I love Soya Chunks. Period. As a kid, when I tasted soya chunks for the first time I fell in love with it instantly. How the cooked soya chunks looked spongy and puffed up – it was more of a textural love than for the taste. Amma used to use these in her special vegetable biriyani and soya chunks kurma. I used to fish out for these soya chunks or meal maker as we used to call them and gobble them up 😀 The best part of using soya chunks in curries is that they soak up all the masala and flavours of the curry – a burst of flavours in your mouth happens for every bite of the soya chunk. I can go on and on about how I love soya chunks but let me get on to the recipe first.
Last night I made this Soya Chunks Kofta curry for our dinner to go with Phulkas. Now the soya chunks as it as are super tasty (for me at the least!) but to make something better out of it and to have a change from the same dishes being repeated again and again, I attempted Kofta balls with minced soya chunks. To add to the texture of the Kofta balls, I used blanched fresh green peas and the color combination was super good to look at. Inorder to keep the calories on check, instead of deep frying the Koftas I used the paniyaram chatti/appe pan and had to literally use less than 2 tsp of oil to make crispy golden brown koftas. To get a creamier curry, I used 1.5 tbsp of low fat fresh cream as I had it with me and was in dire need to use it very soon. If fresh cream is not available, cashew paste can be added for the creaminess. The curry is spicy with a hint of sweetness and the kofta balls just melt in your mouth. Over to the recipe now –
To make Soya Chunks Kofta Curry
What I used –
For the Soya Chunks Kofta –
- Soya Chunks, 1.5 cups
- Ginger Garlic Paste, ½ tsp
- Roasted Gram Flour, 2 tbsp
- Red Chilli Powder, 3/4th tsp
- Garam Masala Powder, 1/4th tsp
- Turmeric Powder, 1/4th tsp
- Salt, as required
- Fresh/Frozen Green Peas, 1/4th cup
- Oil, 1 to 2 tsp
For the Curry –
- Onions, 2 large
- Tomatoes, 3 medium
- Ginger Garlic Paste, 1 tsp
- Dried Bay Leaf, 1
- Cinnamon, 1 inch piece
- Cloves, 2
- Green Cardamom, 1
- Red Chilli Powder, 1 tsp
- Garam Masala Powder, ½ tsp
- Jeera Powder, ½ tsp
- Coriander Powder, ½ tsp
- Turmeric Powder, 1/4th tsp
- Oil, 2 tsp
- Low Fat Fresh Cream, 1.5 tbsp (optional)
- Salt, as required
- Sugar, a generous pinch
- Water, as required
- Fresh Chopped Coriander Leaves, 2 tbsp
How I made –
1. First start by boiling the soya chunks in enough water. When the soya chunks are doubled in size and are spongy – Remove from flame. Wash them in cold water and squeeze out the excess water.
2. Meanwhile, roughly chop the onions and tomatoes. Add them to a microwave safe bowl and add few tbsp of water. Set them on micro high for 4-5mins. The onions and tomatoes would be cooked well. Let it cool down. Blend into a smooth paste and set aside.
3. Using your hands, shred the cooked soya chunks into small pieces. Take them onto a bowl. Add all the ingredients under “For the Soya Chunks Kofta” except for oil and mix well. Make equal sized balls out of the dough. Additional water would not be required and the moisture from soya chunks should be enough to make the koftas.
4. Keep the appe pan on medium heat. Add few drops of oil into each appe mould and let it heat. Keeping the flame on low, put a kofta ball into each mould and cook for a 30 secs on each side with few drops of oil in between until all sides are golden brown. Remove them onto a plate.
5. In a pan, heat oil. Add bay leaf, cinnamon, cloves and cardamom. Fry for 20 secs. Add ginger garlic paste and fry for another 30 secs.
6. Add the onion-tomato puree and mix well. The puree might splutter so cook closed on medium heat for 2-3mins. Add the spice powders – red chilli powder, garam masala powder, jeera powder, coriander powder and turmeric powder. Add required salt for the curry and a generous pinch of sugar. Mix well.
7. Keep it closed and cook for another 3-4 mins until the raw smell of the powders is gone. Add fresh cream, mix well and pour ½ cup of water to get to the gravy consistency.
8. Slowly add the soya chunks koftas into the curry. Add chopped coriander leaves. Let the gravy come to a single boil. Switch off the stove.
9. Serve hot with roti/phulka/naan/any flat bread or rice.
- Squeeze out all the excess water from the soya chunks before shredding them.
- Instead of using hands, one can use a food processor as well for shredding the soya chunks. I liked this consistency better and hence used this method.
- Blanch the fresh/frozen green peas before adding it to the soya chunks mixture.
- Add roasted gram flour so that there is no raw after taste in the koftas made. This flour is essential as there is no other binding agent in the koftas.
- Roll the koftas tightly so that they don’t break while cooking on the appe pan.
- Instead of making the koftas in the appe pan, one can deep fry as well.
- Instead of using the microwave for cooking onions and tomatoes, one can cook them on stove top too. With this method of mine, there is no need for oil while cooking the onions and tomatoes.
- Low Fat Fresh cream is optional and need not be added if not desired. Alternatively, one can make a paste out of cashews or almonds and add it to the curry for the creamy texture.
- Do not cook the curry for a longer time after adding the fresh cream – it can curdle. Just let it come to a single boil and switch off the flame.
I am submitting this recipe to The Recipe Challenge Contest/Week 2 at Lin’s Recipes 🙂 This is my first time taking part in a food related challenge and when I visited Lina’s blog – I loved her weekly recipe challenge concept and wanted to take part but this week’s theme being minced meat I thought I will give it a skip. Lina being a sweetheart, gave me an alternative to use minced soya chunks 🙂 Thank you Lina! I had a great time experimenting with soya chunks 🙂