Garam Masala Fried Seitan ala Foreign Cinema

For my birthday last year, I went to Foreign Cinema. I spent the evening sipping champagne cocktails and laughing until my face hurt enjoying the company of two of my best girlfriends. Aside from the delicious company and those champagne cocktails, the most memorable thing about the evening was the garam masala fried chicken served with fresh grilled peaches.

I am not big on fried food in general (except maybe french fries), but I am a true lover of garam masala and Indian-spiced anything. Something in our server’s tone convinced us to try the dish, and we were not disappointed. That fried chicken was the best I ever ate, and don’t ask me why, but my girls and I began referring to it as “doughnut fried chicken.” Perhaps it was the fresh, crispy fried batter or the slight sweetness that brought doughnuts to mind. Perhaps it was the champagne, gin and elderberry syrup, but when I told my girls I was veganizing doughnut chicken, the Petaluma hippy girl got super-excited and the Southerner jokingly cried blasphemy.

I’ve veganized the garam masala fried chicken using homemade seitan, and I’m serving it with a quick no-cook blackberry chutney. You could substitute store-bought seitan and it would still be quite good, but you wouldn’t have the intensity of the garam masala flavor or the satisfaction of hailing seitan in your kitchen.

Here’s the recipe:

The seitan dough is adapted from VeganYumYum.

  • For Seitan
  • 1 ½ cups vital wheat gluten
  • 2 tablespoons nutritional yeast
  • 2 tablespoons garam masala powder
  • 1 tablespoon hot madras curry powder
  • 3/4 cup cold no-chicken broth (or vegetable broth)
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 4 tablespoons coconut milk
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • For Broth
  • 4-8 cups of no-chicken broth or veggie broth
  • 1 halved jalapeño (optional)
  • For Wet Portion of Batter
  • 1 cup unsweetened rice milk
  • 2 tablespoons plain coconut yogurt
  • 2 tablespoons garam masala powder
  • 1 tablespoon hot madras curry powder
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
  • pinch of fine-grain sea salt
  • For Dry Portion of Batter
  • 1 cup unbleached flour
  • 3 tablespoons nutritional yeast
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 3 tablespoons garam masala powder
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
  • pinch of salt
  • Seitan Instructions
  • Mix wheat gluten, nutritional yeast and spices and stir well.
  • Combine broth, soy sauce, coconut milk and olive oil and stir well.
  • Add wet to dry and knead until a dough is formed. Add more liquid if needed.
  • Knead gently a few times on your counter, forming a ball.
  • Cut the ball into four equal pieces.
  • Knead, pull, and form the pieces into 1/2″-thick cutlets. Allow the dough to rest if needed in between. This can take time — be patient.
  • Simmer the cutlets in broth for 20-30 minutes, flipping halfway through — don’t allow the broth to come to a boil, or the seitan may become tough.
  • Remove seitan cutlets from broth and strain. You may either refrigerate the cutlets or fry them right away.
  • Dip cutlets (or store-bought seitan) in wet batter, then dredge in dry batter.
  • Fry for about 1 minute in 350º grapeseed oil or non-GMO canola oil.
  • I use a high-sided cast-iron skillet for this and fry only three cutlets at a time so as not to drop the temperature of the oil.
  • Remove from hot oil and drain on paper towels. Serve over no-cook blackberry chutney.

Follow Us

Sabrina Modelle is the girl behind The Tomato Tart ( A web designer by day and a food writer by night, she lives, eats, and loves in El Corazon- right off the 24th Street corridor. She finds that inspiration comes easily in this city full farmers markets, mercados, food trucks, and food obsessed folks. Comments are her favorite, so speak up!

Join the Conversation


Please keep your comments short and civil. Do not leave multiple comments under multiple names on one article. We will zap comments that fail to adhere to these short and very easy-to-follow rules.

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

  1. I’ve always wanted to make my own seitan. You’ve inspired me! One question: did you use canned coconut milk or So Delicious coconut milk to make this recipe?

    1. Hi Alicia,
      I am so glad to have inspired you! As for the milk, you could use either (or even soy or almond if you like). I keep both on hand. Some people have issues with the guar gum in the boxed milks, but I can tolerate them fine in small amounts.

  2. Great article! Looks yummy and I’m always ‘veganize/vegetarianizing” recipes myself. I look forward to trying this too.

    A suggestion, but have you tried the Generals Meatless Chicken at Big Lantern in the Mission? I’d love to know how to make a homemade version of that. I love that stuff!