Over the past few months, I have increased the usage of soya based products in my cooking even though my family isn’t very fond of soya. Knowing the immense health benefits soya offers in terms of nutrients, dietary protein and fibre, especially for growing children, I always look for ways to incorporate it in my toddlers diet.
I learnt that to achieve the full potency of soya, its best to combine it with other foods and vegetables and it also ensures a complete balanced diet. While preparing the dough for rotis, I add a few tbsps of soya flour to the wheat flour and use soya chunks to prepare manchurian like chicken or vegetable manchurian.
Another way, I incorporate soya in the diet, is by preparing vegetable pulao using soya chunks, mixed vegetables and fried bread cubes. The first time I prepared this pulao, I was a bit weary about my toddler eating it, but to my relief, both father and son duo, asked for a second helping of this nutritious pulao. So Mama is happy to share this healthy rice dish with you today
Soya Chunks Vegetable Pulao Recipe
Recipe source: Own experiment
Prep & Cooking: 45 mts, soaking of rice: 15 mts
Serves 6 persons
3 cups basmati rice – washed and soaked in water for 15 mts
1 cup dried soya chunks – washed and boiled in water till soft
2-3 tbsp ghee
1 tsp shah jeera
2 bay leaves
2 big onions finely sliced
1 tbsp grated ginger
3-4 green chillies slit length wise
1 cup chopped mixed vegetables like beans, green peas, carrots or potatoes
½ tsp turmeric powder
salt to taste
3-4 tbsps of fresh mint leaves (pudina)
3 cups of freshly extracted coconut milk
2 ½ cups water
2-3 tbsps lemon juice
fresh coriander leaves for garnish
3-4 bread slices (cubed and lightly fried in ghee) – optional
8-10 cashewnuts (lightly roasted in ghee till golden brown)
For Masala Powder (lightly dry roast in a pan and grind to a fine pwd)
2 green cardamoms
2” cinnamom stick
3-4 pepper corns
1/4 tsp fennel seeds (optional)
1 tsp coriander seeds
1/2 tsp cumin seeds
1-2 dry red chillis
1 Heat ghee in a heavy bottomed vessel. Add shah jeera and bay leaves and stir for a few seconds till the jeera splutters. Add the sliced onions, grated ginger and green chillis. Saute the onions till they turn pink.
2 Add the mixed vegetables and on medium heat, let them cook. Add salt and keep covered for 4-5 mts.
3 Add turmeric pwd, masala pwd and combine well. Stir fry for a minute.
4 Add the cooked soya chunks and keep covered for 2 mts. Add the mint leaves and combine.
5 Add the coconut milk, let it come to a boil, reduce heat and add the water. Bring to a boil again.
6 Add the drained basmati rice and mix well. Add salt, if required, at this stage. Reduce heat to medium and let it cook covered with lid.
7 Finally, once the rice and vegetables are cooked, add the lemon juice, fried bread cubes, fried cashewnuts and garnish with fresh coriander leaves.
8 Serve with raita, mixed vegetable curry or chicken curry.
The above spices measurements can be categorised as medium spice. You can increase the use of green chillis, cloves, pepper and dry red chillis, if you want a spicer pulao. I have used less spice to suit my toddler’s palate. If you dont have a coconut on hand, replace the coconut milk with water, but the flavor of pulao will differ.