This is more an idea than a recipe. Once you learn how to marinate and cook the curried tempeh, you can vary this grilled cheese sandwich however you like. If you are in hurry, see the shortcut method in the recipe below. Serve with a salad and my Indian spiced potato chips, and this is an easy, tasty meal any time of the day!
You can marinate and saute the tempeh for extra flavor like on the left. Or if you are in a rush, just toss the tempeh in soy sauce and curry powder and make the sandwich like the picture on the right.
I like to marinate the tempeh in soy sauce and curry powder, so that the tempeh soaks up some of the flavors. I used Frontier Indian curry powder. It contains turmeric, coriander, cumin, lemon peel, black pepper, lemon powder, cardamom, cinnamon, garlic and cayenne. Its mild, the lemon peel gives it a fresh pop, and it works well for the curried tempeh.
Remember, curry powders vary vastly in taste depending on the brand. So use my recipe as a guideline. Make a single grilled cheese sandwich, taste it, and adjust the curry powder accordingly.
A weight on top of the grilled cheese (panini style)- like a garden brick or cast iron skillet covered with foil – will ensure even cooking, and melt the cheese quickly. Use medium heat and a weight on top of the sandwich and you will have perfectly golden grilled cheeses every time!
Love grilled cheese and paninis? Check out my friend Kathy’s fun panini blog!
Curried Tempeh Grilled Cheese with Mango Chutney Recipe
Makes 2 sandwiches
For curried tempeh
Half an 8 oz package of tempeh
¼-½ teaspoon curry powder*
1 teaspoon soy sauce
2 tablespoons water
1/2 teaspoon oil
For the sandwich
4 slices of sourdough bread
1 tablespoon or to taste sweet mango chutney. Substitute with apricot preserves
4 slices of provolone or mozzarella cheese
Handful of fresh arugula or baby spinach leaves or kale leaves, torn
1 teaspoon butter
*curry powders vary greatly in their poteny and spiciness. So I really cant give you an exact amount.
For the curried tempeh
1.Slice the tempeh lengthwise into ¼ inch thin pieces. You will need 6-8 slices, about 4 oz
2.Whisk together the curry powder, soy sauce and water in a bowl. Add tempeh to the bowl and gently toss so the marinade is coated well on the tempeh.
3.Cover and marinate the tempeh in the fridge for 30 minutes and up to 2 days.
4. Heat oil in a medium skillet and add the marinated tempeh. Also add any remaining marinating liquid. Cook on medium heat, flipping the tempeh occasionally, till all the liquid has boiled away and the tempeh is brown on both sides.
Now proceed with making the grilled cheese.
Shortcut curried tempeh: If you are in a hurry, skip the marinating and cooking of the tempeh. Leave out the water and oil. Simply toss tempeh in soy sauce and curry powder and continue with the recipe below.
For the grilled cheese
1.Use a small cast iron skillet or a garden brick as the weight for the grilled cheese. Cover the cast iron skillet or bricks with aluminum foil
2. Take 2 slices of bread and slather about 1/2 teaspoon (or more) mango chutney on both the bread slices
3. Place one slice of cheese on top of the mango chutney. Top it with 3-4 slices of curried tempeh and 6-8 leaves of arugula or baby spinach or kale
4. Cover with another slice of cheese, and the other slice of bread, chutney side down
5. Heat ¼ teaspoon butter in a non stick skillet on medium heat. Place the sandwich on the skillet
6. Put the foil covered weight (cast iron skillet or brick) on top of the sandwich. Make sure it is balanced sitting on the sandwich. Let the sandwich with the weight on top cook on medium heat till the bottom side is golden, about 2 minutes
7. Then remove the grilled cheese sandwich using a wide spatula, add 1/4th teaspoon more butter to the pan. Flip the sandwich over and cook the other side, with the weight on top, till it is golden.
Serve immediately with a salad and Indian spiced potato chips.