Easy Indonesian Vegan Curry with Cauliflower Rice
I feel absolutely amazing after eating this dish, it’s packed full of nutrients and there are no preservatives or E numbers since it’s all made from scratch, in less than 30 minutes. The beauty about this dish is that even though it’s inspired by Indonesian food, most of the ingredients were local (UK-based) and organic, apart from a few of the specialist items (lime, galangal and tamarind.)
I made this recipe for one person with plenty left over to store in the fridge or freezer (3-4 meals.) In Indonesia, I would have used fresh, local ingredients and a pestle and mortar (cobek dan ulekan) to grind up the paste for the curry but here I have used a blender – I don’t have my own pestle and mortar and I really appreciate the energy and magic which goes into the food with slow cooking, so you may prefer to do this. In Indonesia, for making peanut-based curries, I used to heat up the peanuts before grinding them with a pestle and mortar, but I recently discovered that you can also use peanut butter which doesn't require so much preparation. For this dish I used powdered peanut butter which worked really well in the blender.
The galangal was in powdered form which I picked up at an international shop in London – galangal is an amazing root to use, but I don’t often see it in the UK which is why buying it in powdered form can be really handy. Lemongrass would also work well in this dish. I have loosely suggested the size of the portions but with cooking I usually experiment as I go and you may prefer more chilli or less etc. I have used locally-produced tempe here made from fermented soy beans - I absolutely love tempe, but it's got quite a unique taste - you can soak it in saltwater before cooking to add more flavour, but I find that this is usually not necessary with such a strong curry sauce.
Garlic segment chopped finely (and/or garlic granules)
Peanut butter or powdered peanut (2-3 tbsp)
1 tin of organic coconut milk
Fresh galangal or powder (1-2 tsp)
½ tsp red chilli
Tamari or soy sauce (1-2 tbsp roughly)
Date syrup or other natural sweetener (1/2 tbsp)
Ginger powder or fresh ginger (1 tsp)
Tamarind (1-2tbsp roughly)
Method (30 minutes)
1) Cut off the leaves and put the cauliflower in a blender until it resembles white rice and place a serving portion onto a plate.
2) Steam the broccoli and cauliflower leaves (which are high in vitamins C, E and K, calcium, fibre, iron and potassium.)
3) Chop up the tempe, courgette and mushrooms into slices and fry them separately so that they are thoroughly cooked. The tempe should develop a nice golden, brown colour. Make sure the slices of courgette are thin so that they cook thoroughly.
4) Slice up the onion and garlic and put them in the blender along with the can of coconut milk and all the remaining ingredients - blend them up until the sauce is stirred to an even consistency.
5) Add the tempe, courgette, mushrooms, steamed cauliflower leaves and blended sauce into a pan and heat it all up gently. When it is piping hot, serve over the cauliflower rice along with the steamed broccoli and sprinkle the sprouted beans over the top. Ayo makan! A tasty, high-vibe vegan curry to enjoy.
Eating at Kiyu village in Borneo in 2013, after a rainbow gathering up in the forest.