|"Soya Chunks Dum Biryani"|
A flavorful and aromatic Vegetarian Biriyani made with Soya Chunks and Basmati Rice.
Soya Chunks cooked along with assorted Indian spices, caramelized onions and Yogurt. Sandwiched between layers of long grain Basmati rice and dum cooked over slow flame. This biriyani is prepared very often at my home and is a one pot meal which can be served along with Mint and cucumber raita or just enjoy it with plain curd.
Rice, basmati - 1 1/2 cups
Soya Chunks (Soya nuggets) - 1 cup
Onion, sliced- 2 medium
Ginger garlic paste - 1 1/2 tablespoon
Green Chillies, slit - 2
Yogurt - 1/4 th cup
Red chilli powder - 1 teaspoon
Cumin powder - 1 teaspoon
Fennel seed powder - 1 1/2
Coriander powder - 1 tablespoon
Garam masala powder - 1 teaspoon
Bayleaf - 1
Black Cardamom - 2 pods
Green Cardamom - 2-3 pods
Cloves - 5-6
Cinnamon stick - 2 inch
Star Anise - 1
Mace - 1 blade
Black pepper corn - 8-10
Onion, deep fried - 1 medium
Fresh green coriander - 3-4 tablespoon
Mint leaves chopped - 1 tablespoon
Ginger juliennnes - 1 tablespoon
Fresh Lime Juice - 1 teaspoon
Yellow food colour - 1/4 teaspoon
Kewra essence - 1/2 teaspoon
Ghee - 1 table spoon
For deep frying onions
Oil - 1/2 cup
Salt - 1/4 th teaspoon
For the Rice
Clean wash and soak Basmati rice for half an hour.
Heat 3 cups of water in a heavy bottom pot , add a teaspoon of salt along with bay leaf, black cardamom, cloves, cinnamon stick, star anise and a blade of mace.
Once the water come to a boil add the rice and cook until it cooked 90%.
For frying onions
Heat 1/2 cup of oil in a kadhai, add sliced onions, once they start turning pink add the salt. Once the onions turn golden brown drain on absorbent paper and keep aside.
For the Soya Chunk Biryani Masala.
Rehydrate the dry soya chunks by soaking in hot water for 10 minutes. Once done squeeze out any excess water and keep aside.
Reduce oil from the kadhai, leave around 3 tablespoon of oil and continue cooking in the same kadhai for the soya chunk masala. Add green cardamom and black pepper corn, once they start releasing the aroma add the onion, fry until it turns slightly brown, all the ginger garlic paste and mix well. if required add a tablespoon of water and fry until the raw smell is gone.
Add the soaked soya chunks and fry for 3-4 minutes.
In a bowl mix fennel powder, coriander powder, cumin powder and red chilli powder along with 2-3 tablespoons of water and make a paste add this masala paste to the soya chunks and fry if required add some more water as the soya chunks will tend to absorb all the water fry for 4-5 minutes or until most of the water is dried up.
Mix yogurt and 3/4th teaspoon of garam masala add salt add to the soya chunk and masala in the kadhai. Add slit green chillies, mix well and fry until oil starts leaving the sides and all the soya chunks are well coated with a thick gravy.
Layering the Biryani
Divide the cooked rice, fried onoions and the chopped coriander and mint leaves into two equal parts along with the ginger juliennes and the remaining garam masala ( we have just used 3/4th teaspoon of the garam masala 1/4th is still remaining).
I usually assemble the biryani in the same pot in which I cook the rice, so all i do is just remove almost half the rice from the pot and keep aside.
Place a layer of the fried onions and sprinkle half the garam masala. Place the soya chunk masala, garnish with ginger juliennes, coriander and mint leaves and a table spoon of ghee.
Place the remaining rice over the masala layer, spread the balance fried onions, sprinkle the balance garam masala, garnish with coriander and mint leaves along with ginger juliennes and add the food colouring along with the kewra water cover and cook over high flame for 2 minutes then reduce theflame to low and cook on dum for another 5 minutes.
Turn off the heat and let the biryani stand for at least 10 minutes before you open the lid.
Serve hot along with just plain curd or Mint and Cucumber Raita .
I like to layer the biryani in the same pot in which I have made the rice as not only is it easier but in case there is some water left over at the bottom then it will be utilised for the dum.
In case you are using a separate pot for layering the biryani, please coat the inner layer with ghee,this will prevent the rice from sticking to the pot.
In case if you feel that the rice is too dry then just sprinke a tablespoon or two of water on the first layer of rice.
I have done just a single layer of masala based on the quantity but in case if you are making more quantity just increase the quantity accordingly and make proportionate layers.