Indian food is my new favorite type of cuisine. Between the nutritious ingredients, the rich, aromatic blend of a wide array in spices, and the exciting and also comforting flavors – I am in love. All these components make for the most delicious and satisfying meal.
Aside from my favorite flatbread, tandlachi bhakri (which is gluten-free and happens to be the best flatbread ever, IMO), I didn’t experiment much with Indian food until going vegan. Despite the enticing smells, I mostly stayed away from Indian cuisine because I cannot tolerate spicy foods. I have several GI disorders; gastroparesis IBS and gastritis which make anything too spicy not agree with me. It is a constant battle of wanting to indulge in my many intense cravings, and listening to my tummy and eating accordingly. I’ve learned it’s all about balance.
I’ve had to give up a lot of my favorite foods, but since I’ve recently discovered how good Indian food was, and that it doesn’t have to have a negative effect on me (thank heavens!), most of my favorite dishes are Indian now. Many Indian recipes are vegetarian and vegan, which is a huge plus in that there is less tweaking that needs to be involved in making sure I’m eating cruelty-free, and allergy-free. There are so many spices to choose from and you can sub or omit these spices and create limitless possibilities. Yay for possibilities!
Makhani, which means “with butter” is a Punjabi cuisine consisting of a rich sauce made with butter or ghee, tomatoes, and cream. Generally makhani has onions too, but I omitted onion because I’m allergic. It didn’t make a difference though, the flavor’s still spectacular 🙂
I have never tried butter chicken, but I always thought it looked and smelled so appetizing. So for my first Indian meal I re-created the butter chicken with my absolute favorite high protein veg food – tempeh! This recipe is meat-eater approved, and apparently just as good as butter chicken. I can’t get enough of it, it’s one of my new favorite recipes ^_^
Vegan, Gluten-Free, Nut-Free, Grain-Free optional
Yield: 4-8 servings
•2 8oz packages of gluten free tempeh
•4 tsps vegan butter
•8 garlic cloves, minced
•2 cans coconut milk (i use full-fat)
•2 cups tomato paste/puree
•2 tbsps garam masala
•2 tbsp curry powder
•2 tsps chili powder
•1 tsp ground ginger
•salt/pepper, to taste
cut tempeh to desired sized cubes and set aside.
in a saucepan, heat the butter over medium heat. add the garlic and cook for about 1 minute.
whisk in the coconut milk, tomato puree, garam masala, curry powder, chili powder, ground ginger and a dash of salt/pepper. cook until sauce thickens, about 15-25 minutes.
cook tempeh in large oiled sautee pan over medium heat until golden, around 2 minutes. once tempeh is cooked add too sauce and stir together to coat. serve with brown basmati rice, millet, or grain of choice. enjoy!