May 31, 2009

Tandoori Tempeh Veggies

A Tandoor is basically a huge clay oven that can reach temperatures >600 F. I do not have a tandoor - but I have always loved the spices utilized in the foods that go in the tandoor. I suppose you could grill or broil as an acceptable substitute. This is my take on some tandoori vegetables (because you've probably noticed the lack of fish, fowl, and other land animals that I inevitably do not cook here on khavanu).

Half of my kitchen space is taken up by spices, so if you don't have some or all, just substitute what you do have. I often rely on the smell of foods to season or salt. I think spices are for the most part something that every kitchen should have (i say this b/c well spices are a great investment in your cooking future).
(from the red clockwise: red chili powder, black mustard seeds, ajwan seeds, channa dhal or split yellow peas, cumin seeds, udad dhal and fenugreek seed mixture, and turmeric)

(From top to bottom, left to right: kosher salt, Sriracha sauce, coriander, garam masala, cumin, paprika, cinnamon)

I think you could use any combination of vegetables that you have on hand. To increase the protein in this dish, I also used tempeh which holds up well to marinating. Extra-firm tofu would work well. If you were using meat, I would marinate separately. Serve with some cumin pilaf or raitu (recipes below).

Tandoori marinade:
1-1/2 cups yogurt
1 tsp salt
2 T paprika
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
1 T coriander, ground
1-2 T ground cumin
2 T ginger, minced fine
2 cloves garlic, smashed
2 scallions, chopped fine
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1 T sriracha sauce
1 T sugar
1-2 T garam masala
1/4 tsp turmeric
(adjust seasonings more or less to taste)

1. Place yogurt in a small mixing bowl and stir in seasonings. Set aside.

Tempeh and Veggies:
2 carrots, peeled and chopped into 1/2" coins
1 package cremini mushrooms, wiped clean, stems removed and cut in half
1 cup bell pepper, chopped
1 package tempeh, cubed into 1" dice

1. Place cut up veggies and tempeh in a large mixing bowl, and stir in the marinade, coating well. Adjust for taste and seasoning. Cover bowl and set in fridge until ready to use. I would recommend marinating atleast 1 hour, but what the heck, if you can't wait...
2. Heat oven to 400 F. Line a jelly roll pan with foil and coat with non-stick spray. Cook 15-20 minutes or until cooked through.
3. While preheating or baking, you could prepare some raitu (a yogurt sauce like a chutney) and some cumin rice (jeera pulao)

1/2 - 1 cup yogurt
salt to taste
pepper to taste
1/2 tsp cumin or chat masala
1/4 tsp paprika
2-3 T shredded cucumber or carrot (or mixture of both)
1. Mix all together well, and set aside. This is like the ubiquitous yogurt "sauce" that gets served at Indian restaurants to offset the heat of foods.

Cumin rice:
1 T olive oil or butter
1 cup basmati rice, rinsed and drained
2 - 2 1/2 cups water
1 tsp whole cumin seeds
1 bay leaf
1/2 of 1 cinnamon stick

1. Heat olive oil in a wide shallow pan. Place cumin seeds and cook until they are aromatic.
2. Add in rice and wait until the sizzling goes away. Add in 2 cups water, and if needed add in extra water if the water level looks low. Sorry I've never learned how to cook rice by directions it has always been a look at the water deal. i said sorry.
3. Stir in bay leaf, cinnamon stick and some salt and pepper to taste
4. Cook uncovered, 15 minutes over medium-high heat. Stir twice in 15 minutes. Once the rice begins to look porous and most of the water is gone, cover rice, switch to low heat, and leave there 5-10 minutes

Serve tandoori vegetables alongside some cumin rice and raitu. Skewering these would make them look even more awesome.

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