The Vegetarian

 TVP curry

-Sri Lankan style

TVP (Textured vegetable protein) is very popular in Sri Lanka as an inexpensive protein source. However, outside of Sri Lanka it may not be as inexpensive. It is easily found in Sri Lankan grocery stores in all shapes and sizes, and often comes with flavour sachets. The unflavoured variety can be found in the health food section of most supermarkets - for example the "organic vegetarian mince" from planet organic which is made from organic soya beans. As it is made from soya beans its nutrition profile is similar to the bean - high in protein 50% by dry weight, high in fibre, low in fat and does contain calcium and iron. See the nutrition panel on the planet organic packet:

This recipe is best with larger pieces of TVP, however, the mince can be used.

1 cup of dry TVP
2 vegetarian stock cubes - i prefer the Massel brand
1/2 a tablespoon of oil
1/2 a teaspoon of turmeric
2 teaspoons of dark roasted curry powder (see spices)
1 onion - sliced finely
1 large ripe tomato - sliced into small wedges
1 teaspoon of tomato sauce
a handful of curry leaves
1-2 tablespoons of coconut milk
+/-chilli - dry flakes or sliced fresh chilli
+/-1 teaspoon mustard seeds

Place the dry TVP in a pot with 4 cups of water, one stock cube and 2 teaspoons of salt. Bring to the boil and boil until soft and set aside to cool.

In a separate non-stick wok use the oil to fry turmeric, curry powder, onion, curry leaves, +/-chilli, +/- mustard seeds until the onions soften.

Squeeze the previously boiled TVP by hand to remove some of the water and add handful at a time to the mixture in the wok. Add a cup or two of the stock from the first pot, enough to just cover the TVP. Continue to simmer the mixture, stirring occasionally. Taste and add a further stock cube depending on the strength of the flavour.

The reason for squeezing out the TVP is so that it can then absorb further flavour from the curry.

Add the tomatoes and tomato sauce and simmer until the tomatoes break up. Add chilli and salt to taste. Finally add the coconut milk and turn the flame off. Stir the coconut milk in and taste test and check the salt and chilli one final time.

If you prefer a thicker gravy a healthy variation is to dissolve some besan (chickpea) flour in some stock water and add it to the mixture towards the end. For example just before adding the coconut milk.

Eat with rice or bread.

The photo below shows a tvp curry using red onion, besan flour and a little more coconut milk, than the first curry to the right.

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