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Want to try your hand at something that sounds elaborate and impress those guests who are vegetarians? Try this tasty vegan mutton biryani recipe!
The summer holiday season is well upon us, bringing along well deserved vacations to cooler destinations and occasionally also bringing along guests; sometimes,unexpectedly! Making meals for surprise visitors need not be so stressful when you have one pot recipes coming to your rescue!
One of mum’s specialties is this protein enriched Soya Nugget Biryani, or what I call Vegan Mutton Biryani. Many of us are a bit reluctant to try soya because of its not so pleasant odor in the raw form. However, once you learn to try variations like a curry or in this biryani form, the transformation is just so unbelievable.
You can treat your guests to this delicious dish which can be made without much stressing or sweating in the kitchen. It will not just leave your guests impressed but also leave you with plenty of time – to relax, enjoy the company of your guests as well as entertain them. So, are you ready to note down the ingredients?
Serves-4(you can adjust the ingredients as per the number of people)
Rice- 3 cups/katoris
Soya nuggets- 3 cups/katoris (pressured cooked for 2 whistles)
Onions- 4 (2 finely chopped and 2 thinly sliced)
Potatoes- 2 medium (diced)
Tomatoes-2 (finely chopped)
The Spices :
Bay leaf (Tej patta) – 2-3
Green cardamoms (Choti Elaichi) – 4
Black cardamoms – 2
Cumin seeds (Jeera) – ½ tsp
Black cumin seeds (Shah Jeera) – 1tsp
Cinnamon (Dalchini) stick- ½ cm
Note– If you do not have any of the above spices, you can substitute them with garam masala powder (it will taste just as good)
½ tsp turmeric powder
1 tsp- red chili powder
2 tsp coriander and cumin powder (optional)
Oil for frying- About 7- 8 tbsp
Salt- As per your taste
Finely chopped mint leaves for garnishing- a handful
Preparation time– About ½ hour (chopping vegetables, cooking soya chunks)
Cooking time– About ½ hour
First, pressure cook the soya nuggets (3 cups) and place them aside. Wash 3 cups of rice and keep it aside.
Then take a wok (kadhai) or deep bottom pan. Fry the 2 onions (thinly sliced ones) in 4- 5 tbsp oil until brown and set them aside on a plate, with a tissue paper to soak the excess oil. (A tip– adding a pinch of salt while frying makes the onions fry faster and make them crunchier). Similarly, fry the potato cubes (until golden ) and keep them aside too.
Next add the 3 cups of washed rice to the remaining oil in the pan and sauté 2-3 minutes. After that, add about 5 ½ cups of water and bring to a boil (on high flame). Reduce the flame, cover with lid and let cook for 10 minutes. Once the rice is cooked, remove it into a vessel and keep it aside.
Bring back the pan onto the flame, add 3 tbsp oil. Add these spices, one by one ( Bay leaf(Tej patta)- 2-3g green cardamoms(Choti Elaichi)- 4 Black cardamoms(Black cardamom)- 2 Black cumin seeds(Shah Jeera)- 1tsp Cumin seeds(Jeera)- ½ tsp Cinnamon(Dalchini) stick- ½ cm Peppercorns- 4-5, sauté a bit.
Put the 2 finely chopped onions, cook till golden brown. Add ½ a tsp turmeric powder, 1 tsp red chili powder and 2 tsp coriander and cumin powder to it. Also add the two chopped tomatoes and mix it well (for 2- 3 minutes).
Get the cooked soya nuggets, add these to these onions while keeping the flame on high for about 5 minutes (keep stirring). Reduce the flame, then start the layering, one at a time – a layer of fried onions first, then some chopped mint leaves, a layer of fried potatoes and lastly a layer of rice. Keep repeating these layers. (If you are using garam masala powder, sprinkle it over each layer). Cover with a lid, for another 5 minutes and that’s it. It’s done.
Soya nuggets/granules are quick and easy to cook and have such a high protein content. They are an extremely good protein option for vegetarians and also the perfect substitute for meat lovers (as it gives the same chewy kind of feeling like mutton). This dish is meaty and so tasty that in my house we call it the ‘Vegetarian Mutton’ acronym- “Vutton”!
Don’t be surprised if your guests settle for a quick snooze after this meal and you might have them around at tea-time too. I will try think of some scrumptious snacks to go with their tea. But, that’s for another time!
Image source: soya biryani by Shutterstock.
Goes well with boondi raita 🙂
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