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Soya Chaap Masala Curry-A Perfect Power-Packed Vegetarian Chicken from the Streets of Delhi

By Mani Mukhija @manimukhija
Soya Chaap Masala Curry-A Perfect Power-Packed Vegetarian Chicken from the Streets of Delhi

Soya Chaap Masala Curry-A Perfect Power-Packed Vegetarian Chicken from the Streets of Delhi

Can't Believe it's not Chik-'N" !!!

Sometimes a break from your routine is the very thing you need. I needed one too. Fortunately, my brother visited me with my sis-in-law and niece. Who would miss a chance to go on a long holiday when it's a family reunion after so long? I did the same too. They came for less than two weeks. So, we wanted to make each day memorable for them.

Immediately after two days of their arrival here in Charlotte, we packed our bags and left on a road trip from the thrilling Carowinds of North Carolina to the scenic drives in Pennsylvania. A few seconds into our drive, and we understood why National Geographic called it "one of America's most scenic drives." The picturesque view of the serene Rivers and the Endless Mountains left us speechless.

From the boundless mountains and gorgeous sceneries of Pennsylvania, we proceeded to the mighty Niagara Falls, breathtaking hurricane deck and the maid of the mist.

We continued the road trip from the Niagara Falls state park to the hustle bustle of New York City's crowded streets. We were very worn-out but the holiday wasn't over yet. From the Statue of Liberty in NY to the incredible Luray Caverns (a beautiful gift from the nature) in Virginia, and from the splendid Luray Caverns back to Charlotte, we enjoyed each bit of the trip.

That was an awesome road trip covering 2000 miles all together. Can't believe we made it but we really did!

So, you can understand why I was on a blogging break for this long. However, now, I am completely charged up for another couple of months and would be interacting with you regularly.

So, this time, I am power packed with the dose of this long vacation and sharing with you the recipe for the power-packed Vegetarian Chicken. Yes, 'Soya-Chaap' as it is most popularly known in the streets of Delhi in India. Considered to be the perfect substitute to meat, soya is super-bursting with proteins and other essential nutrients.

Soybeans have a wealth of health benefits, including the ability to improve the metabolism, help people gain weight in a healthy way, protect heart health, defend against cancer, improve digestive health, promotes bone health, protect against birth defects, increase circulation, decrease the risk of diabetes, and generally tones up the body.

It's difficult to get the Soya chaap sticks here in the US. My brother got the dried soya chaap sticks for me from India. My hubby is a great fan of all the varieties of Soya chaaps we get in India. So, my brother had to bring this rarest delicacy available in the US for all of us. And this time, it was my sis-in-law, Richa, who wanted to prepare the recipe for us in our kitchen.

Thanks Richa for the delectable recipe and a perfect live demo. It was just awesome!

Going straight to the recipe, you need to put these dried soya chaap sticks in boiling water first to make them tender for cooking.

And once tender, you need to deep fry in oil to make them a bit crispier to get the perfect bite in the gravy. Serve it your non-vegetarian friends and I bet you would get "I can't believe it's not chicken!" compliment from them. So, now you can very easily entertain your non-vegetarian guests with this scrumptious Vegetarian Chicken.

So, let's get started with this healthy and tasty alternative to meaty curries- our Soya-chaap masala Curry!

Serves- 4 to 5

2 tbsp Canola oil or butter

8-10 Soya Chaap Sticks

1 Large onion, diced

2 Large tomatoes

3-4 green Chillies

5-6 Garlic cloves

2 inch piece Ginger

Salt to taste

½ cup low-fat cream

600-700 ml water

Oil for deep frying

For preparing Soya chaap Masala-grind all the spices below to make soya chaap masala


8-10 cashew nuts

¾ tsp red chili powder

½ tsp turmeric

½ tsp dried fenugreek leaves

¼ tsp black pepper

1 tsp cumin seeds

1 black cardamom seeds

2 green cardamoms seeds

2 inch cinnamon stick

4 cloves

¼ tsp nutmeg


  1. Bring the water to a boil in a broad and deep pan. Once the water starts boiling, put the dried soya chaaps in the water and cook for 5-6 minutes on medium flame. Check for the doneness. The chaaps should turn soft for the curry. But be careful not to make them too tender to give a mushy effect.
  2. Now take the chaaps out of water and let them cool for 5 minutes. The chaaps will soak all the extra water they have. Now heat oil in another pan and deep fry the soya chaaps to get a crispier bite for the curry. Once fried, take them out on a paper towel to absorb all the extra oil.
  3. Heat oil in another cooking pan.
  4. Sauté the diced onions until they become brown.
  5. Take tomatoes, green chilies, ginger and garlic in a blender and make a puree. Once onions turn brown, add puree to the pan and cook for another 10 minutes on medium flame till the oil starts to appear on the edges.
  6. Add the soya chaap masala we prepared and sauté for another 2 minutes. Add salt to taste. Mix well. Add a little water to avoid masala from burning and sauté till the spices mix up nicely and oil starts separating from the gravy.
  7. Add 1 cup water and let it cook for another 4-5 minutes on medium flame. Add soya chaaps one by one and coat them nicely with the curry.
  8. Add cream to the curry and give a gentle stir and cook for another 2-3 minutes.
  9. Garnish with parsley or fresh coriander leaves and serve hot with your favorite Naan or paranthas.

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