Vegan curry okra soup with Veg Meat

So I got to meet the amazing Hakeem Jimoh, proprietor of Veggie Victory, the first vegan restaurant in Nigeria. (Shout out to my friend Cornelius for connecting us!)

What I love most about Veggie V (as I affectionately call her) is that it’s the only restaurant in Lagos where I don’t have to ask what’s in the food before I order. It’s fully vegan, as in no animal products whatsoever. But as you’ll know if you follow this blog, that doesn’t mean the food is boring at all. They’ve got all the usual Nigerian fare – jollof rice, ofada rice, soups and swallows, and even suya! My absolute favourite thing on the menu is the suya, you just have to try it. Even if you can’t make it to Freedom Park, you can order online; they’re on HelloFood (abi is it Jumia Food now…)

Hakeem and I talked about veganism in Nigeria (naturally), the upcoming Veg Fest, and his new product called Veg Meat. Veg Meat is the first (as far as I know) locally made packaged meat substitute in Nigeria. Hakeem wants to make meatless meals as accessible to the average Nigerian as possible, and Veg Meat is a major part of that vision. Veg Meat is made from wheat protein – AKA seitan. It comes pre-cooked so it’s ready to use and doesn’t require refrigeration. Best of all, it’s super affordable – one 500 naira pack is enough for a sizeable pot of soup.

And guess what, Hakeem gave me a free sample! Did I mention that he’s amazing? 🙂

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I made a chunky curried okra soup with my first ever packet of Veg Meat. Seasoned with a wonderfully aromatic Garam Masala mix, it’s the perfect warm-up dish on a cold evening.

The texture of the Veg Meat in the soup was so beef-like, I had to keep checking the packet to make sure it was vegan. I think the way they pre-cook the Veg Meat gives it an even firmer, chewier texture than regular boiled seitan, which makes it a lovely addition to soup. This is definitely going to be my go-to meat substitute, it’s just perfect for Nigerian cooking. I wouldn’t advise eating too much in one go, though. Seitan is still a processed food, which you want to minimise on a whole foods, plant based diet. Also it seems to contain quite a bit of oil.

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What you will need

* makes a 2 litre pot of soup

+ 4 cups fresh okra, sliced

+ 2 cups chopped ewedu leaves

+ 1 pack Veg Meat

+ 2 dried shiitake mushrooms, chopped into small pieces

+ 2 teaspoons minced garlic

+ 1 large red onion, chopped

+ 2 tablespoons tomato paste

+ Spices: 1 teaspoon garam masala spice mix, 3 teaspoons curry powder, 1 teaspoon chilli powder, 1 teaspoon garlic powder, salt

+ 2 tablespoons liquid aminos

+ 2 tablespoons wholegrain flour

+ 1 tablespoon olive oil

 

How to make it

Step 1: Stir-fry the onion and garlic in the olive oil until translucent. Add the garam masala add stir-fry another 2 minutes.

Step 2: Add about a cup of water, plus the shiitake mushroom pieces, liquid aminos and tomato paste. Leave to simmer on medium heat for 5 minutes, then add the Veg meat. Cover and leave to simmer another 5 minutes.

Step 3: Add the okro plus half a cup of water (more if still too thick) and leave to simmer uncovered for 3 minutes.

Step 4: Mix the flour with enough water to form a smooth, thick paste, then stir into the broth. Add the rest of the spices. Leave to simmer for two minutes,

Step 5: Add the ewedu leaves to the pot, but do not stir. Cover the pot and let the leaves steam for a few minutes, then stir them into the soup and turn off the heat. Adjust seasoning if desired. And you’re done!

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13 thoughts on “Vegan curry okra soup with Veg Meat

  1. So I saw this video on one of the….less mainstream YouTube channels I follow. While I am a “MEAT EATER”, I’ll be real…I actually would like to cut down on animal produce consumption. Already cut out drinking milk and eat eggs when there’s no alternative. No sea food, either. So all that’s left is meat and turkey. I do agree with a lot in the video.

    Also finally watched that documentary (maybe not the exact one you recommended in an older post) on industrial farming in the west. It’s really sad how in the bid to maximize profit, humans are making things harder for future generations. It really sucks.

    It’s at this point I can appreciate the vegan cause. If for no other reason, but not to contribute to the….words fail me now, abeg. Anyway, you’re basically the first vegan/vegetarian I’ve met (even if it’s just online 🙂 ), so whenever I see stuff like this, you’re the first person that comes to mind. Which is why I’m sharing this vid with you even though you probably know everything that’s said in it. Do have a lovely weekend.

    Also, I saw this post too late :(. I was actually at freedom park a few weekends ago for a concert and I was thinking “Hmmmm…are there any vegan restaurants I can try out?” Apparently there was one right under my nose. Ah well. Also, the meat sub that’s made from Seitan (I want to tell people about it just so I can see the look on their face when they think I’m saying “SATAN”)…I found out that you can actually buy it online. This is cool, considering I live FAAAAR from Lagos. And when I was In lag i checked shoprites (yes, plural) for the item but didnt find it. I’ll buzz you as soon as I get my hands on it and let you know how I found the taste.

    So, I shall bid you Happy weekend now. Before I write an entire epistle….. PEACE OUT!!

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    1. Actually I haven’t seen this video, thanks for sharing 🙂 Congrats on cutting down your consumption of animal products, every little bit does help. Industrial ‘farming’ is one of the most atrocious things humanity has dreamed up, honestly. Lol @ seitan, the name was a bit of a shock for me as well. Where do you live btw? If you happen to be in Lagos next weekend you should definitely come by Freedom Park for the Lagos Veg Fest. And if not, let me know when next you come around so I can make you some vegan treats 🙂

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      1. Will do.

        So…update on the Sat…Sorry SEITAN meat substitute. Apparently they don’t deliver them in Abuja. I live in Minna right now. It’s just a couple of hours away from Abj. I wanted it delivered to a friends place so I could pick it up, but that’s clearly not happening 😦

        Do they sell the meat substitute packs in the Restaurant at freedom park? Cuz I’d really like to buy as much as possible. Like, A LOT.

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  2. Happy New Year..!

    Finally went to Veggie Factory during the new year. Their stuff is quite cheap. Had the veggie hot dog and jollof rice with stir fried tofu. Also bought the veggie meat packs. I think i prefer the stir fried tofu. I think. Need to reaffirm.

    Hope you good.

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    1. Happy new year! I know, they’re really affordable right? And delicious 😋 Glad you had the chance to try their food.
      I’m really well, thanks! Hope you are too. Do let me know when next you’ll be in Lagos 🙂

      Like

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