Soya Chunks Biryani or Nugget Biryani as we call it at home is a protein rich delicious South Indian style rice preparation with soya chunks as the star ingredient. I learnt this preparation from my mom. This biryani is very easy to prepare and makes a perfect lunch box recipe too.
Proteins are essential for the human body as they are one of the building blocks for the body tissue. And for vegetarians, soya is a great source of protein though not as good as meat or chicken but still better than most of the plant proteins. They contain high amount of fiber, regular intake is said to aid weight loss too. Soya chunks being my kids’ favorite, I include them often in our meals and this Biryani is one dish that is frequently made at home. Though my mom prepares Biryani in quite different ways, this is one preparation method that she follows for making Vegetable Biryani. I follow the same recipe except that replace veggies with soya chunks.
I usually pair this Biryani with a simple onion raita and we enjoy the combo a lot.
Basmati or Seeraga Samba Rice – 1cup (about 200 gms)
Water – 1 ¼ cups
Onion – 1 big sized
Tomato – 1 medium sized
Soya chunks cooked – 1 cup
Juice of half a lemon (Optional)
Curd – 3 tbsps
Salt to taste
Ginger – 1” piece
Garlic – 10 cloves
Red chilli – 2 to 3 or to taste (I used byadgi variety chilli)
Tomato – ½ of a small tomato
Oil – 3 tbsps
Cloves – 2
Cinnamon – 1” piece
Bay leaf – 1
Preparation time – 20 mins
Cooking time – 20 mins
Total time – 40 mins
- Wash and soak rice until you are done with the prep work.
- Slice onions and chop the tomato. Grind the ginger, garlic, tomato and red chillies to a fine paste.
- Add ½ tsp of salt to 4 cups of water and let it come to a boil. Add the soya chunks to the boiling water and cook for 5-7 mins. Drain the water and rinse the cooked soya chunks in running water. Squeeze the soya chunks completely free of water and set it aside until further use.
- Heat oil in a small pressure cooker. Add the whole garam masalas and saute for 30 secs.
- Add the sliced onions and sauté till they turn translucent. Add the tomatoes and cook until they are slightly mushy.
- Now, add the ginger-garlic-red chillies paste and cook until the raw smell goes off and the oil starts separating.
- Add the curds along with the rice, salt to taste and water for the rice to cook. Squeeze in the lemon juice, if using. Mix well.
- Put on the cooker lid and pressure cook for 3-4 whistles. Remove the cooker from flame and wait for the pressure to release. After opening, fluff the rice with a fork and serve hot.
Soya Chunks Biryani is ready to be relished. We had the Soya Chunks Biryani for lunch and enjoyed it with a simple onion raita.
- While making ginger-garlic-red chillies paste, you can skip the tomato. I use it to aid grinding and to get a finer paste.
- To prepare the soya chunks, you can follow the instructions given on the packet. If instructions are not available, boil sufficient quantity of water with little salt. Add the soya chunks to the boiling water. Cook for 5-7 mins. Drain and rinse the soya chunks in cool running water. Squeeze the soya chunks completely free of water and use it in your rice, curry or gravy. I normally use 4 cups of water for every one cup of soya chunks used and add around ½ tsp of salt.
- You can use water + coconut milk or water + milk or water alone to cook the rice. I used only water for this preparation.