Country Captain Stew

Though this tasty stew bears a passing resemblance to the classic East Indian mulligatawny, it’s actually an adaptation of a classic curried chicken stew recipe from the American South. This meatless version substitutes chunks of tofu or seitan, baked until chewy and golden. The harmony of sweet and savory flavors in a curried base is most appealing. Adapted from Vegan Soups and Hearty Stews for All Seasons.

Serves: 6

  • 14- to 16-ounce tub firm tofu or 16 ounces seitan
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 medium onions, chopped
  • 3 to 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 large green bell pepper, cut into strips
  • 3 medium potatoes, scrubbed and cut into 1/2-inch dice
  • 14- to 16 ounce can diced tomatoes, undrained
  • 3 apples (any all-purpose variety), peeled, cored, and diced
  • 2 teaspoons good quality curry powder, or to taste
  • 1 to 2 teaspoons grated fresh ginger, or to taste
  • 1/2 cup dark raisins
  • 1/2  cup chopped fresh cilantro or parsley
  • Salt to taste
  • Dried hot red papper flakes, to taste, optional
  • Plain non-dairy yogurt (soy or coconut) or vegan sour cream for topping, optional

If using tofu, cut it crosswise into 1/2-inch-thick slices, and blot between clean tea towels or paper towels. If using seitan, drain and cut into small bite-sized chunks. Heat half of the oil in a soup pot. Add the tofu or seitan and sautë over medium high heat, stirring frequently, until golden on both sides. Remove to a plate and set aside until needed.

Heat the remaining oil in the soup pot. Add the onion and garlic and sauté over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until the onion is golden, about 10 to 12 minutes.

Add the bell pepper, potatoes, tomatoes, apples, curry powder, ginger, and 3 cups water. Bring to a simmer, then  simmer gently, covered, for about 20 minutes, or until the potatoes are done.

Stir in the tofu or seitan, raisins, and half of the cilantro or parsley. Season with salt and dried red pepper flakes, if desired. Cook over low heat for 10 to 15 minutes longer. Stir in the remaining cilantro or parsley. Top each serving with a scoop of vegan yogurt or sour cream, if desired.


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