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.