Meat Subsitution advice
Posted by benh at 04/22/2009
I have a recipe for curried chicken with cashew nuts that I want to change to be a vegetarian recipe, but I don't cook very often and feel lost without a proper recipe to follow :)
The original recipe builds the curry base and then cooks the chicken in it for 45-50 minutes. I am thinking of subsituting the chicken either with tofu or with potato. If I choose tofu, how long should I cook it for? I have read that it should be popped in at the last minute, but then I am worried that it won't pick up the flavours of the curry. If I use potato, can I use the same cooking time as chicken?
Any thoughts/suggestions much appreciated!
If you sub potatoes, you don't want to cook quite as long as the chicken or the potatoes will just start to fall apart after they finish cooking. You probably want to cook them until they are fork tender. If there is not much liquid you can cook them longer if you'd like.
For the tofu, you don't have to wait until the very last minute but you don't want to cook tofu too long. You could probably cook the tofu in with the curry on a lower temperature for 10-15 minutes. You also have the option of making the curry base in advance and maybe marinating the tofu in it for a few hours, then heating it up when you are ready to eat, this way the flavor permeates the tofu without having to cook it for very long.
I know these aren't exact instructions and just ideas, but I hope that helps.
With eggplant, you can lightly salt them to let out the extra water (put on a metal rack with towel underneath to drain off the water), then you'll have a sturdier flesh that will cook well in the curry.
The zucchini I'd cut in large chunks and cook like the potatoes, but you will probably not need to cook as long. You could even mix veggies, that would be tasty.
Other things that go well in curries are beans, like garbanzos.
Thanks for your suggestions!