If you crave the chewy texture of meat, & lentil meatballs just didn’t make the cut, these VEGAN Curried ‘meatless’ Meatballs are the answer.
This post was sponsored by Better Than Bouillon as part of an Influencer Activation for Influence Central and all opinions expressed in my post are my own.
One of my favorite things that my mother would cook for us were chicken meatballs. She made them with mutton too sometimes, but ever since I lost taste for mutton at age 12, it almost exclusively became chicken. The entire house smelled of spices and she saved the oil used to deep fry the meatballs to flavor other dishes. Everything that this oil touched turned divine.
Since leaving home, I’ve missed those meatballs a lot, and even more so since becoming vegan, because it meant that I can’t have them even when I went back home.
Soya Chunks (or Textured Vegetable Protein – TVP) have long been a part of the Indian diet – in a largely vegetarian country, simply swapping meat with these meat-like chunks made life a little bit easier when cooking for guests of varied diets. But they always lacked that distinctive flavor of meat, something that only a meat-eater can discern.
While I was happy to jump to this substitution in my new plant-based life, I still missed the meaty flavor in my life, and for a long time, refused to admit it.
But I think I’ve figured out a work around to my problem.
Enter Better than Bouillon – concentrated flavor pastes that either become broths/stocks when diluted in water, or add a punch of taste to a marinade, curry, roasts and anything else you want made extra special with little effort.
In addition to their line of meaty, premium, organic and low-sodium flavors, they have a line of vegetarian flavors, some of which mimic the taste of meat using just plant-based sources – Vegetable, Roasted Garlic, Organic Vegetable, Vegetarian No Beef Base, Vegetarian No Chicken Base. Can you hear the hallelujah chorus in your head just yet?
The way you use a Soya chunk (TVP) is you re-hydrate them, squeeze out the extra flavor (don’t skip this step) then add them to your recipe of choice. While they are head-on in terms of meaty texture, they are not so great in the taste department. And that is where Better than Bouillon comes in.
I used a broth made with Better than Bouillon Vegetarian ‘No Chicken’ base and used it to hydrate the TVP. I also used the paste to flavor both the curried ‘meatless’ meatball mixture and the curry sauce that was spooned over, and was blown away with how much it tasted like my mom’s chicken meatballs!
Unlike Bouillon cubes, which besides not coming in plant-based meaty flavors, sometimes make more broth/stock than I care to use. And once opened, the cubes tend to dry out, and get all gritty, take forever to dissolve back. With Better than Bouillon, I have none of those issues, and I can use exactly what I need, even without having to hydrate it.
It will forever be a constant fixture in my pantry, and I cannot wait to discover more and more ways to incorporate it into my cooking, where flavor is paramount.
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