A vegan recipe for a spicy, tasty Goan beef curry. This curry has two kinds of meat substitutes and tons of vegetables that keep it fresh and flavorful. Gluten-free and nut-free.
Beef is not a word you will often find on an Indian menu and the reason for that of course is that Hindus do not consume cows for religious reasons. But beef is not absent from the very secular India's food tapestry-- in fact it features regularly in the cuisines of Christians and Muslims who constitute a sizable chunk of the country's billion-plus population.
I have for you today a vegan version of a Goan beef curry that's cooked in the Catholic kitchens of this former Portuguese colony that sits languidly along India's west coast. I have written before on these pages about Goa's distinctive cuisine which -- although not something you'll often find featured on Indian restaurant menus -- is undoubtedly one of the most exquisite you will ever taste. Goan Christian cuisine is heavily influenced by the land's Portuguese colonizers and it sparkles with ingredients like vinegar, an ingredient not commonly used in other Indian cuisines. But it also incorporates some very Indian ingredients that are available easily along the coast, like coconut and spices.
For my vegan Goan beef curry I used two types of meat substitutes: tempeh and some beefless strips from Gardein. That's because I wanted to incorporate a variety of textures to replace the mouth-feel of the meat and also pack a protein wallop (there's 18 grams of protein in each serving). You can go with one or the other, use a completely different meat substitute, or even cook this entirely with vegetables. Mushrooms and/or eggplant would be great here.
To make this a recipe where no one will miss the meat I added layers and layers of flavor, using aromatic vegetables and herbs. In went some green peppers, mint and coriander. And in the end, to mellow down the puckering sourness of the vinegar, I added a sweet dash of coconut milk.
This is a good dish to serve when you need to please different palates, including carnivorous ones. This is also a good dish to make the day before-- the flavors meld and merge beautifully when the curry has time to stand. Keep in mind you need to marinate the meat substitutes for at least two hours-- I wouldn't recommend cutting on the time because the substitutes need it to absorb the marinade to give you the most flavor. Once that's done, this dish comes together in minutes.
Here's the recipe for Goan beef curry, a very vegan one. And if you love meatless Indian curries, be sure to check out this yummy and easy seitan curry.
- Vegetable Vindaloo
- Vegan Goan "Sausage" Curry
- Vegan Ros Omelette
- Vegan Goan Feijoada
- Goan Vegetable Xacuti
Goan Beef Curry, Vegan
- 8 oz tempeh (cut into cubes)
- 12 oz seitan (cut into chunks)
- 4 medium potatoes (cooked until tender)
- 1 green bell pepper (minced)
- 2 tablespoon vinegar
- 2 tablespoon lemon juice
- 1 medium onion (one half roughly chopped, the other minced)
- 1 tablespoon ginger garlic paste
- 12 curry leaves
- ½ teaspoon turmeric
- 1 tablespoon coriander seeds
- 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
- 1 teaspoon mustard seeds
- 4 green cardamom pods
- 1 inch stick of cinnamon
- 2 teaspoon garam masala
- ¼ cup mint leaves (chopped)
- 2 tablespoon cilantro (chopped)
- 1 dry red chilli pepper
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- 1 tablespoon jaggery (grated. Can substitute with brown sugar)
- 2 tablespoon tomato paste
- ⅓ cup coconut milk
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
- In a small skillet roast the cumin, coriander, mustard, chilli pepper, cardamom and cinnamon until the coriander seeds are golden and a few shades darker. Keep stirring so you don’t burn anything. Remove the spices to a blender.
- To the blender add one half of the onion (the half you chopped), the vinegar, and the lemon juice.
- Blend until you have a smooth paste and then scrape the paste onto the meat substitutes, in a bowl. Mix well so all the pieces are coated and set aside to marinade at least 2 hours.
- In a saucepan, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Add the onions and curry leaves and saute until golden spots appear on the onions. Lower the heat to medium-low, add the mint leaves, turmeric, ginger and garlic and stir fry for a few seconds.
- Increase the heat to medium-high again, add the green peppers and cilantro and stir-fry for another three or four minutes or until the peppers start to soften.
- Add the cooked potatoes, stir-fry for a few seconds, then add the tomato paste and mix well to coat all the vegetables. Add the beef substitutes with all the marinade, garam masala and paprika. Stir well.
- Add 1-2 cups of water, depending on the thickness you desire for the curry, stir well, and let the curry come to a boil. Add the grated jaggery or sugar. Lower the heat and let it simmer about five minutes for all the flavors to come together.
- Stir in the coconut milk and turn off the heat. Garnish with coriander leaves.
- Serve hot with some crusty bread or boiled rice.
Hi Vaishali! Thanks for this recipe. One question - we see the Garam Masala and Paprika in the ingredients, but we couldn't find where to add them in the Instructions. Can you let us know when to add them?
Step 6 -- thanks! 🙂
Looks amazing, but not soy free with the tempeh!
Hi Vaishali, we cooked this recipe and loved it!
It's a keeper!
Thanks for your efforts.
Can you please suggest how I can find other similar (Indian +meat alternatives) recipes on your website.
Hi Girish, you can search by keywords in the search box or click on Indian recipes in the category drop-down menu. You can find tons of vegan versions of Indian recipes that would normally have meat. 🙂
We made this today and enjoyed it--even our picky toddler.
Corrin, thanks for the feedback! So happy you and your toddler enjoyed it. 🙂
thanks for the reply.
Hi Nisha, it is a branded product sold in the United States. You can easily sub with soya chunks. Soak the chunks in boiling water for a few minutes before you add.
what is Gardein Beefless Strips? never heard of it. what can be its substitute? I reside in jodhpur, India.
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Joanne T Ferguson
G'day! I must admit I was intrigued how you were going to Veganise a goat dish, true!
But your dish looks delish and never had beefless strips...do they provide the same type of texture? Curious about what they taste like too! Thank you!
Hi Joanne, the texture is similar to meat but not as chewy. That's why I added to tempeh, to give a heartier chew, although that texture also is very different from meat.