Soya: The Wonder Bean Packed With Nutrients
Soya bean is a versatile food. It’s a great option for the lactose-intolerant or those who choose to be vegans
A member of the legume family, soya bean is one of the few plant proteins that contains all the essential amino acids the body needs to source from outside. The high protein content in soya bean makes it a great alternative for those who follow a strict vegan diet.
It is also rich in nutrients like vitamin B, fibre, magnesium and potassium. While soya bean itself can be used to make delicious curries, its other forms—soya milk, tofu, soya chunks—are gaining popularity too.
A replacement for milk, soya milk is made by soaking, grinding and straining soya beans to create a mild flavoured liquid. Fortified soya milk is a great source of calcium, iron and folate. It’s especially good for those who are lactose-intolerant or vegan.
Soyabean curd or tofu is made by curdling fresh soya milk, pressing it into a solid block and then cooling it, much like how cheese is made. A staple in Thai and Chinese cuisines, it’s an excellent source of amino acids, iron, calcium and other micro-nutrients. This versatile food can be used instead of cottage cheese (paneer) in everyday Indian cooking—from stir fry to curries and grills.
Soya Bean Oil
With a high-smoking point, soya bean oil is now a staple in many Indian households. It is good source of essential fatty acids and vitamins E and K. Since it doesn’t have a distinct aroma unlike some other oils, it lends itself well to all kinds of cooking.
Soya chunks come in many forms—regular-sized or mini chunks and granules. Rich in carbs and protein, soya chunks can be used in a variety of dishes, from curries and snacks to pulao and Asian stir-fries.