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Tarka Indian Kitchen: ‘They Welcome Us’

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Tarka Indian Kitchen reveals its popular Beyond Keema Curry as a healthy, sustainable option for Austinites.

By Allie Justis, Photo courtesy of Tarka

Since getting its start back in 2009, Tarka Indian Kitchen has been largely successful in the Austin community, due in no small part to COO and co-founder Rajina Pradhan who has opened eight Tarka locations across Texas.

“For me, these past 10 years have been absolutely leaps and bounds in terms of growth, personally and professionally,” says Pradhan. “Last year was very challenging, but our team pulled together and overcame quite an amazing feat to get to where we are now.”

Over her 10 years of being an entrepreneur, Pradhan has definitely not shied away from the challenges and has been a leader in the Austin restaurant scene in terms of health, sustainability and authenticity.
These pillars of their business have drawn in many Austinites and have made Tarka a staple of Austin Indian cuisine.

“We’re still a growing concept,” says Pradhan. “The Austin community was amazing, has been amazing and continues to be amazing. They continue to be very receptive to Indian cuisine, and there’s been overwhelming interest and acceptance. The Austin community is just amazing. They welcome us and we feel absolutely loved.”

Just Like Meat

As for the recipe, Pradhan has personally chosen to reveal Tarka’s very popular Beyond Keema Curry recipe. She chose this recipe because it is healthy, delicious, sustainable and above all, it tastes just
like meat.

“As the world starts to realize that we need to eat more healthy and more sustainably, I felt it was apt to introduce this item,” says Pradhan. “This meal is great because it is so substantial and tastes just like meat, and I wanted to show people this great alternative.”

As Pradhan’s last bit of advice to cooks at home, she emphasizes how the slow and steady process really pays off with Indian cuisine.
“One thing I will say about Indian cooking is that towards the end you always will want to let it simmer a little bit on low heat so the flavor has time to come out,” says Pradhan. “All it takes is five minutes and it will make your meal so much better.”

austin-woman-recipe-reveal-tarka-indian-kitchen

Beyond Keema Curry

Serves 6-8 people

Ingredients

½ cup canola oil
1 tablespoon cumin seeds
1 teaspoon fennel seeds
½ teaspoon kalonji seeds (or mustard seeds)
2 dried red chillies
1 cinnamon stick
1 bay leaf
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
2 cups yellow onions, diced
½ cup ginger garlic paste
2 teaspoons ground turmeric
1 ½ teaspoons ground paprika
1 tablespoon ground coriander
2 teaspoons ground cumin
2 teaspoons garlic powder
1 ½ teaspoons curry powder
1 ½ teaspoons garam masala
2 lbs Beyond Meat, ground
2 teaspoons salt
1 cup tomato puree
½ cup of water
½ cup tomatoes, diced
1 cup red potatoes, diced and boiled (optional)
½ cup green peas (optional)

Directions

  1. Heat the canola oil on medium heat in a large pan in preparation for toasting the whole spices.
  2. When hot add the cumin seeds, fennel seeds, kalonji seeds, dried red chillies, cinnamon stick, bay leaf and ground black pepper. Cook for 1-2 minutes until the spices are aromatic and cumin begins to lightly brown.
  3. Add onions into the pan and cook until they are lightly browned and caramelized.
  4. Add ground turmeric and toast gently for 1-2 minutes.
  5. Add the remaining ground spices and cook for 1-2 minutes.
  6. Add the ground Beyond Meat and cook for 5-10 minutes, until browned.
  7. Add salt and tomato puree and cook for another 2 minutes.
  8. Add water into the mixture, along with the diced tomatoes, red potatoes and green peas.
  9. Let it all simmer for another 5 minutes until it is mostly dry but still moist.
  10. Garnish with fresh cilantro, sliced red onion or sliced jalapeños. Serve with cooked rice or Pav bread.

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