Okay, these are not proper curry pans – this recipe is my version of the amazing Tim Anderson’s version from Tokyo Stories – I just veganised it, and air fried it and added some lighter options and some different possible fillings, because I made this quite often and it rarely happened that I had the exact components needed at home. So more than a recipe, this is my trick to have vegan things that are not deep fried and still are super similar to curry pans.
For the dough:
6 g dry yeast activated with 50 ml lukewarm soy milk
20g vegetable oil
250g strong bread flour
50 g all purpose flour
1 tbsp sugar
80 g veg butter – cut in small cubes
After dissolving the yeast, stir it in the vegetable oil and add the flours, salt and sugar. Knead for a few minutes until the dough comes together, then push piece by piace the butter in the dough. Keep kneading until the dough is smooth, soft and has no lumps. Wrap in cling film and leave in the fridge for at least 2 hours.
For the curry:
1 tbsp veg butter
1 diced shallot
10g curry powder
1 tsp garam masala
120 ml stock
1 small carrot diced
80 g cabbage/cawliflower/mushroom – Any veg that gives you a soft texture but also some bite works well for me
1 tbsp soy sauce
1 tbsp chili oil/sauce
Optional: 4 tbsp soy mince
Heat the butter in the pan and start sweating the shallot until blonde; then add the curry powder and the garam masala and cook for a couple of minutes; add the carrot and cook for 30 seconds, add the stock and the 80g vegetable of choice. Add the sauces only in the end and remove from the heat.
Heat some vegetable oil in a pan and add the soy mince: basically what I usually do is to do what they recommend to do with pork, that is to obtain a crispy texture so that even if you cook it a bit together with veggies it doesn’t become soggy. I tried it once for mapo tofu not knowing whether this applied to soy mince as well and it does splendidly. I use either the meatless farm mince or the usual dried soy mince – both are great, it depends on the texture you prefer.
Once the dough has rested, divide it into 6-8 pieces and shape them into balls. Then flatten each ball and put a spoonful of the curry mixture (with or without the mince mixed in) and seal the edges by pressing them together and keeping the shape of a ball.
Okay, now the air fryer part: these beauties should be deep fried. However, I cannot – as I said before, this is a great packed lunch, and it wouldn’t be easy for me to keep working after a deep fried meal (also, sometimes it’s just so nice to enjoy food that is great and satisfying without guild and remorse afterwards) brush the dough ball with oil and roll it in either panko or in the lighter version (yes, extra healthier tip: use oil instead of the butter in the dough and ) roll the pan in chia seeds – it tastes great and I loved it.
Now pre-heat the air fryer to 200 C for a couple of minutes and then gently place the pans in it – you will have to cook 2 batches unless you have a very big air frier. Cook for ~20 minutes but check after 10 minutes and then after 5 more, you never know!
If using a normal oven I think it still does the trick, but you will need to cook them longer and you won’t have the fake-fried feel that the air frier can give and the super crispy outside.
I hope you will try these and enjoy them as much as I did.