Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Indo-Malaysian 'Mutton' Soup...

I have never eaten mutton in my life, nor have I had any desire to. However when I came across a recipe for an Indian Mutton Soup in a Malaysian cook book recently, I found myself intrigued. Not in the least by the meat but by the idea of a rich, flavorful, lightly spiced soup with large chunks of tomato. The picture looked very appetizing, and I could feel the creative juices in my brain begin to flow. How could I make this vegan? At first I wasn’t sure how I’d be able to achieve this, because as far as I know there is not currently a vegan lamb, or sheep substitute. There is vegan beef, and vegan chicken, there is vegan tuna, and vegan shrimp, hell there is even vegan calamari and Haggis, but no vegan lamb. I considered using seitan or tempeh because they’re both chewy and easily soak up flavor but I didn’t have any seitan on hand and tempeh I decided might taste too much like tempeh. I wanted this dish to be really rich and decadent so I needed something else.

Lucky for me I had a package of Gardein Beefless Tips in my freezer. Even though they’re not in the slightest bit mutton like I figured they’d be a fine substitute. I’ve only eaten lamb a couple of times in my life and it was long ago. I recall it being stronger, gamier, and richer then beef but not necessarily that different, maybe I’m wrong there but I’ll never know. The tips in the end worked magically. They were exactly the right thing for this delicious hearty soup. The mixture of flavors in this soup is incredible, my husband and I couldn’t stop raving about the awesome flavor of the broth. It was perfectly spiced and tasted fantastic with bread. Originally I wanted to use Naan, but the store was out, and I didn’t have the time to make any so we used pita. It worked just as well I think, so when you make this soup you must get bread, any kind! You will not be sorry.

This soup apparently also goes by the name of Sop Kambing and is a particularly popular dish amongst the Muslim and Malay hawker stalls, as well as in the coffee shops. I hear it’s best when served at night as it’s said to have a restorative property. I don’t know about that, but I definitely felt sated after finishing off a large bowl, and now you can enjoy it too!

Indo-Malaysian 'Mutton' Soup

1 thumb size piece of ginger
8 Garlic Cloves
1 Red Chili or ½-1 tsp Red pepper Flakes
1 Large Yellow Onion roughly chopped
2 Tbsp Non-dairy Butter
1 ½ tsp Ground Coriander
1 ½ tsp Ground Cumin
1 ½ tsp Ground Fenugreek
1 ½ tsp Sugar
1/4-1/2 tsp Ground Cinnamon
3-4 tsp Tomato Paste
7 Green Cardamom Pods
Sea Salt and Black Pepper to taste
2 C Water + 1 Vegan ‘Beef’ Bullion Cube
3 Tomatoes, peeled, seeded, and quartered, then the quarters cut in half
10oz -1 lb Gardein Beefless Tips
1 Bunch Cilantro minced

- Spray large pan with non-stick spray and cook beef tips over high heat until browned on all sides. 3-4 minutes. Remove from pan and set aside.

- Place Ginger, Garlic and Red Chili into a food processor and process into a paste

- Heat the non-dairy butter in a large pan over medium-high heat. Add the onions and saute for 4-5 minutes until fragrant. Add the garlic, ginger paste and saute another 2 minutes. Add the coriander, cumin, fenugreek and sugar stir to combine and saute another 2-3 minutes until very fragrant and onions are golden.

- Add the water and bullion cube, along with the tomato paste, cinnamon and cardamom pods. Stir to combine, then bring to a boil.

- Reduce the heat and cover simmer for 20 minutes.

- Add the tomatoes along with sea salt and pepper to taste. Then cover and simmer another 15 minutes.

- Add in the reserved ‘beef’ tips and simmer another 10 minutes.

- Fish out the cardamom pods and discard. Garnish with the cilantro and serve with your favorite crusty bread or Naan.

*** Note - This can be made Gluten-Free if using Tempeh or soy based beef instead. Or it can be made Soy-free if using Seitan or soy-free beef and soy-free non-dairy butter instead. Although I can’t promise it’ll taste the same with either substitution.*** 

1 comment:

  1. Oh, man, was this good!! I remember this dish & it was delicious. It definitely needed the pita - you're right. I couldn't stop eating the food. It will not disappoint anyone that decides to make it.