Chilli Soy Chunks


If you look around the grocery/whole food stores, you will find a variety of soy products.  Soy is cholesterol free, low in carbs. & fat calories & most importantly, excellent source of protein.

The first thing that comes to mind when talking soy, if obviously Tofu. Others being Soy Dairy (milk, cheese, yogurt), Tempeh (It’s made from whole soybeans that have been mixed with some grain and a mold culture, fermented, and pressed into a block), & TSP (Textured Soy Protein) or TVP (Textured Vegetable Protein) – these being made from textured soy flour in the form of chunks or granules. Once soaked & cooked the TVPs have a spongy meaty texture.

The Dry Soy Chunks or Nuggets/TVP (Commonly called Nutrela tho’ it is a brand name) is sold in most Indian Groceries in a pre-packaged box.  All you need to do is just  soak them in really hot water for about 10-15 minutes till they soften & become really spongy. At this stage they will absorb any flavor that it is cooked with. There are quite a few ways these could be enjoyed. The chunks are cooked in a curry, or used in making pilafs/pulaos,  the granule version of these are even made into patties – just to name a few for some ideas.  I have cooked them with an Asian twist, with the flavors of Sesame, Red Dry Chilli & Soy Sauce all combined in the spicy sauce which makes the chunks absorb in all the wonderful flavors & the zing. Sometimes I do a dry, chunk coated thick sauce, sometimes I leave a little bit more sauce which goes really well with some rice.
This is how the soy chunks look:


Ingredients: (Serves 4-6)

  1. 1.5 Cups Uncooked Soy Chunks/Nuggets
  2. 1.5 medium Onion, thinly sliced
  3. 2 Hot Green Chilli Pepper, like Thai Bird
  4. 1 Cup Sliced Bell Peppers/Capsicum (Optional, I have not used it here, but do use it sometimes)
  5. 4 Cloves of Garlic, Minced
  6. 1.5 inch Fresh Ginger, Peeled & Grated
  7. 4-6 Dry Red Chillies (More or less to taste)
  8. 1 Tablespoon sesame seeds + 1 teaspoon seeds, lightly toasted for garnish
  9. 4 Tablespoons Oil ( Sesame or any other oil)
  10. 2-3 Tablespoons Soy Sauce
  11. 3-4 Tablespoons Hot Sauce (more or less as per your taste),  like  Sriracha
  12. 4 Tablespoons Tomato Puree ( I used the canned ones)
  13. Scallions/Green Onions, chopped – for Garnish
  14. Salt to taste


Boil about 4 Cups of water. Stir in 1/2 teaspoon of salt & add the soy chunks/nuggets to the water. Cover & Soak for about 15 Minutes. There is no harm done if they soak longer than 15 minutes. Just don’t leave it overnight:-)

Heat oil in a wok/pan. Add the Red Dry Chillies. Turn them over when they turn a shade darker & cook the other sides too. Add the sesame seeds to the oil. When they start to sizzle, add the the Onions, Hot Chilli Peppers, Bell Peppers (if you are using them), Ginger & Garlic. Stir fry at medium heat till the Onions are translucent & just barely start to brown at the ends.

Drain the Soy Chunks, but reserve about 1 Cup ( or more if there is any more left) of the water. Gently squeeze out some water out of the nuggets, they will still stay soft after doing this. What this does is, prepares the nuggets to absorb more of the liquid/sauce that they will be cooked it, which make them more flavorful.

Add the Soy Chunks/Nuggets & the salt to the pan & toss them around for about 5-7 minutes till the onions kind of coat the nuggets.

Combine the soy sauce, Tomato Puree, & Hot Sauce in 1/2 Cup of the reserved water. Add this to the soy nuggets in the pan & cook till the nuggets are coated & the oil leaves the sides of the pan, for about 7-10 minutes.

Add the rest of the water  (about 1.5 cups)… use the reserved water or a combine some plain water if there is no more left. Cover & cook for about 10 minutes, & then uncover & cook for 5 more minutes.

This should have some sauce in it, more than just that coats the chunks. Make sure you have more sauce left than you want, for if left for some time, the nuggets will soak up a lot of the sauce & the sauce will reduce in amount.

Garnish with scallions & sesame seeds.

Serve with Plain or Fried Rice. We usually have ours with brown rice, or even flat bread.


The health benefit of soya bean is undeniable. This is a pretty quick & healthy side dish, a great substitute for non vegetarian meals. Enjoy! Sending this to MLLA Eleventh Helping, hosted by Lori of Taste with the Eyes, & created by Susan of The Well-Seasoned Cook.

Related Posts:

Eggplant/Brinjal with Poblano Peppers

Cauliflower Stir Fry with Ginger Soy Sauce
The Terrific Tandoori Tofu

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67 comments to Chilli Soy Chunks

  • Recipe is new to me, but it surely is a rocking one. Ever tried these in butter paneer style(ofcourse without any butter and cream)? it taste delicious .I love making these in simple onion +tomato base too with handful of choti soyabean or soya granules.
    Glad that i found yet another way to cook this fav. of family..Gosh its almost 12 at night and am still waiting for hubby dear to be back from work ,to have dinner and did u heard my stomach grumbling for this delicious stuff?

  • mohana

    I love Soya !!! and am definite this is so very yummy !!
    I was thinking of somethng to cook today, fast, easy n nutritious ! my search ends here.

  • Love the looks of this dish. I am not a soy fan. I’d substitute with chicken perhaps.

  • I have a bag still sitting in my pantry, I used it once in fried rice and I did not like it much. I think I may have not seasoned/marinated it as it should be. It tasted dry and tasteless. I should try using your method.
    The flavors seem well soaked into the chunks.

  • you know i always pass those up on the shelf at the indian stores, i never knew what to do with them or how to cook with them…. but i think i’m gonna pick up a box and give this a go! your photos are very persuasive 🙂


  • I’ve never tried soy chunks and your preparation looks amazing! I would love to have a taste!

  • I am not so fond of soya chunks but your dish surely looks delicious and would love to try it once 🙂

  • The dish looks amazing! Can’t wait to have some with rice!

  • Some times I feel like I’m an ostrich with my head in the sand – soy nuggets, I haven’t seen before but I’m beating I’ve eaten them because I love vegetarian food & go to vegetarian restaurants often.
    Beautiful looking dish Soma!! Healthy does have great flavor in a dish like this.

    Tanna these soy chunks are something I have seen in only Indian Grocers, probably that is the reason you have never encoutered one:-D …& i have never seen a single restaurant have this.

  • Eyecatching delicious dish! healthy and protein packed soya chunks looks amazing as chilly chunks !

  • Cham

    I do lot with soy chunk, kurma, fry, this one sounds simply fantastic!

  • Loved it..I used to make Soy dishes when I was in as he dont like it ,I dont n seeing this I feel like missing it..:)

  • Love soy, and always use different type of tofu, so this soy chunk will to the trick. Thanks for sharing it.

  • So pretty! TH loves soy chunks and I always have a packet ready with me. Can’t believe I have never blogged the curry I make. And gotta try this too 🙂

  • Wow Soma I did post one soy wadi recipe a while ago but yours looks just amazing!!! yummy and tasty looking!!!

  • Hi Soma,
    This is sure a soy promoting post 🙂 I love soy chunks…it’s been quite sometime I made something out of it. A couple of months of ago a packet of soya nuggets was a must on my kitchen shelf, I used to make all kinds of crazy stuff n mix n match it with veggies. But then I got bored and almost forgot about it. Hmm… U reminded me of that phase 🙂 Good one soma, the dish looks delicious, love the pics.

  • A&N

    I must admit, I hate soy chunks 😐 A loves them. Can you imagine!?!?

    I shall make him this 😛 when I’m eating out or something. Too much love I will show just for one day!

  • I’ve never seen soy chunks before, but I do eat a lot of tofu. This looks delicious.

  • new tome, have used chunks in biriyani..This looks like manchurian.Have bookmarked it:)

  • Amar soya chunks khub bhalo lage … kintu amar bor kichutei khabe na 🙁
    Tai ar banai na. Ki tempting dekhacche tomar bowl ta Soma! 🙂

  • When mom made soy chunks i neve rliked them event hough she used to say it is really healthy etc….. i am sure like this i would have loved it.
    Looks delicous.

  • Hmmm…looks appealing….Another Chilli Item on the menu!!

  • this looks delicious,..

  • This dish looks absolutely wonderful. Great vegetarian dish!

  • oohhh wow that’s an amazing dish I am going to try it for tomarrows lunch and let you know

  • sandeepa

    Eitai bolchile ? Khub shundor hoyeche

  • Wow looks so yumm and spicy. Lovely photos.

  • mohana

    HAP HAP HAPPY BIRTHDAY !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    love you sooo much didi !!!

  • SGD

    Have been visiting your site on and off but never commented!
    The soya looks awesome….khub khub tempting!
    Will keep visiting!
    Am blogrolling your blog…

  • Great information about the diverse soya preparations. Never tasted soy chunks perhaps aren’t at the store here. The recipe looks phenomenal; I wonder a substitute for the chunks to make it!


    Gera.. I would say tofu or Chicken .. :0)

  • This is the first time I am seeing soy chunks. Never tasted them. Thanks for introducing them to us! The dish you prepared look excellent!

  • Never knew we could make this with Soy chunks. I tried to put it in dry pilaf and that tasted bland and dry. Now I like this ides though.

  • I dislike soy chunks on their own. Yours is a great way to transform them

  • I love using the TSP chunks. I even fooled my anti-soy husband one time using these in a mushroom stew. Great recipe and one for my book.

    LOL.. my hubby will eat the chunks if I cook it this way:-)

  • soma

    Thanks guys for being so sweet.. i have realized even at home that these chunks are a love hate relationship:-) For those of you who hate it.. u were nice enough to come & write kind words:-)….

  • Being in the land of all-things-tofu This recipe will surely get a place here, and it looks lovely to boot!

  • Soy chunks are made very frequently in our home. Glad to find another interesting way to make it !

  • Lakshmi

    Soma, I tumbled across your blog while blog hopping. You have a wonderful site with amazing recipes. I think my first try will be this Chilli Soy soon.
    Was wondering…if I substitute Soy with firm tofu, do I have to boil the tofu a little at first to soften it? I will be cooking with tofu for the first time and no clue.

    Thanks you!

    No you would not need to boil the Tofu, even Firm Tofu is soft. The Soy Chunks/Nutrella are dry & hard. That is why you need to boil these first. I would suggest tho to cut the Tofu into smaller pieces.. not big cubes.. so each piece absorb more sauce.


  • I’m loving this recipe Soma. We love these soy chunks. It’s our favorite. I’m definitely trying this very soon. I usually make soy chunks masala just like channa masala but without the channa. So this is a nice alternative.

  • I love soy chunks better than the granules. I make it generally in curry form, but I am absolutely in love with the idea of having it this way!

  • Lakshmi

    Soma, I made this curry yesterday and turned out pretty good. I had Moong Soy at the time so I used that for the curry. I didnt like the taste of moong soy much but the gravy was good. Next time will make them with regular Soy chunks or Tofu.
    Thanks for the nice recipe.

    Dear Laksmi,

    What is Moong Soy ? I have never heard of it. I use the regular
    Nutrella/Ruchi Chunks.

    Thanks for trying it & letting me know:-)


  • I made this for tonight’s dinner Soma, with a slight change. I made it sort of Indo-Chinese. Instead of the hot sauce I added chana masala powder. It was very good. My husband loved it. We had it over spinach flavored rice noodles. Thanks for the simple but flavorful recipe.

    Madhuram thank you so much!! & WOW I love the idea of using chana masala to it:-D Now I have another variation!
    To tell the truth, i use chana masala in a lot of things other than chana:-).. any dry subzis, dals dum aloo etc.

  • This really sounded tasty, but I am most impressed with your photos. Beautiful!
    Lori Lynn

  • tried it, and posted today 🙂

  • Vidya

    The picture is awesome… am 2 hours away from lunch break now.. and am already hungry looking at this dish. Will try it out and let you know how it came out.. Thanks.

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  • NITU

    oh i ‘ m hungry to see this

  • Swapan Ghosh

    Hi, Greetings to all!

    I am interested in learning “How to make the raw (un cooked) Soya Chunks”.

    I would appreicate it very much if some one shares with me.

    Best regards,

    Swapan Ghosh (

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  • Unnati


    I stumbled upon your blog yesterday. I feel like i hit jackpot! I tried this recipe today for lunch. It was simply delicious!! Thank you so much for showing me ways to used the soya chunks. You now have a new follower! 🙂 Take care!

  • Seema

    Hi, Just stumbled upon your blog today while surfing for something different in Tofu & Nuggets…..this is an awesome recipe !!!Thanks.TC!

  • so many healthy recipes to choose from on the internet`”

  • Mani

    Thank you… made it last night and it was a hit with my family. thanks again.

  • kinu

    can we make this soy chunks at home????????????
    pls someone do reply for it……………..

    You have to buy the raw soy chunks from the store, but you can cook the dish at home! These are all homecooked recipe.
    Hope this helps.


  • mansi

    hey this is mansi. i stay in hostel and dont have enough stuff wid me to cook a big long recipee. wil u plzz suggest me a nice short and quick recipee fr nutrilla chunk balls. dont have enough ingredients also. plzszzzz help i love soya chunks.

  • I have been browsing online more than three hours today, yet I never found any interesting article like yours. It is pretty worth enough for me. In my view, if all web owners and bloggers made good content as you did, the net will be a lot more useful than ever before.

  • […] one of those healthy and tasty dishes,I have referred the following link and this and modified just the spices to my taste.I love the fact that it was a quick,easy and […]

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  • Aditi

    Hi there – I just stumbled upon your recipe and decided i had to try it out (as had been looking for a decent recipe to cook soy chunks). I literally just finished making it – and had to let you know that the dish is absolutely delicious! Great flavours.

    Thank again for posting, and I’ll now be trying out other recipes on your blog!

  • It’s looking good. I would definitely try this one.

  • it is a very healthy dish . i wanted to make it tastier now u made it. i followed this and it was great.

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  • Amber

    Thanks for this recipe!

    I used what I had on hand and it was still fantastic. Six crushed peanuts instead of sesame seeds. Beef-flavored nuggets instead of plain. No chili peppers. Only 1″ of garlic.

    Looking forward to following it exactly after a trip to the store.

  • Very interesting recipe!

  • […] but am sure it goes much better with fried rice. Chilli Soya Chunks Serves: 3 to 4 Source: eCurry INGREDIENTS: 1 cup uncooked Soya Chunks/Meal Maker 1 onion, chopped into rough squares 1 […]

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