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Sunday, 24 August 2008

Indian Tonight


Tonight for dinner I had Cauliflower and Soy Kalia! This lovely Indian dish is traditionally a Kashmiri dish prepared with meat or fish and yogurt. Of course my recipe is the veganised version that I made with soy chunks, cauliflower and coconut milk. This can also be made with red kidney beans if you are allergic to soy or don’t have any soy chunks.

By the way, did I mention that my intolerance to soy has practically vanished? I am still crossing fingers on this but I am enjoying more and more soy in my food now with no problems so far!

If you’ve never had soy chunks before, you might want to try them. They are very easily available over here in Mauritius. But in London, I could only find them in health stores. They are dehydrated chunks made out of soy flour and come in various sizes and colours; you can get them in a minced version as well. The ones I’m using are about one cubic centimeter in size and somewhat orangey in colour.


All you need to do is rehydrate them before cooking. You can either soak them for at least 4 hours prior to cooking or boil them for about 15 minutes (in which case you don’t need to soak). If you are really out of time, just microwave them from dry in a big bowl of water for about 2-3 minutes or until soft and spongy.

You can use them in various dishes like stir fries, curries, stews and I sometimes make patties with the minced ones.

Ingredients (4-5 servings)

2 cups soy chunks (pre-soaked or boiled)
1 medium cauliflower broken into florets
3 medium potatoes (cut into cubes)
2 large white onions, finely sliced or chopped
1 tablespoon minced ginger
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1 can (400g net weight) coconut milk
2 teaspoons ground cumin
2 teaspoons garam masala (or just cinnamon if you don’t have this)
1 cup finely chopped fresh mint
1 cup finely chopped coriander
2 tablespoons frozen peas (optional)
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 teaspoon powdered curcuma (or yellow food colour)
Salt to taste (probably 1 teaspoon should be enough)**

  • Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a deep pan. Add soy chunks and potatoes with curcuma.
  • Stir well and cook until potatoes are half cooked. (fork test)
  • Remove from pan and set aside.
  • In the same pan, heat 1 tablespoon oil.
  • Add onions and stir fry for about 2 minutes.
  • Add ginger, garlic, coconut milk, cumin and garam masala.
  • Let simmer on medium heat until liquid is reduced to about half.
  • Add half of the coriander and mint.
  • Add water and simmer for about 2-3 minutes.
  • Add potatoes, soy chunks and peas. Add more water if required to create enough sauce for the potatoes to cook without sticking to the pan.
  • When potatoes are almost cooked, add cauliflower. (Make sure to add the cauliflower at the very end, otherwise they will cook too much).
  • Add the rest of the coriander and mint.
  • Cover and simmer until all is well cooked and liquid has reduced and thicken.
  • Add salt to taste.

You can have this with plain rice or Indian bread or yellow rice like I did.


I made the rice in this way.

Ingredients (4-5 servings)

1½ cups basmati rice
1 teaspoon powdered curcuma (or any yellow food colour, liquid is fine)
8-10 whole cardamon pods
1 big white onion, finely sliced
1 tablespoon margarine

  • Boil the rice with 4-5 cardamon pods. Drain and set aside to cool.
  • Heat margarine in a large pan. Add onions. Fry until golden, stirring occasionally.
  • Add remaining cardamons.
  • Add half of the completely cooled rice to the pan. Stir and mix well.
  • Add the curcuma or yellow food colour to the rest. Then add this to the pan.
  • Stir and let fry for a few more minutes. Remove from heat and don’t cover immediately, if you are not eating this straight away, or the rice might become a bit too mushy.


**Edit: I completely forgot to add salt to this recipe. I did have it when I was cooking this! I think all of you must have picked up on this and guessed it needs salt!


  1. MMM! Looks delish! I haven't had "real" Indian food and I dieing to make it myself to try!

  2. I love Indian food! It all looks delish!

  3. Your blog and recipes inspire me - and I've been vegan for nearly 20 years!
    I recently received an award from a fellow blogger and have been asked to pass it on to others I admire or am inspired by. I've chosen you! If you go to my blog you'll see the link in the side bar, and if you are so inclined, the idea is you nominate seven blogs that you love add their blog links, email them, post the award you'll see on my blog, onto your blog with the link going back to the person who has awarded you (that would be me!), and then they nominate or award seven more blogs... and so on and so on. It has perpetual motion and good feelings. Plus, hopefully, more folks will come and be inspired to go vegan!
    best to you, Karin

  4. Wow! Your photos look great...i could practically smell the rice. Impressive stuff. Thanks for the great recipe, I love Indian, but no matter what I do, I feel that I always end up with the same dish. But maybe if I actually use a recipe (YOURS!) I might end up with something other than curry flavoured coconut milk!

    Thanks. And that's great about your soy intolerance.

  5. lauren: I love indian dishes that I make myself. The ones in restaurants are always loaded with cream anyway. And it's really not difficult to make it yourself. At first it looks that there's a lot to it but it's really quite simple. Have a go!

    shelby: Thanks! It was really nice indeed!

    karin: Thank you for the award! I've had a look at your art, they are very spiritual. I like them! And yes I do hope more and more people become inspired to go vegan.

    vegancowgirl: I don't really know how my soy intolerance started to go but I'm happy about it! And about the curry, give it a try. It's looks more complicated that it actually is!

  6. this look absolutely delicious! i want to reach over and gobble it all up! thanks for sharing another great recipe!

    and that's good news on the soy, too! yay!

  7. This dish looks awesome. I am going to have to make it next week. Thanks for sharing the recipe.


  8. Absolutely beautiful pictures (and food) today!

  9. Wow that looks fantastic..would love to try this soon :)

  10. Thanks for sharing the recipe - I just made this and it was wonderful! I added spinach and salt, and skipped the coconut milk. Instead, I cooked the dish with coconut cream, and right before serving, added some soy yoghurt, a tablespoon of margarine, and some lemon juice.

    So delicious, I already look forward to my leftover lunch tomorrow!

  11. Oh anni, I completely forgot to include salt for this recipe! Thanks for mentionning, I've added salt to it now!
    Hmm addind soy yogurt and lemon juice to this sounds really nice! There are no soy yogurt available over here though. Otherwise, you can make this dish using soy yogurt instead of coconut milk for a much lighter curry.

    Thanks for trying the recipe! I also had it for lunch the next day!

  12. Lovlie - thank YOU once again, mmmm this is so yummy! We can buy a nice plain soy yoghurt in Finland, but I usually add it after cooking - the consistence gets a little funny when cooked sometimes.

    My lunch is only 10 minutes away - yay!

  13. HI,
    Quite interesting recipe and
    this looks so yummy and the blend of Soy with potatoes, peas and cauliflower are amazing.
    Soy chunks are sitting in my kitchen for a long! I gonna use 'em for this dish :o)

  14. Hi. I tried your recipe yesterday and i must say, i like it a lot. It was really really good. Well the only thing i messed up was i could not fry the potato and soya with 2 tablespoons of oil:) so i end up adding some more. It kinda get burned when i tried it. Thanks for sharing the recipe

  15. ann: I'm glad you've found a use for your soy chunks!

    ashish: Glad that you tried this recipe and liked it! With the potatoes, maybe try using a non-stick pan and cover. It might help.

  16. I looovvee Indian food, and this looks particularly good!

    I'm bookmarking this post for sure :)

  17. We eat very savory at home, but this is amazing! We don't believe that vegan cooking has to be tastless...
    Thanks for sharing.

  18. My family hails from Kashmir and, needless to add, I love the cuisine.
    Kaliya is traditionally made with paneer or cottage cheese. This new variation of kaliya does sound and look good. Will surely try it out next time.
    I would not mind sharing some fabulous traditional Indian recipes with you, if this one goes well with the readers.
    Keep up the good work.


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