This vegan tempeh vindaloo is a milder, more flavourful version of the classic curry

·4 min read
 (Lizzie Mayson/PA)
(Lizzie Mayson/PA)

If you think vindaloo might be too spicy for you or your guests, the team behind BOSH! – Henry Firth and Ian Theasby – say you can half the amount of chilli powder for a milder – but still hot – curry.

Tempeh vindaloo

Serves: 4


1 potato

1 large brown onion

3 large tomatoes

6 garlic cloves

3cm piece fresh ginger

10g fresh coriander

1 tbsp vegetable oil

3 tbsp tomato puree

2 tbsp white wine vinegar


500ml Henry’s Curry Stock (see below)

For the curry stock (makes 4 litres):

3 garlic cloves

3cm piece fresh ginger

1 tbsp vegetable oil

1 x 400g tin chopped tomatoes

4 litres water

6 large onions

4 medium carrots

3 tomatoes

1 green pepper

1 red pepper

2 large bay leaves

1 tbsp curry powder

1 tbsp garam masala

1 tbsp ground turmeric

1 tbsp salt

1 tsp chilli powder

1 tsp coriander seeds

1 tsp ground coriander

1 tsp ground cumin

1 tsp peppercorns

For the tempeh:

400g tempeh

½ tsp salt

1 tsp ground turmeric

½ tsp chilli powder

2 tbsp flour

1 tbsp vegetable oil

For the spice mix:

4 green cardamom pods

2 big bay leaves

2-4 tsp hot chilli powder

1 tsp cumin seeds

1 tsp fennel seeds

1 tsp ground coriander

1 tsp ground turmeric

½ tsp black peppercorns

½ tsp garam masala

¼ tsp ground cinnamon


1. Make your curry stock. If you’re using frozen curry stock, defrost it ahead of time. Peel and grate the garlic and ginger. Add the oil and all the spices to the pot along with the grated garlic and ginger. Cook for about five minutes. Add the chopped tomatoes. Pour in 500ml of the water and leave to simmer.

2. Prep your veg for the stock: peel and roughly chop the onions. Trim and roughly chop the other vegetables. Add all the veg to the pan along with three and a half litres of water. Lower the heat, cover the pot and simmer for about one hour, stirring occasionally. To finish your stock, find and remove the bay leaves. Use a stick blender to blend the stock in the pan until completely smooth. Use straight away or for extra stock, leave to cool to room temperature, divide the cool stock between containers and store for up to three months in the freezer.

3. Get a saucepan of salted water with a lid on a high heat, a steamer or heatproof colander, and a large frying pan.

4. Prepare your potatoes and tempeh: cut the potato into two centimetre chunks. Cut the tempeh into two to three centimetre chunks. Add the potatoes to the pan of boiling salted water. Place the steamer or colander on top, add the tempeh and cover. Cook the potatoes and steam the tempeh for seven minutes. Remove the tempeh and set aside. Drain the potatoes.

5. Cook the tempeh: measure the salt, turmeric, chilli powder and flour into a bowl. Stir to combine. Add the steamed tempeh and toss to coat completely. Place a frying pan over a medium-high heat and pour in the vegetable oil. Add the tempeh to the hot oil and fry for about 10 minutes, stirring regularly, until lightly browned. Remove and set aside.

6. Prep the ingredients: peel and grate the onion. Roughly chop the tomatoes. Peel and grate the garlic and ginger. Finely chop the coriander.

7. Cook the curry: measure the spice mix into the dry frying pan. Add the tablespoon of oil and place on a medium heat. Cook for two minutes, adding half a cup of water to loosen if it gets too dry. Add the grated onion and a pinch of salt. Sauté for five to seven minutes, stirring frequently, until the fragrances have released. Add the garlic and ginger and cook for three more minutes. Add the tomato puree and a large splash of water. Cook for three minutes, stirring frequently. Add the stock, vinegar, chopped tomatoes, tempeh and potatoes. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer for 10 minutes.

8. Taste and adjust the seasoning, adding more spice mix, salt or vinegar if needed. Top with the chopped fresh coriander and serve.

‘BOSH! On A Budget’ by Henry Firth and Ian Theasby (published by HQ, £16.90; photography by Lizzie Mayson), available now.

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