Soya Beans Shimla Mirch Masala

Soya Beans in Red Bell Pepper-Cilantro-Cashew gravy

From the viewpoint of any responsible home maker, sustenance almost always also means maximum usage and least wastage of grocery, be it perishable or other staple food with a longer shelf life. It is not beyond common sense that perishable foods be consumed when fresh.

Wait a minute. Hope you aren’t squirming in your seat wondering if I am up to some gibberish all of sudden?! No I ain’t.

What I was coming to say is, more often than not, in a small family like ours, such precisely optimal utilization is far from reality. The vegetable crisper ends up stocking half an onion, a quarter bell pepper, a wedge of lemon, few curry leaf sprigs, a piece of ginger and many other leftover vegetables. There, I’m back on track. While I wish I’d have lesser of such scenarios, sometimes they come as a blessing in disguise.

When I soaked Soya beans that morning, perhaps I had the least of the clues that I’d get to cook it this way later that evening! But since I wasn’t ready to cook it the same old way, I looked into my crisper and found inspiration in a medley of vegetable leftovers.

Sweet aroma of Red bell pepper, heat of green chillies and the freshness of cilantro clearly distinguish this dish from the routine masala gravies. Cashew lends a mild richness and the neutral taste of soya beans takes everything well. And, the nuttiness of the soy beans is a mouthful of fun!

In the end, a good recipe and a clean sweep of leftover veggies. To me, this is a keeper.After watching Food Inc recently, I was alarmed to learn that 90% of the Soya Beans in the US are GMO. Though nothing can be done about what has already been eaten, I’ve resolved to steer clear of GMO going forward.

If you are curious to know more about what GMO means, how to choose Non-GMO products and where to buy them, check the Non GMO Project link on the sidebar.

Ignorance is not bliss. Awareness is the key to make better choices.

On a lighter note, what is your usual way of consuming Soya Beans?

Soya Beans Shimla Mirch Masala Recipe

Printable Recipe
Things you’ll need:

1 cup dried non-gmo soya beans
1/2 medium red onion, minced
1 ripe tomato, finely chopped
3 tsp peanut oil
1/4 tsp turmeric
1/2 tsp freshly grated ginger
1/4 tsp jeera / cumin seeds
sea salt
juice of half a lemon
cilantro to garnish

For the gravy

1/2 tsp peanut oil
1/4 red onion, diced
1/2 medium red bell pepper, seeds removed, diced
3 green chillies
generous handful of cilantro
10 cashew nuts


pressure cooker

How it’s done:

Wash soya beans well several times and soak in at least 3 cups (3 times) of potable water for 6-8 hours or overnight. Once soaked, wash a few times again and drain. Pressure cook soya beans with salt and water, a little more than enough to cover the beans, for 3-4 whistles or until cooked soft.

Keep the vegetables chopped and paste for the gravy ready while the pressure cooker is on.

paste for the gravy:

Heat 1/2 tsp oil in a pan. When the oil shimmers, add onions and sauté until translucent. Add diced red bell pepper and sauté until the hissing sound dies out or the rawness disappears.

Transfer sauteéd onions and red bell pepper to a blender and blend along with raw cilantro, green chillies, cashew nuts and some water to a smooth paste.

For soya beans masala

When the cooker has cooled, heat 3 tsp oil in the same pan used earlier. When the oil is hot enough or begins to shimmer, add cumin seeds. When they start sizzling, add minced onions and sauté until translucent. Add turmeric, grated or crushed ginger and tomato, give it a good stir and cook covered on medium until oil separates. Now, add the ground paste, cooked soya beans and salt. Adjust water to the required consistency. Cook covered until well cooked or about 10-12 mins. Stir intermittently. Simmer covered for an additional 5 mins and switch off.

Finish off by squeezing lemon juice and garnish with cilantro. Serve hot with roti, phulka, chapati or any indian bread of choice or even steamed brown rice.


Once soaked soya beans expand up to triple in quantity.
In the absence of a pressure cooker, cook the beans in an open pot on stove top until well cooked.

This dish can be cooked ahead of time for an even better taste.

Alternatively, fresh or frozen edamame beans would make a good substitute. Skip the soaking part and cook it on stove top until soft. Pressure cooker will make them too mushy.

Use green bell pepper if not for red bell pepper.

Peanuts can be used in place of cashews. Just double the amount and roast before grinding for the paste.

Substitutes will alter the taste, but they will be differently tasty on their own.

Treat Yourself to more:


13 thoughts on “Soya Beans Shimla Mirch Masala

  1. Vegan says:

    I am wondering what are your thoughts on genetically modified foods? I am trying to avoid GMOs wherever I can, but I’m finding it’s very difficult and I feel like I’m in over my head because I don’t know what is Ok and what isn’t.

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