Monday, October 10, 2011

Vegan Curry Stackey Upppey

We used to do a ridiculous amount of entertaining at our house. Like, basically every weekend we would have groups of anywhere from four to 20 and sometimes more. Insanity.

I have cut way back on our entertaining which is great because now when we do, it makes the process way more fun; though I must admit, I'm slightly out of practice in the timing department.

So this weekend we had two lovely families over for dinner and pumpking carving. For dinner I wanted something that would essentially cook itself so I could party like a rockstar instead of rooting myself in the kitchen.

And then I remembered my mom used to make something called Chicken Stackey Uppey. I have no idea where the name came from; my hunch though, is that she made it up. Because that's the kind of name that has my mom written all over it.

So I made my vegan version. And it was super delicious, easy and interactive. I love interactive meals.

Here's the basis: you make a large pot of rice and a large pot of curry. Like I said, my mom made chicken curry. I made a mushroom, tofu, tempeh combination.

Then you have lots of topping options. Guests get their base of rice and curry then go to town on whatever toppings tickle their fancy.

It's fun, it's delicious and everyone gets a dish they love. Except if they don't love curry.

La Pure Mama Curry Paste:

1 Tablespoon grated lime zest
1 Tablespoon fresh squeezed lime juice
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
1/3 teaspoon ground coriander
4 garlic cloves
2 stalks lemongrass, coarsely chopped
1 oz shallots
1-2 thai bird chiles, coarsely chopped
1 oz cilantro, coarsely chopped
1 inch piece of ginger root, peeled and coarsely chopped

For the rest of your currry:
1/2 large white onion, chopped fine
12-15 shitake mushrooms, sliced
1 block extra firm tofu
1 package tempeh
4 cans coconut milk
1/2 carton So Delicious original coconut creamer
Salt and pepper to taste

For the rice:
2 cups dry brown rice
4 cups water
2 Tablespoons Earth Balance
1 teaspoon sea salt

And your toppings: (get creative!!)
Fresh broccoli, chopped fine
Red bell pepper, diced
Green bell pepper, diced
Shredded coconut
Celery, diced
Carrot, diced or matchstick
Water chestnuts, diced
Those chinese noodle things
Cashews, chopped
Green onion, chopped
Combine all curry paste ingredients into a food processor and pulse/blend until you have a smooth paste. Note: Often, I make a large batch of this and freeze it in cubes, for future use. Like I did here.
When you have your paste, transfer into a bowl or jar and set aside.
In a large pot, heat a little olive oil on med/high heat. Add onions and cook, stirring, about 2-3 minutes. When onions are barely soft, add shitake mushrooms, stir and continue to cook for about 3-5 minutes.
Reduce heat to low and add tofu and tempeh to your mix. Stir then add curry paste and continue to stir until evenly distributed. Once evenly distributed, add coconut milk, stir and cover with lid.
Let cook 5-10 minutes then stir and taste. Add salt and pepper as needed. Note: I did have to add salt and pepper several times.
At this point, your curry will cook itself. Simply put the lid on it but check it every 5-8 minutes and stir.
About 1 1/2 hours before you want to serve your meal, turn the oven on to 375.
Place your rice in a large baking pan. In a pot, combine water, Earth Balance and salt. Bring to a boil. Once boiling, pour water over rice then cover immediately with tin foil or a tight fitting lid. Place in oven  and bake for 1 hr, 20 minutes. When done, remove lid and fluff.
While your rice is cooking, arrange your toppings in separate bowls and set out.
To serve, simply place the rice and curry alongside bowls and spoons. You can either allow guests to dish their own portions, or you can do it for them, then let them choose their own toppings.
Serve a beautiful, fresh green salad alongside your curry and enjoy!
It's so fun to see what everyone chooses for toppings. And go back for seconds and try other combinations.


  1. I've been eagerly awaiting this recipe! And I can put the Teri stamp of approval on it too - delicious (and even better with friends! and wine!). :)

  2. I have to say, I wish I had been visiting Teri on this weekend, so I could have tagged along for this delicious meal. Although now I don't have an excuse not to make it myself :)

  3. Not a fan of curry. I wonder if another spice could be substituted?

  4. Teri... Yes you can! It was such a fun evening and I'm glad you liked my 'hands off' meal. It makes it more fun for me when people are over. And yes! Friends and wine are mandatory :)

    Jamie... Next time we will plan something :)

    Karen... It's not terribly 'curry-ish'... I think because the paste is handmade. I'm not a huge fan of strong curry either, that's why I make my own. I find the powdered curry is far more invasive. You might try it!

  5. Karen, I think it's a bit hard to find a substitute for curry. Since it's taste is so distinct and precise.



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