20 December 2011
Recipe For A Thoroughly Modern Vegetarian Balti
Once in a while, I really need to go without meat of any form and I am going through one of those patches at the moment. So I have tweaked my Chicken Balti Recipe from earlier this year to be more tofu friendly and so usable as a vegetarian dish. At the same time, I have simplified the spices in the recipe to make the whole thing a bit quicker; if you want to mix the spice blend from scratch, I have put the spices as a note to the whole recipe. Now it is something that you can whizz up quickly at the end of the day and keep the whole family happy - for a short while as well.
Stage 1: the smooth Balti tomato sauce
3tbsp sunflower oil
1 medium onion (125g / 4½oz), roughly chopped
2 cloves of garlic, roughly chopped
2cm fresh ginger, grated finely
150g / 4½oz chopped tomatoes
Firstly, we need to make the base balti sauce. Add the sunflower oil to a heavy bottomed pan and heat to sizzling hot. Add, then stir fry the onion and garlic until translucent which will take about 3 – 4 minutes. Add the fresh ginger and stir once. Add the Steenbergs Balti Curry Powder and stir in, turning for about half a minute, making sure it does not stick to the pan. Finally add the chopped tomatoes and simmer gently for about 5 minutes.
Blitz the sauce either with a hand held blender or take out and pulse in a Magimix until smooth. Set aside until later.
Stage 2: the Balti stir fry
3tbsp sunflower oil
1 red pepper, deseeded and chopped into 1cm x 1cm pieces
150g / 5oz onion, finely chopped
150g / 5oz button mushrooms, chopped in half or quarters
2tbsp chopped tomatoes
100ml / 3½ fl oz / ½ cup water
Handful chopped fresh coriander leaves
Heat the oven to 100C / 212F. Add half of the sunflower oil to a wok and heat until smoking hot. Stir fry the Quorn or tofu in batches until lightly browned. Put the cooked Quorn and tofu into the warmed oven. When complete, clean the wok.
Add the remainder of the sunflower oil to the wok and heat until hot and smoking. Add the green peppers, chilli and button mushrooms and stir fry for 4 – 5 minutes, stirring constantly, making sure it does not burn and is fried well. Tip in the vegetable curry powder and stir through twice, then add the smooth balti tomato sauce and mix in plus the 2 tablespoons of chopped tomatoes. Heat until simmering, then add the water and reheat to a simmer, mixing all together. Cook on a gentle simmer for 15 minutes.
Add the cooked Quorn or tofu pieces and mix together. Add the garam masala. Cook for a further 10 minutes. About 2 minutes before the end add the chopped fresh coriander and stir through.
Serve hot with naan, plus we like dhal with it.
Spice blends for those doing the spices from scratch:
Spice mix for Balti sauce (1)
½tsp cumin seeds
½tsp coriander seeds
¼tsp fennel seeds
½tsp chilli powder
½tsp Fairtrade turmeric
For these, mix together then either grind iun an electric coffee grinder or break up in mortar and pastle. Alternatively you could use powders rather than whole seeds.
Spice mix for Balti stir fry (2), instead of vegetable curry powder
½tsp cumin powder
¼tsp fenugreek powder
¼tsp cinnamon powder
¼tsp cardamom powder