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.

Poblano Cilantro Hummus

Being vegetarians and on-and-off vegans, hummus has its permanent place in our diet. Its healthy, creamy and downright tasty. Hummus can be as versatile as a dal. The flavours are limited only by one’s imaginations. Check this article for ideas.

Instead of the usual jalapeno, I swapped a poblano that was lying in the fridge. Next time around I added a banana pepper too. Both versions were super-duper hits. I usually use my blender for making an airy, smooth hummus. I also skip adding olive oil for a low-fat version. My next trial would be to use different nut butters. Although peanut butter sounds great, I am thinking cashew butter. Lets see how that turns out.

Poblano Cilantro Hummus
(makes 2 cups)


Dried chickpeas – ¾ cup (about 2½ cups when cooked. Canned is ok)
Poblano pepper – 1
Banana pepper/yellow pepper – 1 (optional)
Garlic – 1 clove, smashed
Tahini – 1 tbsp
Cilantro – 1 packed cup, stems included
Juice of a lemon


Soak the chickpeas overnight and cook until soft. If using canned, drain the liquid and rinse the beans. Roast the poblano pepper and the banana pepper (if using) over a flame. Alternatively, broil the peppers, rotating to get an even char. Keep the pepper in a tight container. The trapped steam will make peeling the peppers easier. Let cool, peel and remove the seeds. In a blender add all the ingredients and blend until smooth, adding water as needed. Serve as a dip, spread or dollop over soup or salad.

Generously spread hummus for a guilt free burger

This goes to the 26th edition Susan's super successful event My Legume Love Affair, hosted by Simona of Briciole.