Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Pushing the limits with a spicy curry...

I should preface tonight's dinner post by saying that I have never really made something like this (well, we did have something kind of like it before) so I'm not entirely sure if it came out as intended - I think it did though! We both looked at each other trying to figure out who was going to try it first... but Jeff took the first bite and the look he gave made me quickly dive in with my fork to find out for myself!

There is an interesting combination of ingredients and flavors in tonight's dish of Tempeh Coconut Curry. We were surprised by the tangy and sour flavor the new-to-us addition of tamarind paste gave to the dish. The spices used include fresh ginger, garlic, ground coriander with the rich gold color coming from turmeric. Crushed red pepper adds a bang of heat (reduce the amount if you don't like a lot of heat - this is spicy!!) while a whole cinnamon stick infuses a subtle sweetness. Water, coconut milk, cubed sweet potatoes and chunky bits of three-grain tempeh are then mixed in and left to simmer until the potatoes soften. The coconut milk thickens slightly and brings a cool creamy texture to the liquid left behind. Refreshed by lime juice and salty soy sauce at the end, I served the thick curry with a side of brown jasmine rice to help soak up the extra sauce. I will mention that I found the tempeh to be a little on the bitter side - this is only the second time we have ever used it, so next time I will try and either steam it a bit first or bake/grill it for a few minutes to reduce that. I'm very happy we gave this dish a try even though it would have been something we would not normally make! Hmm... our tastes here are certainly expanding and we like it!


  1. That looks fantastic! I've never really used tempeh as anything but a mince replacement in dishes such as bolognese and I think the long simmer pulled the bitterness right out, but this looks like a wonderful new way to try this ingredient!

  2. That sounds great Joe. I have some tempeh lurking in the fridge, if it hasn't expired already. I'll have to consider this dish. I confess, I'm not a huge tempeh fan myself. I much prefer tofu. But with this glowing review, I'll have to give the recipe a try!

  3. **running to Epicurious to discover what tempeh actually is**

  4. I am not sure that I would like the tempeh in this recipe, I would probably like tofu better. Tempeh does have an unusual taste. I love curry so much that I would not want the flavors to conflict.

    This recipe looks fantastic and if I try to make with the tofu, I will let you know how it turns out.

  5. I was excited to see a tempeh recipe! I love it, but most people don't know what it is, and I'm always looking for a new recipe for it.

  6. How funny, I just bought Tempeh yesterday for the first time and was looking for recipes to make with it.
    I was looking throgh one of this year's CL that had an article on tempeh and saw both recipes you tried.
    The curry did look good and I was definitely considering this recipe to use my tempeh, but I am not sure how my boys are going to like it here... we almost never eat curries and my son has never tried (plus he hates spicy food...)
    So I was thinking about making either the salad or the ratatouile in the same issue... we well see what I will decide!
    By the way, your curry looks great Joe, really, it has an amazing tasty look to it, made me drool!

  7. Wheresmymind - Me too!

    Ellie - We've had it in a salad before too and it was pretty good!

    Helios - Let me know if you liked it!

    Acme - Hee hee! Let me know if you need an explanation!

    Linda - I will definitely want to hear how it works with Tofu!

    Brilynn - Yeah, we just recently started using it!

    Ana - The salad might be okay, but the Tempeh again might be a little bitter unless you cook it long enough!