NGREDIENTS: Soya chunks- 500 gram, onion – 500 gram, ginger garlic paste – 2 tablespoon, mint leaves- 1 bunch, garam masala powder- 1 tablespoon, pepper powder – 1 tablespoon, chana dal – 100 gram, butter – 200 gram, cashew – 200 gram, turmeric – ½ teaspoon, salt according to taste, refined oil – ½ litre and corn flour or maida ½ cup.
Soak chana dal in water in a bowl for 3-4 hours. Soak the soya granules in hot water in a separate bowl for at least ½ an hour.
Take a pressure cooker and put it on heat. Pour 2 tablespoon of refined oil. Once the oil heats up, drop finely chopped onions (about 250 gram). Fry until they turn golden brown.
Add the soaked chana dal after having drained out the water and washing thoroughly. Stir it well. Add the soaked soya chunks after drained out the water.
Now, add some garam masala powder, pepper powder, ginger-garlic paste, turmeric and salt. Stir continuously.
When the oil begins to leave the masala, add a ¼ cup of water and pressure cook the entire mix. Ensure that water does remain in the mixture after the pressure cooking; if water is left, cook it for some time more until all the water evaporates.
Once the pressure cooker cools down, bring out all the cooked mixture onto a bowl. Allow it to cool for some time. Now, put the entire cooked mixture on a grinder and make a fine paste. Remove the paste onto a bowl and keep aside.
Add to it corn flour or maida to bind the mixture together and prepare a dough. Then roll small balls out of the dough.
Take a deep bottomed pan and heat up oil in it and fry the balls until they turn golden brown. Remove them onto a plate with tissue paper below.
Heat butter in a pan. Add the remaining finely chopped onions and fry them for a while. Throw in the cashew nuts and stir well. Add a little garam masala powder. Allow the masala to turn golden brown in colour.
Take them off the flames and allow cooling off. Put the entire cooked masala on a mixer grinder to make a fine paste.
Heat up a pan with some refined oil and add the paste to it. Stir well until it emits a pungent smell.
Add two pinches of turmeric powder and salt according to taste. Add enough water to make a thick consistency. When the gravy turns a thick paste, add the soya balls to it and stir a little. Take off the pan from the flames once the balls are soft.
Your dish is ready. Garnish it with mint leaves and serve with jeera rice or pulao.
(Nadeema Rahman works at the National Institute of Public Cooperation and Child Development regional Centre in Guwahati, where she lives with her husband and children.)