Tempeh Malaikari

I am surprised I have blogged only one recipe with tempeh so far, considering that it is a staple at my house. I particularly like its meatiness in hearty curries instead of tofu. Having enjoyed tempeh rendang (loosely adapted from this recipe) often, I was looking to make an Indian curry with similar notes. And, malaikari, the Bengali classic made with prawns in a rich and spicy coconut sauce, was just what I was looking for.

I adapted Sandeepa’s recipe which was easy and fairly simple. I’ve never had prawn malaikari, and probably never will. But we loved this creamy and luscious vegan version. Thanks for the recipe, Sandeepa.

Tempeh Malaikari
(serves 2)


Tempeh – 1 8 oz package (I use Lightlife)
Potatoes – 2, big, cubed
Onion – 1 big, minced
Garlic – 1 clove, slightly crushed
Ginger – 1 tbsp, minced
Green chillies – 2, slit
Tumeric powder – 1 tsp, divided
Red chilli powder – 1 tsp or more
Sugar – 1 tsp
Oil – 1 tbsp
Coconut milk – 1 14oz can, cream on top separated gently (explained below)

Dry roast and coarsely grind – I used a mortar and pestle

Bay leaves – 2
Cardamom – 4
Cloves – 4
Cinnamon – 1 inch piece


Cube tempeh into small pieces. In a sauce pan take tempeh along with 1 cup of water, ½ tsp of turmeric, sugar and a pinch of salt and let it come to a rolling boil. Now reduce the flame to a simmer, cover and let tempeh steam for 15-20 minutes. This is necessary as it not only makes the tempeh softer to better absorb the flavours, but also reduces its bitterness. Drain and discard the water.

Meanwhile, without shaking the can of coconut milk, open the can and remove the cream that floats on top to a bowl. Use the lighter milk at the bottome to cook the curry.

In the same sauce pan, gently heat oil and add the crushed garlic. Infuse the oil with garlic flavour taking care not to burn the clove. Discard when done. To the same oil, add onion and ginger, and cook until soft. To this, add the freshly ground spice mixture and stir until fragrant.

Now add the rest of the ingredients, viz., tempeh, potatoes, slit green chillies, red chilli powder, ½ tsp of turmeric powder and salt. Combine everything and add the light coconut milk in the can. Rinse the can with another ½ cup of water and add to the curry. Stir, cover and cook until potatoes are soft, about 10 minutes. If the curry gets dry, add some water.

When everything looks done add the reserved coconut cream and let it heat through. Don’t let it boil. Remove from flame and enjoy with plain rice or pulao. I served mine with cooked brown basmati rice.

I am sending this to Nupur’s Blog Bites – Potluck edition. You can participate too if you have tried a recipe inspired by another blog.


chef and her kitchen said...

Looks super good..perfect combo wid roti's n rice

Nupur said...

How perfectly delicious- and to think I have yet to taste tempeh! Thanks for the entry, Suganya, and also for your sweet wishes.

Satya said...

wow this curry looks so creamy n delicious ...very new to me ...love the ingredients used in it ..thanks for sharing
Happy independence day


Sayantani Mahapatra Mudi said...

being a Bengali I love my Malakari and thats a great way of making vegan Malaikari. I should give it a chance too. looks really mouth watering.

Soma said...

This is such an awesome twist to my favorite malaikari. Looks great.

Chetana Suvarna Ganatra said...

Never tried tempeh before...but ur recipe sounds appetizing...bookmarking it.

Bong Mom said...

Good to see you again Suganya. I have never had tempeh, will do this if I get hold of some

Raaga said...

We get these soya "chops" here and they are just like chicken... even come on a little ice cream stick to give the illusion of chicken lollipops:) I will try this recipe with that!

Priya Suresh said...

Very stunning and tempting dish..

Prerna said...

Hey Suganya,
Thanx for your kind words! You'll be surprised to see what babies are capable of doing. Yesterday I n my husband were talking that all we hear ourselves say these days is "NOOO" & "arey" :-)
I'd love to get in touch with you. my email id is indiansimmer@gmail.com

thepassionatecook said...

ha! this comes really at the best time, i have been learning about tempeh and its health benefits and also that it should be easily available here in asia - have yet to find it, but when i do, i will certainly try your recipe!

Elaichii said...

Congrats on your little girls arrival and welcome back! I've been a silent follower of your blog for a while! I love your presentation and your write ups!If you have a chance, do visit my blog and give any suggestions for improvement.

veggie belly said...

Love this. I use lightlife tempeh too :) The roasted spice mix sounds delicious. I will defenitely have to try this. Those bowls are super cute!

Anu Nandu said...

I love the texture of tempeh too. And I'm going to adopt your idea of skimming off the top from a regular coconut milk can. Love the curry!

sunita said...

Hello Suganya! How've you been? Conveying my hugs for the little one :-)

Lovely recipe, I love prawn malakari :-)

Soma said...

Suganya wanted to ask you what those cute things in the picture in the malaikari?


Malarvizhi said...

hey Suganya, I'm a regular reader of your blog and I hv tried several of your recipes. mixed sprout burger is a big hit in my house..
This tempeh malakari looks so delicious and I wasn't able to wait too long to make this myself. So I tried this with tofu(since I couldn't find tempeh), though it was good, it was not too exciting for me. May be I should try with tempeh only, as you say it's meatiness would ramp up the taste..can you pls let me know where to look for tempeh?? -- Malar

Pretty. Good. Food. said...

Oh man this looks delicious! And your photographs are beautiful! Everything here looks great!
I recently launched my own blog, I'd love for you to check it out and let me know what you think! :) Thanks!

Unknown said...

That looks lovely...Do you think we could subsitute tofu for the tempeh

Suganya said...

Soma, those are pink peppercorns ;).

Malar, I buy Tempeh from Whole Foods.

Veena, I don't think tofu would be a good substitute. Its spongy texture is quite different from tempeh's.

Soma said...

Happy Diwali Suganya to you and all your dear ones. Enjoy..

The little one is almost one .. Wishing her ahead of time a very very happy cuddly First Birthday.


Vegetarian Zest said...

Simply mouthwatering recipe.

Kitchen Boffin said...

haven't tried Tempeh yet... ur recipe looks mouthwatering... bookmarked!

Cynthia said...

Hi, Not sure how often you check this but I just wanted to let you know that I sent you an email and hope to hear you soon.

Soma said...

Happy New Year Suganya! Have a beautiful year with friends and family!


Anonymous said...

Thank you for sharing the recipe. I tried it exactly the way you made it, except I substituted red bell pepper for potatoes. It turned out very tasty. It is the first time I have liked the taste of tempeh and I think your method of pre-steaming it has to be the explanation.

Manasi said...

Hi Suganya,
Hope all is well with u and the family It's been a while since u updated the blog, thought I'd drop by and say hello and hope u will be back to blogging soon . Hows the little one doing? Must have reached many milestones by now!

Deepika V. said...

Hi Suganya...i just discovered your blog. I cannot believe i havent stumbled upon it all this time! It is a wonderful blog and you do a great job. This recipe may get me into cooking with Tempeh...thanks for posting this.

Skye Harris said...

I like your Blog and your posts are very informative. Very inspiring. I’ve recently set up a Blog about cooking and was looking around for inspiration and came across this page and I have to say I’m impressed with your dedication and hope that mine can reach this level someday. Congratulations
If you would like to check out my Blog and give me some pointers I would be very appreciative.

Herrad said...

That sounds like a great recipe.

Taste Melanger said...

I'm so dissapointed in not having discovered your blog earlier. But better late than never...Your pics are lovely & I'm about to explore more!!

Event: Salad Spread

Unknown said...

wow beautiful recipes and awesome space....

my first time here....

have a qn - how do I follow you?

Chk out my space when time permits:

Sia said...

A quick hello Sug and u r missed!

garage equipment said...

I am not familiar with tampeh but the recipe looks delicious. It looks like meat with curry. Next time I will cook this to taste it. 

Rev said...

This looks super yumm.... and the pic is really inviting. love to see the colorful dish.

manojglobal said...

Very innovative and healthy pakodas Trupti ! Looks delicious...

Load Junction, load matching
Services, Find Truck Loads, Find Freight and Trucks

Suganya said...

Loved this dish....made it for dinner tonight! My 8 and 6 years old babies gobbled it up and asked for seconds! We did a light sprinkle of shredded cheese on top and used Pam olive oil spray to crisp the eggplant before baking it....yum yum yum! Side of whole grain pasta and dinner done! :-) Thanks for the recipe

Suganya said...

Hi ,

Could you please get us in touch with the content manager of this website?


Post a Comment