Soya chunks are made from defatted soy flour, a by-product of extracting soybean oil. It has very high protein content. Soya chunks, also known as meal maker (Soya Chunks manufactured by Marico), is said to lower cholesterol levels, prevent heart diseases, reduce the risk of osteoporosis, control hypertension, and help in weight loss. It is quick and also easy to cook. You can prepare many dishes using soya chunks such as soya chunks curry, Kurma and even add them to your Pulav, soups, stir-fries, etc. Though it does not have a flavor of its own, it has the tendency to absorb flavors well. According to the USDA, 94 percent of soybean farmland in the U.S. was used to grow genetically engineered soybeans in 2014. So, people who have concerns about GM food tend to avoid Soya Chunks (in fact, all that is related to Soya in US). What we will see here is a very tasty Soya Chunk Dry Masala which can be served with Roti, Rice etc. In fact, it can be cherished with a hot cup of Tea.
Soya Chunks (Meal Maker) – 1 cup
Red Chilli Powder – ½ tsp
Salt – ½ tsp
Lemon Juice – 2 tsp
For dry Masala:
Oil – 2 tbsp
Cumin Seeds – 1 tsp
Onion – 1 (finely chopped)
Green Chillies – 2 (finely chopped)
Curry Leaves – from 1 sprig
Garlic – 6 pods (crushed)
Ginger – 1 inch piece (crushed)
Tomatoes – 2 (finely chopped)
Chopped Cilantro (Coriander Leaves) – 1 fistful
Red Chilli Powder – ½ tsp
Coriander Seed Powder – 1 ½ tbsp
Dried Methi Leaves – (Kasoori Methi) – 1 tbsp
Turmeric Powder- ¼ tsp
Garam Masala – ½ tsp
Salt – to suit one’s taste
Take the Soya Chunks in a bowl. Add three cups of hot water (The Soya chunks should be completely immersed in hot water). Allow it to rest for 30 minutes. The chunks would swell up to almost double the size by that time. Drain the water out. Rinse the chunks at least twice in water and squeeze out the water as far as possible. (If you are using large Soya Chunks, cut them into small pieces beforehand).
Marinate the Soya Chunks now for 10 to 15 minutes with Red Chilli Powder, Salt and Lemon Juice.
In the meantime, you can start preparing the Masala. Heat the Oil in a pan. Add Cumin Seeds. When they start crackling, add Onion, Ginger, Garlic, Green Chillies and Curry Leaves. Sauté them a couple of minutes in medium flame. Add Tomatoes, Chilli Powder, Coriander Seed Powder, Kasoori Methi and Salt. Mix them well. Add 2 to 3 tbsp of water and simmer for 3 to 4 minutes covered with a lid. Cook the Tomatoes mushy.
Add the marinated Soya Chunks. Sauté them for 2 to 3 minutes. Add a cup of water. Adjust Salt. Cover and cook for 15 minutes in low medium flame. Continue cooking without the lid till the masala become dry. Add Coriander Leaves. Mix well.
Transfer to a serving bowl.
People do not like the taste of Soya Chunks. But, I found out how to make them tasty and likeable by experimenting various methods. The one method which worked well was by marinating the Soya Chunks with Lemon Juice and 2 tbsp of Yogurt for about ten minutes. The weird taste of Soya Chunks will go away and any dish made with this marinated Soya Chunks will become a tasty one.