Tempeh Curry Recipe

A vibrant tempeh curry recipe loosely inspired by a recipe from Lora Zarubin's cookbook, I am Almost Always Hungry.

Tempeh Curry

I'm writing this as I'm eating dinner, which is not something I normally do. But I think this is one of those recipes that a lot of you are going to like, and I'm feeling the need to share it with you now rather than later. It came together as I was riffing off one of Lora Zarubin's recipes from I Am Almost Always Hungry - her Potatoes with Tomato Curry. I love an all-in-one-pot meal, and was cobbling together a hearty, vegetarian version of her recipe with tempeh. It wasn't at all complicated, just an onion sautéed with a short list of spices, diced tomatoes, a splash of cream, and eventually potatoes and tempeh. It all came together in a vibrant red-orange pot of curry. Finished with a bit of cilantro, it's fragrant, filling, and tastes so much more indulgent than it actually is.

Tempeh Curry Recipe

A bit of an aside, I picked up Lora's book while browsing the cooking section at the library down the street from me the other day. I had a bit of a mini-celebration right there on the spot. I had this book years ago, and must have lost it or loaned it to someone. Anyhow, it was like running into an old friend, and I was happy to be reacquainted.

Tempeh Curry Recipe

I should also mention, before we move on to the recipe, Lora's tomato and potato curry recipe is part of one of the most interesting Thanksgiving menus I've come across. Each time I read through it I promise myself I'm going to lobby my family to tackle it one year. There's plenty for a mixed crowd - vegetarians, vegans, the whole lot. The only dish inherently meat-centric is the turkey. Here's the menu: Roasted Turkey with Tandori Spices, Roasted Hubbard Squash Wedges with Garam Masala, Basmati Rice with Saffron and Cloves, Red Lentils with Tamarind and Dates, Potatoes with Tomato Curry, Creamed Spinach with Cardamom and Shiitake Duxelle, Steamed Brussels Sprouts with Ghee and Sea Salt, Cranberry and Ginger Chutney, Mint and Chile Raita, Clover Rolls with Rosemary, Pumpkin and Arborio Rice Pudding, and Shrikand (a creamy yogurt dessert) with Fresh Pomegranate Seeds.

Tempeh Curry Recipe

I hope you give the recipe a try, particularly those of you who aren't so sure about tempeh. I swear, it's just the thing to go along with the sun that has been setting early, and the colder nights as well. Have a glance at the head notes before you jump in though, there are a few things to consider before you start. I should also add, if you're in a pinch time-wise, cauliflower might be a perfect, quick-to-cook alternative to potatoes.

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Tempeh Curry Recipe

This curry has a bit of kick to it - so if you're cooking for a spice-sensitive crowd, scale back a bit - and season to taste at the end. Also, the recipe has you steam the potatoes. I couldn't find my big metal steamer, so I rigged one using a metal strainer suspended over a large pasta pot with a lid on. There was a bit of a gap, and it probably took longer than it would have otherwise, but it worked. A pasta pot insert would work too. In the end, the potatoes just need to be cooked, so you could boil them or even roast them (oven at 375F) - both slightly different approaches, but fine workarounds. As far as the cooking fats go, if you like to cook with ghee or clarified butter, you can substitute that, or even coconut oil.

1 1/2 pounds small waxy potatoes no bigger than a small lime, halved
2 teaspoons fine-grain sea salt

1 tablespoon unsalted butter
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 medium yellow onion, peeled and chopped
1 teaspoon whole cumin seeds
1 teaspoon curry powder
1/4 teaspoon turmeric
scant 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 cup canned diced tomatoes
3/4 cup water
splash of cream or a dollop of creme fraiche

8 ounces tempeh, cut into 3/4-inch pieces
a small handful of cilantro, loosely chopped

Bring a few inches of water to boil in a large pot. Place the potatoes in a steamer (see head notes), sprinkle with 1 teaspoon of the salt and cook until tender throughout - about 20 - 30 minutes, depending on how large your potato pieces are.

In the meantime, in a large skillet, melt the butter in the olive oil, add the onion and cook over LOW heat until they are soft, about 5 minutes. Stir in the cumin seeds, curry powder, turmeric, and cayenne pepper, wait about thirty seconds, then stir in the tomatoes, water, and the other teaspoon of salt. Remove from heat, stir in the cream and blend with a hand blender - (or leave it unpureed if you like!). Note: you might need to transfer it to a bowl to puree, then return it to the skillet.

Once the curry is back in the pan, add the tempeh and bring barely to a simmer. Let the tempeh cook for 5 minutes or so, then add the potatoes when they are finished steaming. Transfer to a large family-style bowl, and sprinkle with cilantro before serving.

Serves 4 - 6.

This recipe was inspired by the Potato with Tomato Curry recipe in Lora Zarubin's I Am Almost Always Hungry. Published by Stewart, Tabori and Chang in 2003.

Prep time: 15 minutes - Cook time: 30 minutes

If you make this recipe, I'd love to see it - tag it #101cookbooks on Instagram!
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Thank you for another great recipe. I have had this bookmarked since you first published it, but didn't know where to find tempeh in Bulgaria. We just finished dinner and my kids 4 & 6 said that I should make it again tomorrow!

Casey Angelova

I made this and used a mix of cauliflower and potatoes. It was kind of bleh - I like curries a lot but don't usually like the recipes I try to make for some reason. Does anyone know a good brand of curry spice that you can get in Canada?


I have modified this to make it vegan, and I love it! I use olive oil instead of butter, coconut milk instead of cream, and add some freshly grated ginger. I also saute the tempeh before adding it so it's a little crispy. Yum!


my first curry, thanks to you! and waaaaay easier than i ever dreamed. now hopefully i won't be ordering indian twice a week. i love making your TLT recipe and i can't wait to make the other tempeh ones. hey, did you know that steaming the tempeh eliminates the bitterness?


this recipe inspired me to try temphe for the first time and I loved it! Now I will be on the prowl for more recipes using it. The dish was delicious as usual.


LOVED it! I omitted the dairy, but it was still so good. I find that tempeh can have a strong flavor, and the sauce brought it out in the best way. Thank you!


Thank you for this wonderful recipe and for your blog in general. This has become one of my top go-to sites for what-to-make-for-dinner, what-to-bring-to-the-potluck, and general food obsessed lurking (a daily addiction). I had remembered seeing this post a while back as I walked through the snow this evening dreaming of tempeh and had my fingers crossed that I had all of the ingredients on hand. It was such a pleasure to whip up and was delicious with some french fingerlings from this years garden harvest. It was so good, in fact, that we barely have left overs. I cannot wait to get my hands on some cauliflower and perhaps something green for the side. Delicious!


Great recipe, thanks for sharing. I made it with chickpeas instead of tempeh (trying to get hubby to eat more vegetarian and wasn't brave enough to try that yet.) Our resolution for 2010 is to do 1 meat free day a week so this was our first one. I boiled the spuds separately, and also added green beans and broccoli which was yummy. Hubby had seconds so I guess he liked it too :-)

Cat Russell

@Kesi : Yeah I have tried Patan ghee, it is awesome.. Especially with little amount you can make good curries... Cheers too

natalie joseph

Thanks for such wonderful recipe. Instead of olive oil I used patan ghee and the taste was too delicious... The taste had little fragrance of coconuts... Cheers

Kesi Miller

Just made and ate this for Christmas dinner, and it was delicious! Added some Trader Joe's cooking greens in with the steaming potatoes for the last 5 minutes to give it some green as I've got a cilantro hater, and served it atop jasmine rice. Thanks for the Christmas curry recipe :-)


Like Suzanne, I substituted cauliflower for the potatoes to to be a little more macro and squeeze some more veggies in. Also added some peas. Absolutely delicious. Thanks Heidi - your recipes are truly amazing and inspiring! :)


I don't know much about curry...can someone tell me, do i want to use a yellow curry powder or red? Is there just "curry powder" ?? HS: Just choose a curry powder that you like the taste of. I keep a number in my spice drawer (for those times when I don't want to grind my own), and they are all subtly different.


For those wanting an alternative to cream, coconut milk is great for giving curries a lovely depth and richness. A trick of ours is to use floury potatoes(i.e. Russet), which when cooked break down to thicken the curry slightly - or a portion of the potatoes could be blended and reincorporated.

C Thornton

This was delicious. I made it as written except I used coconut milk instead of cream. And I doubled it so we'd have leftovers. Good recipe!!


I made this the other night and absolutely loved it! It also impressed my dinner guest who is not vegetarian. The only modification I made was to use extra tomatoes instead of the water. It made the color more red, of course, but was delicious!


made this tonight with kale thrown in for green and sweet potatoes instead of regular--yummy and full of goodness. thanks for a great (as usual) recipe!


I'm making this right now and I'm excited. My boyfriend is not vegetarian, but he does make me lots of delicious dishes, and I'm thrilled to have something fully flavorful waiting for him for a change! I couldn't find tempeh on my quick trip to the regular grocery store so picked up some baked tofu instead. I'm hoping it does the trick and doesn't get the thumbs down. I'm wondering if there is a way to contact "seeds for change". He says to get in touch if interested in product, but there doesn't seem to be a link. I live in Williamsburg as well and would LOVE to try some of his fresh tempeh!


*raved ;)


This sauce was AMAZING!! I left out the tempeh, added spinach, and Indian Paneer cheese. I made the sauce exactly as direct. The family faved!


I just made this and LOVED it. I've never had tempeh taste better, actually. Can't wait to make this for my curry-loving boyfriend! Thanks!

debra Kreps

For those asking about the lime, Heidi was only suggesting the size of the potatoes to use, lol: 1 1/2 pounds small waxy potatoes no bigger than a small lime, halved


Wait, where does the lime go?


This looks absolutely fantastic! I love tempeh and, after a week of Thanksgiving food, a good curry sounds great. I need to make this right away.


This recipe sounded so good that I was indeed inspired to give tempeh try. Both my husband and I gobbled this dish up in no time. I didn't have cream on hand so I used plain yogurt and it seemed to work very well. I also added a few spoonfuls of yogurt before serving and sprinkled the cilantro on top -- very pretty! I am eating leftovers for lunch today and I can say that this recipe will quickly become a reliable friend. Thanks!


I cook with tofu a lot, but have never used proper tempeh. Absolutely making this tomorrow. Thanks so much!


Wow - made this last night and it was FANTASTIC! This is going into regular rotation at our house. Thanks!


I made this over the weekend. I didn't have and couldn't find any tempeh, so I just added extras vegetables. Other than accidentily adding too much cayenne, it was delicious.


made this tonight. so simple. and delicious. thank you!


It tastes really good! i love when the potato mixes with the curry sauce!


This looks so amazing, we love curry and veggies a perfect combination, but I do have one problem. My husband is tempeh-phobic, he does not enjoy tempeh as much, he says there is a bite to it....I do admit there is a distinct flavor to it, is there a way to prepare it to downplay that distinct flavor ?


We (including my three year old son) love tempeh and spice, so I'm going to try this. Question: Is there a vegan sub for the cream that you think would work okay? I was thinking I would use coconut milk (my kids are allergic to milk), but if you have a better idea, I'd love the hear it. Thanks!


I was amazed the best curry i've ever made.It's also my first time using Tempeh. I loved it and felt good about what i'm eating I had it with some Quinoa with saute zucchini and pomegranate .Thank you!


i read this page and i like it as i am very interested.

shubhangi halkunde

I made this the day before yesterday and it was delicious and even more so the next day. The only thing I changed was that I used ground cumin, because that is what I had, and I reduced both the cayenne and the tempeh by half. I used the tempeh that is soy and brown rice. It was my first time eating tempeh and I liked it. I didn't get as much broth as you did, so maybe next time I will add more water. Thanks for this great recipe.

anna maria

Maravilloso, tienen una pinta muy deliciosa. Saludos


I made this dish yesterday for my vegetarian husband .......absolutely delicious! Great flavors. Thank you!


This is something I am definitely going to try.


I made this last night and my husband told me to never, ever change the recipe! I did two changes: I forgot to add the cilantro and didn't puree it. I did have to guess with the lime. I didn't see any instructions on when to use it so I just squeezed it over the onions when I added the water, tomatoes, and salt.


That is one of my favorite cookbooks of all time. It's amazing!! Thanks for the links to Lora's blogs. So glad to catch up with her. Happy Thanksgiving, Heidi! xo HS: You too Luisa! Hope all is going well on your end, I'm so excited for you. xo


I saw this recipe a few days ago and just made it last night -- way easier than I thought it would be. Having Indian spices on-hand was my only glitch. I made it with cauliflower instead of potatoes and also substituted soy milk in place of the cream. No complaints on either of those! My fiance does not like tempeh but puts up with it for my sake, so I was hoping he'd at least enjoy it in this format. He said it tasted the least tempeh-ish of anything we've made, so I'll take that as a good sign. :)


I think this will be the perfect 'Thanksgiving Eve" dinner-easy and totally different flavors from what I'll be making tomorrow. Thanks!

DC Sarah

I grew up with tempe and realized when I moved to Canada, tempe becomes an expensive protein source. Your tempe curry looks just like tempe curry that I used to have when I was in Indonesia.

Pepy @ Indonesia Eats

I made this last night, but used a handful of prawns, since we're not veggie. I just put them in at the end to heat through. It was yummy :)


Looks awesome, but I'd feel much better if it would include specific spices and proportions rather than the more generic curry powder. I know, I know, all I have to do is Google 'curry powder recipe," but I trust your judgment even more! Still, looks like I'll have to do that search to bring this gorgeous dish to our table!


I tried your curry tonight, substituting tempeh (which I could not find here in rural Germany) with some chickpeas I had on hand. This worked out fine as well. It is a great recipe, thanks for sharing!


Bring on the Indian recipes! While I didn't know what tempe was until now, can't wait to try this. My husband and I are going to India in the Spring so we need to gear up.


Thanks, Heidi! I made this last night, using up both some potatoes and tempeh that I had around. I find that it's sometimes hard to really get tempeh to taste good in a recipe, but this was fantastic. The household carnivore also offered his enthusiastic approval.


I like mild spicy curry, it is perfect to serve with rice or some bread. Thanks for sharing it!


Thanks for the inspiration, Heidi! I started to make this, but reverted instead to my favorite tempeh curry: the Indonesian-inspired one from "Vegan Planet," p. 310. It uses coconut milk, and goes for ginger, shallots, & garlic instead of your spices, but I bet they're both great. Yum. For those who felt the tempeh tasted like socks: Parboil it before just throwing it in a recipe. Does wonders. I not only parboil mine, but saute it separately before putting it in the pot with the rest of the curry.


I only put in a pound of potatoes and added some green beans (after blanching them). I wanted to add some color and take away some of the starch. I didn't add any cream either and it was quite tasty. Next time I will add some coconut milk


Heidi, I just want you to know that you're amazing. I've made more of your recipes than I can count, and I bought your cookbook a couple of years back.. but tonight, with this recipe, you turned my carnivore fiance into a tempe lover! :)


Fantastic recipe, and I just LOVE your thanksgiving menu.


This looks incredible and is making me hungry. I know what to cook for dinner now!

emma. our kitchen

i know that this is sacrilege on this site, but i just made this with chicken (homegrown in my backyard) chicken and it was absolutely delicious. if you know where your bird is coming from, i highly recommend chicken as a suitable tempe(h) substitute for those who are unsure/allergic. also, i subbed about a cup of coconut milk for the dollop of cream and used coconut oil to sautee in. topped with cilantro and avocados, this was amazing and just what i needed on this freezing cold rainy day.


Incredibly easy, yet subtely tantalizing. Make this recipe, don't just talk about it!


My daughter made this for us last night and I want this at least once a week. It is fantastic. thanks so much.....


mmm sounds like dinner tonight. thanks!


For recipes where butter is melted in the olive oil, what is the purpose of that (vs. just using butter OR olive oil?) I ask because I tend to not use real butter and instead use Earth Balance, a prodct that is canola oil based) and I am wondering what result I am potentially missing/ lacking by doing so.


This recipe sounds fabulous! I love curry!!


Great blog and wonderful recipe ideas. I teach on a few cookery Holidays around the world and I will definitely be recommending this blog to my students.


I am so happy to find this curried tempeh post. I am a local fresh tempeh maker in Brooklyn and if you don't like tempeh then you have to try fresh tempeh. It is a beautiful food that is alive and soaks up flavor. anyone interested get in touch. it has to stay local as the shelf life is about a week, best fresh. I am going to make this dish for my Williamsburg arts thanksgiving thanks

seed for change

I came to look for a pecan pie recipe and ended up with my dinner recipe for tonight. I can hardly wait to make this!


I will definitely be trying this! And that Thanksgiving menu sounds amazing. Probably wouldn’t fly in my family…but maybe someday I could talk them into it!


Looks delicious!

Christie @ Honoring Health

I have never aquired a taste for tempeh, I cook with curry paste and season with curry only occasionally, this does look interesting. Even I haven't put together a holiday menu yet, there is always enough time however, this just might do it looks great.


Usually happens that I need to know referring to this topic and in that situation this is good to have a help at the trustworthy essay writers and buy">http://www.essayslab.com">buy essay only there.


Hi Heidi, this is my first comment since I join your site. I was surprise with your tempe(h) recipe. I live in Indonesia, tempe was in our culinary since hundred years ago. Please try one of my favorite recipe, it is called "mendoan", 200 gr tempe, cut slice to 4-5 mm thick 1 teaspoon of fresh grain corriander 1 clove of garlic 1/2 teaspoons of fine grain salt 1/2 cup of rice flour water mix all of the ingredient in a bowl, add water to light paste, deep tempe one by one to the paste, then fried half done only, serve with fresh cayene pepper or chili sauce Try it, you will like it.


Looks delish Mmmm, The photography is soo good that it seems like I can smell it. and even taste the turmeric. I got to make this one.

Don Evans

I saw the comment about soy and cancer. It might be a good idea for you to do some research on this. Plant based estrogen and animal based are not the same, although some physicians don't distinguish between the two. I have read that plant based estrogens actually block the animal based variety, and so, are protective. Read books like The China Study (Campbell). Wish you a long healthy life!


Hi Heidi! I am a big fan of your site being a food lover & a vegetarian as well. Just a note: This recipe & the first picture reminds me a lot of an Indian dish which is very similar called Dum Aloo. It's a spicier version of this and just as delish! It's amazing how many dishes around the world can often be similar and yet subtly different.

Divya Trivedi

Wow; this looks amazing and I am surely going to be whipping this dish up tomorrow night. Thank you for this tasty recipe...Yummmm!!!

The Healthy Apple

Technical question! Is there any simmering done after adding the tomatoes? At least heating them, before adding the cream? Well, I'm about half way through and got to this step and realized I hadn't quite thought of this when starting to cook.... The smells are amazing! Cheers!

Sam (The Second Lunch)

This was so good, and even better the next day. All the seasonings were right in line and once again you have not let me down.


Every recipe that I have tried of yours has turned out beautifully & some I make over and over - such as the amazing black bean brownie recipe. Just love vegetable curries, so will make this one very soon. Living here in Brunei, I sometimes have to make minor adjustments to the ingredients or stock up on trips back to England...Also just bought your book and love that too. The rest of the thanksgiving menu sounds interesting!! Diana

Diana Price

I love curry food:D

If it comes in pink

The Tempeh Curry looks more like a great dish to try by the bowlful than by buying all the ingredients and trying to do all the preparations. I'm not sure I'll like this dish, but I'd sure like to try a bowl! About Thanksgiving, Thanksgiving is such a day filled with tradition, I'm not sure I'd want a whole different group of side dishes (as you suggested trying to talk your group into), as it just wouldn't seem like Thanksgiving (it'd just be another meal with turkey). I long for traditional side dishes on Thanksgiving and think of the collective of flavors throughout the year. Your ideas sound fantastic, though, for any of the other 364 dinners we may have in a year!


This is an exciting recipe for Thanksgiving. I adore curry spices, and its combination with potatoes and tempeh, so hearty and flavorful! I also like the tip on coconut milk in place of cream.

Christine @ Fresh Local and Best

Hmm, I too have never been fully sold on tempeh but this sounds really good. What an amazing Thanksgiving menu too - thanks!

nithya at hungrydesi

Looks amazing, I'm definitely going to give it a try!


heidi and fans, i'm on week seven of the kitchen remodel from hell with possibly another month to go (sob!)...what are your thoughts about making this in a crock pot? simmer the potatoes in water first, drain, then proceed? both the BF and i gag at the mention of any of our favorite restaurants anymore. too...much...takeout! regardless, it looks lovely and will be made by me, one way or another. :)


Thank you Marc up there for telling the truth about Tempe!!! :) You rock! Yes, it IS more challenging to find good tempe outside of Indonesia, which is where tempe comes from. And thanks Heidi for putting up a curry recipe with tempe! Yummy. I'd put extra green beans in it, to veg it up another notch. Btw Heidi, why do you keep spelling it with an extra 'h' like a lot Westerners do? I've found that your site honors food origins, and as such wonder why you don't spell this wonderful food the original way. It's akin to, say, peeps in the other corner of the globe adding an extra consonant to "broccolih" for example. ;) While it's not a big deal, I've found it rather, well, I don't know the right word to describe it really. HS: Your broccolih example made me laugh. So, to answer your question - I guess it's because most of the packaging here spells it with an "h" in the stores. And many of the cookbooks written for Westerners spell it that way as well...


I spent many years in Indonesia and simply loved tahu and tempe! You can find tempe at Wholefoods in Chicago. It is such a versatile ingredient and can be added to any dish in lieu of meat. It is great in gado-gado. Thank you for featuring this nutritious food, Heidi.

Shanta Sunderdas

Wow, Heide...Thx, finally u cooked something original from Indonesia. Yes, we called it "Tempe" not "Tempeh". All the best and keep up the hard work. Great one.


Thanks, Heidi! This made a yummy dinner tonight. No tempeh here, but yes on green beans and roasted japanese sweet potatoes with brown basmati rice. Wish i had made more for leftovers!

Sherry H.

Nice recipee, I'll try it with coconut milk

claudia leimoko

Sounds similar to a fish curry I do - only, instead of cream, I use about a cup of coconut milk. Also, I slice the potatoes very thin, and often do half potatoes/half butternut squash - or sometimes all butternut squash. I'd love to try it with tempeh! I've found the trick to tempeh is to cut it very small (quarter-inch or so pieces). If the pieces are too big, it can have a bitterness to it. If done right, I really enjoy it. Looking forward to checking out the cookbook, and her terrific Thanksgiving menu!


One can never have too many curry recipes. I have a block of tempeh in my vegetable drawer and a tempeh-phobic crowd to cook for, so this looks perfect.


Tempe (that's how we spell it in Indonesia) is highly perishable. Therefore, if you purchase one (usually vacuum packed), make sure that it hasn't passed its expiry date. When you open the package make sure that it doesn't have any offensive smell (ammonia like smell) before you cook them. Otherwise, the "rotten" tempe will spoil your dish. If you want to substitute tempe with something else, deep fried tofu will be delicious too.


This is definitely MY type of cooking! Absolutely!


I really enjoy tempeh. At first, I wasn't much of a fan of the texture, but it's certainly grown on me. Thanks for posting this recipe! I definitely need to try this.

Amy @ People's Gourmet

I love tempe...Tempe is one of traditional food from Indonesia. Unfortunately..the tempe in U.S not the same taste like in Indonesia. We like to eat it with sambal(spicy chili from Indo) or make "sambal goreng tempe" and eat it with warm rice...hmmm..yummy!


What a good recipe to try...

Luisa Mercado

I've been eating tempe lately and can not wait to try this yummy recipe

Julie Grant

Does tempeh have anything to do with soy? We breast cancer survivors cannot have anything with a soy product or derivative of a soy product due to its overabundance of estrogen. Don't want to go through that again!


I saw this recipe earlier today and knew that I had to have it tonight~it was so good. Thank you for such great meal ideas. :)


Sadly, I am highly intolerant to soy beans and anything made with soy. What do you suggest as a replacement?


If anyone is looking for good brands of tofu and tempeh, I'd recommend Surata, made in Oregon. http://www.suratasoy.com/


Another great one. I'm using tempeh more than tofu these days due to a possible allergy, so this is perfect. I also love the sound of that exotic Thanksgiving meal. Would love to try it, although, I don't know if family would be willing to forego the traditional for even one year? We'll see! Thx for the delicious curry recipe!


Just bought this cookbook based on the title alone, story of my life.


Nothing left to say but, "YUM!!!" I am trying this for sure.

Kimberly @ Poor Girl Eats Well

Another recipe to put on the to try list. For the people wanting a substitute to Tempeh, what about home made paneer . HS: You know I was thinking the exact same thing.


I've been searching for something new and exciting to do with tempeh and this sounds delicious! Once again, you have come to my culinary rescue. Thanks so much.


Thanks for the tempeh recipe! They are not so easy to come by. I have food allergies (really food intolerances), and among the forbidden foods are soy and tofu. Tempeh works fine for me, but I don't often get good recipes.


What are people's favorite brands of tempeh? I have tried a few in California (can't remember the names, unfortunately) and am not crazy about them. They don't come close to the wondrous tempeh I had on vacation in Indonesia. I'm somewhat surprised that there aren't small scale tempeh makers in the S.F. Bay Area. The farmers markets have all sorts of food artisans -- tofu, sauerkraut (many kinds), wild-crafted herbal teas, kombucha, etc. -- but no tempeh. Perhaps it's too much of a 1970s hippie thing. Or too difficult? Perhaps we could convince the people at Hodo Soy Beanery to venture into tempeh...


I love curry! Unfortunately it is something that does not get eaten in my household. I should give this recipe a try. Maybe I can sway my boyfriends mind about curry :)

Nutmeg Nanny

Sounds like a delicious recipe, thank you for posting it and for the print option! I've bought tempeh a couple of times and always forget to use it and have to throw it out. Maybe now I will actually try it out. I also have finally purchased your beautiful book "Super Natural Cooking".

anna maria

Loved your description of your dinner and assorted recipes. I've eaten tempeh elsewhere, never tried it at home. Must do so some day. Have heard before of substituting cauliflower for potatoes - why not? Thanks so much, Renee. Keep your blogs coming.

Vee McKnight

I am definitely making this tonight. My sis is visiting and she'll be so surprised and excited: tempeh is her absolute favorite thing ever! And to me, there's just nothing better than an Indian-inspired dish. :) Thanks Heidi!

Danielle F

If I don't have cumin seeds, can I used grimed cumin?

Easy recipes

Even though I am not vegetarian I love eating a vegetable dish with my curry and rice. I will try this out sounds great


I used to love tempeh. Had a bad experience with getting sick off an overly moldy piece, but this recipe is tempting enough to get me back in the game.


Oh, I'm sold. Definitely my kind of Thanksgiving!

The Ordinary Vegetarian

How might a splash of coconut milk work in place of cream? I'd like to keep it vegan if I can! HS: I think that would be a delicious alternative!


This looks kind of like a Panang curry from Thailand, but it sounds more Indian. I've had good and bad tempeh, and I think it depends on the flavors and ingredients they add to it. Baked tofu would work well here too. I bake tofu slices with a marinade of soy sauce, sesame oil, rice vinegar and Marsala wine at about 400 degrees for an hour or so until brown and caramelized. It's easy and cheaper than buying it already prepared.

Lentil Breakdown

We love tempeh and this looks AMAZING! We will definitely try with cauliflower, thanks a bundle!

Lauren and Jesse

I've yet to find tempeh I'm really thrilled with either, so I plan to try making some myself! I got Wild Fermentation and just have to work up the nerve... Recipe sounds delicious though and thanks for the links to Lora's sites.

Michelle @ Find Your Balance

I would recommend substituting either seitan or chickpeas for the tempeh... I tend not to cook with it because it upsets my stomach. Chickpeas are great because they're high in protein, easy to find, and add a nice flavor/texture to curries, stews, etc. Hope that helps!


This is a fantastic way to introduce people to tempeh who may be reluctant. Curry seems to be my go-to blend when I need to get healthier food in people. Everything tastes amazing curried.

Meghan (Making Love In The Kitchen)

This is a fantastic way to introduce people to tempeh who may be reluctant. Curry seems to be my go-to blend when I need to get healthier food in people. Everything tastes amazing curried.

Meghan (Making Love In The Kitchen)

Any ideas of what tempeh could be substituted with? I've never seen anywhere, yet feel like having a curry tonight and this one soulds lovely.. I'm sure there should be something that would go well with the rest..?


Heidi, this looks delicious! I have to admit I've never tried Tempeh before. I've seen it cooked some many different ways. I need to make a commitment to try tempeh!

Estela @ Weekly Bite

this looks delicious! do you have any substitution suggestions for those of us who can't buy tempeh (living in veggie unfriendly eastern europe!)?


Oh wow, that Thanksgiving menu sounds like one gathering I'd want to be at this week :)

Simply Life

Last night we had coconut curry, and it was so delicious, I was thinking 'I must learn to make more styles of curry'. This one looks great. Of course the photograph is absolutely beautiful, but the recipe sounds really fantastic. We will absolutely try this one! Thank you, Michaela

The Gardener's Eden

Mmm, I love tempeh and I love curry. Sounds good to me :)


Hate to ask this but er......... whats tempeh? I love your photoes ....


sounds delicious! except i'm on the fence about tempeh. i had it in Indonesia, and enjoyed the nutty, substantial, toothy flavor. plus it's high in protein, and veggie friendly. but last week when i spotted it in my coop, i decided to try, and put it in a stir fry with broccoli, spinach, and ginger...bad idea! it smelled like socks and tasted like sweat. heidi: thanks for your amazing recipes. i'll try substituting the tempeh with boiled eggs or even green beans, perhaps?

domestic diva

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