Thursday, 26 September 2013

Vegan Southern Indian Black Pepper Curry

About a week or so ago, I featured a Vegan 'Beef' Soy Chunks and Green Papaya Curry on my blog.  I thought I'd continue cooking with the soy chunks imitating meat today.  So here is a Black Pepper  Soya Chunk Curry.   

Now and again in a curry style dish, I do like to alternate the fiery heat of red chilli powder for warmth of black pepper.   One of my favourite black pepper dishes, must be this Malaysian Black Pepper Tofu curry from Rasa Malysia.  Oh the memories of eating that dish is really making my mouth water.  I might just have to pick up some tofu in the next few days.

I know this Southern Indian Black Pepper dish is not the most attractive of looking of dishes, but I think this is what real 'meaty' dishes look like.  Follow this link for a Southern Indian Lamb Curry and you'll agree with me: or what if I tell you that celebrity chef Anjum Anand has a variation in her cookbook Indian Vegetarian Feast, will that make it more appealing.  Anyway, you have to give it a plus for the autumnal look though.  A bit like paprika mushroom goulash.  Maybe I should have sprinkled some green herb over it to cut through the autumnal red; or maybe added some fenugreek leaves to the dish.  But no, the fenugreek would have not only have altered the flavour of this dish completely.  It would have overwhelmed the warmth of the black pepper and the black pepper is key flavouring in this dish.  
If you are so bold to make this recipe, I do have one firm instruction*.  Please please use freshly ground black pepper, not the ready processed stuff that is so tame that it has often lost its punch.  And if the idea of cooking with soya chunks turns you off, you can substitute this with another mock meat such as seitan or quorn; or even tofu.  

Southern Indian Black Pepper Soya Chunks Curry
Serves 4 as an accompaniment to rice or Indian style bread like naan.
4 - 6 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 large onion, minced
4 cloves of garlic, crushed
1 inch of ginger, grated or minced

1/4 turmeric powder
2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper or to taste*
11/2 teaspoons of ground cumin

11/2 teaspoons of ground coriander
salt to taste1 tablespoon tomato puree
400g tinned tomatoes, pureed in a food processor
120g soya chunks, soaked in boiling water, then drained and squeezed of all excess liquid.  Set aside.
200ml water of vegetable stockOptional: coriander for garnishing
In a large wide pan, heat the oil then add the minced onions, garlic and ginger and cook until transparent, add the spices, salt, tomato puree and cook until the oil rises to the surface. Add the pureed tinned tomatoes and cook for a couple of minutes for the pureed tomatoes to mingle with the spiced up onion mixture. Now stir in the soya chunks and cook for a couple of minutes. Finally stir in the water or vegetable stock.  Bring to the boil, then turn the heat down to a simmer and cook for 10 - 15 minutes without the lid, or until the chunks are both tender and still retaining its chewy texture.  Keep stirring to stop the soy chunks from sticking the the bottom of the pan.  Taste and adjust salt and black pepper if necessary.  Serve immediately.


  1. The spices in this sound terrific. I bet it would be great with Soy Curls.

  2. Thanks Cadry. I'm not familiar with soy curls.


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