I was the guy who stumbled drunkenly at one in the morning into the kebab shop and ordered the nastiest greasy donner I could get my hands on. I always felt like crap afterwards, but I never learned my lesson. I would get drunk again and I would once more be swaying in a queue of other tired revellers, propped up against the glass cabinet of wilted salad and chilli sauce for support. Eagerly waiting to punish myself all over again. Veganism and quitting drinking finally put paid to all that, and I haven’t entered one of those places since.
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But let’s not discredit the kebab, because when done right, it is truly a wonderful thing. Though typically a meat dish, vegan versions can be made with an array of produce available at most supermarkets, health stores or online. My ingredient of choice for this recipe is braised tofu, which can be shredded and fried with spices to make a delicious and succulent filling. I’ve also used aubergine, red onion and tomatoes to accompany the braised tofu and spices. The dressing is a quick version of Tzatziki, which can be knocked together in about 2 minutes right at the end of cooking. I bought the flatbread from my local market, which is Turkish and sells the bread perfect for this dish. Any flatbread or wrap will do fine, however.
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Prep time: 15-20 minutes. Cooking time: 20 minutes.
For the Spiced Braised Tofu:
2 tbsp coconut oil
2 cans braised tofu, drained and cut into thin strips
1 tsp cumin seeds
1 tbsp tandoori masala curry spice mix (or whichever blend you have)
1 tsp garlic granules
1 tsp mild chilli powder
2 tbsp lime juice
Salt and black pepper to taste
For the Vegetables:
2 tbsp olive oil
1 aubergine, cut into batons
1 red onion, sliced
2 medium tomatoes, cut into wedges
3 tbsp tamari (gluten-free soy sauce)
1 tbsp chipotle chilli sauce (or other not too hot chilli sauce)
For the Tzatziki:
5 heaped tablespoons dairy-free plain yoghurt
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp Dijon mustard
Salt and black pepper to taste
4 small handfuls of lettuce leaves.
Heat the coconut oil in a large frying pan or wok and fry the braised tofu on a medium-high heat for 8-10 minutes, until reasonably crisp, but not burnt. Add all the spices and pour over the lime juice, then cook for another couple of minutes for the tofu to take on the flavours.
Empty the cooked tofu into a bowl, clean out the pan and then heat the 2 tbsp of olive oil.
Fry the aubergine and red onion together for 5 minutes, stirring often, then add the tomato wedges and cook for a further 4 minutes. Pour in the tamari and chipotle sauce and let that cook for a couple more minutes. Mix the vegetables and the tofu together.
Once that’s done, quickly make the tzatziki by putting the yoghurt and olive oil into a bowl and stirring until fully combined. Grate the cucumber into the bowl, add the Dijon mustard and season with the salt and pepper. Mix again to fully incorporate.
Warm the flatbreads briefly in the microwave or the oven. Spoon a quarter of the tofu and vegetable mixture in a line across the centre of the flatbread. Spoon the tzatziki over that and then place the lettuce on top. Roll and serve as desired.
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