diet and Diet Reform


Table of Contents



About This Book

Written by : M. K. Gandhi
Edited by : Bharatan Kumarappa
First Edition : 5,000 copies, July 1949
ISBN : 81-7229-062-4
Printed and Published by : Jitendra T. Desai
Navajivan Mudranalaya,
© Navajivan Trust, 1949


Chapter 66 : Soya Bean Recipes

[A friend who is now in America sends the following recipes. - Ed.]

I have received many recipes from the Bureau of Home Economics, Washington, D.C., using fresh garden soya bean as well as their products. I have not yet been able to prepare all of them for myself owing to the scarcity of place here but they are worth trying and I like them. I, therefore, give some useful recipes here which I would try to prepare myself as soon as I find a little kitchen for me. In case fresh garden soya beans are not available, the dried soya beans can be used after soaking them in water overnight.

  • Scalloped Green Soya beans :
    3 cups green soya beans (or dried soaked soya bean), water, 3 cups fresh milk, 6 tablespoons butter or ghee, 6 tablespoons wheat flour, one teaspoon salt, pepper to taste, one cup buttered bread crumbs.
    Steam or boil the beans until tender. Heat the milk and thicken with the combined ghee and flour. Add this to the beans with the seasonings. Place in a greased baking dish, cover with the bread crumbs, and bake until the mixture is heated through and the crumbs are brown. Tomatoes served with this dish make a good combination.
  • Soya bean Salad :
    One cup cooked soya beans ½, cup diced celeiy or Mooli ki Gandar, ½ cup diced cottage cheese, ½ cup diced carrots; 1 teaspoon finely minced onions, ½ cup freshly prepared tomato juice. Chill thoroughly and serve on crisp lettuce or cabbage.
  • Salted Soya beans :
    (I have done this at a friend's house and I found them very tasteful.) Wash and soak the beans overnight, then drain and spread them till they become dry. Fry a small amount at a time in deep butter or ghee (I prepared in butter.) at 350° F. for 8 to 10 minutes. Drain on absorbent paper and sprinkle with salt while still warm. Here I used the same variety 'Easy-cook'.
  • Soya bean Vegetable Soup :
    (I took this soup at one of the Cafetarias in Washington, D.C.) cup chopped celery (we can use spinach), 4 teaspoons chopped onions, 3 cups water, 2 cups fresh tomatoes, one tablespoon salt, pepper to taste, 2 tablespoons wheat flour. Cook the celery or spinach and onion in water for about 15 minutes. Add the tomatoes, the soya bean pulp and the seasonings. Mix the flour with a little cold water, stir into the mixture until thickened and boil for 5 minutes longer.
  • Soya bean Sprouts :
    (I am enjoying them on every other day with my lunch.) Soya bean sprouts may be used either raw or cooked in salads. I am informed by a Chinese friend living next door here that soya beans are used to a very considerable extent for this purpose by the Chinese, as soya bean sprouts are larger and firmer than those of most other legumes. In China soya bean sprouts are said to be used as a home winter vegetable, for the dried soya beans are sprouted easily in a short time under proper conditions of heat and moisture. Under the proper guidance of my neighbour friend I prepared soya bean sprouts in my little room here, and from ten days after that I am now enjoying these sprouts every next day as a part of my delicious lunch. The soya beans can be sprouted in a flower pot, or any container which has holes in it for drainage and which can be covered in case of strong sunlight or snow. The container should be large enough, for as the beans sprout they swell to at least six times their original bulk. Soak them overnight and next day put them in the container, cover, and leave them in a warn place. I place mine (a flower pot wide enough to contain about two dozen sprouts) close to the steam-heater in my room, and in the window when it is sunshine. The beans must be moistened at least twice a day during the sprouting period which will be 6 to 10 days. But fully grown sprouts will take nearly 15 to 20 days. I have always been impatient to eat them early. There can be another method of sprouting these beans which can be tried. They should be spread one layer thick on a wet cloth and then should be covered with a heavy wet dark-coloured cloth which should be kept damp by frequent sprinkling. Dr. W. J. Morse of the Bureau of Plant Indus­try of the U.S. Deptt. of Agriculture gives the following composition of the soya bean sprouts:
     per cent per cent
    Water67.00 Nitrogenous Materials14.73
    Mineral Salts3.40 0.26"

    Dr. Kellogg in one of his books on dietetics says that soya bean sprouts are specially useful in the winter season because of their richness in vitamins. "They have been much used," says the doctor, "in combating beri-beri and other deficiency disorders."

  • Soya bean Flour:
    Soya bean flour is made by grind­ing either the whole bean, preferably yellow seeded vari­eties, or the press-cake after the oil has been removed from the beans. The U.S. Department of Agriculture in­forms me that in invalid and infant dietetics soya bean flour has been used for many years in the United States, although as yet it is not a common commercial product. Extensive tests of the Bureau of Home Economics, Wash­ington, D.C. show that the soya bean flour can be successfully used in making of bread, muffins, biscuits, crackers and gens. About one-fourth soya bean flour and three-fourths wheat flour is the proper proportion. "This addition of soya bean flour," says the Scientific Food and Nutrition Division of United States, "gives a more nutri­tious article of food with a rich nut-like flavour." When a special food of low starch content is desired, as for dia­betic persons, a larger proportion of soya bean flour is used with some form of gluten substituted for the wheat flour. The report of the Farmers' Bulletin 1917 of the U.S. Agricultural Department is that on account of its high food value, as well as the palatable products made from it, soya bean flour is finding increasing favour as a foodstuff in North America and Europe.
  • Soya bean Sauce:
    "Soy or shoyu sauce is a dark-brown liquid prepared from a mixture of cooked and ground soya beans, roasted and pulverized wheat (barley is sometimes used), salt, and water. This mass is inoculated with a culture known as rice ferment (ASPERGILLUS ORIYZAE) and left from 6 to 18 months in vats or casks to ferment. Soy sauce is largely used by Oriental people in cooking, as a relish or condiment to increase the flavour and palatability of the diet, and as an aid in the assimilation of food." (Soy Bean Utilization, page 5)
    One factory in the United States manufactures soy sauce from domestic-grown beans and has found a large commercial outlet throughout the country. Those who have used this soy sauce say that in odour and taste this sauce suggests a good quality of meat extract.
  • Soya bean Milk:
    Dr. E. J. Kingsley of the U.S. Food Nutrition Division writes that soya bean milk, although not equal to cow's or goat's milk in food value, may be used as a beverage or in any recipe that calls for milk. Where there are few dairy animals, soya bean milk is an important food for children and practically the only substitute for milk. It is said that in France and England soya milk is quite extensively in use. In America attempts are being made by some food specialists to manufacture soya milk powder on commercial scale. In one of the circulars recently issued by the Bureau of Home Economics, it is announced that soya bean milk contains most of the same food substances as that of the cow's milk but only one- sixth as much calcium, less fat, and no lactose (milk sugar). Its protein, though more "efficient" than any other vegetable protein, is less in quantity and not equal in quality to the proteins in milk of animal origin. Soya bean contains more water, and therefore less solids than cow's milk. Soya bean milk, according to Adolf and Kiang, has the following percentage composition:

    The composition of the milk will vary, of course, with the amount of water used in its preparation. From the above composition it is clear that it has no sugar and is very poor in salts, containing only half the amount of salts found in cow's milk.
    Yellow seeded varieties of soya bean are the best to use for making soya bean milk and there are two methods of making this milk that I have noted here:
    1. Wash the soya bean and soak overnight. Remove the skins and grind the beans very fine. Put the ground beans in a cheese cloth bag, in a bowl of lukewarm water, using three quarts of water to each pound of dried beans. Work thoroughly with the hands for 5 to 10 minutes. Wring the bag of pulp until dry. This milky emulsion thus obtained should be boiled on a low fire for 30 minutes, stirring frequently to prevent scorching. Add sugar and salt to taste. Keep in cold place.
    2. Wash the soya beans. Let them dry thoroughly, crack them, then grind them fine. To each pound of beans add 3 quarts of water, and soak for two hours. Then boil for 20 minutes, stirring constantly, then strain through a cloth. Add sugar and salt to taste. Keep in a cold place.
    After separating the liquid from the solid material, the residue is still very rich in nutritive substances and can be dried and used for cattle food or made into flour for human food.

  • Soya bean Cheese : (TO FU):
    This cheese-like prepa­ration of soya bean milk I found in Chinese and Japanese restaurants here. It is called TO FU. The method of its preparation is as follows :
    Prepare soya milk as described above. When it is boiled add magnesium or lactic acid or one-half per cent solution of citric acid in proportion to one-fifth of the volume of milk, stirring all the time. This milky emulsion soon becomes a greyish white curd which should be strained through a cloth to let out the yellowish water liquid. Then dip the cloth in cold water several times to wash away the excess acid. Drain for about an hour and press out the remaining liquid. Season with salt and store in a cold place until firm enough to cut. TO FU is used in soups and salads and in other great varieties of Japa­nese and Chinese cookie. This TO FU is considered to be a valuable thing for the diabetics. Adolf and Kiang give the following percentage composition of TO FU:
    Salts 1.09
  • Soya bean Oil :
    In addition to their food value, soya beans contain a valuable oil which is utilized to a very considerable extent in North America. In Manchuria, it is said, the soya bean is largely grown for oil and meal and is always relied upon by the Manchurian fanner as a cash crop. There are different processes or methods that can be used in the manufacture of oil from the soya bean. Here in America, I have heard that the oil is ex­tracted from the ground beans by some chemical solvent such as benzol, naptha or ether. But I should think that the same methods of oil extracting that are used for cotton-seeds and linseed will do in extracting the oil from the soya beans too. Soya bean oil belongs to the group of drying oils in America. It can be tried as a substitute for either linseed or cotton seed oil, specially in soap-making. One of the Farmer's Bulletins published by the Department of Agriculture here writes that in the manu­facture of soft soap, soya bean oil serves as an almost complete substitute for linseed oil, but unless it is hydrogenated it can but partially replace cotton seed oil in the manufacture of hard soaps. Here in North America paint manufacturers are using soya bean oil as a substitute for part of the linseed oil in certain kinds of paints. It is said that one of the principal uses of soya bean oil in China is food. Other trade uses of soya bean oil, in America, are in the manufacture of varnish, printing ink, paints, candles, waterproof goods, and for lighting, lubricating and rubber substitutes.
  • Soya bean Cake :
    Soya bean cake, after processing the beans for oil, is considered here in the Agriculture Department to be a most valuable product and has the widest usefulness. It is said that in European countries and in North America soya bean cake is used almost entirely for feeding purposes. It is considered to be highly concentrated and nutritious and is relished by all kinds of live­stock. In China, I am told, it is used very extensively for fertilizing purposes and is also recognized as a valuable feed for working animals and for fattening stock. Like cotton-seed cake, soya bean cake contains some phospho­rus and potash, a large portion of which is available, but its principal value in fertilizers is as a source of nitrogen. I give below the composition of the soya bean cake with reference to fertilizing constituents and a comparison with cotton-seed cake. This analysis has been furnished by the Bureau of Chemistry and Soils of U.S.A.

Constituents (per cent)

ProductNitrogenAmmoniaPhosphoric AdicPotash Acid
Soya bean (seed) 6.517.901.361.82
Soya bean cake 7.729.371.361.82
Soya bean cake * 7.188.722.372.92
Cotton-seed cake 6.798.242.881.77

28-12-1935 & 4-1-1936

* This analysis is of the Solvent Process Cake.