Arabian style stew with soy mince & peas

There isn’t really a name for this type of food in English.. at least not one I know of. In Arabic it’s called marag. It’s Indian counterpart would be the curry, but marag is only lightly seasoned and takes most of its flavour from the meat or vegetables used in it. It’s pretty much a staple in its variety of formats, usually being based on a tomato sauce containing minced meat, meatballs or chunks of meat on the bone. There are a few varieties based on spinach and one on a pomegranate/ walnut sauce instead, but tomato is by far the most common.  This recipe is an adaptation of margat bazalia, or pea stew.  The traditional spices used in this dish include fenugreek and dried lime powder which I’ve left out here – if you have them by all means use them, but you don’t lose much from the dish by using seasonings you might already have lying about.  Personally I prefer the way this dish  tastes using soy mince (unflavoured please) but if you like fry off some onion and minced meat with spices and use that instead. Serve with rice or flat bread for a delicious, healthy dinner.

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Ingredients – serves 4
1 cup dried soy mince, with 1 cup boiling water poured over it and left to soak for 5min
1 1/2 cups fresh or frozen peas (not in the pod), or green beans
1 tsp salt or to taste
2 tbsp dark soy sauce
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp mild curry powder or garam masala
250ml passata
1tsp salt or to taste
1 tbsp ketchup
1 tbsp balsamic vinegar for tartness, or to taste, or use powdered dried lime if you prefer

1. Add the passata and spices/ soy sauce to the mince and bring to a simmer in a large pot
2. Add the peas then simmer until cooked- a few minutes at most. Season with salt and vinegar, tasting to make sure a good balance of tartness & saltiness is obtained.
3. Serve with rice or flat bread. Enjoy!

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