Vegan Afritada: A Tomato-Based Recipe
Afritada: A meat-based recipe made vegan
Afritada is a main dish generally made of animal meat as the main ingredient and served with rice in lunch or dinner time. The meat can be chicken, pork, or beef. The vegetable ingredients often vary, from potatoes to carrots, to bell pepper and pineapple. But the main seasoning is tomato paste/sauce. The usual tomato paste that is used by many is the one in a tin can, but I don't suggest that because of health reasons. For one, processed and canned foods are loaded with sugar, preservatives and other additives that many of us don't even know what they are, and they are linked to causing dementia so I really don't suggest using them.
In this recipe, everything is done at home. For those of you who have a tomato paste recipe, you can use that recipe. Otherwise, you can try my version of a homemade tomato paste which can be used as a sauce or dip separately.
Cut the vegetables the way you like it.
How you cut the vegetables is really up to you. In my case, there were times when I cut them into cubes. Another time, I cut the potato into a strip, like you would do when making potato fries. I am not fond of peeling skins, so I just soaked the potatoes in water for a few minutes and then washed them thoroughly. Unless the potatoes' skin looks so bad that you really need to scrape it off the potatoes, there is no necessity for not including the skin in any dish.
Dry or Gravy?
This recipe is quite flexible. Like I mentioned above, different kinds of vegetables can be added as well. You can add carrot, beet, french beans, etc. Pineapple chunks can also be used. But the main ingredient that makes it palatable is the tomato paste, at least for me.
It can be made dry or with gravy. You just need to adjust the amount of water that you add to the mixture since you need enough water to soften the potatoes. The best thing about cooking food on your own is that you are the boss. You can make adjustments according to your preference. After all, that's how foods are getting modified, changed or improved.
So, without further adieu, here are the ingredients that you need:
- 16-20 pcs. TVP or Soya Protein/Defatted Soya Chunk, (boiled, excess water squeezed off)
- 1 head or 10 cloves garlic, crushed and minced
- 1-2 pieces onion, medium size
- 1-2 pieces tomato, red and ripe, chopped
- 1/2 - 1 cup tomato puree
- 2 potato (unpeeled), cubed or sliced long-way
- 1/2 cup garbanzo beans, soaked in water overnight then slightly boiled
- 2 bell pepper (color is or your choice), medium size, sliced into small squares
- 2-3 pieces bay leaves
- 1 tsp. peppercorn, crushed/manually powdered
- 1/2 - 1 tsp. black pepper powder
- 2-3 tbsp. oil
- 1/2 cup tamarind water, (2-3 pcs. tamarind soaked in 1/2 cup of water for 10-15 minutes)
- salt to taste
- water, as required
The Making of Vegan Afritada
- Heat oil in a deep pan. When hot, add garlic, onion cubes and salt. Saute' till brown. Do not scorch.
- Add chopped tomato pieces. Saute' till mashed.
- Pour in TVP pieces. Mix well. Then add bay leaves, ground peppercorn and black pepper powder.
- Cook for 1 minute. Pour in garbanzo beans and potatoes. Mix and let this mixture get cooked for 2-3 minutes.
- Add tomato paste. Water can be added to the pan where paste was made to remove whatever left of tomato paste. Add it to the mixture. Mix well.
- Add tamarind water and mix. Simmer in medium flame till the potatoes are soft.
- Once the potatoes are soft enough, add capsicum/bell pepper. Mix thoroughly and simmer again till the capsicum's smell disappears. (It is suggested not to overcook the vegetables).
- Check the taste. Add more salt if preferred. This is also the time to decide how much gravy you want. Add more water if you want a little more gravy.
- Vegan Afritada is ready to be served. Serving it with boiled plain rice is recommended. Rice roti is also fine.
Tofu, seitan, tempeh, or other TVP's can be used instead of defatted soy protein or soya chunks. It's really up to you. I am only using soya chunks because that's the only TVP available in our area and I still need to learn how to make tofu or seitan at home. You can even skip any meat alternative for this recipe and it will still turn out really fine. The inclusion of "meat" substitute in this recipe is not at all important, which I realized only later after making this dish.
Vegan Afritada is one of the few non-vegan recipes that I tried to veganize and it really turned out superb. Even my husband who would rather choose raw foods than any cooked food likes this one, among the others.
I also have another recipe that uses defatted soya protein or, as it is called here, soya chunks. That recipe is Vegan Longganisa, a kind of sausage only that it is plant-based.
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The Vegan Afritada Video That Inspired Me To Cook My Own Version
I have never imagined myself making dishes like this one. Recipes like this are generally made for special occasions such as birthdays, anniversaries, weddings, etc. Some, especially the affluent families, make this as a usual meal of the day.
So somehow years did some tricks to me -that is to try things out. I am also glad that my partner encourages me to try many things. And this is one of those!
Hope you will try this recipe at home. It's a keeper!