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Overhead shot of soya pulao with cilantro garnish in a black bowl with a silver spoon
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5 from 9 votes

Soya Pulao

A spicy, delicious Soya Pulao is an Indian weeknight dinner table favorite, and it comes together quickly with pantry ingredients. It's also a kid favorite. Gluten-free and nut-free recipe.
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time30 mins
Total Time45 mins
Course: Main Course/Rice
Cuisine: Indian
Diet: Gluten Free, Vegan, Vegetarian
Servings: 8 servings
Calories: 292kcal


  • 2 cups basmati rice (soak in salted cold water for 30 minutes. Drain before using)
  • 2 cups soy chunks (TVP chunks or soya chunks. Soak in salted boiling hot water for 15 minutes. Drain before using and press on the chunks to release as much of the water as you can)
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 5 cloves
  • 5 green cardamom pods
  • 1-inch stick cinnamon
  • 1 large red onion (thinly sliced)
  • 1 green chili pepper (like serrano, deseeded and finely minced)
  • 4 cloves garlic (crushed into a paste)
  • 1-inch piece ginger (crushed into a paste or grated fine)
  • 2 tomatoes (finely diced)
  • ½ teaspoon turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne (or paprika for less heat. Or skip altogether since you already have the heat from the green chili pepper)
  • 1 tablespoon coriander powder
  • 2 green bell peppers (diced)
  • 2 teaspoon garam masala
  • 1 packet Maggi Masala Magic Seasoning (optional. If you don't have this, use another teaspoon of the garam masala)
  • Salt to taste
  • 2 tablespoon cilantro (for garnish)


  • Heat the oil in a large saucepan with a tight-fitting lid. Add the cumin seeds, bay leaves, cloves, cinnamon and cardamom and saute a few seconds until the bay leaves start to turn color. Add the onions, a pinch of salt, and stir-fry until the onions are golden-brown.
  • Add the green chili pepper, garlic and ginger and continue to saute another minute. Add the tomatoes along with the turmeric, cayenne and coriander powder. Mix well. Let the tomatoes cook, stirring frequently, until they are mostly broken down and pulpy.
  • Add the garam masala and the Maggi masala magic if using. Add the soy chunks to the pan, mix well, cover and cook another seven or eight minutes until the soy chunks have absorbed some of these yummy flavors.
  • Add the drained rice to the pan, mix well, then add four cups of water. Add enough salt that the water tastes a little saltier than you'd like your rice to be. Bring to a boil, cover with a lid, and continue cooking on medium heat for five minutes. Turn down the heat to the lowest point and continue cooking another 15 minutes.
  • Turn off the heat and let the rice stand, undisturbed, for another 10 minutes. Serve hot with a raita.


Calories: 292kcal | Carbohydrates: 51g | Protein: 16g | Fat: 3g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Potassium: 236mg | Fiber: 7g | Sugar: 5g | Vitamin A: 477IU | Vitamin C: 31mg | Calcium: 115mg | Iron: 4mg