Soya chunks known as meal maker or soy meat is a defatted soy flour product [source wikipedia]. Everybody in family loves these chunks, so much that hubby keeps a special note to pick these packets from supermarkets.
The protein content of these chunks is equal to that of meat and is highly nutritious especially for people who don't consume meat. They are also rich source of vitamin B, omega -3 fatty acids, fiber & carbohydrates. Having no particular taste they readily absorb any flavors that we dip in from different preparations.
Family being vegetarian, I always try to include soya in our diet and keep experimenting with different dishes such as variety rice, parathas, soups, side dishes etc in order to reap the health benefits from them. You can find here the SK recipe of soya golmatol that I had posted few months back.
Coming to today's recipe, its biryani using these chunks. This recipe is an adaptation of one that is shared by friend on food group of which I am a member. Thanks Asha for this aromatic and mouth-watering biryani recipe. My family enjoyed having it with plain curd and salads.
Basmati rice 1 cup
Cinnamon 1 inch stick 2
Vinegar 1 tsp
Olive oil 1 tbsp
Soya chunks/ Meal maker 1 cup
Mixed vegetable 1/2 cup [I used frozen ones]
Onion large sized 1
Green chillies 2 [ You may adjust to suit your family requirements]
Ginger garlic paste 2 tsp
Turmeric powder 1/2 tsp
Coriander powder 1 tsp
Garam masala powder 1 tsp
Coriander leaves fistful finely chopped.
Mint leaves fistful
Dahi 3 tsp
Salt as per the taste
Oil to use for soya chunks masala
To marinate half the quantity of above soya chunks
Ginger garlic paste 1 paste
Chilli powder 1/2 tsp
Turmeric powder 1/2 tsp
Garam masala powder 1/4 tsp
Rice flour enough to coat these chunks
Onion finely sliced 1
Finely chopped coriander leaves 1 tbsp
Wash and clean rice. Soak it for 20 minutes. In a deep pan, heat oil, add cinnamon stick, cloves and cardamom and saute it for few seconds. Add 2 cups of water, vinegar, salt and allow the water to boil. Now add washed rice and cook it [To cook the basmati rice I followed the packet instructions]. Once done, spread the rice on plate, separate it with fork and keep it aside.
Meanwhile boil soya chunks in water with salt until they become soft. Allow them to cool and squeeze the water out completely from them. Now take half the amount of them, add chilly powder, turmeric powder, 1 tsp of ginger garlic paste and sprinkle little rice flour on it. Mix it well and then deep fry these chunks. Place them on kitchen tissue towel. In the same oil add finely sliced onions [I used one onion] and fry till they become brown/ caramelize. Keep these deep fried items aside which will be used to garnish the dish. [You can shallow fry both these items as an healthier option]
To prepare soya chunks masala, heat oil in a pan. Add finely sliced onions. Saute them till they become translucent, add ginger garlic paste and fry it till the raw smell disappears. Add slit green chillies, finely chopped tomatoes and saute them till tomatoes turn soft. Add turmeric powder, coriander powder, garam masala powder and fry it taking care the powders don't get burnt or stick to the base of the pan. Add chopped coriander and mint leaves [ Alternately you can grind the leaves with green chilli into paste and add it]. Finely add dahi, boiled soya chunks, thawed mixed veggies, few tbsp of water, and salt as per the taste. Adjust the salt keeping in mind that you have already added it to soya chunks and rice before. Cook it with covered lid for 2 minutes.
Now the final step.
Open the vessel where you have cooked rice. Add soya masala and mix the whole mixture with spatula in clockwise and anticlockwise direction each time, so that rice gets coated with masala partially. Cover the vessel with lid and keep it on sim flame for 5 -10 minutes. Once done switch off the flame. Serve it hot garnished with fried onions and fried soya chunks with choice of accompaniment like plain or boondi raita or salad.
Happy cooking !!!