Soya Pilaf/Pulav Recipe

For all those who don’t like soya chunks, Soya Pilaf is one such pot meal studded with dry fruits and is simply aromatic that will certainly tantalize your taste buds and make you fall in love with the soya chunks. Trust me, this simple Soya Pilaf is no less than a laborious traditional Biryani. A perfect lunch or dinner option on sudden arrival of guests.  Basmati rice, Soy Chunks (Nuggets), Onions, Green Chillies, Ginger Garlic Paste, Tomato, Potatoes (Aloo), Ghee, Cardamom (Elaichi) Pods/Seeds, Bay leaves (tej patta), Whole Black Peppercorns, Cloves (Laung), Cinnamon Stick (Dalchini), Star anise, Salt, Ajwain (Carom seeds), Lemon, Mint Leaves (Pudina), Coriander (Dhania) Leaves, Coriander Powder (Dhania), Red Chilli powder, Kewra Water, Caramelized onions, Cashew nuts, Sultana Raisins   500 grams Basmati rice 2 cups Soy Chunks (Nuggets) 2 Onions , finely chopped 2 Green Chillies , chopped 2 tablespoon Ginger Garlic Paste 1 Tomato , chopped 4 Potatoes (Aloo) , cut into big chunks 2 tablespoons Ghee 3 Cardamom (Elaichi) Pods/Seeds 2 Bay leaves (tej patta) 1 teaspoon Whole Black Peppercorns 3 Cloves (Laung) 1 inch Cinnamon Stick (Dalchini) 2 Star anise Salt , to taste 1 teaspoon Ajwain (Carom seeds) 1 Lemon Mint Leaves (Pudina) , a few sprigs chopped Coriander (Dhania) Leaves , a small bunch chopped 2 tablespoons Coriander Powder (Dhania) 1 tablespoon Red Chilli powder 1 tablespoon Kewra Water 1/2 cup Caramelized onions 2 tablespoons Cashew nuts , fried 2 tablespoons Sultana Raisins , fried     20   50     To begin making the Soya Pilaf recipe, wash, drain and soak rice in fresh water for minimum 30 minutes before cooking.In a saucepan, boil water and add soya chunks in it and boil. Drain and keep aside to cool. Once cool, squeeze them to take off excess water and keep them separate in a plate/bowl.Heat oil/ghee in a wok, add the potatoes, fry them and keep it aside. In the same pan, add bay leaf, all the dry whole garam masala, shahi jeera in the reaming ghee/oil and allow it to splutter.Add finely chopped onions and fry till light and translucent. Add green chillies, ginger paste, garlic paste and fry for about a minute on low medium heat.Add chopped tomato along with coriander powder, red chilli powder and fry well till the ghee starts leaving from the sides.Add soya chunks and salt, mix all together, fry again for 1-2 minutes.After 1-2 minutes, add a little water just to wet the masala and cook it with the lid closed on low flame.Meanwhile in another large thick bottomed vessel, add lots of water with little salt, few drops of oil and lemon juice and allow it to boil.Once the water is hot and starts boiling, add soaked rice and cook till the rice is 90% done.Turn off the gas and strain the rice very carefully and spread it in a big flat tray so that the grains doesn’t stick to each other. Allow it to cool a bit. Do not stir them as the grains may break.The next step is to assemble and layer the Soya Pilaf. Take a vessel in which you want to assemble the pilaf. Spread rice at the bottom of the vessel and then layer it with the some soya gravy.Spread some rice again and then pour the remaining soya gravy on it with fried potatoes.Again, spread some rice and garnish it with fresh mint leaf, freshly chopped coriander, lemon juice, fried onions, some kewda water and fried dry fruits.Close the lid and allow the pilaf to cook for another 10 mins on low flame. For this take an iron tawa and place the pilaf vessel on it.Once the pilaf is done, hold the vessel from both sides and shake it vigorously, this will mix the soya gravy and the rice evenly inside without breaking the grains.Serve Soya Pilaf with Burani Raita, Beetroot Raita or any other Raita of your choice.