You Need to Know These Vegetarian Dishes That Taste Like Meat

You Need to Know These Vegetarian Dishes That Taste Like Meat

You Need to Know These Vegetarian Dishes That Taste Like Meat

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We present vegetarian dishes so delectable; that they’ll fool even the most devout carnivores. 

29 May 2024

By Ishika Kumar

Calling all meat lovers turned veggies, vegetarians who’d like to know the other side, and all the adventurous cooks out there! Prepare for a wholesome gourmet journey that will amuse your taste buds and shatter your preconceived notions about vegetarian cuisine. 

We present vegetarian dishes so delectable; that they’ll fool even the most devout carnivores. Gone are the days of bland tofu and uninspired veggie burgers. Welcome to a world of flavour explosions and satisfying textures that will leave you begging for helpings of seconds and perhaps even thirds.

Tempeh: It’s the ultimate nutty protein powerhouse. Tempeh is a fermented soy product that packs a protein punch with a nutty depth that satisfies meat cravings. Its versatility allows it to star in various dishes, from savoury taco crumbles to smoky barbecue slices.

One that stands out is the Tempeh Tikka Masala:

Tempeh Tikka Masala Recipe

Ingredients: 

–         200g tempeh, cubed

–         1 cup plain yogurt

–         2 tbsp tikka masala spice mix

–         2 cups tomato puree

–         1 cup heavy cream

–         1 tbsp ghee or oil

–         Salt to taste

Instructions: 

1.     Marinate tempeh cubes in yoghurt and tikka masala spice mix for 30 minutes.

2.     Heat ghee in a pan, add marinated tempeh and cook until golden.

3.     Add tomato puree and simmer for 10 minutes.

4.     Stir in cream, season with salt and other spices as per your liking and cook for another 5 minutes.

5.     Serve hot with naan or rice.

Seitan: Seitan is a wheat-based protein which absorbs marinades and spices like a dream, making it an ideal meat substitute. Imagine tender “steak” strips in fajitas, juicy “chicken” nuggets, or a satisfying “pulled pork” alternative. For those who enjoy a spicy kick, try the Seitan Pepper Fry:

Seitan Pepper Fry Recipe

Ingredients: 

–         250g seitan, thinly sliced

–         1 tbsp soy sauce

–         1 tbsp black pepper

–         1 onion, sliced

–         5-7 Garlic Cloves

–         1 bell pepper, sliced

–         2 tbsp oil

–         Salt to taste

Instructions: 

1.     Marinate seitan slices in soy sauce and black pepper for 15 minutes.

2.     Heat oil in a pan, add finely chopped garlic, onions and bell peppers, and sauté until soft.

3.     Add marinated seitan and stir-fry until browned.

4.     Adjust seasoning with salt and extra pepper if needed.

5.     Serve hot with fried rice or noodles.

Jackfruit: Unripe jackfruit is a versatile ingredient that can mimic the texture of pulled pork, ribs, or even carnitas. Its mild flavour and shreddable texture make it a perfect canvas for various dishes. A must-try is the Maharashtrian Jackfruit Sabzi:

Maharashtrian Jackfruit Sabzi Recipe

Ingredients: 

–         1 can young jackfruit, drained and shredded, or fresh jackfruit shredded

–         2 tbsp oil

–         1 onion, chopped

–         2 tomatoes, chopped

–         2-3 green chillies as per spice

–         1 tsp ginger-garlic paste

–         2 tsp Maharashtrian spice mix or Masala

–         Chopped peanuts, totally optional

–         Salt to taste

Instructions: 

1.     Heat oil in a pan, add chopped green chillies, onions and sauté until golden.

2.     Add ginger-garlic paste and tomatoes and cook until soft.

3.     Stir in the shredded jackfruit, Maharashtrian spice mix and chopped peanuts. You can add fried jackfruit as well.

4.     Cook for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.

5.     Serve with roti or rice.

Tofu: Tofu’s versatility is unmatched in the vegetarian world. It can be transformed into crispy bites, creamy sauces, and everything in between. A delightful option is Tofu Tikka Masala, or for breakfast, try Spicy Tofu Bhurji:

Tofu Tikka Masala Recipe

Ingredients: 

–         200g tofu, cubed

–         1 cup plain yogurt

–         2 tbsp tikka masala spice mix

–         2 cups tomato puree

–         1 cup heavy cream

–         1 tbsp ghee or oil

–         Salt to taste

Instructions: 

1.     Marinate tofu cubes in yoghurt and tikka masala spice mix for 30 minutes.

2.     Heat ghee in a pan, add marinated tofu and cook until golden.

3.     Add tomato puree and simmer for 10 minutes.

4.     Stir in cream, season with salt, and cook for another 5 minutes.

5.     Serve hot with naan or rice.

Spicy Tofu Bhurji Recipe

Ingredients: 

–         200g firm tofu, crumbled

–         1 onion, chopped

–         1 bell pepper, chopped

–         2 tomatoes, chopped

–         1 tsp turmeric

–         1 tsp red chilli powder

–         2 tbsp oil

–         Salt to taste

Instructions: 

1.     Heat oil in a pan, add onions and bell peppers, and sauté until soft.

2.     Add tomatoes, turmeric and chilli powder, and cook until tomatoes are soft.

3.     Stir in crumbled tofu and cook for 5-7 minutes.

4.     Season with salt and serve hot with toast or paratha.

Mushroom and its Varieties: Mushrooms are nature’s answer to meat with their rich umami flavour and meaty texture. Shiitakes shine in stir-fries, oyster mushrooms offer a scallop-like texture to pasta dishes, and portobellos make satisfying burger patties. Try the flavourful, Mushroom Keema:

Mushroom Keema Recipe

Ingredients: 

–         200g mushrooms, finely chopped

–         1 onion, finely chopped

–         2 tomatoes, finely chopped

–         1 tsp ginger-garlic paste

–         2 tsp garam masala

–         1 tsp black pepper

–         2 tbsp oil

–         Salt to taste

Instructions: 

1.     Heat oil in a pan, add onions and sauté until golden.

2.     Add ginger-garlic paste and tomatoes and cook until soft.

3.     Stir in chopped mushrooms, garam masala, and black pepper.

4.     Cook until mushrooms are tender and fragrant.

5.     Season with salt and serve with naan or rice.

Legumes: Lentils and beans may be small, but they are mighty in terms of protein and heartiness. They can be transformed into “meatballs,” “sloppy joes,” or even a comforting “shepherd’s pie.” Experiment with these protein-rich alternatives to traditional meat dishes.

Soya: It is the complete Mock Meat. Soya is a protein-rich ingredient that can mimic various meat dishes. Whether in chunk form or as chaap, it provides a chewy texture and absorbs flavours well. Try Spicy Soya Chunks Masala, or the Soya Chaap Curry, for a satisfying meal.

Spicy Soya Chunks Masala Recipe

Ingredients: 

–         200g soya chunks, soaked

–         2 onions, chopped

–         2 tomatoes, chopped

–         1 tsp ginger-garlic paste

–         2 tsp garam masala

–         2 tbsp oil

–         Salt to taste

Instructions: 

1.     Heat oil in a pan, add onions and sauté until golden.

2.     Add ginger-garlic paste and tomatoes and cook until soft.

3.     Stir in soaked soya chunks and garam masala.

4.     Cook until soya chunks are tender and flavourful.

5.     Season with salt and serve with rice or roti.

Soya Chaap Curry Recipe

Ingredients: 

–         200g soya chaap, cubed

–         2 onions, chopped

–         2 tomatoes, chopped

–         1 tsp ginger-garlic paste

–         2 tsp curry powder

–         fresh coriander

–         2 tbsp oil

–         Salt to taste

Instructions: 

1.     Heat oil in a pan, add onions and sauté until golden.

2.     Add ginger-garlic paste and tomatoes and cook until soft.

3.     Stir in soya chaap and curry powder.

4.     Cook until soya chaap is tender and absorbs the flavours.

5.     Season with salt and top it with chopped coriander, serve with naan or rice.

Paneer: It is a soft Indian cheese that may not mimic meat exactly, but its creamy texture and rich flavour make it a beloved ingredient in vegetarian cuisine. The Paneer Butter Masala is a decadent dish that is sure to please.

Paneer Butter Masala Recipe

Ingredients: 

–         200g paneer, cubed

–         2 onions, chopped

–         2 tomatoes, chopped

–         1 tsp ginger-garlic paste

–         2 tsp garam masala

–         1 cup heavy cream

–         2 tbsp butter

–         Salt to taste

Instructions:

1.     Heat butter in a pan, add onions and sauté until golden.

2.     Add ginger-garlic paste and tomatoes and cook until soft.

3.     Stir in garam masala and paneer cubes.

4.     Add heavy cream and second tadka (totally optional) with tomatoes, butter, and chilli powder if you like and simmer for 10 minutes.

5.     Season with salt and serve with naan or rice.

Textured Vegetable Protein (TVP): TVP offers a ground meat-like texture, making it a staple in vegetarian chilli, tacos and Bolognese. It’s an excellent base for flavourful dishes that will leave you craving more.

Embark on this culinary adventure and discover the joys of vegetarian dishes that taste like meat. Whether you’re a committed carnivore or a curious cook, these recipes promise to delight and satisfy, proving that vegetarian cuisine can be both hearty and flavourful.