A simple Vegetable Pulao is a comforting and easy to prepare meal on a busy day. It’s been a long time since i made vegetable yakhni pulao and my kids wanted to have it, but I did not have enough veggies to make the stock /broth for it, so ended making this pulao with soya chunks. I have used ginger garlic paste, if you wish to prepare a no garlic vegetable pulao, just eliminate the garlic. This time I did it in a pressure cooker, it can be done in a casserole or any other heavy bottom pan. Can be enjoyed without any accompaniment or can have with onion raitha or Capsicum Masala Gravy.
Note: Soak Soya chunks in hot water till they soften. Rinse in lot of cold water, squeeze off the excess water. You get foamy water when you squeeze. Repeat the rinse with cold water. Never proceed to cook soya chunks without following this step, as there is lot of dust and debris that gets on to these chunks when they are sun dried during the process of manufacturing and dehydrating them.
Use all the spices to get a flavorful pulao , specially don’t miss the mace
1cup of aged rice (240 ml cup) (soak for atleast 20 mins)
420 ml water (this proportion works well for me, but it depends on the kind of rice you use)
1 big onion (crushed coarsely or pulsed in the mixie)
1½ tsp of ginger garlic paste or ¾ tsp ginger (if you do not wish to use garlic)
1 green chili slit
2 tbsps ghee or oil
10 to 12 mint leaves chopped finely
¼ cup of fresh or frozen green peas
1 big carrot chopped
few beans chopped small ( I have not used)
10 to 12 soya chunks
1 bay leaf
4 to 5 cloves
2 to 3 green cardamoms
1 ½ inch cinnamon stick
1 strand of mace / javithri
¼ tsp shahi jeera
Few pepper corn
1. Soak soya chunks in hot water till they soften. Squeeze off the excess water and rinse in lot of cold water, squeeze off the water, repeat the rinse once more. Make sure no water is left in the chunks. cut each chunk to 2 pieces if they are big, set aside
2. Heat a pressure pan or casserole or heavy bottom pan with oil. add dry spices and sauté till you get an aroma
4. Add ginger garlic or ginger paste and sauté.
6. Add soya chunks and fry on high for another 2 mins
8. Add Salt. Make sure the water begins to boil, add rice
9. Add mint leaves, cook without the lid on a medium flame till almost all the water evaporates, but not dry. Refer the pic
10. Close the pressure cooker lid and cook on a very low flame for 5 mins. do not let the cooker whistle. if using a casserole, just cover with a tight lid and cook on a very low flame for 5 mins or the rice is cooked thoroughly. If you feel the rice is hard, just sprinkle a fistful of water, mix, cover and cook
Note: If you are using a pressure cooker, transfer the rice immediately after the pressure goes off to another utensil to prevent it from turning mushy.