Vegetarians have always been benefitted with alternative food products that were initially introduced to the world in a non-veggie form! You can take an example of a burger. The burger was a non-vegetarian product but later on, people started making the burger with vegetables too. Similarly, soybeans are considered as meat substitutes as they are high in protein. In this article, we are going to talk about Textured Vegetable Protein, also known as soya chunks commonly. Soya chunks are easy and quick to cook!
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What are Soya chunks?
Soya chunks are meat substitute i.e. even vegetarians can have them for consuming a good amount of protein. Soya chunks are obtained from soybeans at the time of extraction of soya-bean oil. So we can say that these chunks are actually defatted soy flour product, a by-product of extracting soybean oil. Soya chunks are also known as meal makers.
How are they made?
These chunks are made from soy flour via the extrusion process. The extrusion process changes the structure of the initial product at the molecular level and a meaty characteristic is derived in the chunks.
Apart from a large amount of protein content, they are also high in carbohydrates. A 100-gram serving of soya chunks contains 52g of protein and 33g of carbohydrate. It also contains iron and calcium along with little fat. A 100g serving of soya chunk has approximately about 336 calories. They are rich in Omega-3 fatty acids and Vitamin B. Soya Chunks are heart-healthy food because they are low in cholesterol.
Where can you get soya chunks?
They are easily available in departmental stores and you can also buy them online. Some of the top brands you may consider are as follows–
1. Nutrela- High protein soya chunks
2. Lion of Judah-Vegetarian soya chunks plain
3. Rani soya chunks
4. Fortune soya chunks
You may find other local brands also in your nearby areas and they too might be equivalently good. The only thing you need to be aware of while buying food items is the manufacturing date.
How to cook soya chunks?
There are several ways to cook these protein packed chunks. We have mentioned below the most popular recipes of soya chunks. However, the general way of using soya chunks has been described in the upcoming paragraph.
In order to use soya chunks for cooking, you can first heat water and milk in a saucepan. After some time, when the milk comes to a boil add the chunks into it. Then after a few seconds, switch the flame off and cover the lid of your pan. Then wait for 15-20 minutes and drain the extra liquid off and rinse the soya chunks with cold water and then drain off the extra water as well by squeezing. Your chunks are now ready. You can use them in some of your cooked gravies or any way you prefer. The boiled soya chunks can be used for preparing salads as well. You might have heard of food products like tofu and tempeh. Both these products are derived from soya beans.
1. Soya chunk curry
Before preparing the curry, you should prepare your soya as mentioned in the former paragraph. Your next job is to add oil to a pan along with cumin and mustard in mild flame and after a minute or two, add some curry leaves and onions. Wait until the onions turn golden and then add some ginger garlic paste followed by diced tomatoes. After a while, add some coriander powder, red chili powder and other spices of your preference. Then add soya chunk and fry all the added ingredients thoroughly. Finally, add some water to make the thick gravy and garnish with coriander leaves. Your curry is ready to serve!
2. Soya fries
Prepare the soya chunks as mentioned above by boiling it in milk and water. Prepare a paste with the help of chickpea flour, red chili powder, turmeric powder, salt and other spices you prefer. Add some water to create a slightly thick paste. Then add chunks into the paste to cover their outer surface. The next step is simple! Heat the oil as per the requirement and add the prepared chunks one after the other. Do not fry up the chunks to dark brown color. Once the color of the chunk starts to turn light brown take them out of the oil and your fries are ready. You can serve them with either tomato ketchup or homemade coriander and tomato sauce.
Soya chunks are quite beneficial for health and because of their high protein content; they have been a regular diet for vegetarian people. There are several ways to cook them and it is needless to mention that you can prepare your own recipes using creative ideas. If you buy these chunks in bulk, then make sure to store them in airtight containers and keep them dry in a cool place. They can be stored in the refrigerator also. People suffering from diabetes or heart problems can also consume soya chunks. These chunks are not only low in cholesterol level but they also help in lowering cholesterols in our body. Therefore you should try some soya products if you haven’t already!