Seitan Tikka Masala
Tonight's experiment was using seitan in place of chicken in tikka masala. I found the recipe at Eating Well, and I stuck to it despite what seemed like massive amounts of onions, garlic and ginger.
The sauce turned out pretty good - our only complaint was that it should be blended together before adding the cream and protein, so it is not so chunky. As one reviewer had suggeted, I tried using fire roasted tomatoes, but I think it just made the flavor a bit more complex than it needed to be. I also had to substitute milk for cream, since I could not find any. I think vegan cashew cream would make this sauce really nice.
As for the seitan, it's certainly no replacement for chicken. Tofu might work ok, since it would soak up the sauce, but I'm not really a fan of eating piles of tofu. I think that potatoes would make the best vegetarian substitute for the chicken, so I guess that would be Aloo Tikka Masala.
The verdict? It's still easier to find a good tikka masala at a restaurant, at least here in NYC. I think I'm still jonesing for my favorite creamy tomato sauce, which means we have to head uptown to our old 'hood to get the paneer makhanwala from Bawarchi. It's the best - last we checked, they actually got a chef straight from India to do the cooking - so I don't have to feel at all guilty for my inability to recreate the dishes at home.