Soya Nugget Biryani Image

Soya Nugget Biryani

A vegetarian Biryani with the meaty flavors of Soya nuggets

Who doesn’t love a good biryani! Initially cooked with meats and rice, today the meat has been replaced with many ingredients- chicken, fish, sea food, vegetables, mushrooms, even soya nuggets which have a nice ‘meaty’ flavor to them! This here is a spicier, more flavorful, moist version of a biryani with Soya nuggets.


  • 3 cup Basmati Rice
  • 3 cups Soya Nuggets
  • 50g Butter
  • 2+2 large Onions, thinly sliced
  • ½ tsp Saffron strands, soaked in 1tbsp Milk
  • 5 Green Cardamom, slit
  • 1 tsp Caraway Seeds
  • 5 cloves
  • 3 tbsp Oil
  • 2tbsp Biryani Masala
  • 1 cup thick Yoghurt
  • a handful of Mint leaves, torn
  • a handful of Coriander leaves, torn
  • 1tsp Kashmiri red chili powder
  • Salt to taste

For the rice:

  • 2 Cloves
  • 1 Bay Leaf
  • 1 Cinnamon Stick

For the masala:

  • 2 Black Cardamoms
  • 2 Bay Leaf
  • 5 Green Cardamoms
  • 3Black Cardamoms
  • ½ tsp Cumin Seeds
  • 2 cinnamon Sticks (2”each)
  • ¼ Nutmeg
  • ½ Mace Flower
  • 1 Star Anise
  • 4 Cloves
  • ½ tsp Caraway Seeds
  • 1tsp Pepper Corns
  • 2 Black Stone Flowers (Dagad Phool)
  • ½ tsp Red Chili Powder
  • 1tsp Coriander Powder
  • 1tsp kewra water
  • 1tsp rose water


  1. Soak the soya nuggets in boiling water for 20 minutes.
  2. Squeeze the water out of the soya nuggets.
  3. Lightly roast the spices for the masala on low heat for 2 minutes or till healted through.
  4. Remove and grind to a fine powder.
  5. In a big bowl whisk the yoghurt, biryani masala, Kashmiri red chili powder, mint and coriander leaves and and mix well.
  6. Add soaked soya nuggets to the yogurt mixture and mix gently. Let it marinate for half an hour.
  7. Heat 2 cups oil in a pan.
  8. Add 2 finely sliced onions to medium hot oil and fry until golden.
  9. Remove on an absorbent paper.
  10. Heat oil and ghee in a pan and add caraway seeds, green cardamoms and bay leaves and sauté for 30 seconds.
  11. Add 2 thinly slice onions and sauté till golden in colour.
  12. Add marinated soya nuggets with all the mixture and saute for 3-4 minutes till the soya nuggets become tender and give out moisture.
  13. Bring to boil 8 cups of water with 3tsp salt and the whole spices mentioned for the rice. Add the rice and cook till half done.
  14. Drain the rice and reserve 1 cup of the drained liquid.
  15. In a wide bottomed pan, spread half the rice and cover with a layer of the cooked soya nuggets. Cover with the remaining rice. Add the reserved ½ cup liquid.
  16. Add saffron strands soaked in warm milk.
  17. Dot the rice with butter.
  18. Sprinkle rose water and kewra water on top.
  19. Cover with a tight lid and seal with dough.
  20. Put the pan on high heat for 5 minutes and then on very low flame for 20 minutes.
  21. Remove from fire and let stand for 15 minutes before opening the seal.
  22. Using a fork fluff the rice gently.
  23. Garnish with caramelized golden onions slices to serve.
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