Being a vegetarian, a very common question I'm asked is 'if you don't eat meat, you don't even have sea-food, Where is the protein ?" I'm always remembered of a scene from the movie, 'The big fat Greek wedding', skip tp 6:00 -6:35 on this clip. It's hilarious!! Lentils just don't count, they are simply unheard of...hmm. But now I have Soy Power :D Everyone seems to recognize that word. There are so many more soy products on the shelves all of a sudden, more soy burgers, soy yogurt, soy cheese, soy ice-cream, soy chocolate, tofurky anything and everything you can think of made with soy. There's a new product in the aisles everytime I go to my local organic store and people seem to understand veganism more easily than vegetarianism. Well, so I still do struggle explaining my diet options but its a lil better now.
Even my kitchen hasn't been spared the sudden soy attack. I've been drinking soy milk for about 3 yrs now and love to have it with cereals. It some how manages to make the ever boring cereals taste better. I buy soy beans/edamame often these days and use it recipes I would use peas. I also bought Tempeh after I saw Suganya's yummy sandwiches. I read about tempeh and seitan on a few other articles and blogs and would pass by it everytime I went to the store, but its look and feel put me off. After reading her post on tempeh I thought I'd try it too, bought it and stacked it into the freezer. Its been there for about a month (or more) now and I haven't touched it, a.t a.l.l.
Yet another soy product that found its way in are soy chunks. I am more used to soy granules, my mother would use them instead of coconut in veggie stir fries. Being tasteless they just blended with the curry flavor and made no difference to us. We never bought the chunks though cos of their texture I think, but this time I choose to experiment with them and bought a pack home. I combined it with potatoes and tomatoes and some power-packed mint flavor to make a finger-licking curry. Miso is next on the list now :P
Ingredients:Its essential to soak the soy chunks in warm water, as they double is size and also get ready to soak in the flavors of the gravy. Salting the water saves you from the guess work in adding salt to the final curry.
- 1/2 cup - dehydrated Soy chunks
- 1 cup - cubed Potatoes
- 2 nos - vine ripe Tomatoes
- 1/2 cup - sliced Onions
- 1 tsp - concentrated Tomato paste
- 1/2 tsp - Turmeric and Amchur powder
- 1 tsp - dried Pudina powder or chopped fresh Pudina/Mint
- 1 tsp - red Chilli powder ( adjust to taste)
- 1 tsp - Chole masala or your fav garam masala powder
- 1" piece cinnamon, 2 cloves & 1/2 tsp -Fennel seeds/saunf
- 1 Tbsp - Oil
- salt to taste
- Pre-heat the oven to 375 C. Spread the potatoes on a baking sheet, spray with some oil and bake until slightly crisp around the edges.
- Warm a cup of water in the microwave safe bowl, add salt and soak the soy chunks while you get the other ingredients ready.
- Heat a shallow pan with the oil, on medium heat. Add the whole spices and wait till they sizzle. Next add the onions (save a few for garnish), some salt and let them soften for 2mins.
- Add the tomato paste and turmeric, chilli powder and garam masala. Blend the paste into the oil and then add the chopped tomatoes and cook until they soften and turn into a mush.
- By now the potatoes should be ready add them to the pan, squeeze most of the liquid out of the soy chunks add them along with about 1/2 cup of the water they were soaked in.
- Add the pudina and amchur at this stage, cover and cook for about 6-8mins until the flavors are well blended. Check for seasoning too and add more water if the curry looks dry.
- Garnish with the sliced raw onions, some more pudina and a wedge of lime.
I had the curry with whole wheat chapatis and a glass of pudina flavored buttermilk (the mint I bought dried up before I could use it, so I simply crumbled it to store). This curry would pair well with pulaos & biryani or plain rice. If you are in a mood for a healthy base, try cous cous or bulgar. Cauliflower, carrots and capsicum could be good additions to this curry. The lentil salad you see on the side is from the deli section of our local organic store. It was absolutely yummy and I'm going to try and replicate the flavors at home. And yes, I will keep you all posted :)
This soy studded post is off to Sia's lovely blog for the JFI-Soya event she is hosting this month. JFI is the brain child of Indira of Mahanandi and recently celebrated 2yrs, definitely one of the longest running events in the Indian food blog scene!