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Sunday, October 12, 2014

Soya-Palak ki subzi (Soyabean au Palanga tarkari)

Political correctness is a virtue which every public figure should possess. As they are under the scanner every time they try to channelize their inner thoughts, they need to learn how to make it sound good. Else they might end up sounding like Mr Nadella who has finally spoken the 'satya' or the truth about the mindset of the Indian male, which incidentally happens to be one of the most insecure breeds amongst all home sapiens. Indian women are born to obey their fathers (and brothers), then their husband and finally their sons. And that is something we have been doing without raising a voice (even when not-so-stray incidents of domestic violence happen). So, when a Nadella decides to advise them on doing good 'karma', all the collective pent-up frustration of the estrogen clan starts pouring out on the internet. While I am no supporter of the now 'infamous' guy, I would very much prefer that these women take it out on the men in their lives instead. Charity begins at home.

Back to my kitchen. While I prefer cooking soya chunks in a traditional (read typical Odia) curried form, spinach usually ends up being pureed with onion, ginger and garlic. This spinach puree is quite versatile and I keep adding it to paneer, sweet corn, potato and even rice preparations. I also stuff it into sandwiches at times.

But last week I was in a hurry to finish all the vegetables/perishables lying in my fridge before leaving for a weekend trip. I had prepared my favorite soya curry for lunch and some of it was still remaining for dinner. As I cleaned out the fridge, I noticed this bunch still lying untouched. Came up with the plan of improvising my leftover curry with some greens. Hence I combined two of my favorite formulas to come up with this curry.

Read on for the easy and yummy recipe -

Preparation Time - 25 mins

Ingredients -

  • 1 1/2 cup soya nuggets
  • 1 1/2 cup baby spinach (with stems removed)
  • 1 medium sized potato
  • 1 medium sized onion
  • 6-7 garlic cloves
  • 1 inch ginger
  • 1 small tomato
  • 1 dry red chili
  • 2 green cardamom
  • 2 cloves
  • 1 inch cinnamon
  • 1 small bay leaf
  • a small bit of a black cardamom
  • 1/2 tsp meat masala
  • 1/2 tsp red chili powder
  • 1/3 tsp turmeric
  • 4 tsp oil
  • salt to taste
  • 2 pinch garam masala

Preparation - Roughly chop onion, ginger and garlic. Transfer to a mixer jar along with the broken red chili and buzz for 1 sec to get a very coarse paste ( you should be able to make out each ingredient ).

Soak the soyabeans in 4-5 cups hot water for half an hour. Remove from hot water and wash under running water. Squeeze out the water and once again wash it under running water. Repeat 2-3 times.

Blanch the spinach ( put in boiling water for 2 mins, remove and immediately transfer to cold water ). Buzz in a mixie jar for 2-3 seconds to obtain a coarse puree.

Cooking - Heat 3 tsp oil in a pressure cooker. Add all the wholes spices and fry for 5-6 secs till they start to give out a fragrance.

Add the onion paste and fry till it turns reddish (use low flame with regular stirring else it will burn). Add the
tomato and cook for 2-3 mins till it softens.

Add the powdered masalas (except garam masala) and salt at this stage and fry for 1 min. Add the soaked (and thoroughly squeezed soya nuggets) along with the diced potato to the cooker. Stir fry on medium flame for 3-4 mins.

Add 2 1/2 - 3 cups hot water, adjust salt, sprinkle garam masala and close the lid of the cooker. Cook for 1-2 whistles on medium flame. Remove from flame and allow to stand aside till steam escapes.

Heat remaining oil in a wok. Add the spinach puree and fry for 2-3 mins. Add the contents of the pressure cooker to the wok. Bring to boil and let it simmer for 2 mins.

Serve hot with white rice, roti or parantha.

Note - One can also skip the whole garam masala and add some powdered garam masala instead.


  1. Nice one!!! Have you tried it with granulated soya?? It's goes really well with palak!

    1. I have used the small soya chunks in this curry ....wil definitely try with soya granules


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