I don’t eat meat once a week and on those days, I try to get my daily required protein from soya products or legumes. Soya is a good source of protein for vegetarians. On a vegetarian day, I cook tofu or soya chunks/granules. I was never a big fan of soya chunks but that has changed last year. I use to make soya granules and spinach combination once in a while but not the chunks. In the past, I found the soya chunks to be tasteless and bland, no matter some much I spice it up. That gradually changed and I think it is the cooking technique. Lately, I am cooking it more often. Recently, I found mini soya chunks in my Indian store and am loving these mini chunks a lot. Last week I made soya lauki (in Hindi) ~ sorakaya (in Telugu) ~ bottle gourd in tomato gravy and loved the taste. I had a small piece of leftover bottle gourd and made it again yesterday.
Total Time: 35 – 35 minutes
Preparation: 15 – 20 minutes
Cooking Time: 20 – 25 minutes
Serves: 2 – 3
- ¼ cup mini Soya Chunks
- 2 tbsp. Oil
- 1 Cardamom, 1 Clove, ½” Cinnamon piece
- ¾ of a medium – large Onion chopped or ¾ cup Onion chopped
- 2-3 tsp. Ginger Garlic paste
- 2 tsp. Coriander powder
- 1 ½ tsp. Chili Powder
- 1 tsp. Salt
- 3 medium Chilies cut into two
- 1/3 (approx.) small Bottle Gourd peeled & diced or 1 heaped cup peeled & diced Bottle Gourd
- 1 medium – large Tomato chopped or ¾ – 1 cup chopped Tomatoes (more than ¾ cups & less than 1 cup)
- ¼ cup Yogurt
- 1 – 1 ½ cup Water
- Take water, soya chunks with little bit of salt in a sauce pan and bring to a boil. Boil it for 5 more minutes. Remove from fire and let it sit for 10 minutes. Then wash the chunks several times in water and keep them aside. These are the instructions on the soya mini chunks box and I followed it to the dot.
- Heat oil in a sauce pan or a skillet. Temper it with a cardamom, clove, cinnamon and when they change color, add the onion.
- Sauté onion till light brown and add ginger garlic paste. Sauté it for a minute or two.
- Add the powders; coriander powder, chili powder, turmeric, salt and the green chilies. Mix well.
- Add bottle gourd pieces and mix well till the spices nicely coat the pieces. Add soya chunks and mix it. Add 2-3 tbsp. of water if required, cover and cook until the bottle gourd is semi soft. This should take about 5 – 8 minutes. Cook it on medium – medium high flame.
- Reduce the flame to low, add tomatoes and yogurt, and mix it constantly for a minute or 2 minutes to avoid breaking of the yogurt. I normally mix tomatoes & yogurt in a bowl and then add it to the hot pan.
- Cover and cook on medium – medium high flame until the tomatoes are soft and mushy, and bottle gourd is almost cooked. This should take about 5 – 8 minutes.
- Add 1 – 1 ¼ cup water or to a desired consistency, taste the gravy for seasoning, add any spices or salt if required, cover the pan and cook for another 5 minutes or until the bottle gourd is fully cooked. If the gravy is too thin, add some coconut powder and cook it for another few minutes. If the gravy is too thick, add some water and cook it for another few minutes.
- Remove from fire, transfer to a serving bowl and serve it hot or warm with roti or rice.
This day in 2010: Baked Nippattu