Posts Tagged ‘grilling’

Seitan Tikka Masala

It’s been a very hectic month or so here, and while I have been managing to feed us and keep us eating well, I was challenged to find the time to share those recipes with all of you.  Finally I’ve managed to come up for air, and what I have for you today is my favorite dish to come out of my kitchen recently … and the lovely thing is that it actually came off of our grill and, if I am not mistaken, this comes at a good time for all you who live in more temperate climates.  I am hoping that these early days of spring are bringing you all warmer weather, and a recipe for the grill is a perfect excuse to get outside and dine alfresco.
This recipe combines some of my favorite things: Indian food, kabobs, seitan, grilling, and eating outdoors.  Whip yourself up a batch and, while you’re standing over grill, smile at the fact that you are participating in a act of converting the tried and true conveyor of barbecue and seared meat products into  atrue blue vegan grillin’ machine.  Then, as you sit outside with a cool breeze at your back and you enjoy these kabobs with friends and family, hopefully you’ll be basking in the thought that “life is good.”  While you’re at it, grill up a batch of naan to serve along side your tikka masala.
This recipe was adapted from the cookbook The Food of India.
Seitan Tikka

½ tbsp paprika
1 tsp chili powder
2 tbsp garam masala
1 ½ tbsp lemon juice
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 tbsp ginger, grated
½ cup cilantro leaves
1 6 oz container plain soy yogurt

1 batch seitan dough (I used the simple seitan recipe in Veganomicon)

1.    Blend all marinade ingredients in a food processor or a high speed blender until smooth.  Season with salt to taste.

2.    Cut the seitan dough into bite sized chunks.  Place these into a bowl with the marinade and mix thoroughly.  Cover and marinade for 6-8 hours.

3.    Set your grill to medium heat/flame or heat your oven to 400F.  Grill, covered, for 10 minutes per side or roast on an oven rack above a baking tray for 15-20 minutes.

Seitan Tikka Masala

1 tbsp canola oil
1 onion, finely chopped
¼ tsp cardamom
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 14oz can crushed tomatoes
¼ tsp ground cinnamon
1 tbsp garam masala
½ tsp chili powder
1 tsp brown sugar
1 14oz can coconut milk
1 tbsp ground almonds

1 recipe seitan tikka

1 tbsp chopped cilantro leaves for garnish

1.    Heat the oil in  dutch oven or heavy sauce pan over medium heat.  Add the onion and sauté until lightly browned.  Add the cardamom and garlic and cook for 1 minute, then add the tomtoes and cook until the sauce thickens (about 5 minutes).

2.    Add the cinnamon, garam masala, chili powder, and sugar to the sauce and cook for 1 minute.  Stir in the coconut milk and almonds, then add the cooked seitan tikka.  Gently simmer for 30 minutes.  Garnish with the chopped cilantro.


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I love Indian food.  I first experienced Indian food in a small restaurant in Elyria, Ohio.   My friends Gitta and Heidi introduced it to me during the second semester of our freshman year at Oberlin.  That semester, I managed to bring my car to campus, despite restrictions on first years having their cars at school, we began to go on “big adventures” (as they seemed in those days) into the small towns that dotted the rural Ohio landscape southwest of Cleveland.  Once or twice a semester we would make it up to the big city, mostly to go to Coventry to shop, watch a movie at the cool little theater that would refrigerate your leftovers and feed your meter during the movie, and to eat some good Indian food.

I lived in Boston twice for two short periods of time (about six months in total) and continued the love affair with Indian food that I had started in college.  Boston is home to some incredible Indian restaurants.  I very distinctly remember taking my first spoonful of a bowl of soup in an Indian restaurant in Brookline and, for the first time, fully understanding the meaning of “layering of flavors” as a multitude of flavors exploded on my tongue, one after another.  There was also an Indian restaurant in Coolidge Corner that was quite good, and another two in Harvard Square that I enjoyed, as well.

The second time that I lived in Boston, the summer just after graduation, I roomed with my friend, Liz, who had spent a life-changing semester abroad in India during college.  There were several Saturdays that summer spent in the kitchen making our own Indian dishes.  This was when the idea of home cooked Indian food because more accessible to me, and I began to develop a sense of how I could recreate some of these dishes on my own.

Fast forward to now.  I live on an island that until recently did not have an Indian restaurant of its own.  I would try to get my fill on trips to the Mainland, but Indian restaurants can sometimes be tricky for the vegan to navigate because many dishes are made with cream or yoghurt.  The ones that are amenable to vegan diets are willing to mark the dairy-free items on the menu or happily point them out to you.  While this makes eating in such places much less difficult, it still limits one to a few items on the otherwise expansive menu.  So, over the years, I’ve amassed several Indian cookbooks and have begun to rely on what I can improvise in my own kitchen.

Last week I was feeling the urge for a full Indian spread for dinner, and for me that included naan.  Naan is a leavened bread popular in North India.  This bread is traditionally baked in a tandoor (clay oven).  Tandoors get very hot, and it can be difficult to recreate the heat and cooking environment of a tandoor in a home kitchen.  As I considered this dilemma, I remembered a book I had glanced through about vegan grilling, which contained a chapter on breads.  Grills get very hot …. perhaps they could better mimic a tandoor than my oven could?

My mind was made up – I decided to bake my naan on our outdoor grill.  I adapted the naan recipe in The Food of India to make a vegan version and, after letting it rise for several hours, I divided the dough into five balls and stretched them all out into small disks.  I then brushed each side of the disks with canola oil, fired up the grill, and baked bread.  It took, in total, less than four minutes to bake up, and it tasted fantastic.  The texture was not identical to what you get in an Indian restaurant, but oh my goodness it was good.  And, I must admit, it felt pretty awesome to bake bread on a grill, like I had tapped into my inner (vegan) Bobby Flay.  I feel inspired to apply this newfound knowledge of grill-baking to other projects in the future!


2 ¼ cups flour
2/3 cup soy milk
1 tsp active dry yeast
¼ tsp baking powder
¼ tsp salt
¼ cup canola oil
1 6oz container plain soy yogurt

1.    Place the flour, yeast, baking powder, and salt into a medium bowl.

2.    Heat the soy milk in a saucepan until warm.  Ina separate bowl,  whisk the yogurt and oil until well combined.

3.    Make a well in the center of the flour mixture and add the milk. Stir, and then add the yogurt mixture.   Mix well.

4.    Turn the dough out onto a floured surface and knead for 5 minutes, until the dough is smooth and elastic.  Add more flour if the dough is too sticky.  Place the dough in an oiled bowl, cover, and let rise for 2-3 hours.

5.    Punch down the dough, divide into five balls, and stretch out into thin disks.  Brush each side with canola oil, and stack the prepared disks on a plate.  Bake the disks on a grill over medium flame/heat until the tops are puffy and the bottoms have begun to brown (about 2 minutes), flip and bake for an additional 1 ½ – 2 minutes.

Naan getting puffy

Naan getting puffy

Naan browned

Naan browned

Naan ready for dinner

Naan ready for dinner

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Dan’s Grilled Corn

Nothing says summer to me like grilled fresh corn.

I grew up in Pennsylvania and, come July, the rural roads would be lined with farmers’ stalls selling their bounty of succulent and sweet golden corn. As a little girl I would clutch my corn cob holders tightly in my hands and dive on into grilled corn at family picnic and barbecues. When I would finally come up for air my cheeks and chin would be smeared with salty butter and flecked with yellow kernels. I would then request another corn on the cob.

Not much has change since then, excepting for the fact that I now gorge myself on Hawaiian corn bought at the farmers’ market rather than on Pennsylvanian grown gold bought on the road in Amish country.

My partner in crime, Dan, indulges this love of mine throughout the months of July and August by concocting up his special vegan corn rub – a basil butter adapted from a recipe in his Weber’s Real Grilling cookbook. This rub has taken my love of corn and turned it into a full fledged obsession – it is that good. Try some at your weekend barbecue today!

Grilled Corn with Basil Butter
Adapted from Weber’s Real Grilling by Jamie Purviance

¼ cup Earth Balance, softened
1 ½ tbsp nutritional yeast
2 -3 tbsp (about 15 leaves) basil, chopped
½ tsp salt
¼ tsp pepper
1 small clove garlic, minced

4 ears of corn, husked

Mix all of the “butter” ingredients together with a fork. Generously slather each ear of corn with butter. Grill over direct medium heat for 10 to 15 minutes, turning occasionally, until browned in spots and tender. Serve with any remaining butter.

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Mango Marinated Tofu Kabobs

This has been an incredible year for mangoes on Maui. Everywhere I look this summer, I see enormous mango trees laden with golden orange and red orbs of fruit. While we ourselves do not have a mango tree, we have been fortunate to be the recipients of many of our friends’ and neighbors’ excess yields of the season.

It is hard to outdo the taste of fresh mango. Nothing exemplifies the exotic nature of Hawai’i quite like it.

With this season’s bounty we’ve enjoyed mango smoothies, mango lassis, mango pie, mango and sticky rice, mango in rice, mango and tofu, mango for breakfast, mango for lunch, mango for dinner …. you get the idea.

Earlier this week we received our latest batch of mangoes from a friend. We looked at these mangoes and decided that they were destined to be pioneers in our kitchen of new mango concoctions (new for us, at any rate). We test drove several recipes, and the one that I am sharing with you today is for a grilling marinade.  (Feel free to ask the questions, “Who are you to tell me what to do with my marinade?” and use it as a baking marinade instead. I won’t be offended. I appreciate your renegade spirit.)

I marinated tofu for several hours and basted some veggies from our garden to make kabobs that we grilled for dinner – they were delicious. I, like Ben Stiller in “There’s Something About Mary”, love food on a stick … just make mine vegan. Something about food on a stick just says summer time. The marinade would probably work as well on seitan or tempeh and on any veggie of your choice. It’s also quite adaptable – by adjusting the curry or adding more chili garlic sauce (or chipotle … or Tabasco…) you can make your kabobs as spicy as you’d like. Enjoy the experiment!

Mango Marinade

1 ripe mango
2 tbsp teriyaki
1 clove garlic
½ tbsp sesame oil
1 tbsp grated fresh ginger
1 tsp curry
½ tsp chili garlic sauce

Process all ingredients in food processor until smooth.

I used this marinade on tofu that I drained and pressed. I marinated the tofu for several hours before grilling it. I then basted the marinade on zucchini, red pepper, mushrooms, and Japanese eggplant just before grilling. Be sure to grill the kabobs evenly on each side and baste your kabobs with any extra marinade when you turn them during grilling. Be sure to spray your grill liberally with non-stick cooking spray before putting your kabobs o the Barbie or else you’ll be tempting grilling fate and will very likely end up with the remnants of kabobs clinging to the grill.

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