I came across this particular dish in this wonderful group that I belong to, called " Chef at Large". It currently has 40000 members, most of whom are interactive, engaging and most importantly post such inspiring delectable dishes that makes you want to try them out in your own kitchen! Anyways, this is one such dish which was perfectly suited to my busy schedule as it did not require too many ingredients or prep ,was quick and easy to make, and something my husband and kids would like. I am always thinking about what my little ones will find appealing. Right down my alley... Right??
I have had this dish at the back of my mind for a while now. By fluke, I happened to make it this weekend. Why by fluke?? Well here is the interesting story for that.Saturdays are busy at our home as my daughter has ballet class and right after that are the swimming lessons.Saturdays, the whole household tends to wake up lazily.. including me. I decided that with breakfast I was also going to make some vegetable pulao for lunch. With that intent in mind, I soaked the basmati rice and then drained it. I even soaked the soy chunks in hot water with salt.But I never found time to actually make the pulao! We were out all day and had a early Father's Day dinner outside. When I came home, the covered rice bowl and the soya chunks were still lying on the kitchen counter. I left it there overnight. I didn't know what else to do. Next morning, I didn't want to make pulao with that rice as chances were that the entire thing would turn mushy! See, I had never been in a situation like this before, therefore didn't know what the status of rice left outside like that would be. I decided to make just plain rice and take it from there! Luckily for me, the rice turned out just fine( of course I reduced the cooking time). That's when I decided to try the Burnt garlic soy chunk-peas pulao. I already had the soy chunks soaked!I made some quick mutter paneer and cucumber-avocado salad to go with it. The end result was a marvelous Father's Day lunch which was prepared in under an hour and which both my husband and the kids loved! Well.. All that ends well..
Here is the recipe for Burnt Garlic soy chunk-peas pulao:
Cooked white rice: 6 cups ( you can use any kind of rice, I used basmati rice).
Soy chunks: 1 cup
Vinegar: 1 tbsp
Salt: 1\4tsp + 1 tsp
Water: 3 cups hot + 2 cups cold Ghee: 1 tbsp
Cooking oil: 2 tbsp ( I used olive oil)
Jeera/Cumin seeds: 1/2 tsp
Garlic: 4-6 cloves, finely chopped
Whole Red chiilies : 2 medium sized
Fresh green peas: 1/4 cup
Cinnamon stick: 1 inch ( optional)
Cloves: 2 ( optional)
Cardamom pods: 2( optional)
Bay leaf: 1 small ( optional)
Raisins: 1 tsp ( optional)
Cashew halves: 1 tbsp( optional)
Soak 1cup soy chunks in 3 cups hot water for 30 mins(to which a pinch of salt has been added).
Now squeeze and drain the soy chunks and soak them in 2 cups cold water to which 1 tbsp vinegar had been added. After 15 mins, squeeze, drain and keep aside.
In a kadai/ wok/ sauté pan, heat 1 tbsp ghee and 2 tbsp oil( I use oil-ghee mixture and I use coconut or olive oil). Add 1 tsp jeera. Once jeera splutters, add 1 tbsp finely chopped garlic and sauté until the garlic turns golden in color and slightly burnt.
Add 1 inch cinnamon stick, 2 cloves, 2 cardamom pods, 1 bay leaf and 2 whole red chillies. Then add some cashew halves and a tsp of raisin. Sauté for a minute.
Add the drained soy chunks and 1/4 cup fresh green peas. Cook on low until the green peas are tender. Add salt.
Now mix in 6 cups of cooked rice. Mix gently but well. Cook on low until the rice is hot.
Serve with any curry/side dish of your choice. I served mine with mutter paneer and cucumber-avocado salad.
Do post pics if you make this. It is really simple, quick and easy!
Cooking made easy:
Most often than not, we have leftover rice in the fridge.This recipe is best for leftover rice.
I have always followed the motto of "making use of what you have". Hence, in this recipe if you don't have whole garam masala spices ( cinnamon, clove, cardamom and bay leaf it is ok. Use what you have or just skip it. It will still taste good. That is the reason I marked it as being optional. The same is true for cashew halves and raisins.I like the crunch of cashews in the rice and this is a great way to include nuts in your diet. The raisins I use for the hint of sweetness. I sometimes use dried cranberries instead of raisins in my pilafs/ pulao.
If you wish you can add 1/4 tsp red chilli powder or 2-3 slit green chillies to make it a little more spicy. I wanted my little one to eat it, hence served it with a side dish.
You could improvise and add a little bit of soy sauce and chilli sauce and you can turn the same dish into burnt garlic soy-chunk fried rice!
Tip for healthy living:
Soy chunks are a great vegetarian substitute for meat in more ways than one. I have had my friends often mistake it for chicken/meat.
Apart from providing a "meaty" texture to any dish, soy is a great source of protein. In fact it is one of the few plant-based proteins that is considered a complete protein that provides all the essential amino acids!
Food for thought:
Life is hard, food should be easy. Joy Bauer