Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Tandoori Seitan

This is the final installment of kid-friendly Indian dishes. Obviously this dish was inspired by my insistence that people, and in particular kids, like to eat things off of sticks. I also wanted to experiment with BBQing seitan, operating on the rationale that baked seitan tastes pretty darn good so how much different would it be to BBQ it? So, can you BBQ seitan? The answer is yes, but with two caveats. First, you really have to keep the heat low. Seitan is not meat and thus does not ooze fat and blood and whatever else comes out of flesh when you cook it. Therefore, if you go firing up the BBQ like you are grilling a steak, then you, my friend, are going to end up with a dry, crunchy, and altogether unpleasant meal. Second, you need to regularly turn and baste the seitan to keep it hydrated. The end result was a very meat-like skewer. Maybe too meat like. They were a little chewy, but the kids absolutely loved them--especially because they could poke each other with the skewers when the meal was over.

- 6 mini bamboo skewers
- 1 1/4 cup vital wheat gluten
- 1 tsp salt
- 2 tsp tandoori spice mix (my father-in-law bought me some at an Indian grocery in Brampton--make sure it's not too spicy-hot for the kids, and use less if it is.)
- 1 tsp soy sauce
- 2 tbsp oil
- 1 cup water
- 1/3 cup soy yogurt
- 1 tbsp oil
- 1 tbsp tandoori spice mix (or to taste)
- salt to taste

- 1/2 cup water

1. Put your skewers in a pan of water and set aside.
2. In a medium bowl, mix flour, salt, and spice mixture together. In a separate small bowl, whisk together soy sauce, oil, and water.
3. Add wet to dry and mix well. This will result in a pretty tough and rubbery seitan. If everything isn't perfectly mixed and the seitan looks marbled, don't sweat it it will still taste good.
4. Mix together yogurt, oil, and spice mix in a bowl. Cut seitan into 24 chunks and add to bowl. Coat well to keep the seitan chunks from bonding with one another in the bowl. Let marinate for 30 mins in the fridge (less if you are in a hurry). Remove seitan from bowl and put four pieces on each skewer. Add 1/2 cup of water to the marinade left behind and mix well.
5. Heat grill on low. You want the temp to be about 400 to 450 degrees. Oil the grill well and place skewers on grill. Close lid and cook for 3-4 mins. Flip skewers over, lightly baste, and cook for another 3-4 mins. Keep going like this until you run out of marinade. The seitan should cook for about 20 to 25 mins, and you may not need to baste each time you turn. Just make sure it looks hydrated.


fusilier said...

"People, and in particular kids, like to eat things off of sticks."

Further cultural evidence of this strange phenomenon: I give you, the corn dog.

Calimaryn said...

Oh very neat! I am always jealous of the lovely colors and smells of Tandoori, now I can make seitan! Brilliant Vegan Dad, brilliant.

Kumudha said...

This is wonderful! Thanks for veganizing so many great Indian recipes.

carrie said...

I had plans to bbq seitan later this week. I'm glad to know that it can be done. Thanks for the tips, as I probably would have cranked the heat way too high.

Eesh said...

LOL I love the tone of this post! Especially the end about poking with skewers, that gave me a good chuckle. =D

Erin said...

Looks like a nice finger food for parties, too. I like the intense color - like stuff at Chinese restaurants that glow an unnatural color.

arthursmommy said...

This recipe looks and sound delicious. It seems like something Arthur might enjoy. At 21 months old, he likes curry and spicey food. I will just have to make sure he doesn't use the skewer as a sword. Ha ha. Have a great weekend.


Maggie said...

My friend used to own a gourmet Indian restaurant. After hitting the clubs, when we were good and drunk, he would let us into the restaurant. There we would stay up really late and make huge skewers of food in the tandoori oven. (Tandoori mushrooms were my specialty.)

Your post was a delicious reminder of that. I'll have to try making this soon.

in2insight said...

This may have an error.
The water amount is too much in relation to the VWF.
I tried it, the "dough" is not "tough and rubbery" but rather messy and wet.

Just an FYI.

Vegan Dad said...

Hmmmm. I use the same ratio in my wingz and other quick seitan recipes, so I am not sure what went wrong here. Are you sure you used 1 1/4 cup of gluten?

in2insight said...

Absolutely. I think... :)
Loved the taste all the same, just had to add more VWG to the mix.
Will go slower next time.

Anonymous said...

I agree that the end result was too wet. I ended up adding a lot more gluten and spice and salt to get to a doughy consistency. Even then, the seitan would fall off the skewers. So, I put a grate down on the grill and ended up with little grilled chunks of "meat." Tasted great!