This week on KFB belongs to our dear fellow blogger from Kolkata, Indrani Dhar who blogs on Appayan. While scouring through Indrani di’s blog for recipes, I could not help being amazed at the sheer numbers of recipes she has painstakingly put up on her blog. I also noticed she and her blogger sister Chandrani host an online blogger event called spotlight wherein other food bloggers have poured in with their recipes to suit certain pre- decided themes. Largely impressed and slightly belittled seeing that amount of dedication behind the blog, I moved further wanting to choose a recipe among the plethora that existed on her page. I came upon the chilly soya recipe which, along with honey chilly potato and chilly paneer, is the epitome of Indo-chinese for me.

Chilly soy chunks reminded me of college days when we used to hang out in the Jadavpur University (JU) campus with our friends, and there was a certain canteen there which used to serve this rather popular item with crisp parathas. In fact, our friends used to tell us to come early failing which ‘chilly soybean shesh hoye jaabe’ (the canteen will run out of chilly soy), so yes it was pretty much the highlight of our addas there, alongwith the multiple runs of lebu-chaa (lemon tea). In fact now that I think of it, every college canteen is famous for that one special dish. In our Ballygunge Science College canteen – lovingly dubbed as ‘swargo’ (paradise) since its situated on the topmost floor of the building, and the slow lift takes an eternity to reach you there, stopping on all floors in between to let in people carrying vials and test-tubes and stuff like that. So when our JU friends came visiting us, we used to take them to our Paradise for a round of luchi-ghughni (puri-choley but not quite). The puris were crisp and the ghughni was minimalistic yet tangy with a squeeze of fresh lemon, handful of chopped onions and green chillies. And of course, the lebu-chaa. Its the student intellectual favorite in Kolkata, or at least it used to be, before the baristas stormed the city. Someday, maybe I’ll do a post rounding up the famous college canteens, just for fun.

For the chilly soy recipe, I largely followed Indrani di’s recipe, and only added some additional popular Chinese garnish.

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Ingredients:

  • Soy chunks: 1 cup, soaked in warm slightly salted water
  • Spring onions: 1/2 cup, chopped
  • Garlic: 4 large cloves or 1 tbsp finely chopped
  • Ginger: 1 tsp chopped
  • Green chilly: 1 -2 nos, chopped
  • Light Soy sauce: 1 tbsp
  • Tomato ketchup: 2-3 tbsp
  • Chilly sauce: 1 tbsp
  • Vinegar: 1 tsp
  • Oil to fry

Garnish:

  • Toasted black and white sesame seeds
  • Freshly chopped spring onions
  • Sesame oil

Method:

  • Heat oil in a wok. Add the garlic, ginger and spring onions and fry for a min.
  • Add the soy chunks and stir.
  • Combine together the sauce, ketchup, vinegar with half a cup of water and a
    tsp of cornflour, add it to the wok.
  • Add the green chillies, let it simmer on low heat for about 3-4 mins.
  • Empty out the wok into a serving dish, and garnish with a handful of toasted
    black and white sesame seeds, handful of spring onions and a few drops of
    sesame oil.

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