Soya chunks curry-more popularly known as aloo nutrela ki sabzi or meal maker curry is an Indian curry made with soya nuggets and potatoes. It has a delicious onion-tomato curry base flavored with Indian spices.
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If you are a vegetarian or vegan, looking for protein rich meat free recipe ideas then today's recipe soya chunks curry is perfect for you.
This Indian curry is also called Aloo Soya, Aloo nutrela, soya nuggets curry, or meal maker curry in some regions of India.
Nutrela is one of the most popular soya food brands in India. It's popularity can be guessed from the fact that people in India often call soya chunks, nutrela.
It's similar to another Asian ingredient known as Malaysian tofu which was introduced to me by my Chinese friends.
- What goes in soya chunks curry?
- Ingredient notes and substitute suggestions
- How to make (step by step process)?
- How to use Soya chunks in a dish?
- Serving suggestions
- Storing suggestions
- Freezing suggestions
- Recipe tips and tricks
- Frequently asked questions
- More protein-rich vegan recipes
- More vegan curry recipes
What goes in soya chunks curry?
To make soya chunks curry you will be needing the ingredients shown below (the full list can also be checked in the recipe card):
Ingredient notes and substitute suggestions
- Soya chunks: Also, known as soya nuggets or meal maker, they are easily available in Indian grocery stores and online too. They are sold in dried form and you need to either soak them in boiling water or boil in water for a few minutes before using in a recipe. They have a meaty texture which makes them a very popular substitute for meat.
- Potatoes: Adding potatoes is not mandatory. You can make soya chunks curry without potatoes too.
- Red chili powder: Select a variety depending upon whether you want to use it for color or heat. If you want to add it for a bright red color and mild heat, use Kashmiri red chili powder.
- Dried whole spices: I have used only cumin seeds, black peppercorns, and a bay leaf. You can also add other whole spices like cloves, black cardamom, cinnamon etc, to flavor the curry.
- Garam masala: Garam masala is a blend of Indian spices. It has a very dominating taste and flavor so add carefully and in moderation.
- Kasoori methi: Kasoori methi is dried fenugreek leaves. It adds a very nice and unique smoky taste to the Indian dishes. Honestly, there is no substitue for kasoori methi, no matter what people suggest. Even fresh fenugreek leaves don't give the same flavor. You can get it in the spice section of Indian grocery stores.
- Cooking oil: Use any neutral flavored oil of choice.
How to make (step by step process)?
Step 1: Wash soya chunks and put in a pot with a few cups of water and some salt.
Step 2: Boil for around 10 minutes.
Step 3: Strain and discard the water.
Step 4: Wash the chunks with more water.
Step 5: Once the soya chunks reach room temperature press between your palms to squeeze out the water. Keep them aside.
Step 6: Roughly chop onion and garlic. Put in a chutney jar or food processor and make a paste. Take out the paste in a bowl and keep aside.
Step 7: In the same chutney jar, make a paste of tomatoes and green chilies.
Step 8: Heat oil in a pot and add whole spices. Saute for a few seconds or until the spices become fragrant.
Steps 9 and 10: Add the onion-garlic paste and cook until it turns golden brown. Keep stirring in between. Add a few tablespoons of water whenever the onion starts sticking to the bottom.
Step 11: Add red chili powder, coriander powder, and turmeric powder. Saute for a few seconds.
Step 12: Add tomato-green chili paste and salt.
Step 13: Cook for 10-12 minutes or until the tomatoes are nicely cooked and change color.
Step 14: Add chopped potatoes and boiled soya chunks. Cook them in masala, without adding water for at least 2-3 minutes.
Step 15: Add chopped ginger.
Step 16: Add around 2 cups of water and mix everything.
Step 17: Cover the pot and cook until the potatoes are nicely cooked.
Step 18: Remove the lid and add chopped cilantro. Mix everything.
Your delicious soya chunks curry is ready to be served.
How to use Soya chunks in a dish?
Soya chunks are sold in dried form so they are very easy to store. To prepare them for a dish, just wash and boil them in salted water for around 8-10 minutes. You can also soak them in hot water for around 15 minutes then squeeze out the water.
Now, these chunks are ready to be used in any recipe.
If you are planning to replace meat with soya chunks in a recipe, use soaked or boiled soya chunks as uncooked meat in the recipe.
For e.g. if a non-vegetarian recipe asks to marinate the meat for 30 minutes and then bake. Marinate the soaked or boiled soya chunks for 30 minutes and then bake.
If you are looking for a substitute for minced meat, use soya granules which are also easily available in the market.
Soy granules will also need the same preparation before using i.e. either boiling or soaking in boiling water.
Generally, meal maker curry is eaten with Indian bread like Roti or Paratha. If you want, you can also enjoy it with a rice dish like jeera rice, vegetable rice, or just plain steamed rice.
To store, allow the curry to reach room temperature and then transfer to an air-tight container. It will be fine for 2-3 days.
Aloo soya chunks curry freezes well. Store them in an air-tight, freezer-safe container and put in the freezer. It will be fine for 3-4 months.
To reheat either microwave or transfer to a cooking pot, add some boiling water and reheat on the stovetop.
Recipe tips and tricks
- Always use soya chunks of a good quality.
- Don't skip the part of boiling the soya chunks otherwise, you will get a raw taste of soy in your dish.
- Squeeze out all the water from soya chunks after boiling. This will help the chunks in soaking the flavors of curry in a better way.
- Before pressing the chunks between your palms, make sure they have reached room temperature.
- The spongy texture of chunks absorb a lot of gravy. So, if you are not planning to serve it immediately, either use more water in the recipe or before re-heating the dish add more boiling water to it and cook for a few minutes before serving.
- Adding potatoes is optional, this curry can be made without potatoes too.
- You may also add other vegetables like green peas, carrots, and cauliflower.
Frequently asked questions
Soya chunks are made using a by-product of the Soya bean oil i.e. the fibrous soya bean part which is left behind while extracting oil from the soya bean.
That makes soya chunks a very rich source of plant protein and also low in saturated fat.
Soya chunks of most brands are gluten-free. However, if you are on a gluten-free diet, make sure to check the allergen notes on the package before buying.
If you want to soak soya chunks instead of boiling, soak them for atleast 15 minutes in boiling water.
You can use soya chunks to make curries, stir-fries, or create a vegan/ vegetarian version of any non-vegetarian recipe in which meat chunks are used.
Add a handful of soaked soya nuggets with vegetables in your pulao or veg biryani. It will make the dish tastier and healthier.
You can easily find soya chunks in any Indian grocery store and online too. It's also sold by the name soya nuggets and meal maker.
More protein-rich vegan recipes
Finding tasty protein-rich recipe ideas is one of the biggest challenges faced by vegans and vegetarians. If you also want to add a variety to your meat-free protein-rich dishes, don’t miss to check the following recipes:
More vegan curry recipes
For me, there is nothing more comforting than a bowl of curry with some rice or roti. If you like curries too and looking for vegan ideas then you will definitely like the following recipes:
If you try any of my recipes, please rate ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ it on the recipe card and also leave your feedback in the comments section below. You can also follow me on Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram, and subscribe to my youtube channel.
Soya Chunks Curry
- Cooking pot
- Food processor/ chutney maker
- 1.5 cups soya chunks
- 2 medium-sized potatoes cut into bite-size cubes
- 1 large onion
- 2 medium-sized tomatoes
- 2-3 large garlic cloves
- 1 small piece of ginger finely chopped
- 1-2 green chilies
- ¼ cup chopped cilantro optional
- 2-3 black peppercorns
- 1 bay leaf
- ½ teaspoon cumin seeds
- ½ tablespoon coriander powder
- ½ teaspoon red chili powder adjust to taste
- ¼ teaspoon turmeric powder
- ½ tablespoon kasoori methi dried fenugreek leaves
- ¼ teaspoon garam masala
- Salt to taste
- 1 tablespoon Cooking oil of choice
- 2 cups water adjust to get the desired consistency of the curry
- Put a few cups of water and some salt in a pot. Add washed soya chunks and boil for around 10 minutes or until you see white foam getting collected over water.
- Strain the soya chunks, discard the water and wash the cooked chunks with more water. Press them between your palms to squeeze out all the water. Keep the chunks aside.
- Roughly chop onion and garlic. Put in a grinder and make a paste. Take out the paste. Keep aside. In the same grinding jar, make a paste of tomato and green chilies. Keep that aside too.
- Heat oil in a pot and add cumin seeds, bay leaf, and peppercorns. Saute for a few seconds or until the spices become fragrant.
- Add onion paste and cook until it turns golden brown. In between, if the paste starts sticking to the bottom of the pot, add around 2 tablespoons of water and continue cooking.
- Add turmeric powder, red chili powder, and coriander powder. Saute for about a minute.
- Next, add tomato-green chili paste and salt. Cook until the tomatoes are nicely cooked and change their color to a brighter red. It will take around 10-12 minutes on medium flame.
- Add potato cubes and soya chunks. Let them cook in the sauce without water for at least 2-3 minutes.
- Add chopped ginger and around 2 cups of water. Mix everything and cover the pot. Cook until the potatoes are nicely cooked.
- Remove the lid and switch off the stove. Add garam masala, crushed kasoori methi, and coriander leaves. Mix everything.
- Serve hot with any Indian bread or rice.
- Make sure to use soya chunks of good quality.
- Don't skip the step of boiling soya chunks or soaking them in boiling water otherwise, they will give a raw soy taste to the dish.
- The spongy texture of these chunks soak a lot of gravy, so adjust the amount of water to get the desired consistency.
- Before pressing the soya chunks between your palms, make sure they have reached room temperature.
- For more flavor, it's always best to add kasoori methi and garam masala in the final step when the curry is cooked.
- You may also add other vegetables like green peas, cauliflower, and carrots to this dish.
- Adding potatoes is optional. You can make soya chunks curry without potatoes too.
- More, recipe tips and tricks are given within the post above. Please follow them to make this recipe.