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Soybean is a very good source of protein and obviously, soya chunks also provide the same to us. In fact, soya chunks are made by removing the oil from the soybean by a defatting process. They are not only a very good source of protein but also have good dietary fibre. As oil is removed the soya chunks appear rough and dry but become soft and spongy as soon as they are put in water. Soya chunks are used in various dishes like dry vegetables, vegetable curries, vegetable salads, sauteed snacks etc. They have got numerous health benefits and are effective in lowering the bad cholesterol in our bodies.
In this article, we would be learning to prepare Indian style soya chunk curry which is a main meal item and can be taken during the main meals along with other accompaniments like bread and rice. We have used a microwave oven to prepare this dish but one can cook it in a conventional manner using a hot plate or stove.
The quantity of the ingredients for this recipe is mentioned below and the quantity of this dish prepared by using these would suffice for 4-5 persons when taken along with other food items during the main meals.
- Soya Chunk - 1 to 1-1/2 cup.
- Potato - 1 No.
- Tomato - 2 to 3 Nos.
- Onion - 2 Nos.
- Garlic cloves - 8 to 10 Nos.
- Gram flour - 1 tbsp.
- Cumin seed - 1 tsp.
- Coriander powder - 1 tsp.
- Turmeric powder (optional) - 1/2 tsp.
- Carom (Ajwain) seeds - 1/4 tsp.
- Mango powder - 1 tsp.
- Fennel (Saunf) seeds - 1/2 tsp.
- Red chilly (optional) - 1 No.
- Indian Sabji masala (optional) - 1 to 2 tsp.
- Cooking oil - 1 tbsp.
- Cloves - 3 to 4 Nos.
- Ginger - 1/2 inch piece.
- Green coriander leaves - 1 cup.
- Salt to taste.
Indian Sabji Masala - brand 'Everest'
Soak the soya chunks in 1 to 2 cups of water for about 1 hour so that they become fluffy and soft.
Peel onions, potato, ginger, and garlic cloves and cut them into small pieces and keep them separately. In place of cutting, onions can be chopped fine also. Cut tomatoes also into small pieces or chop them. Break the cloves each into 2-3 parts. Break the red chilly into 2-3 parts. Cut the green coriander leaves finely or chop them.
Take a microwave bowl (generally we use the glass one) of medium to large size depending on how big a bowl, the microwave oven, you are having in your house, can accommodate conveniently. If you want to prepare less amount of this dish then take a small to medium bowl and reduce the quantity of ingredients proportionately.
Pour cooking oil in the bowl and add the chopped or finely cut onions, garlic, ginger, gram flour, cumin seeds, coriander powder, turmeric powder (optional), carom seeds, mango powder, fennel seeds, Indian Sabji masala (optional), red chilly (optional), cloves, salt to taste, and half quantity of the chopped green coriander leaves. Mix them and keep the bowl in the microwave and cook for 3 to 4 minutes in the first or second heat range.
Take the bowl out and at this instant, it would look like picture-1 and now add soya chunks and potato pieces to it. Keep the bowl back and cook for a period of 3 to 4 minutes. Now take out the bowl and the dish so far will look like picture-2. Now add tomato pieces and water to about 3 to 4 cups and keep back the bowl in the oven and cook for another 8 to 10 minutes. Take the bowl out and the dish is ready (Picture-3). Sprinkle the remaining chopped green coriander leaves on the dish for presentation before serving (picture-4).
Soya curry can be served in small and deep bowls or medium-sized flat bowls. It goes well with boiled rice or bread. It is relished well when it is hot.
- Calorie-conscious people can avoid cooking oil and potato in this dish and have the low-calorie version.
- To enhance the taste of the dish one can add 1 to 2 tbsp of tomato sauce and 1 tbsp of fresh cream to the dish before serving.
- The purpose of gram flour is to thicken the curry. If the taste of gram flour is not liked by someone then it can be substituted by mashed boiled potato.
- If the curry is too thick, the water quantity can further be increased by 1/2 to 1 cup.
- Cottage cheese and boiled eggs also go well in this dish and can be added in the last stage of cooking.
Based on the calorific values of the individual items used in this dish the calorie value of a single serving comes to about 48 calories/serving. The oilless version will have about 32 calories/serving. Further, adding cream and tomato sauce will slightly increase the calories. Adding mashed boiled potatoes to the curry for thickening it will further increase the calories.
Microwave ovens usually have 4 to 5 heat ranges available from very high to very low and one can use a particular range for a particular purpose. For curries and dry vegetables 'very high' or 'high' setting is preferred. I generally use the 'high' setting and find it more convenient than the 'very high' one. Water present in the vegetables and water added from outside before keeping the bowl in the microwave is a crucial factor in microwave cooking and one has to be very careful in this aspect.
As a rule of thumb when one is making a dry vegetable for 3-4 persons then one cup of water is sufficient and of course, for curries, there is no problem and one can add more water. The problem comes only in the cases of dry vegetables when water is less and the heat of the microwave starts charring the vegetables sometimes even burning them with heat to make them almost like coal. So it is highly advisable that when water is added in less quantity say half a cup or 3/4 cup then one must pause the oven just 3-4 minutes before the end time and see if there is too much dryness and then add some more water (say 1/4 cup or so) at that point of time. It would save the dish from accidental charring.
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
© 2021 Umesh Chandra Bhatt