Thursday, April 8, 2010

Very Veggie, Very Healthy, Very Spicy Hungarian Goulash

I sampled some mighty tasty treats during my two days in Budapest, but one thing I craved that I couldn't have was some really spicy, fiery, paprika-loaded goulash. I'm not complaining, but the fact is, in Hungary, there is no such thing as a meatless goulash.  For a pepper head like me, this was a sore trial indeed.

As it turns out there is one place in Vienna where you can actually order a vegan goulash.  It's at Formosa, where Poppa Trix and I indulged in the veggie wiener schnitzel. So of course once we got back from Budapest I immediately headed to Formosa to try it out. It was certainly flavorful, but alas, there was no heat. I craved heat for this dish, and so clearly I was going to have to make my own goulash once I was back in my kitchen at home.

Which is exactly what I did. With paprika.  Lots and lots of paprika - not one, but 3 different kinds: sweet, hot, & smoked.  I picked up some intense smoked paprika, along with piri piri (ground African bird's eye chili), at the Central Market Hall in Budapest:
 And I couldn't resist using some of the hot stuff from the Gulyaskrem tube I bought - it's the one in the middle:
I read somewhere that "real" goulash doesn't include tomatoes - all of the color is to come from the paprika. I'm not sure if this is true, but I went with it. I also used the water that I had soaked my potatoes in, and the starch helped thicken the broth, and lent subtle flavor.  The result was a rich, hearty, and spicy stew - exactly what I was craving! I used seitan in place of beef, and I bet if you tasted this you wouldn't miss the meat - it's that good, I promise.

Very Veggie Hungarian Goulash

5-6 large carrots, sliced
2-3 Yukon gold potatoes, cubed and soaked in  water (Save the water!!)
1 entire bulb of garlic, minced
1 large yellow onion, chopped
1 package cubed "beef style" seitan
1 veggie bouillon cube, unsalted
1 (or more!) tsp sweet paprika
1 (or more!) tsp hot paprika
1/2 tsp smoked paprika
1/2 tsp piri piri
1/2 T gulyaskrem (optional!)
salt & pepper, to taste
olive oil
In a large stockpot, saute the onions in the oil until translucent. Add the carrots, saute for another few minutes. Add the garlic, all of the paprika, the piri piri, and the potato, plus the gulyaskrem if you have it. Stir to coat. Next pour in the water that the potatoes were soaking in - just enough to cover. Reserve the rest in case you need it. Add the bouillon cube. Bring to a boil, and reduce to a simmer, uncovered. Taste and adjust seasonings, salt & pepper  - you may want a little more smoked paprika if you love the taste as much as I do. Simmer uncovered until all the veggies are tender - you may need to add more water, and if you do, readjust the seasonings and heat levels accordingly.  Add the seitan at the end and let simmer for another 10-15 minutes. Serve with buttered noodles or a nice dark bread, and garnish with sour cream or Greek yogurt. 






29 comments:

  1. Oh! This Hungarian vegetarian dish sure looks yummie, love the ingredients in it and various type of paprikas. Nice pictures :-)

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  2. Never had this, of course I would try it without onions, not sure how this one would be since there isnt too much in it...but it sure looks great! I love those potatoes! You have the best looking goulash in the world, since everyone I ever have seen never looked this good!

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  3. New to me but looks spicy and delicious. Learned a new culinary word...goulash :D

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  4. Girlfriend--THAT looks awesome! And you know I am loving the seitan in the dish (thank you from the bottom of my vegan heart)! I am heading to the international store to get my pantry re-stocked with three paprikas pronto! And you even added a whole bulb of garlic--making this just the perfect little meal in my humble opinion!

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  5. Totally right... I have a great ancient Hungarian cookbook.. no tomatoes! You could say what's up with the New World peppers... but I won't be impolite. You have made vegetarian magic with this recipe, m'lady... I have so many peppers in my larder... must try@! Welcome home!

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  6. Very nice goulash indeed...even if no meat in it ;-) I am very curious about smoked paprika. I find the North American stuff peddled as paprika is crap...no flavor. How nice to use the real stuff.

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  7. Nicely done! I applaud you for trying this right when you got home and for it turning out so well! I love spice and this dish looks so delicious. This piri piri - can you find that in the states? I'm intrigued.

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  8. Wow Trix, this is as good as having beef or chicken in the goulash. You've used different types of paprika. I think I only have one. :) But I do love this dish. Thanks Trix.

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  9. Nice to have you back! And so fired up with your goulash and your paprika here and there and everywhere! Wow! My eyes were watering reading the list of peppers but I want it I want it!

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  10. Thank you thank you thank you for this! This veggie head is always looking for something unique and this fits the bill! Fantastic!

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  11. now I think I would love this Trix, with all the flavors going on ... the African's bird's eye chili intrigues me and with the 3 paprikas, esp the smoked, it's gotta me awesome

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  12. Wow! Have got to try this. It looks so yummy. Thanks for working it out and then sharing.

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  13. If it's very veggie and very healthy, then it's my kind of dish! I know they use lots of paprika over there but never really tasted their cuisine. It looks like a great vegetable stew!

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  14. I love goulash! I can visualize the steam coming out of my ears!

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  15. What a gorgeous dish! The photo is beautiful, too! I bet it tastes heavenly!

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  16. I love all those tubes. They look so futuristic, I just want to squeeze a little out on everything. Your trip sounds amazing, but I sympathize with the difficulty of finding vegetarian versions of local classics. We just went to New Orleans, and while my husband ate like a pig (and ate lots OF pig), it was a lot harder for me to find vegetarian meals. Not that I'm complaining, it was a great trip, and who wouldn't love dining on beignets three meals a day?!! Anyway, welcome back and I LOVE your recipe!

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  17. Wow Trix! you are one hot girl!you can come live with me....I never knew piri piri was african bird chillie. thats interesting n u make the goulash sound soso tempting...and it looks even better. thanks for dropping by for the giveaway on my blog... i hope more readers from North america come to get it because its only open to all of you. I hope youre the lucky winner :)

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  18. I love spicy! This looks delicious. Love the presentation. We eat meat free a few nights a week. Can't wait to try it!

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  19. Lovely presentation, and that actually looks like real beef!!

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  20. A wonderful vegetarian goulash! Love it!

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  21. Wow, love this recipe, totally yumm and a sure winner!

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  22. I usually make goulash at home without the onions my sister doesn't love it that much. And I wanted to give your recipe a try! I am a fan of spicy foods. Thanks for sharing your recipe!

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  23. What a lovely dish! And those hot spice.... envious.

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  24. I love goulash but have never made it. I love smoked paprika. Thanks for the recipe.

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  25. I love goulash. I had it once in Belgium, cooked by Hungarians and it was superb!!!!!!! I should give it a go, as I have some real Hungarian paprika (pls don't ask if its sweet, hot or smoky, I think it might be all three)

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  26. I adore all of the spices in this dish! I've been meaning to try seitan, it looks so good!

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  27. What a nice blog, let me say that you have what some people call: ''writer's wood'', no really,
    this could be the best thing i've ever read since that last post of ''Tabasco's Grill'' by Henry Townsend, i can't wait
    for another masterpiece of yours!!!! =)

    Vincenzo Aquafresca (vincenzoaquafresca@gmail.com)
    4853 Tully Street
    Dearborn, MI 48126

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