Textured or texturized vegetable protein (TVP), also known as textured soy protein (TSP), soya chunks is a meat analogue or nutritious meat extender made from defatted soy flour, a by-product of extracting soybean oil. It is quick to cook, with a protein content equal to that of the meat, and contains no fat.
Soya chunks were introduced in Indian market some 15-20 years back. People liked its chunky and meaty texture and it goes great with simple vegetarian curries. A much healthier alternative to eating ground meat is to completely or at least partially substitute it with TVP (textured vegetable protein). TVP is also known as soy granules and is available by brand name “Meal maker” and “Nutrela” etc. Actually any kind of meat cooked on high heat produces HCA, a kind of dangerous chemical that could generate nasty toxins in your body. Mixing TVP with such meats reduces the release of this chemical to a large extent. Use TVP to make garden burgers and your kids will not make out the difference.
Health food stores everywhere carry soy protein in powder form which can be added to homemade fruit smoothies, soups and even baked goods without appreciably changing the taste. These protein powders also usually lists the isoflavone content. Additionaly you can buy soy flour from health food market and mix quarter part of your normal chapati dough with soy flour. The difference in taste of chapatis and paranthas is negligible and you get your dose of isoflavones.
Soya is a very important part of my weekly meal planning. I add it to many gravies, sambar, and even some south indian kootu preparations. Its hardly ever noticed, but adds that extra protien boost to your everyday meal. I was infuenced by Kanchan`s Recipe which I instantly had to make!!!
1 Medium Red Onion.
Half Pound Soya Chunks.
2 Slicing/ Heirloom Tomatoes.
4 Green Chillies.
2 Tbsp Ginger Garlic Paste.
2 Bay Leaves.
1 Tsp Cardamom Powder.
2 Tsp Tamarind Concentrate/ 1/4 Cup Thick Tamarind Extract.
2 Tsp Red Chilli Powder.
1 Tsp Garam Masala Powder.
1 Tsp Lemon Juice.
Corriander to garnish.
Roast dry and powder:
4 Tbsp Dry Coconut Powder.
4 Tbsp Dhania Seeds.
3 Tbsp Poppy Seeds.
1/2 inch Cinnamon Stick.
8 Black peppercorns.
- Boil 6 cups of water in a large vessel and add all the soya chunks to it. Add salt and switch off the flame. Allow to sit for a few minutes.
- Squeeze out all the extra water from the cooked soya chunks and mince in the food processor until they are roughly shredded.
- In case you dont have a food processor, I am guessing you can roughly pulse the dry soya chunks and THEN soak in boiling water.
- Meanwhile dry roast the ingredients mentioned above, until they turn a light brown and you smell the aroma wafting from the cinnamon and poppy seeds. Remove from flame and allow to cool.
- Powder to a coarse consistency and mix the 2 Tsp Tamarind Paste to make a smooth paste. Set aside.
- Chop the onions, tomatoes, green chillies.
- In a wide bottomed kadai add 2 Tbsp of oil and when hot, the bay leaf and the cardamom powder.
- In a few seconds, add chopped green chillies, ginger garlic paste and saute for a couple more seconds.
- Now add the chopped onions and saute until the onions are brown and slightly carmelised.
- Pop in the chopped tomatoes and saute until the oil separates.
- Add the minced soya and the prepared paste and stir well.
- Add turmeric powder, red chilli powder, garam masala powder and sufficient salt and allow to cook until the entire dish comes together.
- Finish off with a squeeze from a fresh lemon and serve hot garnished with chopped cilantro leaves.
- Is an excellent accompaniment with Parathas, Rotis and Paav Breads.
- Is an excellent filling for a sandwich. Simply make the sandwich fresh as the dish has water content, it may make the sandwich soggy.