Friday, 19 December 2014

Soya Chunks Kurma (Indian style curry in coconut milk)

Today, I would like to share with all the food lovers and beginners who are trying to find some inspiration to cook something exotic with spices yet not over powering. Kurma is none other than a type of Indian curry or gravy cooked with extra roasted coconut and its milk. This concoction is nicely blended with sauteed onions, ginger, garlic and green chillies. Here, the curry is dependent on white pepper, black pepper and green chillies for the spicy flavor that complement well with coconut milk. Also, this kurma dish can be served along with Indian flat bread such as Chapatti, Naan or Poori or any type of rice. I made the vegetarian variation of kurma using my favourite soya chunks with no added GMO and potatoes. You can find more about the soya chunks here in this link Soya chunk is great substitute for chicken and mutton as it has the same fibrous structure as meat without artificial, preservatives or flavorings. It is purely made of soya bean flour which is highly rich in protein so I believe it's a boon for vegetarians out there. The kurma has rich, creamy and subtle flavor which would be a grand dish for any occasions. Don't get intimidated by the number of ingredients and procedures to make this kurma. I assure you the taste would be heavenly good and worth all the effort. The kurma powder is a staple spice mix in every Indian household which could be done in advance for a good storage of 6 months. The rest of the paste can be made the day before cooking.

Soya Chunks Kurma (Indian style curry in coconut milk)

Ingredients :

Dried soya chunks : 1 cup
Boiled Russet potato : 3
Big red onion :1
Medium sized ripe tomato : 1
Curry leaves : 2 sprigs 
Homemade kurma powder : 2 tbsp
Salt : as needed
Oil : 2 tbsp 
Chopped coriander leaves : 3 tbsp

Dry roasted coconut paste :

Grated coconut : 1/4 cup + 2 tbsp
White poppy seeds : 1/2 tbsp

Saute and grind to smooth paste :

Small red onions : 5
Ginger : 2 inches piece
Garlic : 4 cloves 
Green chillies : 3 - 4
black pepper : 1 tsp
Coconut milk : 1/2 cup 

Homemade kurma powder : 

3 tbsp coriander seeds
1 tsp cumin seeds
2 tsp white pepper

1 cinnamon stick
2 cardamons
3 star anise
1/2 tsp turmeric powder

 To temper:

Cinnamon stick : 1
Cloves : 3
Star anise : 1
Fennel seeds : 1 tsp
Cumin seeds : 1 tsp

Method :

1. Soak a cup of soya chunks  in a sufficient hot boiling water for 10 minutes. After the time, you'll find it doubled in size. Now, you have to squeeze out the excess water from the soya chunks.

2. Next process is to dry roast 1/4 cup and 2 tbsp of freshly grated coconut and 1/2 tbsp of poppy seeds in the heated pan till they turn light brown colour. To avoid burning the grated coconut, you must keep stirring so the heat is evenly distributed.Use mortal and pestle to grind this roasted coconut mixture till it oozes out oil. Keep that aside. Don't skip this process as it is crucial for making the kurma rich and creamy.

3. Add 1 tbsp of oil in a heated pan, started frying small onions, garlic, ginger, black pepper and green chillies until the onions are translucent. Grind them to a smooth paste consistency by adding enough water.

4. Dry roast the ingredients mentioned under 'Kurma powder' and grind them to fine powder. Keep in an air-tight container in a fridge. For this recipe, use 2 tbsp of the powder.

4. In a heated pan, add 2 tbsp of oil, chuck in ingredients under "Temper Section", a minute later followed by sliced big onion and salt. Fry till the sliced onions are translucent. At this stage, start adding diced tomato, Kurma powder, curry leaves and the blended paste. Fry for 10 min. 

5. Now, add 1 cup to 1 1/2 cup of water along with the dry roasted coconut paste. The liquid consistency is based on your preference. It should not be thick or too watery.

6. After that, add soya chunks and diced boiled potatoes.  

5. Let the gravy cook in low flame for 15 minutes and check for the seasoning. After, the gravy changed colour slightly and oil oozes out, add 1/2 cup of coconut milk. After adding coconut milk, you should only let it simmer for 3 minutes and switch off the flame as we don't want the kurma to curdle.

6. Garnish with chopped coriander leaves.


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