February 28, 2013

Soya Chunks Pulao

Carbs - Yes ; Protein - Ofcourse ; Vegetables - Certainly ; Fat - Sure ;

How about a pulao loaded with all the goodness that you would want in a meal?! Served with raitha, this pulao makes a well rounded & complete meal packed with lot of flavors!

There are few recipes that never make it to the blog; a few others finds their place in the blog, but rarely attempted for a second time; but there are few recipes that are repeated again & again even before making it to the blog and soya chunks pulao is one! I have made this pulao 3-4 times in the last 3 weeks and I know for sure that I will be making it often hereafter. VJ & my daughter loved this pulao especially for that chewy protein-packed soya chunks!

I know a few families who do not like soya chunks. My family is one among them - I think my parents couldn't appreciate soya for its meat-like texture and also for that distinct smell that soya has. I was very doubtful when I bought a pack of soya chunks (Nutrela brand) mainly for its health benefits, but I totally gave in after tasting the pulao. The flavor of soya chunks is really amazing mainly from the marination and the texture is something that you have to get used to. All in all, this is a low cost / high protein product with long shelf life that comes handy whenever you want a wholesome variety!

Basic Info
Complexity - Medium
Prep time - 30-45 mins
Cook time - 20 mins
Serves - 4

Basmati rice - 1 cup (I replace it with sona masoori if I run out of Basmati rice)
Soya chunks - 1 cup
Onion - 2 nos (chopped)
Tomato - 1 no (chopped)
Green chillies - 4 nos (vertically slit open)
Ginger - 1 inch (grated)
Garlic - 4 pods (minced)
Mint leaves - 2 tbsp (optional)
Carrot - 1 no (peeled & chopped)
Potatoes - 2 nos (peeled & chopped)
Peas - a handful (chopped)
Beans - 15 nos (chopped)
Fresh coconut - 1/8 cup
Oil - 2 tbsp
Ghee - 1 tbsp (substitute with 1 tbsp of oil)
Lime juice - from 1 lime

For marination
Yogurt - 1/4 cup
Turmeric powder - 1/4 tsp
Red chilli powder - 1 tsp
Coriander powder - 3/4 tsp
Garam masala - 1 tsp

Dry MasalaFennel seeds - 1 tsp
Poppy seeds - 1 tsp
Cashews - 10 nos
Bay leaf - 1
Star anise - 1
Cinnamon stick - 1 inch
Cloves - 4 nos
Cardamom - 2 pods

Grind fresh coconut into a fine paste by adding few drops of water. Set aside.

In a saucepan, add 1-2 cups of water and when it comes to a boil, add soya chunks. Let it boil for 2-3 mins (or) until soft. Drain the water and squeeze the soya chunks to take out the extra water. Marinate soya chunks for atleast 20 mins in a mix of yogurt, turmeric powder, red chilli powder, coriander powder, garam masala. Set aside.

Wash and soak rice in water for atleast 30 mins. Set aside.

Heat oil & ghee in a pressure pan. When hot, add all the ingredients in the same order given under "dry masala" and fry till cashews are golden brown. Now, add chopped onion, green chillies and saute until onion turns translucent. Add garlic, ginger, mint leaves and saute until the raw smell of garlic is gone. Add tomatoes and saute until soft. 

Now, add all the vegetables, marinated soya chunks, salt, coconut paste and give it a nice mix.

After 2-3 mins, add drained rice, and water (1:1), give it one last mix and pressure cook for 1 whistle. Set the cooker aside until all the pressure is released and the cooker is cooled down.

Add lime juice to the rice & mix well before serving. Serve this delicious pulao with cool raitha!

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