Friday, April 20, 2012

Soya Chunks Mixed Veg Curry

Soya chunks are good substitutes for protein derived from animal meat. So veggies can compensate their protein deficiency by eating more pulses, soya beans and soya nuggets. I particularly love soya chunks because of the meaty taste. If cooked properly, it tastes really mouth-watering.

My mother at home makes an awesome soya curry which tastes even better than chicken curry, but no matter how many times I try emulating it, it always lacks the zing in taste. Perhaps it would take one or two decade more for me to come close to my mother's culinary skill. Interestingly, though my mother is a very good cook, she does not have the patience to teach one how to cook. Hence, both me and my elder sister have learned cooking on our own through trial and tests. Curiously enough, my mother for past 5-6 years has kept an amateur cook who at the time of her recruitment could not concoct a simple egg curry decently. I owe large part of my weight gain to that new hire's obsession of cooking with excess oil. I recall the shock on one of my colleagues' face when during recess I offered her a luchi with oil dripping from it. All my complaints and my mother's ensuing reaction fell on deaf ears. Our new hire hardly used to take anything into her ears and kept on doing things her way. She believed that cooking with excessive oil and spices add to the taste. It took quite a few years for my mother to make her understand the basics of cooking and now thankfully, she conjures up fine cuisines, at least taste wise.

Okay, no more diversion from the main topic….here goes the recipe for you. It’s yummy and healthy. Enjoy !

Ingredients:                                                        Cooking time: 40 minutes
ü  2 cups of soya chunks
ü  1 large tomato (pureed)
ü  1 medium sized potato (cubed)
ü  1 capsicum (chopped)
ü  1 carrot (chopped)
ü  1 cup of beans (chopped)
ü  1 cup of green peas (parboiled)
ü  1 tsp ginger paste
ü  5-6 green chilies (chopped)
ü  2 tbsp grated coconut
ü  2 heaped tbsp yogurt
ü  1 tsp turmeric powder
ü  2 tsp cumin powder
ü  1 tsp coriander powder
ü  1 1/2 tsp roasted fennel powder
ü  1 tsp nutmeg powder
ü  1 tsp red chilli powder
ü  1 tsp garam masala powder
ü  Salt to taste
ü  2 tsp sugar or as per your wish
ü  White oil for cooking
For sauté:
ü  1/2 tsp black mustard seeds
ü  1/2 tsp hing powder
For garnish:
1) Soak soya chunks in water for 2-3 hours and then wash them under running water and squeeze the water out of the soya chunks. Alternately, you might also bring 1/2 cup of milk and 1 cup of water together to boil and then drop the soya chunks in. Turn the heat off and let soya chunks be soaked in that water for half an hour or so before you squeeze the juice out.
2) Heat oil in a pan. When oil turns smoking hot, add the ingredients for sauté and let them sputter.
3) Then add potatoes and shallow fry. When potatoes take a nice orange hue, toss in carrots, beans, capsicums and green peas, in that order. Stir in and shallow fry them too.
4) Add ginger paste, cumin powder, red chili powder, turmeric powder, coriander powder, roasted fennel powder, nutmeg powder and salt. Mix them properly and cook covered till the vegetables are half tender.
5) Throw the soya chunks in. Add grated coconut, green chilies and yogurt. Mix in properly. Season with sugar. Add water as per your need for gravy and cook covered till all the vegetables are cooked through.
6) Finally when the curry seems done, sprinkle garam masala powder on top and give a good stir.
7) Garnish with cottage cheese fritters.

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