Vegetable Pulao with Soya Chunks

When my dearest bud Rajitha announced the theme for WBB as “Soy/Soya” I immediately knew what I had to put on the top of my grocery list that week. Fortunately I found Soya chunks in the Indian grocery store. Now bringing the product home was done, but I couldn’t send that in as an entry?!! Deciding whether to make a curry with soya chunks or a rice pilav with chunks in it, took a good while…

Finally I settled on vegetable pulao with the soya chunks. Soya chunks make any dish wholesome and they give a kind of fullness to the dish.

The first time I tasted these ‘meaty, chewy and tasteless”(that was my first impression) chunks was when I was in boarding school. We called it “Mealmaker” then, no idea why that name though. One day of the week either a curry or a side dish had these chunks in them. I soon grew to like them and it had been ages since I ate them till I made this pulao yesterday.

You will need:

2 cups Basmati Rice
8 Green chillies
½ bunch Mint
2 onions thinly sliced
3 Cardamom pods
3 Cloves
1” pc. Cinnamon stick
½ cup Green beans (small French cut)
½ cup Carrots (small French cut)
¼ cup Fresh peas
2 tomatoes chopped
3-4 tbsps Oil or Ghee
1 tbsp Ginger Garlic paste
¾ Cup Soya chunks
Salt to taste
Few drops lime juice
Water – as required to cook rice

Wash and soak Basmati rice for 15 mins. Keep aside. Soak soya chunks in boiling water for 10-12 minutes. Drain and give them a good rinse. Squeeze out excess water and keep aside.

Heat oil/ghee in a pressure cooker. Add Cardamom, Cloves and Cinnamon. Fry for a minute till fragrant. Now add the slit green chillies and thinly sliced onions. Fry till onions are soft and become translucent. Add ginger garlic paste and saute for a couple of minutes. Now add the cut vegetables, tomatoes, peas and the washed mint leaves. Mix well and cook till vegetables are half done. Stir in the soya chunks and add the required quantity of water.

(This depends on the brand of Basmati being used. Check on the back of the rice package for water measurements. In this case I’ve used Dawat Basmati where the ratio of Rice to Water is 1:1 ½ )

Cover the lid and turn the heat to high. When the steam begins to rise, reduce the flame and let sit for a few seconds. Open the lid and add the washed, strained rice. Add salt and a few drops of lime juice. Stir and close the lid, turn heat to high and when the steam begins to rise again, place the weight, reduce heat to low and cook for 8-10 mins.

Turn off when done and let sit for a few minutes before opening the lid. Mix well before serving.

Vegetable Pulao with Soya Chunks is my entry to "WBB: Soy products" hosted by dear Rajitha at Hunger Pangs.


  1. Wow, Looks lovely... Delicious...

  2. What a fantastic idea! Thanks Namratha, I'll be sure to remember this when making vegetarian dishes for my guests. Such a good idea.

  3. Very healthy meal words to say ..simply too good

  4. hey, the pulao looks very tempting. though i still hv not developed the taste for soya chunks ;) liked ur addition of mint, might try it for that :)

  5. Looks very good, Namratha:-)
    I have something similar on my blog too but with soya granules.

  6. Such a nutritious meal! Nice Entry Namratha.

  7. i have heard so many mixed reactions to soy chunks but i really love them. adding them to rice is something i havent thought of! nice idea!

  8. nammu honey! it is delicious..and the mint is a great idea!!..will be trying soon :)

  9. I have never tasted soy chunks... :) The pulao looks yummy...and look at that rice, so perfectly fluffy..

  10. The pulao is looking so delicious.

  11. my mom use to make this pulao when I was kid LOOKA YUMMY NAMRATHA

  12. adding soya is new to me...nice idea

  13. Nammu those pics are so tempting. I add these too and make a veg. biryani.. kind of similar too! Love the chewy texture and we used to call it mealmaker too as kids... :)

  14. The pulav looks great. On my next visit to indian store i will get soy chunks.
    In the meanwhile if you find time visit which i just started a few days back. Can i add you on my blog.

  15. Hi Namratha,
    I tried this pulav, it turned out really good. A very healthy meal. Thanks for your blog.


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