Wednesday, 11 November 2009

Spicy Soya Chunks / Nuggets Curry

As I write this, the weather outside is a far cry from these sunny snaps I took this weekend. It has been raining non stop for the last 32 or more hours ... a steady downpour that shows no signs of weakening.

It started with a cloud build up that sent the city's humidity levels soaring. As we are on a higher floor and there is a lot of greenery around, we are used to feeling the clouds and the dampness of very fine droplets if we are on our balcony when they pass right through.
{ This is not fog or rain ... it's a cloud covering. }

And then the rains started. All through the days and nights. And it is raining still.

It has been declared as cyclonic weather. I looked out to confirm. The branches were moving ... say at the most at a 35 degrees ... ok maybe 45 degrees ... angle. Bah. :-

Anybody who has grown up in Orissa or West Bengal ... or for that matter on any coast knows very well what a cyclone is. Here there is not even a normal wild, windy wind.

Still ... I can see the rain pelting down. And take heart. My knitting will not go get burried yet again ... unused. ;-)

It is real cold now and it has already been 3 hot cuppas for me. I so wanted to bake some Onion Crackers ... but there has been frequent power failures ... and my oven does not run on UPS.

So right now am balancing preferences between a quilt+ a book or knitting. Maybe some spicy hot Beguni later. :-)

Coming to my recipe today, anybody who is a frequent here knows how little masalas or onion+ginger+garlic paste I use for my dishes. But once in a while I do make that paste ... and come up with some spicy stuff ... usually chicken or fish.

This time I wanted to make Soya chunks / nuggets. Many people do not like soya chunks ... pure vegetarians for that spongy meat like texture and some non vegetarians for that distinct smell a soya nugget usually has.

The other half falls in both categories. But I had decided not to give up converting him just yet. So this time I tried to add some of my own ideas while cooking these nuggets.
And the curry came out so well.

If you are one of those who hesitate to try out the soya nugget dishes, try this version of mine.

The procedure may look very long ... but it does not take too much time to make this. :-)

Need : Soya Chunks or nuggets ( I used Nutrela's) , chopped garlic,
whole or unbroken garam masalas ( some laung /cloves, some choti elaichi / green cardamom, 1 or 2 tej patta / bay leaves ) , kasuri methi / dried fenugreek leaves, sliced onions,
onion paste, ginger paste, garlic paste ... in the ratio of 2:1:1 ,
haldi / turmeric powder, tomato puree,
red chilli powder, garam masala powder, enough water, a little juice of lemon,
a little ghee / clarified butter, a little cooking oil, salt and sugar to taste.

How to : Soak the Soya chunks in enough water for around 5 hours. If you plan to make this for dinner then soak them in the morning.

Squeeze out the water well from the chunks ... use your hands ... they are the best tools.

Take enough water in a big deep pan. Add the soya chunks, the whole garam masalas, the chopped garlic and salt. Cover and boil for a round half an hour ... or till the soya chunks are very well cooked.
I made up this step as it ensures the soya chunks get rid of their distinct smell.

Alternatively you can do this in a pressure cooker ... it will be faster and the chunks cook really well.

Drain the chunks in a soup strainer ... that way you get to retain the garam masalas and garlic.
Cool and again squeeze out the water well.

Shred the chunks with your hands ... they should break into little pieces. I did this step so that they soak up the gravy well. And lose that chewy feel in a bite.

Heat a little ghee in a heavy wok or a non stick vessel.
Add the shredded soya chunks and fry them well for sometime. Remove and keep aside.

In the same pan, heat some cooking oil. Add the sliced onions and fry well till they lose the raw smell.

Now add the onion paste and fry for some time. Then add the ginger and garlic pastes and keep frying till they lose the raw smell.

Crush the kasuri methi and add now.
Add tumeric, red chilli powder and keep stirring on high heat for around a minute.

Add the tomato puree and keep stirring till it is cooked and mixes well.

Lower heat, add the soya chunks and mix well.
Add enough water to cover the chunks ( remember ... the chunks will soak up water ... so add according to your desired amount of gravy ).

Adjust salt and sugar ( just a little for taste ).
Cover the pan and let it simmer for sometime on low heat ... or till you get the desired amount of gravy.

After a while remove cover , sprinkle some powdered garam masala and lemon juice. Keep it covered till serving time.

The chunks were very soft in the end ... did not have that chewy texture at all. :-)
Serve hot. Goes great with hot rotis or parathas (Indian flat breads).

Enjoy all !!

PS : Btw .. I had some spicy Jhaal muri / Masala muri with hot ginger tea for ... hold your breath ... dinner ... last night.
What? Didn't I tell you about the weather just ?! ;-)

Other recipes with onion+ginger+garlic paste masala :
Masala Chicken
Crispy Chole / Crispy Fried Chickpeas
Kosha Dim
Easy Paneer Butter Masala


  1. Dear Sharmila
    Weather man says it will rain in Delhi on Thursday and jhal Muri..As such temp is down to 14 deg C.
    Ek packet soya nugget PoDe achhe, keu ek jan bhebe chhilo , mangso-ke subtitute Kor-be ( that red meat hoax business)kintu hoe otheni..
    ebar otar hi-le korbo..tomar ei recipe diye
    bhalo theko

  2. Although I don't have access to many of your recipe ingredients, I thoroughly enjoy your web site. You are quite an excellent writer and I enjoy your stories very much.

  3. i love soya nuggets and though i use soy milk n tofu n all regularly this one gets neglected when selecting ingredients....just an hour back i was talking to a cardiologist about it's benefits....nice hot curry it is..

    even we take such things for dinner's fun ...especially for a dinner!!

  4. Can imagine how u must be feeling with cyclonic weatehr,here its just cold wind ,curry looks awesome,..enjoy the weather dear,..;-)

  5. Sharmila,
    OMG! clouds so near!!
    anyways enjoy the cold weather ,cyclone hmmmm so you must be confided in home now ...sabdhane thakbe ....I am really afraid of these cyclones..
    nugget curry khob bhalo lage amaar khete tobe better half and lil one ekdom khete chaye na :)...
    hugs and smiles

  6. Hi Sharmila,
    Oh ya its really sad abt the weather playing havoc in Mumbai, saw the news abt high alert n stuff.keep urself warm and take care :)
    We at B'lore had our share for the past 3-4 days...thankfully it's sunny today :) oh ya...any nmbr of chai's are allowed at anytime of the day with the wdr excuse ;) and ginger chai oooo yeah! it's perfect!
    I've cooked less with soya nuggets, I've used them in pulaos but not in dry sabzis, shall give it a try sometime.

  7. Hi Sharmila, the curry looks simple with an exquisite taste, I always use a masher to press my nuggets into the gravy,so in this way I cook for less time and it absorbs well.

  8. Thanks Mr.Ghosh! Lemme know how you like it. :-)

    Much appreciate your visiting and leaving such warm lines Coleen! :-)I know it must be difficult for you to relate to a lot of stuff here.

    Thanks Sangeeta! :-)

    Thanks Priyanka! Am enjoying the weather. :-)

    Thanks Jaya! Don't worry ... the cyclones here are not even half as bad as bac home. :-)

    Thanks Suparna! Am enjoying the weather thoroughly. :-)

  9. Thanks Pari! I not only needed them to absorb well but also to get them well cooked and soft enough. My husband wouldn't eat them otherwise. :-)

  10. Sharmila, have to say for a non-soya hater (maybe not that strong) this curry sure looks very appetizing. Its the texture that gets me. Potatoes or chicken it will be.

  11. I am happy that my husband and my children like soya.
    I make this curry quite frequently though not as how you have mentioned. I do not add garlic/garam masala while boiling it. Will try it this time. I am sure it will give a very different flavour.
    I must tell you that I made your stir fried vegs and chicken two nights ago and it was awesome. As Ayushi said,ek dom restaurant er moton khete hoychhe. And Ishita said will you please tell her to post some italian now you know.
    You are a fabulous cook and as I have told you earlier, wish we were neighbours.


  13. Thanks ISG! It is due to that texture problem I came up with this way of making it. Do try it once. :-)

    Thanks Aparna! Am so glad the kids liked it. Much thanks to Ayushi & Ishita for the praises too. :-)
    I'll surely post some Italian stuff ... I know my blog lacks in them hugely because I always make such stuff for dinner ... which means no good snaps .. and so no posts.
    But for Ishita ... I promise to. :-)

  14. Sharmila, I wish I could just grab that plate off the screen. Love this spicy, yummy dish with soya nuggets and love that it's vegan. It's raining here too and this is exactly what I need to put some sunshine into my day :)

  15. Sharmila,
    I wish it rained here in Kolkata. The temperature is still above 28C, no feeling of winter in the near future. Are you in Bangalore?
    The soya chunks look delicious. I have never prepared soya with kasuri methi, that's really interesting.

  16. im making this rite away sharmi...have been craving for something hatke since morning....this is perfect for now...till u post ur stir fry :)

  17. Wow..look at that weather!
    I know exactly what you mean about that smell! I usually soak and wring it to get rid of that smell as well. The masala and gravy sound excellent.

  18. Sharmila - you write so well that I come to read anyway for the stories too. And the dishes are awesome too...
    I like how you add a touch of sugar to most curries, my mom does that too... My hubby hates it ofcourse - so I dont....
    Lovely soya nuggets curry! Mine is similar, though I dont tear it out...

  19. I love soya nuggets and the soya keema as well, your post reminded me the times I made them every once a week. I even made them at parties just as a filler item, and it was always gone before I knew. ekhaane chole aaye, kichoota ekhono sunny aachhe :-)

  20. I hate continuous rain..feel so boring.feeling really sorry for you..right time for jhal muri ba beguni, aloor chop...kasuri methi in soya curry..ummm...yumm yumm..lovely idea, are delicious as usual..lovely recipe

  21. I luv all dishes with soya chunks...This looks tempting and mouthwatering..Nice clicks and presentation sharmi...

  22. Thanks Vaishali! Hope you get some sunshine from Mr.Sun too ... soon. :-)

    Thanks Sudeshna! I add kasurimethi to the masala paste for the flavour and that is not limited to soya chunks only. :-)

    Thanks Rush! A stir fry coming up soon. :-)

    Thanks Bharti! This way works wonderfully with the smell ... try it once. :-)

    Thanks Somoo! That pinch of sugar balances with the salt ... you'll almost never feel too much salt in a dish that way. ;-)
    That tearing part is for them to soak up real well. :-)

    Thanks Joyeeta! I wish I could have them every week. :-)
    Amar brishti bhalo lage ... besides aaj sujji mama dekha diyechen.

    Thanks Indrani! Aha .. aloor chop ... ekhankar Bangali dokan tate jete hobe meghla thakte thakte. :-)

  23. Thanks Sayantani! Amar bor khayena bolei ei bhabe banalam including the boiling part ... lekha hoyeni .. o dubar niye khelo. :-)

  24. Sharmila, it was damp here at Mumbai but nothing like the kaal boishakhis we have grown up with. It was too ridic to go home even by my standards. I managed to convince K to come with me to Gallops the restaurant at the race course. It was nice and green. She wasn't hungy and watched while I ate.

    I occasionally get my maid to make soya for lunch for some non cholesteroal meals. Lot of interesting tips in this post of yours.

    We celebrated the wet weather wet galawti and kakori kebabs, black daal, Mukhorochok dalmut! and rum and coke for dinner

  25. I love soy chunks,D didn't initially but now he eats ;-)

  26. Soya chunk curry looks very delicious..we too had bad weather from from past few days..thank god Phyan by passed or else it would have been a disaster :-(

  27. Perfect treat for the rainy day! We got a 1/2 day off too:). Came home and slept nicely!

  28. r u ?? soya nuggets curry looks delicious. amar anekdin blogging kora hoyni...tai anekgulo post miss kore gechi. Will try to catch up soon. :)

  29. Awesome place you got here. Thanks for sharing your recipes..

  30. Yeah Kalyan .. even I miss them terribly. Aha ... dalmuts! wonderful way to pep up this dull cloudy weather. Rum & coke for dinner ... lol ... you outdo us! :-)

    Haan Sandeepa ... Same with my hubby too ... koto je kaat khor porate hoye ami e jani. :-)

    Thanks Parita!

    Thanks Harini! wow .. yu got a day off too for this weather! :-)

    Hi Tulip! Good to see you here again. :-)

    Thanks Nostalgia! :-)

  31. Looks super-yum, S! I've never cooked soya chunks before.

  32. I tried your soya recipe yesterday and it turned out just fab!! Thanks a lot for this keep on posting such easy to make but delicious recipes...and hey when everyone was pouring in their praises, i did give u all( no no most) of the credit..:)

  33. Thanks Vani! Do give them a try once. :-)

    Thanks MK! Go ahead. :-)

    Thanks Prasu! :-)

    Much thanks for coming here to let me know Arunima. :-)
    Of course ... I do acknowledge that it is this appreciation and warm words from good people that I and my blog thrive on. :-)

  34. Sorry Man! your blog or photos are not good enough to take anything back..... lol ..... for you "kana chele r naam padmalochon"

    1. Well ... there has been numerous instances of copying of text and usage of photos from my blog. But I'm glad to know you are not one of them Susmita.


Thank you for sharing Kichu Khonn( a few moments ) with me in my kitchen!