Tuesday, August 31, 2010

making soy milk and tofu at home..............

First of all i apologize for being so so late in posting this particular process , making soy milk and tofu at home , mostly it was just plain procrastination but also because taking good pictures of the process was always difficult . I hope the humble pictures this time are good enough for understanding the process which is relatively simple , many people have successfully tried it after just a detailed telephonic instruction .

I used to make soy milk twice a week till the last week of the last year as my daughter seemed to have become lactose intolerant and soy milk was a better option . After a few initial trials which were successful but not perfect i discovered this foolproof process of making soy milk  from this wonderful blog just hungry..
The mistake i used to do earlier was that i did not stir the cooking mixture ( suspension in this case ) continuously and it used to get burnt in the base and give an offensive burnt smell n taste . Given that soy milk is not at all tasty when compared to the 'good old milk' , that burnt smell seemed offensive. But it was perfected after reading this blog .

Later on i read about tofu making and soy yogurt and tried those things successfully and incorporated soy yogurt in Indian style recipes successfully . Soy Yogurt can be easily fermented at home just like the dairy yogurt using the same dairy yogurt culture , soy yogurt is thicker and creamier in texture and slightly beany  in taste but as soon as you add an Indian tadka it is a different story altogether...

For making tofu i tried making it with lemon juice and the result was great , using epsom salt also results in good results but i found lemon juice version better suited for my convenience . Traditionally Nigari is the product which is used for making tofu but nor have i access to nigari , neither i care for as the process i follow is very satisfactory..

Okara is the name for the fibrous leftover after making soy milk and it is probably more nutritious that the soy milk . I add it to my breads and chapatis and am happy with the results.

Starting with the process...

I will start with making soy milk first ...store bought soy milk can always be used for this but it is so economical this way , if you have some time and patience , the effort is worth.

Soak 2 cups of soy beans overnight , or for 12-14 hrs. , pick any blackened beans or impurities ..


Use your trusty food processor or mixie to make a fine paste of the soaked soy beans , adding water , just like you grind the idli or dosa batter , it will be a frothy batter to start with .


Now transfer the contents to a large pan or kadai and add enough water to make it this consistency....


It is a suspension of soy fibrous solids , proteins , fats , some carbs and minerals etc. cooking this suspension is going to result in an emulsion ........ all the nutrients will be extracted from the grainy soy bean bits and make a milky emulsion.......... for that it needs to be cooked for about 15 minutes . During cooking this mixture is going to froth unbelievably so it will be better if you choose a large pan keeping a fair margin from the boiling surface. I have a good practice and can manage to cook it in a marginally sized pan ... see the froth ready to spill over.....now one thing to keep in mind is constant stirring of this boiling mixture , to prevent sticking and burning in the base........( like i instruct over phone to my friends stir it like you cook kadhi ) ....


After 12-15 minutes you will see that the milk has been extracted as the soy grains will seem to be floating over a milky emulsion . Pour the liquid and feel if it is milky......the picture doesn't do justice as i was pouring with the left hand and clicking with the right ....... take it off heat and proceed to separate the milk.


Now line a large sieve with muslin ( i used a kerala towel ) , place it over a large bowl and ladle out the liquid into it . You can keep the lined sieve ready but the cooked liquid can wait this much .


This step can take time as the milk passes through the muslin slowly and you have to be patient . Press to extract as much milk as possible , the remaining fibrous byproduct can be stored in the fridge as it is to be added in bread or chapati dough .


Or it can be dried in the oven , the dried product is called 'okara' and you can use your imagination to use that effectively. I just transfer this wet byproduct into a steel dabba and keep in the fridge , the dabba being used to press the tofu before that....See the milk ...


If you want to drink the soy milk as it is you need to develop a taste for it , it is a cultivated taste after all , especially for the dairy milk fed people like us. Making a banana smoothie is a very good idea and we do it frequently . Oats cooked in soy milk and topped with a fruit is a good way to consume soy milk .

Now moving forward to make the tofu ....

Do it just after extracting the milk as it is quite hot and needs not to be heated further . Add about 2 tbsp of lemon juice to the milk , slowly .... stirring after adding a tsp or so and you will notice the milk curdling . If the milk has cooled down after the extraction process you can place it over the stove and then stir to curdle it..



Till the whey is separated ....


Again use another end of the muslin ( kerala towel in my case ) to line the same sieve and pour the contents into it ....


 Wrap like this to cover the top...


Place an appropriate sized plate over it and some weight , i placed the wet okara containing dabba.....


Let it sit for ten minutes and your tofu is ready........soft when freshly prepared . It tastes really good as compared to the store bought ones ( at least the ones i have tried ) ...


 To store it needs to be kept in a round container , i keep it in a steel dabba submerged in water . Or it can be freezed wrapped inside a ziplock bag . Frozen tofu develops a spongy texture and absorbs more flavors , becomes more firm as compared to the freshly made. In my experience freshly made tofu is better suited for scrambled preparations and quick stir fries . While after the next couple of days it is more suited for gravy recipes. Frozen tofu develops a nice sponginess and soaks the flavors of a curry like this one...

There are a few tofu recipes on this blog and you can find many more on searching , i hope this post motivates a few of you to try making tofu at home. In a paneer and cream obsessed nation tofu is something like an outcast but more people are converting to tofu for it's numerous health benefits . You just need to experiment a bit and give it an Indian tadka , as i say , and this wonderful ingredient will prove a good friend for you.

Yes , the process is a bit time consuming , try doing it along with some other tasks in the kitchen and you'd realize it's worth all the effort . A great blogger friend posted about making tofu and a recipe of tofu too about a month ago , check this out and you'd see how many more people are doing it.

A recipe using the soy yogurt is waiting next.........stay tuned...

18 comments:

  1. THANKS A TON. I was waiting for this post for a long time. This is so good. I hate the taste of tofu that I get here, hope I can get creative and make it at home.

    Thanks again.

    Have a great day ahead.

    regards

    Shiva

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  2. absolutely loved this post!!! :)

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  3. Thanks for the lovely comments ladies .

    @ Shiva ...i'd like to know your feedback as i see you take great efforts in cooking healthy meals.

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  4. I love homemade tofu! These okra could be used to make some cookies too.

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  5. Thanks Angie ... i never thought about making cookies with okara . No harm in trying but it will be a cracker kinda thing for me , not a cookie.

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  6. ohh my God you actually made it at home? few years back I actually thought of trying this as Hubby has milk allergy. but couldnot gather the courage but now I've got inspiration. great work.

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  7. Thanks!!! I needed this tutorial :)
    You ended your procastination, now i have no excuse to continue procastination...lol... Now I will HAVE to try this pronto :)

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  8. Thanks Sayantani........do try this as you see it's not at all difficult and if your hubby has milk allergy it's well worth .


    Thanks Amrita.... soy milk and that soy yogurt vada you have already done , now it's time to move a step ahead :)......i'll be waiting for the dining table conversation after that...

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  9. this is a nice presentation, very informative. seeing your soy milk and tofu making process, inspires me to make these as well.

    i really liked the way you have mentioned everything in detail and the photos are good... at least they are illustrating the steps. so the job's done :-)

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  10. Sangeeta, you are so right. The process is a bit time consuming but well worth it. It took me two hours to get the tofu but I could have phased it out and done in two days. But the process is so fascinating I couldn't wait to see the final product. Thank you for the links. Every link helps. :)

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  11. dont know why but no picture is visible Sangeeta. could you please check it.

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    1. All pics were lost in a technical glitch Sayantani :(
      Will restore these on priority if you need to follow the recipe.

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  12. thanks for restoring the clicks. planning to make the milk at home for the kid. the pictorial is of great help. thanks again Sangeeta

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    1. Glad it will be useful for you Sayantani. Thanks.

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  13. okay done. will make the soy milk at home as well as the tofu. how many litres of of milk i can get if i use 1 cup of soy beans.

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    1. 1 up of soy beans should give you about 2 L soy milk, but exact quantity depends on how much water you use for cooking the mix. I always did it by eyballing the consistency. You can choose to have a thicker milk for Tofu and yogurt making and thinner for making soup etc.
      Has been ages I made soy milk or tofu at home :-)

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    2. thanks sangeeta.... will make the soy milk in some days.

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