approx. 500g tempeh (or regular firm tofu)
potato or pumpkin, peeled and cut into chunks
6-8 large dried chillies
1 cup vinegar
2 teaspoons grated fresh ginger
7 cloves garlic
2 teaspoons ground cumin seeds
1 teaspoon black peppercorns
2 teaspoons mixed spice
1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
2 teaspoons salt
2 medium onions, very finely chopped
1 tablespoon brown sugar
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
1.) Soak chillies in vinegar for at least 10 minutes (coconut vinegar is traditional; I just use brown vinegar). Put chillies, vinegar, ginger and garlic in a blender and grind to a paste. If using tofu, marinate in this paste for two hours.
2.) Gently fry onions in a large saucepan in oil until soft and golden, but not burned! Continue frying onions until oil is visible around the edges of the pan.
3.) Remove onions from the pan with a slotted spoon to leave the oil behind. Lift tofu or tempeh from marinade and fry in this oil until lightly browned and fragrant; remove from pan if you are worried about it cooking to bits. Return onions and add remaining marinade. Add potatoes or pumpkin chunks if desired.
4.) Cover and simmer on low heat until gravy thickens and cooked to your liking. Stir in sugar. Add tempeh/tofu (this stops it from going too soft from overcooking, but if you're not too worried, just leave it in).
Serve hot with rice and sliced cucumber with plain soy yoghurt.