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Tempeh Tikka with Saffron Basmatti

Believe it or not the most popular dish in England is not Baked Beans on Toast but Chicken Tikka. Here is a vegetarian version using Monsoon Tandoori and Tempeh instead of the chicken.

 3/4 cup full fat yogurt
 3 tbsp lemon juice
 2 tbsp Monsoon Tandoori
 1 lb. Tempeh cut into 1" cubes
 2 large onions chopped small
 1 1/2 tbsp minced ginger
 1 large bulb garlic, minced
 3 tbsp olive oil
 4 tbsp tomato paste
 3 cups chopped fresh Roma tomatoes
 1 tsp Punjabi Garam Masala
 1 cup mixed chopped cilantro & parsley
 salt to taste

 2 cups aged basmati rice
 1 pinch saffron
 2 tbsp butter or ghee
 4 cups water

Mix the yogurt, lemon and Monsoon Tandoori spice in a bowl, add the tempeh and marinate overnight (or for at least six hours in the refrigerator).

Sauté onions, ginger and garlic in oil until soft, then add the chopped tomatoes and tomato paste. When the tomatoes start to break down stir in the tempeh and marinade, reduce heat and cook until it bubbles gently. If the tomatoes are not in season or if you are substituting canned, you might want to stir in a spoonful of honey to counteract the acidity.

Turn the whole works into a greased casserole, sprinkle with the Garam Masala and half the chopped herbs, cover and bake in a 350 degree oven for 35 minutes.

Saffron Rice:
Crumble the saffron into an ounce of water and let soak to release the colour and flavour. Rinse the rice in three changes of water. Melt the butter in your cook pot, add the saffron water and stir in the rice until it is well coated. Add the water, cover, bring to a boil and then reduce heat to a simmer. Cook for 20 minutes or until the water is absorbed.

Serve the tempeh on a bed of saffron rice, sprinkled with parsley and cilantro. If you want a richer dish, stir in a half cup of cream a few minutes before serving. Enjoy!
Serves 4.