At home we have been on-again off-again fan of the Soy Chunks also called as Soy Meal Maker. Nutrela is the Indian brand that makes this soy protein which has a meaty texture and is a good option for vegetarians. They are easily available in the Indian groceries.
Years ago after I discovered a vegetarian version of soy protein and learnt its nutritional benefits I used to put it in just about anything be it pulao, fried rice, curries etc. Now that I remember, everything except for the smell was a plus. But then eventually we got tired of it, decided to give it a break and stopped using it altogether.
Fast forward few years and now I am looking for way to introduce various nutritional foods to the kiddo. A colleague and I were talking about recipes for kids and the topic lead to the usage of soy chunks. That is when I bought a bag of these Nutrela Soy chunks from the Indian store.
When I saw the recipe for Chilli Soy Chunks at Soma’s, I knew I had to try it. The kiddo loves Gobi Manchurian and all that was needed was to treat the boiled soy chunks as the equivalent of Gobi. Of course, I did not deep fry but made the sauce and tossed the boiled soy chunks into the gravy. The gravy that I made is a dry one as I did not add water to it.
Thanks for asking but more than the kid, the mom loved it and wiped the plate clean 🙂
Adapted from: Chilli Soy Chunks @eCurry
- 1 cup uncooked Soy chunks
- 1 bell pepper/ capsicum chopped (any color)
- 1 medium onion (chopped lengthwise)
- 2 tsp ginger garlic paste
- ½ tsp pepper powder
- 1 Tbsp soy sauce
- 1 Tbsp vinegar
- 1 Tbsp ketchup
- 1 Tbsp chilli flakes/hot sauce
- 2 Tbsp Oil
- 1 Tbsp Chopped coriander leaves
- Salt (to taste)
- Boil 4 cups of water, along with 2 tsp of salt. After it is boiled add the dry soya chunks to it and keep closed and let it sit for about 15 minutes.
- The chunks would have puffed up by now. Drain the water and using hands squeeze out the water from the soy chunks. Keep aside.
- Heat the oil in a pan. To this, add the sliced onions and ginger-garlic mixture. Fry on medium heat, then add the chopped capsicum and fry until cooked.
- Draw everything to a side and add little oil. Add soy sauce, vinegar to this and mix well.
- After it is cooked, add the ketchup and mix in the onion capsicum mixture to the cooked sauces.
- Add the chilli flakes, pepper powder and the cooked soy chunks and stir well.
- Cover with lid and let the sauces get incorporate into the soy chunks. Garnish with the chopped coriander.
Serve this hot as an appetizer.
Kothimbir Vadi is a popular starter / snack from Maharashtra. Kothimbir means coriander leaves in Marathi and vadi means wedges.
Coriander is chopped and steamed along with prepared chickpea flour and other spices. After it is steamed it is cut into desired shapes. At this point it can be eaten as is. But I like it when it is shallow fried in some oil. The lightly crisped edges along with toasted sesame seeds, take it to a whole new level. It tastes very good when eaten along with green chutney, or tamarind chutney or even ketchup.
It is a great way to use up the bunch of coriander leaves waiting in the refrigerator to be used up. Since it is steamed, it is low fat and nutritious too. A quick and easy snack, great for afternoon snack and tea times too.
- 2 cups chopped coriander leaves (cleaned and stems removed)
- 1 cup chickpea flour / besan
- 2 tbsp rice flour
- 3-4 green chilies paste
- 1 tsp ginger paste
- 2 tsp sesame seeds
- 1 tsp sugar
- 1/2 tsp turmeric powder
- 1 tsp coriander/dhaniya powder
- 1 tsp garam masala
- salt (per taste)
- juice of ½ lemon
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 2 Tbsp Oil
- Take a circular container that fits into a cooker, grease it and keep it ready.
- Grind together ginger and green chillies and make a paste (without adding water).
- Take a bowl and add the besan, rice flour and mix well. Now add all the remaining ingredients (except sesame seeds) including the ginger-green chilli paste and mix well.
- Check for seasonings and add water to make a thick batter. Little bit thicker than the dosa batter.
- Pour the batter into the prepared greased container and transfer to the cooker. Sprinkle the sesame seeds evenly over the top.
- Steam for about 20 minutes till a knife inserted in the middle comes clean.
- Allow it to cool then unmold it over to a plate. Cut into desired shapes.
- Shallow Fry: Heat oil in a pan and shallow fry the slices till crispy and golden. Serve hot with tamarind chutney or ketchup.
Bhel Puri is a combination of puffed rice along with vegetables and spicy, tangy chutney/auce. This is the most commonly sold chaat/fast food in many places in India. It is a snack with an iconic status in Western India. Bhelpuri is low-fat, delicious and eay to make!
After a long day at work, or on days when I have no mood to cook, we have Bhel Puri for dinner. I store all the dry ingredients in the pantry, the chutney in the fridge and we just combine all these to whip up a delectable “khatta-meetha-theeka” light dinner. On the last road trip we took, I packed all the ingredients required to make bhel puri and we had it many times as snack or even as dinner.
You can get creative and add or remove things you like to make it unique. The ingredients listed below are pretty much the standard. You can add like cooked black chana, cooked kabuli chana garbanzo bean, grated carrots, raw mango, and cucumber to cater to your taste. You can reduce the amount of sev and crushed puri to reduce the amount of fat as they are the only fattening ingredients.
Adjust the amount of chutney depending on your taste. I love the ‘khatta’ and sweet taste of the tamarind chutney while DH loves the spicy coriander chutney.
The key to remember is to assemble the bhel puri few minutes before eating; otherwise if kept for a while it becomes soggy and looses taste.
- 3 cups puffed rice/murmura (available at Indian stores)
- 2 small potatoes (peeled , boiled and mashed)
- ½ cup of sprouted moong
- ½ cup of roasted peanuts
- 1 onion (chopped)
- 1 large tomato (chopped)
- ½ tsp red chilli powder
- A handful of coarsely crushed crispy papdi/puri
- Sev (as required for the topping)
- Chopped coriander for garnish
- Tamarind chutney (per taste)
- Spicy coriander chutney (per taste)
Spicy chutney :
- 1 cup corriander leaves
- 2 to 4 green chilies (based on taste)
- 3 tablespoons lemon juice
- 1 tsp roasted cumin seed powder (optional)
- salt per taste
- Blend everything to a smooth paste adding water (1/4 cup). This should be spicy (hot). Do not worry about the taste as this will be compensated by the sweet taste of tamarind chutney.
Bhel Puri Method:
- Take a dry big bowl. Add the puffed rice, moong sprouts, red chilli powder, peanuts, mashed potato, onion, tomato together in a large bowl.
- Add the Tamarind chutney and coriander chutney as per your taste.
- Mix well and garnish with coriander leaves, sev and papdi. Serve immediately.