The Best Thing I Ate This Month.
With all of the deliciousness I’ve been cranking out this month, you would think I wouldn’t be able to pick a favorite. But no! And, big surprise, it’s a recipe from The 30 Minute Vegan’s Taste of the East. Again. I’ve really loved cooking from this book since I got it a month ago. So many fresh and fast and seriously authentic dishes! This particular gem is a veganization of an Indian dish that was my absolute favorite when I was vegetarian, and still eating dairy – Korma! I just learned this about korma:
A traditional korma will have a long slow cooking. In fact, korma is not one particular dish but rather a method of cooking similar to braising. Because korma is a cooking method there are a wide variety of dishes that could be described as “korma”. Many kormas call for the meat to be marinated in yoghurt and then the meat plus marinade are braised on a very low heat until all the juices condense down into a thick sauce. The restaurant chef has to cook to order so doesn’t have time for long, slow cooking. The korma you find in Indian restaurants usually contains ground almonds, coconut and thick cream. It is often described on restaurant menus as being “very mild” but a good korma should not be bland. (source)
Huh. Well, I always associated it with a thick and creamy, mild curry sauce, coating loads of tender vegetables and eaten with a heap of perfectly cooked rice (to soak up all the sauce!). And I always kind of figure that the longer you cook any sort of sauce-style Indian food, the better it tastes in the end. However! I actually followed the cooking instructions for the korma in the book, because I didn’t want my veggies to get all yuck and mushy. Maybe the instructions for a veggie korma are just different than those for a meaty one.
The recipe is for a tempeh and cauliflower curry, but I used roasted tofu instead, for two reasons: the semi-vegan boyfriend does not heart tempeh yet and the fancypants Kroger I like to shop at doesn’t carry tempeh, of all things. Twelve varieties of frozen fake meat, but no tempeh. For shame. Regardless, this was delicious with the tofu, but it would even be fine with no extra protein and just more veggies! The cauliflower was cooked to perfection right at the time the instructions said it would be, and that creamy, dreamy sauce just smothered everything like a warm, soft blanket. This sauce is cashew based, and actually gave me the idea for the recipe in my previous post.
Ode to cashews: slightly sweet, with such a smooth texture; you will always be my favorite nut; so versatile, so easily blended; i want to eat you in sauces and also simply roasted; you are worth every penny.
Other vegan kormas I’ve made haven’t been creamy, and really, I can’t handle a non-creamy korma. The whole point, for me, is that it’s creamy! If the korma isn’t going to be creamy, I’ll just make some other type of Indian dish. Anyway, this one was fabulous. Delicately spiced, yet bursting with flavor, and covered with that velvety-smooth sauce. I added cilantro as a garnish (rather than mixed in, since someone I know has become a cilantro-hater – oh! how the tables have turned!) and after I shot the photo, I mixed in some sriracha for a bit of a kick. I know that korma is supposed to be mild, but the sriracha didn’t change the flavor profile, it just turned the volume from 2 to 8. Which, in my opinion, is never a bad thing.
Man, with all the coconut and cashew based things I’ve made this month, I’m really regretting the fact that I cancelled my gym membership. Perhaps November will be Awesome. Vegan. Rad.’s month of Appetite for Reduction (again). Oh, hey, that reminds me (speaking of my cancelled gym membership), any of you with Netflix Instant – what are your favorite workout videos on there?