Mama’s Punjabi Recipes – Soya Bean Te Palak Da Omlet (Soybean & Spinach Omelette)


For those who don’t eat ande (eggs) but need to have extra protein in the diet, this vegetarian dish can be very nourishing and satisfying, as it looks, cooks and fluffs up like an omelette and also it is very easy and fast to make.

About 25 years ago, small, one-inch round soybean wadiyan (dumplings) began showing up in the spice and grocery stores in North India and since then they have become available everywhere. Now soybean flour is easily available, even in the US, and people are more aware of the protein benefits of soybean and the wadiyan which are used in cooking vegetarian dishes.

Soya bean is recognized for its ability to lower cholesterol, LDL and triglycerides, but not in increasing HDL. It is also considered beneficial as an antioxidant, minimizing diabetes and reducing inflammation as well as its protein value. Soybean oil is high in beneficial omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids and alpha-linoleic acid.

Palak (spinach) is thought to have originated in ancient Persia brought by Arab traders into India, and then introduced to China. It is also extremely rich in antioxidants, all the major vitamins and many minerals and is a good source of folic acid, which is needed for good nerve conduction.

These two ingredients put together provide a good amount of nutrition at a very affordable price and the dish can be eaten with your favorite breads and pickles.


2 tbsp soyabean atta (soybean flour) – makes two 6 inch omelettes

1tbsp palak (spinach) – finely chopped

½ cup pani (water)

1 tbsp tael (olive oil or vegetable oil)

Spices: pinch haldi (turmeric) for color, lal mirch (red pepper) and namak (salt) to taste.


1.  Pick some fresh spinach leaves, wash thoroughly and then chop finely. If fresh spinach is not available, take a little of the frozen kind and blend in a mixer, but do not puree it.

2.  Mix the soybean flour and spinach together in a bowl, adding the water slowly to avoid making lumps. Throw in the spices and stir well. Keep the mixture to the side.

3.  Coat a skillet with the oil in over medium high heat and then pour in a ¼ of the mixture; once it shows small bubbles, turn it over. Cook both sides till they are light brown and place in a plate. Repeat till t mixture is finished.

4.  If desired, add chopped onions to the omelette, or whatever other ingredients you prefer.

mamas recipe inside3

Shakuntla Malhotra is a skilled cook of Punjabi dishes made in the old-fashioned style that she learnt as a young woman in her ancestral home in Lyallpur, India before it became part of Pakistan after the Partition in 1947. People have often admired her cooking for its simplicity and taste that comes with each mouthful. Even in her mid-eighties, she continues to cook daily and agreed to share some of her delectable Punjabi recipes.



The main spice that gives Indian food its distinct yellow coloring is haldi (turmeric) but too much of it can cause the food to taste burnt and inedible. But turmeric also is also used for its healing qualities in rural India and in cities as a first aid for minor scrapes, burns, infections and insect bites. For all those symptoms, just take a small amount of oil in a steel kohli (bowl) or a large steel spoon, heat it well over and then add ¼ teaspoon of haldi. Mix well, then use a cotton ball to dab the affected area. The mixture becomes like tincture-iodine, an excellent antiseptic. Just beware that it leaves a yellow stain that takes a few days to disappear. If you have a cough or some other soreness or mild internal infection, warm 1 teaspoon of haldi in warm milk and drink it down for a week. The taste takes some getting used to, but this treatment has been used for years.