Jonathan's tempeh mock brahmin keema-matar

Yield: 4 Servings

Measure Ingredient
1 carton (8-oz) tempeh
3 tablespoons Vegetable oil
2 teaspoons Cumin seeds
¼ teaspoon Asafetida/hing
1½ tablespoon Ground coriander
½ teaspoon Ground cardamom
¼ teaspoon Ground ginger powder
½ teaspoon Cayenne pepper
6 tablespoons Plain yoghurt
1 cup Green peas; fresh or frozen
⅔ cup Water
2 teaspoons Paprika
1 tablespoon Grated fresh ginger (up to)
3 \N Hot green chiles; chopped
½ teaspoon Garam masala (up to)
3 tablespoons Cilantro (optional)

Jonathan's Tempeh Mock Brahmin Keema-Matar: Keema Matar is a ground beef and pea dish native to Kashmiri in India. There is a vegetarian version, Matar Shufta, that uses "milk fudge", milk that's been reduced to flakes. I developed the following second vegetarian version because milk fudge is such a pain to make and clean up. I find this recipe delicious, even though the name sounds more like a medical experiment. It's tastes vaguely like an Indian chorizo. It's based on a recipe by Julie Sahni.

1. Crumble the tempeh and fry it in 1 T oil until it's somewhat cooked.

Transfer to a bowl.

2. Measure the rest of the ingredients into four small glasses/bowls: In one glass the asafetida, corriander, cardamom, ginger powder and cayenne.

In a second glass, the cumin seed.

In a third glass or a bowl, the yoghurt.

In a fourth glass the peas, water, paprika, grated ginger and chiles.

3. Add the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil to the same pan on medium heat.

When it's hot add the cumin seeds and cook for a few seconds until they turn dark. Take the pan off the heat, let it cool a little, then add the spices in the first glass (asafetida, corriander, cardamom, ginger pwd, cayenne). Shake the pan a couple seconds. Immediately add the yoghurt, a little at a time, so it doesn't separate too much. Cook stirring on low-medium heat until the the fat begins to separate and the sauce looks thick, about 4 minutes.

4. Add the cooked crumbled tempeh and distribute the spices evenly.

Immediately add the contents of fourth glass (peas, water, paprika, ginger, chiles) and mix again. Cook over low heat uncovered to 2 minutes.

Turn off heat and add (optionally) the cilantro. Add the garam masala, ½ teaspoon at first. A little more if desired. Add salt to taste. Jonathan Kandell, Tucson Arizona. JKANDELL@...


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