During my childhood days, I always looked up to one person apart from my parents. She is some years elder to me but was my role model in every sense. She is a great cook too. I have grown up eating at their house practically every day as we were neighbors, thankfully! On special occasions, she would make this soya pulav which we would enjoy till our hearts are full. Over the years I have tried repeating this dish but it never turned out the same. Somehow it never occurred to me to check with her on how she made it. Thanks to the development of social media, I am able to be in touch with all my long lost friends. So when I got this craving to eat Soya Pulav today, I pinged her and viola, I had the recipe with all the secret ingredients and procedure. Though I did tell her that I do not expect it to turn out the way she makes it. But her words really motivated me. She said, “You will make the best Soya Pulav, I am sure!” So here I am with my version of Soya Pulav and this is dedicated to my mentor Uma. Thanks for this recipe. Love you.
100gs of soya nuggets, soaked in hot water containing salt and turmeric powder and squeezed.
2 cups of basmati rice
2 Bay leaf
1 large onion, finely chopped
4 tbsp of Ginger-Garlic-Coriander paste
Seasonings like cumin seeds, mustard seeds, garam masala, turmeric powder and chilly powder
Cilantro for garnish
Ghee as required
First step is to marinate the rice. Wash the basmati rice, drain the water. Now add 1-2 tsp of garam masala, little ghee, salt and juice of one lemon. Mix it well and leave it aside till you do other preparations. Meanwhile keep 4 glasses of water to boil. This will be used to cook the rice later. You can now prepare your soya nuggets as per the procedure provided above (refer ingredients section). Now in a pan, add oil generously. Now temper the mustard and cumin seeds. Once they crackle, add the green paste, onions and bay leaf. Cook this till the oil starts to leave the sides. Now add the marinated rice to this. Fry it well for few minutes. Add the boiled water along with the squeezed soya nuggets to this mixture. Mix well. Sprinkle cilantro and add salt as required. Now transfer the contents to a rice cooker. Add a dollop of ghee on top and let the rice cook. Your soya pulav is ready to be served. You can enjoy this with papad or curd or just by itself.
-You can continue cooking the rice in the same pan. Just cover it with a lid.
-You would usually add double the quantity of water to rice to cook it.