I would say this is the non-vegetarian Biriyani for the vegetarians. Soya chunks work as an excellent meat substitute and the preparation style is similar to regular dum biriyani. Cover the rice to ensure its sealed with an aluminium foil as I have mentioned in the recipe below, or just make a dough with all purpose flour and seal; slow cook on a very low heat for about 30-40 mins, turn off the heat, and remove the seal just before serving. Gently fluff up the rice and serve hot with Raita or your favorite curry.
Note – I have used small soya nuggets for this recipe.
You need –
- Soya nuggets – 1.5 cups
- Onion – 2 Large
- Green chili – 3 or to taste
- Ginger-garlic paste – 2 teaspoons
- Yogurt – 1/2 cup
- Chili powder – 2 teaspoons
- Turmeric powder – ½ teaspoon
- Garam masala powder –1 teaspoon + ½ teaspoon
- Whole spices
- Cardamom pods – 4
- Cinnamon stick – 1’inch
- Cloves – 4 nos
- Bay leaves – 1
- Star anise – 1
- Ghee – 3 tablespoons
- Coriander mint leaves – ½ cup
- Fried cashews – 1/3 cup
- Juice of 1 lemon
- Saffron – a pinch, soaked in 3 tablespoons of warm milk
- Salt to taste
How to –
Soya Masala –
Soak the soya nuggets in water for about 30 mins, then drain the nuggets well and set aside.
In a pan heat the ghee and fry the onions till golden brown. Remove half the fried onions and set aside. Into the remaining onions add the ginger-garlic paste, slit green chili and cook till the raw smell of the ginger-garlic is gone.
Add the chili powder, turmeric powder, 1 teaspoon garam masala powder and saute till the oil starts to separate. Lower the heat, add the yogurt and mix well. Add the soya nuggets and mix well. Add little water and cook till the nuggets are soft and till the gravy is thick.
Cooking the rice –
In a heavy bottom pan, bring 5 cups of water to a rolling boil. Add rice, lemon juice, salt to taste, whole spices and cook till the rice is ¾ done. Drain the rice well.
Layering the biriyani –
In a heavy bottom pan, spread some ghee, Layer a thin layer of rice and then the soy gravy. Sprinkle some gram masala, few drops of saffron milk, Chopped coriander leaves, chopped mint, fried nuts and onions. Repeat the layering and finishing of the rice as the final layer.
Seal the pan with a aluminum foil and cover with a heavy lid so that the steam does not escape. You could place a heavy pan with water or use the pestle on top on the lid.
Cook on a very low heat for 30-45 minutes. This is to infuse the masala flavor into the rice.
Turn off the heat and serve hot with raita.