Japanese dry curry with soybeans or tempeh

soybeandrycurry.jpg

Dry curry is a uniquely Japanese dish, much like the stew-type of Japanese curry. Dry curry is really well suited to bentos. The spicy curry aroma is appetising yet not overwhelming, and the combination of salty, spicy and sweet flavors really gets me going.

The recipe for a more traditional ground meat based dry curry has already been posted on Just Hungry. This is a vegan version that uses cooked soybeans or crumbled tempeh. It's so rich in flavor that even non-vegetarians won't miss the meat. It's also very easy to make, though a food processor helps for chopping up all the vegetables.

Both the meat based and this soybean based dry curry mixes freeze very well, making them perfect freezer staples.

Recipe: Soybean or tempeh dry curry mix

  • 2 cups (440ml) canned or cooked soybeans (the oven-dried type is better but just plain boiled ones would do too), or the equivalent amount of crumbled tempeh
  • 1 red or orange sweet pepper
  • 1 medium carrot
  • 1 medium onion
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1 piece fresh ginger, about 1/2 inch or 1.5cm or so square
  • 1 Tbs. garam masala
  • 1 to 3 Tbs. curry powder
  • 1 to 2 tsp. ground turmeric
  • 1/2 tsp red chili pepper powder (optional)
  • 2 Tbs. olive oil
  • 2 Tbs. tomato paste
  • 2 Tbs. raisins
  • 1 Tbs. soy sauce
  • Water
  • Salt and pepper

Chop up all of the vegetables finely. A food processor makes this part a lot easier, but you can of course do it by hand.

Heat up a large frying pan or a sauté pan with the olive oil. Add all the vegetables and sauté until soft.

In the meantime, put the soy beans or tempeh in the food processor and pulse a few times to just roughly chop them up.

Once the vegetables are soft, pull the mixture aside to expose a little of the bottom of the pan. Add a few drops of oil and the powdered spices. Use less curry powder if you want it milder, and more if you want it spicier - and add the red chili powder if you want it very spicy. Stir in with the vegetables.

Add the soybeans or tempeh, raisins, tomato paste, and about 1 cup of water. Rapidly cook down until there is almost no moisture left. Add the soy sauce, and season with salt and pepper to taste.

To use, mix about 2 tablespoons of the mix per 1 cup of hot cooked rice. Top off with 1-2 tablespoons more of the mix and garnish to serve.