Goulash, or guláš as it's called around here, is a popular local dish. But the "real thing" is made with beef, so I can't eat it.
Now, I cook quite a bit -- I normally prepare at least 1 big dish a week from fresh ingredients then eat it for a few days -- but I tend to cheat & use pre-made sauces or concentrates as a base. I've yet to find a vegetarian goulash sauce, so I Googled 4 or 5 recipes and them improvised something from all of them put together. I avoided any fake meat or meat substitutes, but I did use a sachet of guláš spice mix. I think it was mainly paprika, to be honest.
* 2 tins of tomatoes
* 2 tins of red kidney beans
* 4 red sweet peppers (AKA bell peppers)
* 2 pointy Central European red peppers ("paprika" they're called here)
* 2 white (i.e. green) pointy peppers
* 1 large courgette (zucchini)
* 1 medium aubergine (eggplant)
* 2 medium white onions
* about half a head of celery
* 1 box of supermarket mushrooms (circa 250g)
* 1 bulb garlic
* 8 mild red chilli peppers
* 2 teaspoonsful of vegetarian "universal seasoning" - 2 stock cubes would also do
* 1 sachet goulash spice -- if you can't get this, use more paprika powder
* about 2 tablespoons of dried oregano
* about 3 tablespoons of paprika powder (smoked is good)
* about 2 cupfuls of cheap red wine
Take a big cooking pot. This will need to simmer for a while.
Chop onions, garlic, chilli, courgette, aubergine, celery. Pile them all up in a big bowl for now.
Put a generous slurp of olive oil in the pan, heat it 'til a bit of onion tossed in sizzles.
Toss in all the chopped veg so far. Stir 'em around a bit.
Now, wash a whole box of mushrooms. Stir the veg again.
I used small mushrooms & quartered them. Toss them in the now-vacant bowl. Stir the veg again.
Wash all the sweet peppers. Stir the veg again.
Chop the sweet peppers. Stir the veg again.
After 5min, or when the veg are visibly starting to cook, toss in the mushrooms & peppers.
Now, mix the powdered/ground spices with the wine. Stir the veg.
When they're visibly cooking a bit, shake the tins of tomatoes, open them and toss 'em in the pot. Stir.
Next, toss in the wine/spice mix. Stir.
Add the beans -- liquid and all -- and any other spices you fancy or are knocking around. I added about half a dozen bayleaves, because they were there, and a teaspoonful of Bhut Jolokia honey. Caraway seeds and thyme are also recommended, but I didn't have any.
Mix the veg seasoning with a cupful of hot water. Pour into the pan, stir.
You should now have a simmering panful of veg, with just enough liquid to be visible.
Simmer until the veg cook down a bit and the liquid covers them.
Add smoked paprika and black or white ground pepper -- or both -- to taste.
At the end I tossed in about a tablespoon of cayenne pepper, which was overdoing it, sadly.
I cooked the lot for about 30min, 45min including the initial frying stage.
I served with Czech potato dumplings, because I happen to really like them, but you probably can't get them anywhere else. White rice also works.
To do it the Hungarian way, season to taste with red chillies at time of serving.