So it really was perfect timing that I bookmarked Kanchan's mother's recipe for a vegetarian version of mincemeat curry or kheema that looked absolutely spot on- just like the stuff I have eaten and loved many years ago.
The mention of kheema brought back many memories. My Dad is part of a lawn tennis club. On Sunday morning, they used to play a few games and then at 9 AM or so, sit down to eat a gigantic breakfast of kheema, so spicy and greasy that you got heartburn just looking at it, with sliced white bread. A case of the positive force of physical activity being canceled out by the equal and opposing force of dubious nutrition, but apparently resulting in much camaraderie and joy for the people involved.
Most of all, kheema reminds me of my meat-loving aji. My grandmother, now unfortunately ill and bed-ridden, sure loves her mincemeat. She would cook it as kheema curry, in meatball (goli) curry, meatball pulao and even kheema pohe! Now isn't it ironic that her one grandchild who is obsessed with recipes and cooking (me) never liked eating meat and quit eating it altogether as a teenager?
Kanchan's recipe reminded me that it is the unique spice combination that makes the dish what it is, not the mincemeat. This dish happens to be completely vegan and exquisitely flavorful.
Kanchan, please tell your mother that her recipe rocks, and so do you, for posting it on your blog and sharing it with us.
(adapted from Kanchan's recipe on Kitchen Gossip; makes 6-8 servings)
1. Make a fine powder with the following and set aside-
- 4 tbsp. dry coconut powder
- 3 tbsp. coriander seeds
- 2 tbsp. poppy seeds
- 2 cloves
- 1⁄4 inch cinnamon
- 2 pods cardamom
- 6-8 black peppercorns
3. Heat 1 tbsp. oil. Saute 2 medium finely diced onions until light brown.
4. Add the following and saute well for several minutes:
- 1 tsp. green chili paste
- 1 heaped tsp. ginger garlic paste
- 1 tsp. red chili powder (if you like it spicy)
- 1⁄2 tsp. turmeric
- 1 tsp. Kolhapuri masala or garam masala
- 3-4 chopped tomatoes
6. Stir in rehydrated TVP, 2 tsp. tamarind paste, salt to taste and water as necessary to make a curry of the desired consistency.
7. Simmer for 5 minutes. Garnish with plenty of cilantro.
Because I was able to use a fellow blogger's recipe to make something fantastic with the TVP lurking in my pantry, this goes to Blog Bites 4. Join us if you like, to eat down your own pantry while discovering new recipes, saving money, clearing kitchen clutter and cutting down on food waste.