Let’s just get this out in the open right now; I do NOT have a clay Tandoori oven so, sure, technically this isn’t a real vegan Tandoori. But I used all the delicious flavors that mean Tandoori to me, so here we are.
I’m not going to let myself get boggled down in the details when I have a perfectly good stove, oven and air fryer. You work with what ya got, and this is what I got.
Vegan Chickpea & Quinoa Tandoori.
If you’re into one pot vegan meals, then you’ll be happy to know that you can pop this all into one pot and minimize your dish load. I didn’t do that, but it’s only because I like to have different flavors and textures on my plate. Instead of popping everything in one pot, I used the air fryer for the sweet potatoes and the oven to crisp up the chickpeas.
Vegan Tandoori Ingredients:
Tandoori Masala seasoning
For the chickpeas: Add your favorite Indian seasoning to the chickpeas. I used ginger, garlic, lemongrass, smoky paprika, curry, turmeric and scotch bonnet powder. Toss the chickpeas with oil and seasoning and cook on 225C for 10 to 15 minutes. You want them crispy but not crunchy.
For the sweet potatoes: Follow pretty much the same process and as the chickpeas, and pop them into the air fryer. You could also put them in the oven with the chickpeas, but I find that sweet potatoes tend to get more soft than crispy in the oven. It took about 15 minutes in my air fryer but I would start with 10 minutes on 200 degrees.
The only thing left to do is…everything else.
The peanut oil in this recipe was used for the chickpeas and sweet potatoes, and for this part of the recipe I used water to cook up the rest of the vegetables.
I like to create a slurry or a paste that starts with vegan soy sauce (or liquid aminos if you can’t vegan soy sauce) and water. Once the liquid starts to steam, add dry herbs and seasoning and let it get nice and hot before you add the onion jalapeno and ginger. Salt and cook until the vegetables start to sweat and smell delicious, then add garlic. Cook 2 to 3 more minutes, then add quinoa.
TIP: Make sure you rinse your quinoa well, until the water runs clear, to get rid of the dirt and other impurities.
You can toast the quinoa for a minute or two, but it’s not necessary for this dish, and then add water or broth (2 parts water to 1 part quinoa for reference). Cook according to package instructions or until water evaporates and the quinoa is soft.
When quinoa is cooked, add more liquid along with the spinach. I used frozen spinach because I’m not a huge fan of it, but if you use fresh spinach, cook it until it wilts.
Toss the chickpeas and sweet potatoes with the quinoa mixture and serve.
Enjoy and if you need it a bit spicier–like me–add something right at the end.