Monday, January 22, 2007

not Butter not Chicken

The first thing I thought when I started making this meal was that it was so easy to prepare. Even though I make simple curries on a regular basis, I somehow have it in my head that indian=complicated. Maybe it's just the seemingly long list of spices.

Mocked Chicken Makhani ingredients

I used Green Cuisine's Wheat Cutlets seitan rather than making my own.

Mocked Chicken Makhani

I really like cooking things in the wok.

Mocked Chicken Makhani

We ate the curry with brown basmati rice and spinach naan. The flavour of the sauce was really nice and smooth and the texture was comforting. The peanut butter was a really nice addition to the sauce, creating an even deeper, more delicious smell.

Sadly, I think I don't like seitan. It was a bit rubbery and spongey. Maybe it's the brand, or maybe I should have cooked it separately first. Has anyone tried this brand before who can tell me if they feel the same way? Or maybe I just need to make seitan myself. Or use a different protein.

In any case, I loved the flavour and definitely plan to make this again. The boy commented that the sauce was very much like the non-vegan version. I just finished off some leftovers with chickpeas added. I also think that the sauce would make a great potato curry!

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At January 22, 2007 2:21 PM, Anonymous Leigh said...

Looks delicious...!
It's okay to not like seitan. It's one of those foods that you either like or don't. The good thing is that the sauce can be had many ways and you can experiment with other additives that might suit your taste buds better.

At January 22, 2007 7:38 PM, Blogger michelleknits said...

so good! and i thought i had sworn off food forever! (long, stuffed weekend)

i _love_ seitan, but not all brands are created equal. um...what's my favorite brand? i'm forgetting. but the point is, don't give up (unless you wanna. it's okay not to like it). i bet this would taste just as good with tofu. i recently have fallen back in love with tofu. i would always pick tempeh or seitan instead!

At January 23, 2007 2:31 PM, Blogger gwern said...

i've had green cuisine's seitan when i was in victoria and LOVED it, but when i bought some of their packaged stuff here in ottawa, i didn't like it at all. the texture was horrible. i think it was a different kind than what you bought, though.
seitan is sort of "rubbery", i guess. but there's a big difference in the homemade stuff IMO. i just made a batch today (for this recipe), and it was super delicious. i didn't simmer it in a broth, but instead tore it into chunks and baked it in the oven. it wasn't very rubbery at all. i've tried the broth thing too and it's a different texture altogether. it also depends on the cooking method after the broth or baking time, also. i simmered a baked seitan in a stew once and it was gooooood.

ANYWAY, (lookit me ramble), my point is that different seitan recipes and methods will produce different results obviously, but i wouldn't give up on it just yet if i were you. you might find a style or brand that you like! :)

oh! and i made the mocked chicken makhani today in preparation for tonight's dinner and i had to tuck into some for lunch because it was soooooooo tasty!! i've never had butter chicken before but this will definitely make it into short rotation. it's delicious! also, i didn't have sour supreme or soy yogurt so i used 1/4 c. of vegenaise and it worked well! i didn't notice any sort of mayo taste or anything, it was just creamier. so...there. :)

i think i'm finished with my ramble. sheesh.

or not; i was too lazy to take any pictures so i won't post my results other than right here in this comment box.

At January 23, 2007 4:07 PM, Blogger mishka said...

gwernie - you funny. So glad it worked out for you! And thanks for the seitan guidance to both you and michelleknits. I did have it once before - my friend made a sort of roast which I thoroughly enjoyed. I'll try baking it too - did you just mix the vital gluten with broth and spices and just bake it? For how long? Maybe we should have a couple more seitan cook-a-longs!

Good thinking with the vegenaise. It'd add the creaminess and tang of sour cream or yogurt. Yes - lookitchoo!

At January 23, 2007 9:14 PM, Blogger gwern said...

hee. i'll try to keep it brief this time. :p

i made the seitan recipe from VWaV kneading it and everything, then instead of simmering in broth for an hour (or however long it is), i tore it into chunks and spread them out on a baking sheet, popped it in the oven at 350*. um, i didn't pay attention to the time, but i'm guessing it was 30-40 minutes? (it would also depend on how big the chunks were) the tops were a wee bit brown and crunchy which disappeared when simmered in the makhani sauce. the seitan wasn't rubbery at all. :)

i've made "ribs" this way too, smother them in sweet 'n sour or BBQ sauce and pop the strips or chunks of seitan (well, i suppose it's technically "gluten" unless it's simmered), into the oven until the bbq sauce is nice and bubbly and everything looks "done" (i always turn and baste mid-way through baking), prolly 'bout 40-60 mins.

At January 24, 2007 11:28 AM, Blogger mishka said...

you're awesome, gwernie :) thanks!


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