid smoke and broccoli. Cover and simmer for another 7-10 minutes until broccoli pieces turn bright green in color (at this point, the broccoli is just steamed, still retains its crunch and hasn't become mushy). Garnish with fresh or dried Cilantro, freshly cracked black pepper. I served it over steamed brown rice. 

Smoky Seitan Korma
My Assessment: I liked this version of my Korma recipe a lot more than the previous version. The inclusion of liquid smoke and the whole spices gave it a more authentic flavor, without the heat of some of those spices (e.g. black pepper corns). 

Nutrition Facts (Per Serving): Calories 213
Total Fat 9 g; Cholesterol 0 g; Carbohydrates 14 g; Fiber 2.7 g; Sugars 2.7 g; Protein 17.9 g

No comments:

Post a Comment