Soya Chunks Curry (Meal Maker Curry)

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If you are looking for a delicious, flavorful soya chunks recipe to use up your “meal maker,” look no further. My vegan Soya Chunks Curry recipe a.k.a Meal Maker Curry made with textured vegetable protein in a rich and deeply spiced tomato onion coconut flavored gravy for a meatless gluten-free meal that everyone will love.

overhead shot of delicious soya chunks curry recipe in a white bowl garnished with mint

Soya Chunks

Soya chunks are type of mock meat made from defatted soya flour. In India, these meatless chunks are called by various names – soya vadi, Meal Maker, nutri-nuggets, soya nuggets, textured vegetable protein and also “vegetarian’s meat.”

blue rimmed white bowl filled with soya chunks

Soya chunks are a popular protein-rich vegetarian food in India. They are readily available in most Indian cities and can be purchased online.

Even though soya chunks are great source of protein, care has to be taken as they can escalate the estrogen levels in the body. To be on the safe side, be sure to eat this meat substitute in moderation as they are highly processed.

I am not that fond of soya chunks, but I do like soya chaap. I cook with this meat substitute occasionally, but never thought of adding any recipes to the blog. That is, I hadn’t until I heard from you, my readers! I have been getting many requests to include soya chunks recipes and hopefully I will be able to add a few.

What Recipes Can Be Made With Soya Chunks?

Since soya chunks are a meat substitute, you can easily swap them into any recipe that includes pieces of meat. These chunks take on the flavors of the ingredients that you use, making them ideal for curry, stir fries, pulao, Soya Biryani and manchurian. When cooked, they have a soft and chewy, almost meaty texture.

Before cooking with soya nuggets, you need to prep them in one of three ways: either boil them in water, soak them in hot water or soak in water overnight. I personally prefer the boiling method.

My mother used to make many recipes with soya chunks. Here I am sharing a highly improvised version of her recipe to make a great tasting, protein-packed soya chunks curry.

Note: Although soya chunks are rich in protein, I recommend to have them occasionally and not everyday as they are highly processed. Keep in mind your digestive capabilities, body constitution and health before you consume them.

Why This Recipe Works

This recipe is a nice way to include soya chunks in your diet. After all, most Indians love curries, and what better way to use a meat substitute than in a delicious curry sauce.

This meal maker curry has a base of sweet caramelized onions, tangy softened tomatoes and creamy coconut milk. The flavor of curry leaves melds with the spicy pungency of the green chiles and savory aroma of the spices to make this a top-notch curry.

When you eat it, you will know what I mean. The meaty texture of the soya chunks is a wonderful contrast to the light creaminess and savory flavors in the gravy. This delicious vegan soya chunks curry recipe is sure to win over even the experienced meat eaters in your life!

How to Prep Soya Chunks For ANY Recipe

This is the method I follow when I make any soya chunks recipe. I prefer this method to the soaking method, as the chunks both soften nicely and end up being more flavorful.

With the boiling method, you can also be rest assured that there won’t be any rawness or hardness in the chunks. But feel free to prep the soya chunks with your preferred method.

1. First, rinse 1 cup of soya chunks 2 to 3 times in water and drain the water. Add 3 cups water and pinch of salt to a pan. Add soya chunks. 

salted water boiling with soy nuggets

2. Boil for 5 minutes. This means that after the water starts to boil, continue to boil for a total of 5 minutes on medium heat.

TIP: This is not the only method for preparing soya nuggets, rather is just my preferred way. You can also opt to soak the chunks in hot water for 30 minutes, or prep ahead and soak them in cool water overnight. 

soya chunks being boiled in a pan to prepare for using in curry recipe

3. Drain the water. Rinse very well with fresh water. 

water rinsing out soaked and boiled soy chunks

4. Press and squeeze the chunks really well to remove all the extra water the chunks have absorbed. Set aside. 

drained soya chunks for making meal maker curry recipe
Step-by-Step Guide

How to Make Soya Chunks Curry

Sautéing Onions

1. Heat 3 tablespoons oil. I used coconut oil, but any neutral oil will do. Keep heat to medium-low or medium. 

Add 1 cup finely chopped onions and being to sauté in the oil on medium-low to medium heat.

onions appear translucent as they begin to soften

2. First the onions will become light golden.

minced onions are taking on a bit of color from sautéing

3. Continue to sauté until onions start to caramelize and turn golden. Reduce heat to low. 

minced onions have become a rich golden brown

Sauté Ginger-Garlic Paste

4. Add 1 teaspoon ginger-garlic paste to the pan with your caramelized onions. Crush 4 to 5 medium-garlic cloves and 1 inch peeled ginger in a mortar-pestle to get about 1 teaspoon of the paste.

ginger garlic paste added to pan with caramelized onions

5. Mix and sauté for few seconds on a low heat until the raw aroma is gone. 

golden caramelized aromatics

Sauté Tomatoes

6. Add ½ cup finely chopped tomatoes. 

tomatoes added to pan

7. Sauté on low to medium-low heat until tomatoes soften and become pulpy. Let oil release from the sides. 

tomatoes cooked down for making meal maker curry

Sauté Ground Spices

8. Add ground spices listed below and sauté for 1 to 2 minutes on low heat. 

NOTE: You can also switch the heat off when you add the spices if you prefer.

  • ¼ teaspoon turmeric powder 
  • ½ teaspoon cumin powder
  • ½ teaspoon fennel powder – optional 
  • ½ teaspoon garam masala powder 
  • 1 teaspoon kashmiri red chilli powder or ½ teaspoon red chilli powder or cayenne 
  • 1 teaspoon coriander powder 
oil leaving the sides of the tomato onion masala

Add Prepared Soya Chunks

9. Add soya chunks with 2 tablespoons chopped coriander and 1 tablespoon chopped mint leaves. 

fresh herbs and soy chunks added to pot for meal maker curry

10. Mix well and season with salt. 

salt added to pot

Add Water and Simmer

11. Add 1 cup water. 

water added to pot

12. Mix well. Cover and cook for 10 minutes on medium heat. 

lid on soy chunks curry recipe

13. If you do not have coconut milk, you can stop here and serve the soya chunks curry. The gravy here will have a medium to medium-thick consistency. If the gravy looks very thick, simply add a bit more water. Be careful not to add too much, as this will dilute the flavors. 

If you prefer a creamy consistency for the meal maker curry, add 2 to 3 tablespoons almond powder (almond flour) or cashew powder. Mix well and simmer for 3 to 4 minutes. If the gravy looks thick, add some water.

soya chunks simmering in curry sauce prior to adding coconut milk

Add Coconut Milk – Optional

14. If including coconut milk, first switch off heat and then add 1 cup coconut milk. Use thick coconut milk and not thin or lite coconut milk.

If you include coconut cream, then add water as needed to give a medium consistency to the gravy.

coconut milk poured into the gravy

15. Mix very well. Put on the heat and simmer on low until the gravy is hot and then switch the heat off. Do not boil as the heat can curdle the coconut milk. 

soya chunks curry in the pot after adding coconut milk

Tempering – Optional

16. If you use coconut milk, I recommend following this step. Tempering the curry leaves and green chillies adds a lot of flavor to the curry gravy. If you are not using coconut milk, you can skip this step. 

Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a small pan. Whichever oil you have used earlier, use the same oil at this step.

Add 1 to 2 sliced green chillies (depending on your heat preference) and fry them for a few seconds. 

chiles cooking in wok

17. Add 12 to 15 curry leaves (chopped or kept whole).

curry leaves added to wok with oil

18. Stirring well, fry for a few seconds until curry leaves are crisp. 

tempering curry leaves and chiles in hot oil

19. Add the tempered spices and oil to the prepared meal maker curry. Mix well.

adding tempered curry leaves and chiles to soya chunks curry

Serving Suggestions

Serve meal maker curry hot or very warm with Roti or Paratha for dipping, or enjoy with simple Steamed Basmati Rice, Jeera Rice or Ghee Rice if you are gluten-free. You can also serve this soya vadi curry as a side gravy with Vegetable Biryani or Pulao.

Storage

Store any leftovers in the refrigerator for up to one day only. Since coconut milk is used in the recipe, the gravy can curdle and go rancid if left for too long. To reheat, use a small saucepan and add some water if the curry has become thick.

overhead shot of a white bowl of soya chunks curry on a white table with parathas in the background

Expert Tips

  1. Choose the right sized soya chunks: In India, soya chunks come in three basic varieties. For this soya chunks curry recipe, you can use either the regular soya chunks or mini chunks. Do not use the soya granules in this soya chunks curry recipe. Make sure to check the soya chunks expiry date and not use if they have gone rancid or have an off odor.
  2. Coconut Milk Options: Coconut milk adds some rich creaminess to this meal maker curry. You can use canned or homemade thick coconut milk, or add coconut cream as well. Adjust water as needed if using coconut cream. Alternatively, you can add ground cashews or almond flour to thicken the gravy in place of coconut milk.
  3. Get the right consistency: You can add less or more water to alter the consistency to your liking. 
  4. Herbs & Spices: I recommend to include all the spices and herbs, but you can skip mint leaves and ground fennel powder if you prefer. 
  5. Additional veggies: To bulk up this vegetarian curry, you can add peas, finely chopped carrots or any veggie which can cook in about ten minutes. You can also opt to roast, steam or sauté heartier vegetables separately and add to the curry once the cooking is complete.
  6. Scaling: The recipes serves 4, but you can halve or double the proportions as needed

FAQs

Can this recipe be easily scaled?

Yes! As written, this recipe for meal maker curry will serve 4 adults. You can either halve or double the recipe as needed.

What is the best way to prepare soya nuggets for cooking?

I personally prefer to boil my soya chunks in lightly salted water for 5 minutes prior to adding them to any recipe. You can also opt to pour boiling water over the top and leave them to soak for a few hours, or cover with cool water and soak them overnight.

Is this Soya Chunks Curry healthy?

While I always recommend that you consult a certified nutrition expert for any dietary advice, I would suggest to include soya chunks once in a while and not everyday as they are highly processed.

If you made this recipe, please be sure to rate it in the recipe card below. Sign Up for my email newsletter or you can follow me on Instagram, Facebook, Youtube, Pinterest or Twitter for more vegetarian inspirations.

overhead shot of soya chunks curry recipe in a white bowl garnished with mint

Soya Chunks Curry | Meal Maker Curry

5 from 10 votes
If you are looking for a delicious, flavorful soya chunks recipe to use up your "meal maker," look no further. My vegan Soya Chunks Curry recipe is made with textured vegetable protein in a rich and deeply spiced tomato onion coconut flavored gravy for a meatless gluten-free meal that everyone will love.
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 25 mins
Total Time 40 mins

Cuisine Indian, South Indian
Course: Main Course
Diet: Gluten Free, Vegan, Vegetarian
Difficulty Level: Moderate

Servings 4
Units

Ingredients

Prepping soya chunks

  • 1 cup soya chunks – 50 grams
  • 3 cups water
  • 1 pinch salt – optional

For curry

  • 3 tablespoons oil – coconut or any neutral oil
  • 1 cup finely chopped onions – 120 grams or 1 medium to large
  • ½ cup finely chopped tomatoes – or 110 grams or 1 medium-sized
  • 1 teaspoon Ginger-Garlic Paste
  • ¼ teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 1 teaspoon kashmiri red chilli powder or ½ teaspoon red chilli powder or cayenne
  • 1 teaspoon coriander powder
  • ½ teaspoon cumin powder
  • ½ teaspoon fennel powder – optional
  • ½ teaspoon Garam Masala Powder
  • 2 tablespoons chopped coriander leaves
  • 1 tablespoon chopped mint leaves
  • 1 cup water
  • salt as required
  • 1 cup coconut milk

Tempering

  • 1 tablespoon oil – coconut or any neutral oil
  • 12 to 15 curry leaves
  • 1 to 2 green chillies – slit or sliced

For garnish (choose any one)

  • 1 to 2 tablespoons chopped coriander leaves
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons chopped mint leaves or a few mint sprigs

Instructions

Prepping Soya Chunks

  • Rinse the chunks 2 to 3 times in water and drain all the water. Add 3 cups water and pinch of salt to a pan. Add soya chunks. 
  • Boil for 5 minutes. This means that after the water starts to boil, continue to boil for a total of 5 minutes on medium heat.
  • Drain the water. Rinse very well with fresh water. 
  • Press and squeeze the chunks to remove all the extra water the chunks have absorbed. Set aside. 

Sautéing Onions, Tomatoes, Herbs

  • Heat 3 tablespoons neutral oil in a pan. Keep heat to medium-low or medium. 
  • Add 1 cup finely chopped onions and begin to sauté in the oil on medium-low to medium heat.
  • Continue to sauté until onions start to caramelize and turn golden. Reduce heat to low. 
  • Add 1 teaspoon ginger-garlic paste to the pan with your caramelized onions.
  • Mix and sauté for few seconds on a low heat until the raw aroma is gone.
  • Add ½ cup finely chopped tomatoes. Sauté on low to medium-low heat until tomatoes soften and become pulpy. Let oil release from the sides.
  • Add ground spices and sauté for 1 to 2 minutes on low heat. 

Assemble and Cook Curry

  • Add soya chunks with 2 tablespoons chopped coriander and 1 tablespoon chopped mint leaves.
  • Mix well and season with salt.
  • Add 1 cup water.
  • Mix well. Cover and cook for 10 minutes on medium heat.
  • TIP: If you do not have coconut milk, you can stop here and serve the soya chunks curry. The gravy here will have a medium to medium-thick consistency. If the gravy looks very thick, simply add a bit more water. Be careful not to add too much, as this will dilute the flavors. 

Optional – Add Coconut Milk

  • If including coconut milk, first switch off heat and then add 1 cup coconut milk. 
  • Mix very well. Put on the heat and simmer on low until the gravy is hot and then switch off heat. Do not boil as the heat can curdle the coconut milk.

Optional – Temper Curry Leaves and Chiles

  • If you use coconut milk, I recommend following this step. Tempering the curry leaves and green chillies adds a lot of flavor to the curry gravy. If you are not using coconut milk, you can skip this step. 
  • Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a small pan. Whichever oil you have used earlier, use the same oil at this step.
  • Add 1 or 2 sliced green chillies (depending on your heat preference) and fry them for a few seconds. 
  • Add 12 to 15 curry leaves (chopped or kept whole).
  • Stirring well, fry for a few seconds until curry leaves are crisp. 
  • Add the tempered spices and oil to the prepared meal maker curry. Mix well.

Serving Suggestions

Storage and Leftovers

  • Store any leftovers in the refrigerator for up to one day only. Since coconut milk is used in the recipe, the gravy can curdle and go rancid if left for too long.
  • To reheat, use a small saucepan. Add a bit of water if the curry has become thick.

Notes

  • Preparing Soya Chunks: Boiling is not the only method for preparing soya nuggets, rather is just my preferred way. You can also opt to soak the chunks in hot water for 30 minutes, or prep ahead and soak them in cool water overnight. 
  • Thickening curry: If you prefer a creamy consistency for the meal maker curry but don’t have coconut milk on hand, add 2 to 3 tablespoons almond powder (almond flour/almond meal) or cashew powder. Mix well and simmer for 3 to 4 minutes. If the gravy looks thick, add some water.
  • Choose the right soya chunks: In India, soya chunks come in three basic varieties. For this soya chunks curry recipe, you can use either the regular soya chunks or mini chunks. Do not use the soya granules. Make sure to check the soya chunks expiry date and not use if they have gone rancid or have an off odor.
  • Coconut Milk Options: Coconut milk adds some rich creaminess to this meal maker curry. You can use canned or homemade thick coconut milk, or add coconut cream as well. Adjust water as needed if using coconut cream. Alternatively, you can add ground cashews or almond flour to thicken the gravy in place of coconut milk.
  • Get the right consistency: You can add less or more water to alter the consistency to your liking. 
  • Herbs & Spices: I recommend to include all the spices and herbs, but you can skip mint leaves and fennel powder if you prefer. 
  • Additional veggies: To bulk up this vegetarian curry, you can add peas, finely chopped carrots or any veggie which can cook in about ten minutes. You can also opt to roast, steam or sauté heartier vegetables separately and add to the curry once the cooking is complete.
  • Scaling: The recipes serves 4, but you can halve or double the proportions as needed.

Nutrition Info Approximate values

Nutrition Facts
Soya Chunks Curry | Meal Maker Curry
Amount Per Serving
Calories 247 Calories from Fat 135
% Daily Value*
Fat 15g23%
Saturated Fat 2g13%
Sodium 364mg16%
Potassium 141mg4%
Carbohydrates 15g5%
Fiber 6g25%
Sugar 7g8%
Protein 12g24%
Vitamin A 542IU11%
Vitamin B1 (Thiamine) 1mg67%
Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin) 1mg59%
Vitamin B3 (Niacin) 35mg175%
Vitamin B6 1mg50%
Vitamin B12 1µg17%
Vitamin C 68mg82%
Vitamin D 30µg200%
Vitamin E 6mg40%
Vitamin K 4µg4%
Calcium 143mg14%
Vitamin B9 (Folate) 372µg93%
Iron 3mg17%
Magnesium 24mg6%
Phosphorus 23mg2%
Zinc 1mg7%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

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Meet Dassana

Welcome to Dassana's Veg Recipes. I share vegetarian recipes from India & around the World. Having been cooking for decades and with a professional background in cooking & baking, I help you to make your cooking journey easier with my tried and tested recipes showcased with step by step photos & plenty of tips & suggestions.

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