Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Soya Chunks Biryani

Anything else can make Lunch special than Biryani? Either it could be veg or non-veg, the word biryani always plays a magical role of making the meal a special one. I love biryani, and I like to follow the simple methods of making. I always prefer using the fresh ground ingredients and the whole garam masala for my biryanis. My daughter always likes  soya chunks recipes, and this is one of her favorite... As soya chunks are rich in protein, I include these chunks in our diet, weekly once at least.


Basmati rice -1 cup (wash and soak for 30 minutes)
Soya chunks - 1-1/4 cups
Onion -1 medium size
tomatoes -2 medium sized.
green chili - 2
Ginger garlic paste - 1 tea spoon
thick curd - 1/4 cup(optional)
Pudina/mint leaves - a few
coriander leaves - a few to garnish
Oil-1 table spoon

Dry garam masala:
Fennel seeds - 1 tea spoon
cinnamon stick - 1 inch
bay leaf - 1 or 2
anistar- 1
cloves - 2
elachi -1-2

to marinate the chunks
chili powder - 1 tea spoon
garam masala - 1/2 tea spoon
ginger garlic paste - 1 tea spoon
thick curd - 1 table spoon (optional)
salt - a pinch
oil- 1/2 tea spoon

To shallow fry:
Oil -1/2 cup to 3/4 cup


To marinate and fry the soya chunks

1. Boil enough water in a wide pan and soak the soya chunks for 15-20 minutes or until they are soaked well (depends on the size of the chunks the soaking time differs a little.)
2. Then wash it with cold water so the dirt will be removed if any.
3.Squeeze it well so it will not have any water in the chunks and will become dry.
4. Leave them in the paper towel or kitchen towel for five minutes, so the moist will be absorbed.
5. now in a bowl, add the chunks, and the items listed in the marinate list and mix well. adjust the spice level according to your taste.
6.Keep aside the mix for at least 30 minutes. If you have planned it well before leave it for 3-4 hours

7. heat 1/2 cup of oil in a pan and shallow fry the soya chunks in batches. add more oil if required.
8.if the chunks were completely dry before you marinate, it will not absorb more oil.

For Biryani:

1. Chop the onions, green chili and tomatoes lengthwise.
2. In a Pressure cooker, heat a table spoon of oil and add the dry garam masala items listed, saute for a minute.
3. Add onions and green chilies and saute until the onions are transparent.
4. Then add ginger garlic paste and saute until the raw smell leaves.
5. Add the sliced tomatoes and saute until they are soft and blend together.

6. In the mean time, start shallow frying the soya chunks and add the batches to this mix. and keep sauteing, so it will not burn in the bottom
7. Add chili powder, garam masala, coirander powder and mix well.
8. When they all blend together, add the curd and mix, saute until the traces of curd leaves and blend together.
9. Now add the soaked and drained basmati rice and 1 and 3/4 cups of water.

10. Add mint leaves and close the lid, pressure cook for 1-2 whistles.
11. when the pressure leaves, open the lid and mix with fork or the handle of spoon.
12. garnish with coriander leaves and serve with your favorite curry or raitha.

This suits for lunch box, pot lucks, weekend lunches or even parties.


1. Adjust the spice level accordingly, mine was medium spice.
2.Adding curd is optional, but I prefer adding for biryanis normally.
3. Some of my friends used to complain that adding curd makes the dish sticky.. It is because they add the curd and immediately add the water and rice, and dont give time for curd to blend with the masala mix.
4. always saute well and give some time after adding curd, which will ensure non-sticky and flavorful biryani.
5. adding mint leaves in biryani will give some extra flavor.

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