10 Minute "Meaty" Vegan Moroccan Pilaf

10 minutes cooking time, that is, so to be honest it's about 12-15 minutes total.

This is my usual standby meal because it meats (heh) all my requirements:
  • High in fibre (wholegrain burgul and veg)
  • High in protein (soya mince and wholegrains)
  • Relatively low in calories
  • Filling meaty taste, but no animal products
  • Each serve contains two 75g Australian "serves" of vegetables
  • Only uses non-perishable ingredients, so no need to plan ahead
  • Faster to make from scratch than to get takeaway
  • Only uses one pan/pot
Cooked Soya Pilaf


As above it's a balanced meal with plenty of protein, fibre, and vegetables but reasonably low in calories.

Per Serve With Veg Without Veg
Kilojoules 1465 1367
Kilocalories 350 327
Protein (g) 21.1 19.6
Fibre (g) 9.83 7.59
Carbohydrate (g) 29.8 27.1
Fat (g) 13.9 13.5

These values assume high protein "Soya Granules" (not TVP) and brown bulgur is used. The "With Veg" column is made with 160g of supermarket own-brand frozen vegetables (a carrot/broccoli/cauliflower/peas mix, as shown in the photo above).

Protein can be increased if desired by adding more granules, and of course more veg will add more fibre too.


Makes two serves.

  • 40g of unflavoured Soya Granules or mince-sized TVP (see below for where to get some, and possible substitutions)
  • 60g of coarse, wholegrain bulgur (found at most middle-eastern food markets)
  • One medium-large onion (150-200g)
  • 2 tsp vegan "chicken" or "beef" stock powder
  • About 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • (optional, recommended) 100-200g of finely diced, mixed, precooked vegetables. Frozen mixed veg or peas/corn work well, as long as all pieces are around pea sized.

Herbs and Spices - these may be adjusted to taste:

  • 1/2 tsp whole mustard seeds
  • 1/2 tsp whole cumin seeds
  • 1 tsp minced garlic
  • 1/2 tsp minced ginger
  • 1 tsp ground tumeric
  • 1/2 tsp ground coriander
  • 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon


Note: Don't skip the preparation and try to chop and soak things after you put the pan on! With only 10 minutes and adding one thing per minute you won't have time to do both at once.


You can use two serving bowls for the soaking, which saves on washing up.

  1. Pre-cook any mixed vegetables you want to add (e.g. boil frozen peas for 4 min)
  2. Chop the onion finely (about 1cm size).
  3. In a bowl, soak the soy mince in salted hot water and set aside.
  4. In another bowl, soak the bulgur in 200ml of boiling water, stir in the stock powder and set aside.
  5. Get all the spices out of storage so they are ready to put in when required
Soya Granules (front) and Burgul (back, in stock) soaking.

Soya Granules (front) and Burgul (back, in stock) soaking.


Timing of the spices is important, so make sure everything above is ready before starting to avoid messing it up.

  1. Fry the cumin and mustard seeds in plenty of oil on medium heat for 30 seconds (don't burn them!)
  2. Add the onion and fry at medium heat until it start to sweat a little (2-2.5 minutes)
  3. Add the garlic and ginger and fry for 2 more minutes. The onion should be slightly browning by now.
  4. Add the tumeric, ground coriander and cinnamon - saute for a minute, stirring to mix the dried spices in and prevent them sticking and burning.
  5. The soya/wadi should be spongy and swollen by now - drain and discard the water then and add the soya to the pan. Mix well to ensure the soy is flavoured well by the spices and onions.
  6. After a minute, add all the burgul with the stock - don’t drain it first! The stock needs to be absorbed into the rest of the dish.
  7. Turn the heat down a little, and cook for a further 4 minutes at medium-low heat until the stock has all been absorbed into the other ingredients.

Wadi Granules, TVP and Substitutes

Dry Soya Granules

Dry Soya Granules

Most mince-sized, dried soya mince substitutes will work, including:
  • "Soya Granules", "Wadi Granules" or "Soya Mince"
  • Unflavoured, yellow Textured Vegetable Protein
  • Brown coloured, sized Textured Vegetable Protein - the caramel colouring will match with "beef" flavoured stock (but will not work with "chicken" stock).

Both varieties of TVP can be found in many "health food" shops and sometimes in the appropriate section of supermarkets. "Soya Granules" can be found in some markets which stock Indian/South Asian food. If you're buying from a bulk store, make sure there is no moisture or signs of insect damage.

Note that large brown "Wadi Chunks" or "Soya Chunks" will NOT work in this recipe - they are far too large and chewy.

I use soya granules, because they're cheaper than the TVP sold in most Aussie supermarkets and made with a higher concentrate of soy protein so higher in protein as well. This is reflected in the nutrition data above.

Other Substitutes

Soy Grits or even dried lentils might work in a pinch but they would need to be pre-cooked for 10-20 minutes before adding to the spices and onions. Canned lentils would probably work, just drain, rinse and add before the burgul.

I haven't tried it with Quorn or other fancy mince subtitutes, but it would probably work as long as it was pre-cooked/hydrated as required.