Nov 7, 2011

Day 28/180: Seitanic Stew

Two things to get out of the way.

  1. Yes, I know this post should be labeled Day Twenty Late. Sorry. I wish I could promise that it will never happen again but I'd be lying if I did.
  2. No, I will probably never get enough of making silly puns on the word "seitan".

That's out of the way, so let's talk food. The smallest batch of seitan that I've made uses a cup of gluten and makes about eight good-sized pieces. That means that, since I only used two pieces of the curry seitan for my stir fry on Day 27, I had to find some ways to use up the rest.

So I fried some up as steaks for breakfast leaving me with four to go. So I put two of them in a plastic bag and put them in the freezer to see how that worked. While I was trying to find room, I noticed a bag of thick slices of raw butternut squash that I'd left there a few weeks ago, and two solutions popped into my head. If I took out the squash there'd be room for the seitan and, with a frost on the ground, it was a great night for a stew. I had a good idea for the recipe.

Seitanic Stew

  • 1/2 lb (more or less) butternut squash
  • 2 seitan steaks (mine are about 6" x 3" x 3/4" so increase or decrease accordingly)
  • 1 medium yellow onion
  • 1 large potato or 3 small ones
  • 2 Tbs curry powder (I ran out of Bolst's which is my favorite so I ended up using a namby-pamby Madras-style) 
  • Peanut or some other cooking oil
  • 1 tsp cumin seed
  • 1 tsp mustard seed
  • 1 dried chili
  • Water or vegetable stock


  1. Dice the onion and squash.
  2. Put a small amount of oil in a saucepan on medium heat, and fry the onion until translucent.
  3. Turn the heat to barely simmer.
  4. Add two cups of water or V stock.
  5. Add curry powder.
  6. Add the squash.
  7. Add enough additional water or stock to cover the squash (if necessary).
  8. Cover pot.
  9. Cook for a few hours.
  10. Mash the squash with a fork (or put it through a food processor and return it to the pan).
  11. Slice the seitan into strips.
  12. Cut the potato into 1" cubes.
  13. Add seitan and potato to the squash.
  14. Continue to cook on barely simmer for another hour or so.

Just before serving:

  1. Dry pan roast the cumin and mustard seed in a small skillet.
  2. When the mustard starts to pop pour the seeds into a mortar or suribachi.
  3. Add the dried chili.
  4. Grind well. 
  5. Add 2 Tbs of oil to the skillet.
  6. Add the spices to the oil.
  7. Sizzle very briefly. (Don't let it burn!)
  8. Serve the stew with a drizzle of the spiced oil. (Don't overdo it, there should be enough oil for three bowls or more.)
If you know Indian cooking you'll recognize the last section as being a kind of "tarka", a topping usually used with dhal (lentils). It works well with other dishes too.

I need to write up a shopping list. I have a sudden craving for papadums.

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