Soyabean Paneer Pulao


Ananya, my kid sister who has gone abroad for her Masters, feels very homesick sometimes. Having lived all on my own, far away from home, myself, I know how that feeling is. While living away from home, what one misses the most is “ghar ka khana”. She keeps telling me this and asks for quick, easy recipes. When I lived alone, my erratic work timings did not give me a scope for rustling up an elaborate meal. That’s when I came up with a 5-minute Soyabean Paneer Pulao. I passed on the recipe to Ananya and a couple of other bachelor friends, and they all have loved it. Here’s the recipe for you too:


1 bowl cooked rice
10-12 soyabean chunks (steamed in salted water)
100 grams cottage cheese (cut into cubes)
1 tomato, 1 small onion, 2 garlic pods, 1/2 inch ginger (blended together)
1 bay leaf
1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds
1 black cardamom
2 green cardamoms
2 cinnamon sticks
1 teaspoon turmeric powder
1 teaspoon cumin powder
1 teaspoon coriander powder
1 teaspoon garam masala powder
1 teaspoon red chilly powder
1 teaspoon kasoori methi powder
1/2 small cup yoghurt (whisked)
A few mint leaves (chopped)
Salt (to taste)
2 tablespoons refined oil
1 teaspoon butter
1 cup water


Heat oil in a pan. Add cumin seeds and fry for a minute. Add bay leaf, cinnamon sticks, black cardamom, green cardamoms and stir well. Add the tomato-onion-ginger-garlic paste and fry till oil separates. Add turmeric powder, cumin powder, coriander powder, red chilly powder, garam masala powder, kasoori methi and salt and mix well. Add half cup water and the steamed soyabean chunks. Cover with a lid and let it simmer for 2-3 minutes. Remove the lid and add the whisked yoghurt. Mix well. Add the cottage cheese pieces and mix. Discard the bay leaf, cinnamon sticks and cardamoms. Next, add in the cooked rice and stir till the masala mixes well with the rice. Add a blob of butter and garnish with chopped mint leaves. Serve hot with Raita.

Eat, drink and be merry! 🙂

PS: For saving more time, use the Bhuna Masala that is so readily available in market these days. If you are doing that, simply add the bhuna masala after frying the whole garam masalas, add a little water, mix well and then add in the powdered masalas.

This recipe can also be converted into an elaborate biryani, the recipe of which I’ll share shortly. While there is not much difference in taste, the aroma of Biryani is richer than that of Pulao.


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