Ah ! Soya chunks ! The very name terrorized me coz whenever I cooked it, my mood soured as it never came out good ! The few attempts I made, in making a decent dish out of soya chunks were always disastrous ! It always tasted blant 🙁 Anyways on our last trip to Kerala, we tasted a yummy soy chunk roast, made as part of a sadya, by a caterer. And it felt like having a non veg dish in the middle of a completely vegetarian meal! The soy chunks were cut into thin rounds which allowed them to absorb the masala better.The only thing I didn’t like about it was that it had red color added to it which was absolutely not necessary.
After coming back to Seattle, I decided to try my luck with soy chunks again and this was the first dish I made. And failures do lead to success, friends! The result was fabulous!
In this recipe, I have cut the soy chunks into thin rounds and then I stir-fried them in oil adding chicken masala powder, before adding to the onion masala. Please don’t skip this step, I guarantee it will fetch you good results. Happy cooking!
Ingredients (Serves 6 – 7)
1. Soy chunks – 2 cups (Around 150 gm)
2. Oil, preferably coconut oil – 2 tbsp
3. Chicken masala powder – 1.5 – 2 tsp
Salt – 1/4 tsp
4. Oil – 2 – 3 tbsp
5. Mustard seeds – 1/2 tsp
Coconut tidbits / thenga kothu – 1/4 – 1/2 cup
Onion – 2 medium, thinly sliced
Ginger – garlic paste – 1 tbsp (OR use 2 tsp each of finely chopped ginger and garlic instead)
Curry leaves – 1 sprig
6. Turmeric powder – 1/4 tsp
Kashmiri chilly powder – 1 tsp
Pepper powder – 1/4 tsp
Coriander powder – 3/4 tsp
Chicken masala powder – 1 tsp
7. Tomato – 1 large, finely chopped (Makes about 1 cup)
8. Salt – To taste
1. Put the dried soy chunks in boiling water for 6 – 8 minutes. Drain and wash with cold water. Squeeze out the water well. Slice into thin pieces and set aside.
2. Heat 2 tbsp oil in a wide pan at medium heat. Add the soy chunk pieces, little salt and 2 tsp chicken masala powder. Stir-fry for 4 – 5 minutes. Transfer to a bowl and set aside.
3. To the same pan at medium heat, add 2 – 3 tbsp oil. Splutter mustard seeds and fry sliced coconut until golden. Next add sliced onion, little salt, ginger-garlic paste and curry leaves. Saute until onion turns light golden. Add spice powders numbered 6. Saute until their raw smell is gone. Next add finely chopped tomato. Saute well until tomato gets mashed up. (If its very dry, sprinkle 1 – 2 tbsp water and mix well). Finally add in the fried soy chunk pieces, few curry leaves and mix well. Taste-check for salt. Stir-fry for 3 – 4 minutes and switch off. For extra taste, add a tbsp of coconut oil and continue to roast for another 4 – 5 minutes. Serve this delicious soya chunk roast with rice, pulliseri and thoran.