What Is Tempeh?  Health Benefits Of Tempeh With Quick Tempeh Recipes For Vegetarians 

Tempeh (also known as Tempe) dates back several centuries and is made by a natural culturing and controlled fermentation process that binds soybeans into a cake form. It is packed with protein, fibre and good fats, giving vegetarians, fitness enthusiasts and conscious foodies a delicious, nutritious and healthy, plant-based, protein-rich food. Research has shown benefits for overall health, including muscle gain and weight loss. It is also a great food option for diabetics. Tempeh is the best kept protein secret for consumers looking to make healthy food choices. Dairy-free and gluten-free, it is also low in saturated fats and carbohydrates and good for the gut. 

Dr. Sreemathy Venkatraman, Nutritionist – Brains Neuro Spine Hospital says, “The standard Indian vegetarian diet is notorious for being protein deficient. India has a staggering number of vegetarians who often find it a challenge to boost their protein intake to meet daily requirements, leading to a massive protein deficit across the country. India’s vegetarian community has constantly struggled to get high-quality protein-rich foods on its plate. Their flavour profiles are often fatigued with conventional sources of protein such as paneer, dal or chickpeas. Moreover, the Indian vegetarian population, especially women, often experience Vitamin B-12 and iron deficiencies due to lack of sufficient intake in their staple diet.

To bridge this glaring gap, I recommend adding highly nutritious and wholesome plant-based proteins such as tempeh, which is an excellent option as it sways away from the usual choices presented to vegetarians. Besides being rich in protein and fiber, it is nutrient dense and low in carbohydrates. Tempeh is a superfood that is also great for your gut health due to its fermented nature. It is easy to cook and versatile and can be adapted across cuisines. After extensive research and practical day-to-day usage, I have found tempeh to be a great option for Indian vegetarians looking to add some variety to their diet while meeting their protein requirements. Here are quick recipes made with Hello Tempeh, a super bean plant protein company that helps vegans and vegetarians to gain protein in daily life.

(Also Read: 5 Vegan Protein Sources To Add To Your Diet Today)

TEMPEH KATHI ROLL 
PREP TIME     20 mins 
COOKING TIME     20 mins 
SERVES     4 

FOR 200 GMS OF TEMPEH  –           
INGREDIENTS: 
Hello Tempeh cubes   –  200 Gm 
Broken Cashew paste   – 01 Tsp 
Sliced onions –  02  Nos 
Sliced coloured peppers  –   1/4 each   
Jeera powder  –   01 Tsp 
Chat masala  –   02 Tsp 
Kashmiri chilli powder   –  2.5  Tsp 
Tomato ketchup –    02  Tsp 
Salt to taste             
Oil  – 04 Tsp 
Fresh coriander  – 02  Tsp 
Ginger garlic paste   –  02 Tsp 
Curd     04     Tbsp 
Kasuri methi     1/2     Tsp 
Roti/ Indian Bread of your choice           

For the onion tomato masala           
Onion     2     Nos 
Tomato     3     Nos 
Tomato puree     4     Tbsp 
Ginger garlic paste     1     Tsp 
Kashmiri chilli powder     1     Tsp 
Turmeric powder     1/4    Tsp 
Bay leaf     1     Nos 
Cardamom green     2     Nos 
Cinnamon     1     Pieces 
Oil     100     ml  

Prep:  
Unbox the Hello Tempeh natural cubes  
Marinate the cubes with turmeric powder, Kashmiri chilli powder, ginger-garlic paste, curd and salt for 10 minutes. Skip step 2 if using marinated cubes. 
Slice onions and peppers. 
Onion Tomato masala- 
A) Finely chop onions and tomatoes.  
B) Heat some oil in a pan. Add bay leaf, cardamom and cinnamon. Once they start to splutter, add the onions and fry till golden brown. 
C) Take ginger garlic paste in a different bowl. Add Kashmiri chilli powder, turmeric powder along with little water to form a thick paste. 
D) Pour the paste into the onions and cook for 05 minutes.  
E) Add chopped tomatoes and cook for 05 mins.  
F) Add the tomato puree and cook for 10 minutes. 
G) Once the oil separates, switch off the gas and the gravy is ready for use. 

Procedure (filling)- 
Heat some oil in pan. 
Add sliced onions and sauté for 5 mins. 
Add pepper and sauté for 5 mins. 
Add jeera powder, chat masala, tomato ketchup, onion tomato masala, cashew paste and fresh coriander. Add salt to taste. Stir well.  
Cook for 5 mins. 
Keep aside and let it cool 

Kathi roll- 
Sauté the Tempeh cubes 
Add the filling and sauteed cubes on one side of the roti. 
Fold inwards at the bottom and then fold from both sides to form a drum shape. 
Cut into two and serve 

TEMPEH LETTUCE WRAP 
PREP TIME     15 mins 
COOKING TIME     15 mins 
SERVES     4 

FOR 200 GMS OF TEMPEH             
INGREDIENTS     QTY     UNIT 
Hello Tempeh cubes     200     Gm 
Ice berg lettuce     01     Bunch 
Soya sauce     03     Tsp 
Hot garlic sauce     04      Tsp 
Tri coloured capsicum     02      Tsp 
Carrots     02     Nos 
Spring onions     05     Tsp 
Salt to taste         
Sugar     02     Tsp 
Garlic     02     Tbsp 
Roasted peanuts     04     Tsp 
Fresh ginger     01     Tsp 
Oil     04     Tsp 
For the dip             
Black vinegar     05     Tsp 
Fresh red chillies     01     Nos 
Black pepper powder     01     Tsp 
White sesame seeds     1      Tsp 

Prep:  
Unbox Hello Tempeh natural cubes and keep aside. 
Break the ice berg lettuce into smaller parts and soak it in ice cold water. 
Finely chop garlic and ginger, fresh red chillies and spring onions.  
Dice tri-coloured capsicums. 
Coarsely grind roasted peanuts and keep aside. 

Cooking: 
In a pan, heat oil and saute chopped ginger and garlic for 03 minutes. 
Add chopped capsicums and saute for further 03 mins. 
Add hot garlic sauce and 02 tsp of soya sauce. Cook for 01 min. 
Add Tempeh cubes, crushed peanuts, salt and sugar. Stir for 3 mins. 
Garnish with spring onions and white sesame seeds. 
Let it cool. 
Dip: 
Mix black vinegar with one spoon of soya sauce, fresh red chillies, salt and sugar and blend well. 
Add white sesame seeds. 
Dip is ready. 
Filling: 
Drain lettuce leaves and form small cups of them. 
Add the sauteed Tempeh mixture in between. 
Roll it and serve with dip. 

TEMPEH DONBURI BOWL  
PREP TIME     15 mins 
COOKING TIME     20 mins 
SERVES     3 
                 

FOR 200 GMS OF TEMPEH             
INGREDIENTS     QTY     UNIT 
Hello Tempeh cubes     200     Gm 
Corn flour     01     Tsp 
Hot garlic Sauce     02     Tsp 
Soy sauce     03     Tsp 
Tomato ketchup     02     Tsp 
Green chillies     01     Nos 
Red, green, yellow pepper cubes     1/4 each     Tsp 
Asparagus     02      Nos 
Salt to taste         
Chopped garlic     02     Tsp 
Chopped ginger     03     Tsp 
White vinegar     1/4      Tsp 
Sugar     1/4      Tsp 
Chopped spring onions     02      Tsp 
Boiled noodles     01     Cup 
Button mushrooms     03     Tsp 
Bean sprouts     03     Tsp 
                                                 
Prep: 
Tempeh- 
Unbox Hello Tempeh natural cubes 
Marinate the Tempeh cubes with soy sauce and salt. 
Saute in a pan and keep aside. 
Other prep- 
Make slurry out of corn flour and water and keep aside. 
Finely chop spring onions.  
Cube red, green, yellow pepper cubes. Cut only the head of asparagus. 
Slice button mushrooms 
Boil noodles and drain the extra water 
Cooking 
Heat oil in a pan 
Stir in the chopped ginger and garlic, saute for 03 mins. 
Add pepper cubes, sautefor another 03 mins 
Add tomato ketchup, hot garlic sauce and 02 tsp of soy sauce and cook for 02 mins.  
Now add vinegar, spring onions and sugar and toss in the Sauteed tempeh and the corn flour slurry. Toss it for 02 mins and keep hot. 
For the noodles- 
In a pan, add hot oil and saute; ginger garlic for 03 mins 
Add mushrooms, asparagus and beans sprouts and saute for further 03 mins 
Stir in the soy sauce and noodles and salt to taste 
Saute for 05 mins, serve along with marinated Tempeh in a donburi bowl.             

About Author: Siddhartha Jadhav is a Consultant Chef at Vegolution. Formerly with the Taj group he has over 20 years of experience and specialisation in European, Indian, Chinese and the Cold kitchen. Currently he is experimenting with the immense possibilities and exploring applications for tempeh in both regional Indian and international cuisine.

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