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Downtime Development: Plant-based

By Nestlé Professional

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Vegan

The pandemic has given the trend for plant-based eating a significant boost and as a result Nestlé Professional is offering chefs inspiration with a series of innovative plant-based recipes.

With one in five Brits cutting their meat intake during the lockdown according to WGSN’s Coronavirus Food & Drink Change Accelerators report, Nestlé Professional is supporting chefs with a series of innovative recipes for when the industry reopens.

The videos are focused on Nestlé Professional’s Garden Gourmet products, which were developed based on the belief that more people embracing plant-based food will have positive implications for the environment.

With over half of consumers now classing themselves as flexitarian, the company says that demand is growing for food that’s both good for you and good for the planet.

Plant-based recipe inspiration

The first recipe has been created by Nestlé Professional development chef Justin Clarke using Garden Gourmet Fillet Pieces.

Nestlé Professional’s Vegan Goan curry with turmeric pilau rice demonstrates how well the Fillet Pieces hold their structure and absorb flavour when braised.

Nestlé Professional’s video tutorials are designed to support kitchens in their menu developments and chefs are invited to send in questions via the Always Open For You section of its website.

A team of Nestlé Professional development chefs are ready and waiting to answer any questions or queries around menu development and inspiration, so don’t hesitate to get in touch.

 As part of its Always Open for You campaign, Nestlé Professional has introduced a number of initiatives designed to support its customers and the people of Great Britain more generally through these unprecedented and challenging times.

Meals for key workers

It has helped provide meals for key workers and anyone else struggling to maintain a well-balanced diet as a result of COVID-19 by supporting a new initiative called Open Kitchens, which helps re-purpose closed kitchens to provide free meals to the vulnerable.

Open Kitchens has already opened 26 kitchens and provided 83,000 free meals. As part of the initiative, Nestlé has donated cases of Chef sauce, stock and jus to help chefs create meals to share with local communities.

Nestlé Professional providing ingredients to Tom Kerridge’s Meals from Marlow initiative which makes more than 1,000 meals a day for key workers and vulnerable sections of society in the Marlow area.​​

This is part of The Morning Advertiser's, BigHospitality's and Restaurant Magazine's Downtime Development series, which sees the leading restaurant industry suppliers provide inspiration to chefs during lockdown.  ​​

Vegan Goan curry with turmeric pilau rice

A fragrant Goan Curry made with Garden Gourmet Fillet Pieces packed with tomatoes, onions, coconut milk, spices and fiery chillies that’s full of flavour and low in fat and calories

Serves: 10
Prep time: 30mins
Cook time: One hour
Calories per serving: 517


For the curry:

  • 900g Garden Gourmet Fillet Pieces
  • 350g Maggi Rich and Rustic Tomato Sauce
  • 50g Chef Asian Concentrate
  • 50g Ground coriander
  • 20g Ground cumin
  • 30g Piece of root ginger, peeled and grated
  • 60g Garlic cloves, crushed
  • 10g Turmeric
  • 20g Sunflower or rapeseed oil
  • 350g Onion, finely sliced
  • 2 400ml Tins of light coconut milk
  • 40g Tamarind paste
  • 2 Green chillies, halved and finely sliced
  • 600g French beans, topped and tailed, washed and cut in half
  • 300g Baby spinach, washed
  • 50g Chopped coriander
  • 100g Vegan yoghurt alternative

For the rice​:

  • 500g Basmati rice
  • 20g Sunflower or rapeseed oil
  • 1½ tsp Cumin seeds
  • 1 tsp Black mustard seeds
  • 500g Onion, halved and sliced
  • 1 tsp Turmeric
  • 2 Red chillies, deseeded and thinly sliced


  • 2 Green chillies, finely sliced
  • 2 Limes
  • Handful of coriander leaves


1. Mix the Chef Asian concentrate with the Garden Gourmet Fillet Pieces and marinate overnight, or for as long as possible.
2. In a large pan heat the oil over a medium heat, add the onion and fry until soft and golden for approximately 15 to 20 minutes making sure they are nicely caramelised.
3. Add the spices, garlic, ginger and green chilli and cook over a gentle heat for five to eight minutes, then add the tomato sauce, coconut milk, and tamarind and simmer for 10 minutes, until the sauce has thickened.
4. Blitz the sauce with a food processor then add the Fillet Pieces and simmer for a further 20 to 30 minutes until tender then add the French beans and cook for a further five minutes.
5. To cook the rice, thoroughly rinse the rice until the water is completely clear. Drain, then tip into a large pan of water. Bring to the boil and cook for five to six minutes until just tender. Drain well, cool and chill. Heat the oil in a pan and fry the spices until they start to pop.
6. Add the onions, then cook, stirring frequently, until the onions are tender and golden. Stir in the turmeric and chilli and cook for 1-2 minutes more and set to one side. Once cool, mix into the rice and reheat when required.
7. Finish the curry by adding the baby spinach and coriander and heating for two to three minutes until wilted. Add the yogurt and gently swirl-fold in before garnishing with the chillies, a squirt of lime juice and a coriander sprig.

Chef’s top tips

For those who are new to vegan recipes, or working with meat substitutes, we have some top tips to ensure you deliver delicious dishes.

The key to this delicious curry is slowly caramelising the onions; use a low heat and a little oil to release those natural sugars and help to build the flavours.

Braising the Garden Gourmet Fillet Pieces allows them to take on the flavour of the curry beautifully.

They can be cooked from frozen and will retain their texture, which makes them great in this curry.

You can add virtually any veg to this curry to help people get their five a day, or you could add some lentils or chickpeas to bulk this out further.

Serve with a chopped tomato and onion salad and chapati breads to make a true banquet.

To find out more about Nestlé Professional’s Always Open For You campaign visit

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