A few years back, roughly in Year 2004, when I moved afresh to New Delhi for work… I was a pure vegetarian that time, not even eggs were allowed in my diet.. The area where I used to live in my initial days, was full of hard core non-vegetarians. Tough time it was, to cope up with the challenging work issue with no time to cook in hand and then, not even a single vegetarian Restaurant nearby. It sucked.. Literally !!
OK.. I am not blabbering here to gain some sympathy from you guys.. The reason why I am getting all Senti-Mental today is I got to talk to a very friend today and we recalled those days of horror over a bit of chit chat. She was the one who introduced me to these Soya Chunks, which really proved a life saver for me.. Although later eggs do jump into my diet to rescue me during those busy days. Anyways, I so much loved the bland taste of these Soya chunks and the best part was the quick and easy preparation. No fuss, just mix with sauce, cook for some time and its ready. Can’t recall now, how many times did I eat them in various sauces and Curries. Little did I know that these are really healthy and are one of the best sources of complete-Protein.
And though I still don’t believe they are THE Best ! I at least consider them a healthier alternative to readymade stuff when it comes to have something in a Jiffy. And I love the taste anyways. Mix them with Potato, Peas and even Paneer and they adopt the taste of whatever it is. Not many people are fan of it, I know that.. In fact I am the only one in my family who loves them so much… I now consider myself a Pro in using this Soya product in different forms now 😛 .. And I use it as roasted, ground or chunky ones in various ways in my cooking.
Just for introduction, The soya chunks or meal maker is made from soy flour or concentrate, containing 50% and 70% soy protein respectively, and is flavorless. In its flaked form soya chunks or meal maker can be used similar to ground meat. Soya beans are an excellent source of high protein and fibrous food. After the extraction of soya milk, the soya chunks act as soya meal maker. 50% of the vegetable protein from the soya bean is a good fiber food enabling easy digestion and bowl movement. When soaked and boiled for a couple of minutes it assumes a good volume and improvement in texture. When water is squeezed afterwards, the meal maker becomes ready to perform to act in various forms in diner’s plate. The squeezed and cooked Soya meal maker could be converted into various delicacies by simple means.
I will post many more recipes which I prepare using this wonder (veggie) in my subsequent posts, but for starters lets see this Soya Bhurji. A very quick meal, and tastes similar to Egg bhurji. The best part of this is, it requires very less amount of oil, unlike many other common dry vegetable dishes.
What you need ?
- 1 cup flaked Soya nuggets ( uncooked)
- 1 Large Onion, sliced lengthwise.
- 2 Large tomatoes, chopped
- 1 tsp Garam Masala
- 1 tbsp Ginger-Garlic Paste
- 1 tsp Red Chili Powder
- 1 tsp Turmeric, Coriander powder each
- ½ tsp Black Pepper
- 2-3 green chillies, chopped fine
- Salt to taste
- 1 tsp Oil
- ½ cup chopped Cilantro Leaves
- 1 tsp Chaat Masala (optional)
How to make ?
- First of all, heat 2 cups of water in microwave or pan and pour in the Soya flakes into it. Add a pinch of salt and let it rest while you prepare the Tadka/Base for Sabzi.
- Heat oil in a pan, fry ginger garlic paste in it till it turns light brown. Add onions and fry just for a minute.
- Then add Salt and mix.. Now cook this covered for around 4-5 minutes on medium flame. Why I have adopted this method is since I have used very less amount of oil. If you are using more than 1 tbsp of oil, feel free to fry the onions in an open pan without adding salt. This obviously gives better colour and aroma.
- Add tomatoes and all the spice except Garam Masala and Chaat Masala. Cook covere dtill the tomatoes gets all mushy, this will take around 7-8 minute son low-medium flame.
- While the tomatoes the getting cooked, squeeze out all the water from the soaked Soya and drain the flakes well. Do not press too hard, I got my palm twitched once 😉
- Anyways, moving forward.. When the tomatoes get all cooked up and you get that nice aromatic smoke out of them, mix the Soy flakes and give a nice stir. Cook covered on low flame for another 5-6 minutes and turn the flame off.
- Sprinkle a liberal dose of Garam Masala and a dash of Chaat Masala on top along with chopped coriander leaves. Serve hot
- If you don’t have Soy flakes, you can use Soya Chunks as well. Just soak them in hot water for the required time, say around 10-12 minutes till they get all soft and improve on size. Then squeeze the water out of them properly and just pulse them for 1-2 minutes in Mixer. You will get the usual Soy flakes, that’s what I do most of the times.
- You can leave Ginger-Garlic paste entirely out of this dish, also the chaat masala. Its just , using these ingredients will provide that extra punch to the otherwise bland Soya flakes.
Off to Radhika’s Protein Rich Food