Posted on: September 26, 2021 Posted by: Joven Comments: 0

This soya chunks fry dish is filled with robust flavors as it includes an array of spices, caramelized onions and tangy tomatoes. It is the perfect, filling meat-free alternative. Plus the options are endless when it comes to serving. Serve meal maker fry with roti, parotta, paratha, dal rice and more!

soya chunks fry in a white bowl with a lemon wedge

About Soya Chunks Fry

What are soya chunks? Soya chunks are nuggets made from defatted soybean flour and eaten by vegetarians as a meat substitute. They have a meat-like texture and are also referred to as a textured vegetable protein.

Growing up my mom would make soya chunk recipes. Two of my favorites include Soya Chunks Curry and Soya Biryani. However, I tend to cook with soya chunks once in a while as soya chunks are highly processed.

My recipe is inspired by the Kerala-style dish that my dad would make for us growing up. It is pretty quick and simple to make and is a dry soya chunks recipe. The only time-consuming part is sautéing the onions and the rest of the recipe is a breeze to make.

The soya chunks must be cooked first. This helps to soften them. Soya chunks don’t have a distinctive taste so it is important to season them well. They have a slightly chewy and soft texture. In this recipe you can also swap cooked unripe jackfruit with meal maker.

Serve soya chunks fry as a side dish with roti or paratha dal or rice. Plus it is also a good pack lunch option.

How to Make Soya Chunks Fry

Prep Soya Chunks

1. First, add 1 cup of soya chunks to a strainer and rinse 2 to 3 times. Then in a pan, pour 2.5 to 3 cups of water, add 1 pinch of salt and add the rinsed soya chunks.

Use soy chunks that are within their shelf period and have not turned rancid.

soya chunks or meal maker in boiling water

2. Boil soya chunks for 4 to 5 more minutes on medium heat. This implies that after the water begins to boil, continue to boil further for 4 to 5 minutes. So consider a total time of 8 to 9 minutes once you keep the pan on the stove-top

soya chunks cooking in water

3. Drain soya chunks in a mesh strainer and rinse well with fresh water. Once the soya chunks are warm, squeeze the soy chunks between your palms to remove all the liquids and set aside for later.

cooked soya chunks

Sauté Aromatics

4. Heat 3 tablespoons of coconut oil in a pan or skillet. Then add 1-inch of cinnamon, 2 cloves, 1 green cardamom and fry for a few seconds until they crackle. Prep all your ingredients before you begin to cook the dish.

Tip: You can also use any neutral-flavored oil instead but coconut oil adds a delicious flavor.

coconut oil, cinnamon, cloves and green cardamom

5. Add 1 cup of thinly sliced onions, 1 teaspoon of finely chopped garlic and 1 teaspoon of finely chopped ginger. 

chopped onions, garlic and ginger

6. Reduce heat to medium-low and sauté onions. Add a pinch of salt to cook the onions faster.

onions, garlic and ginger sauted with salt

7. The onions will soften first and become light golden. Once the onions are fully golden turn off the heat.

golden onions

8. Add 2 to 3 green chilies and 12 to 15 curry leaves. I used 4 green chilies as these are milder. 

chilies and curry leaves added to sautéed onions

9. Switch on the heat. Mix and sauté for one minute. 

sautéed curry leaves and chilies

10. Add ½ cup of finely chopped tomatoes. 

chopped tomatoes added to saute mix

11. Sauté stirring often until tomatoes become soft, mushy and oil releases from the sides. 

sautéed tomato mix

12. You can switch off the heat or keep it to a low when you add the ground spices. Add the following listed spices:

  • ¼ teaspoon turmeric powder
  • ¼ teaspoon crushed black pepper or ground black pepper powder
  • ¼ teaspoon of garam masala powder
  • ½ teaspoon of fennel powder
  • ½ teaspoon of cumin powder
  • ½ teaspoon kashmiri red chilli powder (swap with ¼ teaspoon cayenne or ½ teaspoon paprika.)
  • 1 teaspoon coriander powder
spices in sautéed mixture

13. Mix well and sauté on low heat for 1 to 2 minutes. Make sure that the ground spices do not burn, but are sautéed well. 

sautéed spices

Make Meal Maker Fry

14. Add the prepared soya chunks and season with salt to taste.

soya chunks or meal maker with salt to taste

15. Add 5 to 6 tablespoons of water. 

soya chunks and water

16. Stir and mix well. 

soya chunks and water mixed well

17. Cover with a lid and steam for 5 to 6 minutes on low heat. Check after 2 to 3 minutes. 

If the mixture starts sticking, sprinkle 2 to 3 teaspoons of water. Deglaze, cover and continue to steam. 

pan covered with lid

18. Remove lid. Check to see if there are any liquids in the pan. The dish is a dry dish. If there is any water or liquids in the pan then simmer without lid until the water evaporates.

Serve meal maker fry hot or warm. Garnish with coriander leaves if you prefer. Drizzle some lemon juice on the meal maker fry and enjoy.

If you want to make a gravy, add ½ cup coconut milk towards the end. Simmer until lightly hot without boiling the coconut milk. 

Soya chunks fry or meal maker fry in pan

19. Serve meal maker fry with roti, parotta, paratha and a wedge of lime. You can also serve it with dal-rice, sambar-rice. 

meal maker fry with a lemon wedge in a white bowl

Expert Tips

  • Soya chunks: In order to make soya chunks they must be cooked before making the dish so don’t skip this step. Once you have cooked the soya chunks it is important to squeeze all of the moisture out of the chunks before frying to achieve the best texture.
  • Oil: This recipe calls for coconut oil. It adds a rich coconut flavor to the dish. However, if you are not a fan of coconut or don’t have any on hand then feel free to use neutral oil instead. You can also use ghee instead.
  • Onions: To make soya chunk fry you will need to sauté onions, garlic and ginger first. This gives the dish rich, intense flavors so don’t skip this step! You will know that the onions are done once they are golden.
  • Spices: It is really important to cook the spices for 1 to 2 minutes before you add the soya chunks. This will cook the rawness out of the spices and intensify the flavors. Be careful not to burn the spices as this will affect the taste of the dish.
  • Additions: You can add pan-fried coconut for more texture. 


Should soya chunks be soaked before cooking?

There are two ways to prepare soya chunks before cooking:
1. The following method is great if you are short on time. Cook the soya chunks in water for about a total of 8 to 10 minutes. This helps the soya chunks to absorb water and soften. Once the soya chunks are boiled, then strain them using a mesh strainer, rinse with fresh water and let them cool before squeezing the excess water out of them.

2. If you have extra time then you can use the following method. Soak the soya chunks in water overnight and strain the mixture the following day. Rinse them in fresh water. Don’t forget to squeeze the soya chunks before cooking to remove excess water.

How long does it take to cook soya chunks?

If you have boiled or soaked the soya chunks overnight then they should take 5 to 7 minutes to cook after you add them to the pot or pan when making the recipe.

Can soya chunks be eaten without boiling?

No, soya chunks should not be eaten without boiling. They are dry, hard and need to be rehydrated by cooking or soaking overnight similar to dried shiitake mushrooms. Once they soften and are cooked, then you can add them to any dish.

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.

This soya chunks fry dish is filled with robust flavors as it includes an array of spices, caramelized onions and tangy tomatoes. It is the perfect, filling meat-free alternative.

Prep Time 20 mins

Cook Time 20 mins

Total Time 40 mins

Servings 4


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