Monday, 15 February 2010

Soya Chunks and Rajma curry

Rajma and Soya chunks curry
I have this urge that has now become a habit which I am not sure is good or bad. Am talking about this urge to buy stuff that is suppose to be healthy. I must say that it is easier and quicker to empty unhealthy food like a bag of fried chips but the dry fruits are still just lying on the counter! I cannot help but wonder why some ingredients are so packed with vitamins and minerals and proteins but are just so tasteless or unpalatable (ofcourse that is an exaggeration). One such goody sitting in my shelf is rajma or kidney beans. Apart from using it for dal makhani, I have not used it much. Without checking the interior of the shelf I thought I was running out of this bean and bought another packet to make some dal makhani. So I am now left to find innovative ways to cook this. But all said and done, rajma will always have a place in my kitchen and diet for all the goodness it has. This is not the only goody I have in my shelf struggling to consume, the other one is soya chunks and for some reason, many call it meal maker in India, is also lying in my shelf. I thought the fibre and folates from the rajma and the protein in the soya chunks would be a very healthy combination. It is a very simple recipe which requires some preparation like soaking the beans and the soya chunks. You could use tinned beans but the picky person that I am, just prefer to use home soaked and cooked beans.
1 cup kidney beans
1 cup soya chunks
1 big onion chopped
3 medium size tomatoes finely chopped
2 green chillies chopped
A piece of ginger finely chopped
Garlic 3-4 cloves if desired
Jeera powder (cumin seed powder)
Dhania powder (dry coriander seed powder)
Chilli powder
A Bay leaf and a cinnamon stick
Cooking oil
Turmeric powder
In a heavy bottomed vessel, pour about one tablespoon oil and fry the bay leaf and cinnamon stick. Add the turmeric powder, chillies, ginger, garlic and onion and fry until onion turns transparent. Add the tomatoes and about 3 pinches of salt. The salt will help the tomatoes give up the juices and get well cooked. Once done, try to mash the mixture just by pressing with the ladle. Add about 1 teaspoon jeera powder, 1 teaspoon chilli powder and another teaspoon dhania powder. In the meantime, pressure cook the soaked rajma/kidney beans, I would usually allow even upto 10 whistles so the rajma is very well cooked. The soya chunks I use also need to be soaked and boiled to cook (please follow package instruction). Add the beans to the tomato onion base that should now be boiling and mash some portion of the kidney beans to get a buttery consistency (I do not like this curry being runny). Add the soya chunks and salt and simmer for about 30 minutes to allow the soya chunks and rajma to absorb the flavours.
This dish can be eaten with chapatti, Nan bread or rice. I quite like the soft texture of the kidney beans along with the chewier soya chunk.
If you do not like the masala items like cinnamon and bay leaf, you can skip them. As I always say, rinse any lentil you need to soak atleast 4 times to get rid of toxins and do not cook in the same water used for soaking.

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