Soya chunks or Textured Vegetable protein or soya meat is a by-product of extracting soybean oil. It is made from high soy protein soy flour and contains protein equal to that of meat. This is a beautiful way of enjoyng protein if you are vegetarian. These vegetable proteins are made in different shapes like nuggets, flakes, granules and chunks. The dehydration process gives it a nice fibrous texture, which helps these chunks to soak water 3 times its weight. In poor countries like India where many are vegetarian this is a good source of protein and when cooked in aromatic gravy it swells up and soaks up the entire aroma.
Also this is easy to cook and stock. Those days when the sky is gloomy or the fridge is empty this is a nice way to whip up dinner in a short span of time. In our family we often eat this in a onion-garlic tomato gravy with chunks of potatoes. When paired with roti (Indian flat bread) and salad this makes a very satisfying meal. If am not wrong the kids just love this. Most days when I prepare this Little 'R' finishes his meal in 15 minutes.
Soya Meat Curry
Soy Chunks: 1 cup (I used Nutrela)
Potato: 2 medium
Onion paste: 4 tbsp (you can also use 2 medium onions, finely chopped)
Ginger-garlic paste: 2 tsp
Tomato: 1 big OR 2 tbsp tomato puree
Whole clove: 2 pieces
Cinnamon: 1/2 “ stick
Garam masala powder: 1/3 tsp OR chopped Coriander
Chili powder: ¾ tsp
Oil: 2 tbsp
Wash the chunks under running water. Warm a big bowl of water in the microwave and soak the sou chunks for 10 minutes. Squeeze the water and soak again in water for another 5 minutes. Squeeze and keep aside. This is very important to remove the raw smell of the chunks.
Peel and cut the potato in big chunks. Wash and keep aside.
Heat 1 tsp oil and fry the potato till golden. Drain and keep aside.
Heat the rest of the oil and add lightly bruised whole clove and cinnamon. Once it starts to splutter add the onion paste. Fry for 3-4 minutes till oil starts oozing out at the sides. Now add the ginger garlic paste and again fry for a couple of minutes or till oil comes out at the sides.
Cut the tomato in quarters and add to the pan with salt, turmeric and chili powder. Fry on low till the tomatoes are mushy and again oil start to appear. Mix in the potatoes and soy chunks. Mix and stir for another minute or two. Add 11/2 cups of warm water. Mix, taste and adjust the seasoning. Cover and let it simmer on medium flame.
Once the the gravy thickens to a coating consistency and the potaoes are soft and the chunks swell up finish cooking by sprinkling the chopped coriander or garam masala powder. Cover and let it stand for another minute before serving with roti or rice.
A Homemaker’s Notes:
You can also add green peas to this curry.
For a more filling recipe try adding chunks of carrots, french beans, sauteed capsicum, cauliflowers or any vegetable of your choice.
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