‘Soya Bean Pulao’ is a flavourful vegetarian dish that’s perfect for days when you need a quick, easy and nutritious meal. A ‘Pulao’ or ‘Pulav’ is a traditional Middle Eastern or Indian dish made of rice and cooked in stock with a variety of spices, typically with meat or vegetables added to it. This vegetarian recipe combines the wholesomeness of Soya Bean Chunks with spice-infused rice that’s perfect with a bowl of mildly spiced yoghurt (Raita).
This recipe can be made with freshly steamed rice or even leftover rice! It tastes yummy when served piping hot and is also an ideal packed lunch when cool.
This delicious recipe comes to our kitchen from one of our closest friends- Resham Jani Kewalramani, who’s as fabulous at creating wonderful dishes as she is at filling our lives with her generosity, love, strength and support. We’ve grown together from days of exchanging college notes to finding our identities in this world, from embarking on marriage and now on to a new phase of life. We love you Resham and we hope you’ll give her easy, delicious Pulao a try!
Soya Bean Pulao Recipe
- 3 cups Steamed Rice (freshly steamed or leftover)
- 1 1/2 cups Soya Bean Chunks
- 3-4 cloves of Garlic
- 1-inch piece of Ginger
- 3-4 Green Chillies, or to taste
- 2 tablespoons plain Yoghurt (Curd)
- 1 tablespoon Vegetable Oil
- Salt to taste
- 2 Bay Leaves (Tej Patta)
- 1-inch piece of Cinnamon (Dalchini)
- 2-3 pods Green Cardamom (Elaichi)
- 2 medium Onions, finely chopped
- 2 small Tomatoes, finely chopped
Dry Spice Powders:
- 1 teaspoon Red Chilli Powder, or to taste
- 1 teaspoon Coriander (Dhania) Powder
- 1 teaspoon Cumin (Jeera) Powder
- 1 teaspoon Turmeric (Haldi) Powder
- 1 tablespoon Biryani Masala (homemade or shop-bought)
Begin by placing the soya bean chunks in a medium-sized bowl. Add about a cup of hot water to the bowl and allow the soya bean chunks to soften in the water for 15-20 minutes. Once the chunks have softened, discard the water, gently squeezing the soya bean chunks to get rid of any excess water. Keep the soya bean chunks aside.
Heat the vegetable oil in a wide, non-stick pan. Once the oil is hot, add in the bay leaves, cinnamon and cardamom. Allow the spices to sizzle in the hot oil on medium-low heat. Once the spices turn fragrant, add in the finely chopped onions. Sauté until the onion turns a light golden-brown.
Meanwhile, grind the garlic, ginger and green chillies to a paste. Once the onion has turned light brown, add in the garlic-ginger-green chilli paste and sauté for about two minutes, to get rid of any raw flavour.
Add in the finely chopped tomatoes and sauté on medium-low heat, stirring now and again. Sauté until the tomato juices evaporate and the tomato begins to leave oil. The entire mixture will resemble a coarsely mashed masala paste at this point.
Add the softened soya bean chunks to the masala paste along with the dry spice powders, plain yoghurt (curd) and salt to taste. Cook this mixture on low heat, stirring often, until it begins to leave oil.
Add in the steamed rice and toss well to coat all the rice grains with the delicious masala paste. Serve the pulao piping hot, garnished with a few fresh coriander leaves accompanied by a bowlful of cool, mildly spiced yoghurt (Raita).
This dish is even delicious when cool and is an ideal packed lunch! It may be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for a day or two.