There are times when I miss the flavours of meat. There, I have said it on a public forum. But since I would rather not contribute to the loss of a life just so that it should feed me, I continue to be a vegetarian. Its pretty awesome sometimes when I come to think of how I considered vegetarian food ‘good for nothing’ a mere 5 years ago, to now, when I am a vegetarian by choice. But the flavours…. ah yes… those I do miss and try and recreate them minus the meat. It is a bit of a challenge and since every ingredient has its own flavours, it can never be a perfect recreation. But still, it would suffice just as well.
I am not too heavy with the usage of soy products. I use soya beans regularly to spike the adai batter I make, but nuggets and granules are used very sparingly. For the simple reason that K isnt too fond of them, and in a household of two, its too much of labour to cook seperately for the both of us. This time however, I tried to redo the classic Meat and Potato Curry using soya nuggets. I must say it turned out so good that we licked the platter clean and K who normally shrinks away from nuggets was fighting me with gusto for them.
Fake Meat and Potatoes (serves 3)
3 medium sized potatoes, peeled and cubed into inch large pieces
1 cup soya nuggets, soaked in boiling water for 20 minutes, water drained off.
1 large onion, chopped fine
2 medium tomatoes, chopped
1 teaspoon each of red chilli powder (adjust according to spice threshold), coriander powder
1/2 teaspoon cumin powder
1/4 teaspoon turmeric powder
11/2 teaspoon ginger garlic paste
1/2 teaspoon whole cumin / jeera seeds
a few curry leaves
mint or coriander leaves for the garnish
salt to taste
1 tablespoon oil
In a pressure cooker or pan, heat the oil and splutter the cumin/ jeera seeds, add the onions & curry leaves and fry till transluscent. Add the ginger garlic paste and fry till it has browned, stirring frequently so that it doesnt stick to the bottom of the pan. add the red chilli powder, coriander powder, cumin powder, turmeric powder and fry for a minute, till the raw smells of the powdered masalas cease. Add the tomatoes and cook for a few minutes till they turn mushy and then add the potatoes and the soya chunks and coat well in the spice mixture. add 2 cups of water and salt and close the lid of the pressure cooker and cook for 2 whistles. Let the steam escapes, open and simmer till the gravy thickens. Check for the spices and adjust, garnish with chopped mint or coriander leaves. Serve hot with fresh steamed rice or rotis.