tempeh with fenugreek curry cream

April 20, 2013

tempeh fenugreek curry cream

We were at friend’s for dinner last week and, alongside some awesome vegan dishes, they served Vij’s Lamb Popsicles with Fenugreek Curry Cream. Really tasty sauce. And it got me thinking that it could be easily veganized and served with tempeh. So I tried it and guess what? It worked! Here it’s served in my late-grandmother’s china (God bless her beautiful soul!). I have such fond memories of setting the table with this china in her farm kitchen with the view of her garden out the window and the sounds of birds and cows and children flooding in through her gauzy curtains. We’d sit, say grace, and then load up our plates with chicken, her home-grown potatoes and carrots, and crunchy beans straight from the garden. The reason I’m telling you this is that she would have no clue what tempeh is, or fenugreek, or curry cream. In fact, she would hardly recognize most of the ingredients on the list including turmeric, cayenne or paprika. Even grainy yellow mustard. It occurred to me today as I spooned this tasty, spicy dish into her china bowl, how amazing it is that so much has changed in just two generations – how the world of food has opened up for many of us fortunate enough to live at a time and in places where cultures are colliding and influencing one another. So here’s to Vij’s original Indian recipe. And here’s to the veganized version. And here’s to my grandmother’s china that doesn’t know what hit it!


1/4 cup sweet white wine

1/3 cup grainy yellow mustard

1/2 tsp each salt & freshly ground black pepper

3 packages of tempeh, cut into large cubes

Curry Sauce:

2 cups soy cream

1/4 tsp salt

1/2 tsp paprika

1/4 tsp ground cayenne pepper

1 1/2 tsp dried green fenugreek leaves or crushed seeds

2 Tbsp lemon juice

1-2 Tbsp canola oil

2 garlic cloves, crushed

1 tsp turmeric

In a bowl, combine the wine, mustard, salt and pepper. Add tempeh, stirring to coat, cover or seal and refrigerate for 2 to 4 hours.

In a medium bowl whisk together the soy cream, salt, paprika, cayenne, fenugreek leaves and lemon juice. Heat the oil in a heavy skillet set over medium-high heat and sauté the garlic until golden. Stir in turmeric and cook for 1 minute. Stir in the cream mixture and cook over medium-low heat for about 5 minutes, or until thickened.

Preheat your grill or set a heavy cast iron skillet over high heat; remove tempeh from its marinade and grill (or cook in a hot skillet drizzled with oil) for 3-4 minutes until warmed through and browned. Pour the cream curry over the tempeh or ladle it into a small bowl and use it as a dipping sauce. Serves 4-6.

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