Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Soy Power

Dear Foodies,

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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.

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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:
  • 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
Method:
  • 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.
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.

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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!

17 thoughts:

Nags said...

thts a lovely recipe. my husband loves soy chunks and i only make a thick cashew based gravy with it :D he is tired of it. this shud be a winner especially since it has aloo in it :)

Manisha said...

You're freaking out with the DoF and bokeh! Looking really good! Sounds yummy, too. I have a packet of soy granules - meat extender, they called it - that's just been sitting there in my pantry. Maybe I should make a version of your curry with it!

karuna said...

i love soy chunks, back in india we use to have veggie biryani with soy chnks. my husband is not a big fan of them. ure recipe looks yummy. specially the pic with the chapati, makes me want to grab a bite!!!!

SMN said...

i never made this as i dont like soya chunks this is a nice combo will try this...arent u sending this to JFI soya hosted by Monsoonspice

Jayashree said...

That looks lovely. I like your pudina flavoured buttermilk too.

Cinnamon said...

That is one delicious recipe...the pics are so tempting.. that I wish i can grab and have a piece of roti and the curry :-)

sunita said...

I have always loved soy chunks...was almost a staple in my parents'.

Your curry looks yum...I too make a similar one...I also chop it up and add to noodles.

Sonu said...

Nice and lovely recipe. ur photographs are superb!

aparna said...

Thanks for the recipe. I am sure my family will love it this way.

delhibelle said...

delicious..my trials with soy chunks are hit or miss affairs, yours looks like a runaway hit

Srivalli said...

awww...beautiful pictures priya...

FoodyGuru (Srimathi) said...

Priya, your pictures are so colorful.Makes me want to eat out of it.

pelicano said...

Hmmm. I actually recently bought a box of Nutrilla soya wadi-chunk thingies- do you think those would work in here? Tempeh I love...very good if fried lightly first. I actually have a recipe to make your own- never tried it so I don't know if it works (I wonder about the right mold culture inhabiting it). Seitan, though, I have made from scratch- not hard to do at all (basically you just wash all of the starch out of a lump of high-gluten dough), and far cheaper than buying it! So, if you don't eat meat, do you eat lamb? :-)

Priya said...


Nags, cashew based gravy ? You must post the recipe Nags, because I've always made tomato based ones with soy chunks, never could imagine another color scheme :D

Manisha, ya ya try it, while I continue to abuse the one and vonly mode I can shoot photos on :(

Karuna,go ahead and have some :) My neighbor used to make a very yummy soy chunks biryani, you have a recipe I could use ?

SMN, I sent it to JFI, you should try this version though, and add more veggies if you want so he can have just a lil bit of the chunks. You could also cut them into smaller pieces or used soya granules instead.

Jayashree, it was a very hot day and the chilled buttermilk was just right.

Cinnamon, I too wish you could do that! But until then do give the recipe a try :)

Sunita, that's a nice idea, never thought of chopping them actually. thank you :P

Sonu, thank you so much :)

Aparna, do drop me comment when you try it then :)

delhibelle, hehe, thank you :) but me curious to know why yours become a miss ?

Srivalli, thank you :), I like this set too.

Srimathi, mission accomplished then :D hehe

Pel, Nutrela soy chunks is what I used here. I need to get used to the texture and feel of Tempeh and Seitan. Never had them until now :( or maybe I did see it listed in my 'vegetarian cashew chicken'(!!) order at a Thai place. Please post the recipe for Seitan, may be a preparing it on my own will make me more comfortable eating it ? The packaged ones seem really weird .......

Sangeeth said...

great pics and i too like that scene in greek wedding lol! great recipe btw..

arundati said...

i like eating soya chunks...have not made too much of it myself...this makes me want to try...bookmarked

Subhie Arun said...

thats lovely recipe n pic....u have wonderful site wth wonderful recipes..will try soon....

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