I was flipping through an old cookbook last week, looking for ideas. A photo of lamb tikka caught my eye, because the skewered chunks of marinated lamb looked just like seitan. I still had wooden skewers left over from my first attempt at seitan, so I was game.
Foods prepared tikka-style are cut into small pieces, marinated, and then cooked quickly, close to the flame. Chicken in the ubiquitous chicken tikka-masala is prepared this way, then stewed in a creamy sauce.
The seitan needs to marinate for at least 8 hours. The marinade is fragrant, so if you’re going to work and don’t want to smell like an Indian restaurant, you’ll want to make it the night before and just pour the marinade over the seitan in the morning. You could probably use this marinade to cook other things tikka-style: tofu or potatoes might be good. If I had a grill, I would grill this.
I served the seitan with jira rice I first made at an Indian cooking class. The recipe, which I’ve adjusted slightly over time, belongs to Shruti Mehta. It would be healthier with brown basmati rice, but it’s so warm and comforting with white.
(adapted from Williams-Sonoma: Soups, Salads, & Starters)
1 onion, quartered
1 tablespoon freshly grated ginger
1/2 cup plain soy yogurt
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon garam masala
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon ground turmeric
1 tablespoon chopped fresh cilantro
1 teaspoon salt
Prepare the seitan by cutting it into 1-2 inch chunks.
Combine the remaining ingredients, garlic through salt, in a blender or food processor and puree. Marinate the seitan in the sauce for at least 8 hours.
Soak a dozen wooden skewers in water for at least thirty minutes before you begin preparing the kebabs. This is critical. You don’t want your sticks catching fire.
When the seitan is finished marinading, preheat the oven to 400F and place the top rack 6 inches from the heating coil.
On each stick, skewer 3-4 pieces of seitan. Place the kebabs on a baking sheet.
Roast the seitan for five minutes, then remove the pan from the oven and turn the sticks. Roast for another five minutes and turn again. My seitan was cooked through after 15 minutes, but yours may cook faster or slower, depending on your oven and the size of your pieces. Eat the seitan while it’s hot.