I have been trying out various recipes with soya chunks as they are rich in protein. Soya Chunks are not nothing but textured vegetable protein upon which I depend a lot since I do not eggs and also happen to be a vegetarian. Soya Chunks Kofta Curry and Soya & Peas Pulao are the 2 dishes that are mostly made at home as everyone loves it but still I become a tad too bored of doing the same old dishes out of an ingredient. Wanting to try out something different resulted in this delicious and easy side dish that turned out to be good which went very well with rice. Do give it a try and you will not be disappointed. I served this with Pulichchakeerai Thokku and it also tasted good with piping hot rasam.
- Soya chunks – 1 cup
- Sambar onion / Shallots – 100 gms
- Ginger garlic paste – 1 tbsp
- Red chilli powder – 1 tsp
- Coriander powder - 2 tsp
- Turmeric powder – ½ tsp
- Black Pepper Corn – ½ tsp
- Cumin seeds – ½ tsp
- Tamarind extract – 2 to 3 tbsp
- Coriander Leaves – to garnish
- Vinegar – 1 tsp (optional)
- Salt – to taste
- Oil – 5 tbsp
To Prepare Soya Chunks: Heat 2 cups of water in a vessel. When it is bubbling hot, Switch off stove, add vinegar and mix well. Drop the soya chunks into the hot water and close with a lid and let it be for 15-20 mins.
After 20 mins you can see that they have become bigger in size. Discard the water and place the chunks in a colander. Wash under running water and rinse well. Now squeeze the chunks well to get rid of excess moisture and cut each piece into bite sized pieces or into two if the chunks happen to be bigger in size. Keep aside.
Soak the shallots / sambar onion in some water to easily remove the skin and cut them into 2. Powder both black pepper corn and cumin seeds coarsely together and keep aside.
Heat oil in a pan. Add the chopped sambar onions / shallots and sauté till they turn pink. Now add the ginger garlic paste and sauté till the raw smell disappears. Now add red chilli powder, coriander powder, turmeric powder and fry well for a minute.
The oil would be absorbed completely and if the mixture appears dry add 2 more tbsp of oil. Now add the tamarind extract, prepared soya chunks, salt and cook till the powders coat the soya chunks well. This should take at least 3-4 mins.
Finally sprinkle the powdered pepper corn and cumin powder, coriander leaves and toss well. Take off stove and serve hot with any rice.
You can also add regular onions but you will not get the same taste and flavor.
Adding vinegar while preparing the soya chunks will help to get rid of unpleasant smell, if any that is not like by everyone.
As this is a dry dish it will need more oil than the usual to get cooked perfectly.
If you do not have or want to add tamarind extract then skip it while cooking, but replace it with lemon juice only after taking the dish off the stove, else the juice will make the whole dish go bitter.
Non- Veg lovers just replace the soya chunks with any pre cooked meat of your choice and enjoy.