Ingredients (Serves 2 – 3)
1. Soy chunks – 1 cup dried
2. Turmeric powder – 1/4 tsp
Chilly powder – 1/4 tsp
Garam masala powder – 1/4 – 1/2 tsp
Salt – To taste
3. Oil – 2 – 3 tsp
4. Oil – 1 tbsp
5. Whole spices – Cloves – 3 – 4, cardamom – 3, whole pepper – 4 – 5, cinnamon stick – 2 small
6. Onion – 1 large, thinly sliced and halved
Ginger – garlic paste – 1 tbsp or 2 tsp each of minced ginger and garlic
Green chilies – 2, slit
7. Turmeric powder – 1/4 tsp
Chilly powder – 1/2 tsp
Meat masala powder – 1 tsp (You can use garam masala powder instead)
8. Salt – To taste
9. Medium-thick coconut milk – 1/2 cup (You can use water instead)
10. Lemon juice – 1.5 tsp
11. Cilantro – 2 tbsp, chopped
Mint leaves – 2 tbsp, chopped
To prepare rice
12. Basmati rice – 1.5 cups
Whole spices – Cardamom – 2, cloves – 4, cinnamon stick – 2 pieces
Salt – To taste
Ghee – 1 – 2 tsp
13. Cashews and raisins – 2 tbsp each
Fried onion – 3 – 4 tbsp
Cilantro and mint leaves, chopped – 3 tbsp each
To prepare rice
To cook rice you can follow the draining method or make ghee rice. Click here for the ghee rice recipe. Draining method – Soak the basmati rice for around 30 mts. Boil 6 – 7 cups of water in a deep vessel. To the boiling water add ghee, whole spices and enough salt. The water should be slightly salty. Now add the soaked rice and cook it to the perfect consistency. It will take around 15 mts at medium heat. Drain the water and allow the rice to cool.
To prepare soy masala
1. Put the soy chunks in boiling water for 10 minutes. Drain and rinse with fresh water. Squeeze out the water. Slice the soy chunks into small pieces. Marinate with ingredients numbered 2 for at least 20 minutes. Heat 2 – 3 tsp oil in a pan at medium heat. Add the soy pieces and stir-fry for 3 –4 minutes until lightly fried. Set aside.
2. To the same pan, add 1 tbsp oil. Next add the whole spices numbered 5 and saute for a few seconds. Add in the sliced onion, ginger, garlic and green chilies. Saute until onion turns light brown. Nexr add the spice powders numbered 7. Saute for a few seconds and add the fried soy chunks. Mix everything well and cook for a few minutes. Add medium-thick coconut milk (or hot water). Stir until the soy chunks absorbs all of the coconut milk, about 2 – 3 minutes. Check for salt. Add lemon juice, chopped cilantro and mint leaves. Mix well and switch off.
For layering you need a cookware which can be put on stove or which is oven-safe.
Smear the base of the cookware with ghee. Then sprinkle fried onions, cashews, raisins, chopped mint leaves and cilantro. Arrange the soy masala and cooked rice in two layers. You can sprinkle some fennel powder or biriyani masala and ghee on each layer. The topmost layer should be that of rice topped with the items under garnish. Now seal the cookware with aluminium foil (so that moisture won’t escape) and bake it at 350 F for around 20 – 25 mts (depending on the cookware you use). If you are using stovetop, keep it at low flame for around 10-15 mts. Serve hot with raita, pappad, chutney and lemon pickle.