Saturday, February 7, 2009

Tamil Nadu style Biriyani

Biriyani from the south... We usually cook all the veges and rice together with the masala.. doesn't that make life a lot more easier ;), unlike the elaborate Hyderabadi style Briyani... where the rice and gravy are spread in layers (which ofcourse is the king's style of eating biriyani).... The freshly ground spices gives it the extra kick....Serve this with some vege raita... it simply is awwweeessssooommmeee...

What I used
2 tsp of ginger-garlic paste
2 bay leaves
1 anise star
1 tsp of fennel seeds
1 onion cut length wise
1 tbsp finely chopped shallots
1/2 cup carrots
1/2 cup green peas
1/2 cup of green bell peppers
1/2 cup red bell peppers
1/2 cup tomatoes
1/2 cup string beans
5 florets of cauliflower
1/2 cup potatoes
1 cup of rice
1 tsp of chilli powder
1 tbsp of thick curd
2 cups of water
2 tsp of ghee
Salt to taste

For fresh garam masala
2 green cardamoms
2 cloves
1/2 tsp of pepper corns
1 tsp of corriander seeds
1 tsp of cumin seeds
1 tsp fennel seeds
2 cinnamon sticks

How I Made it

In a pan, dry roast all the spices in low flame and grind this into a powder. Heat the ghee in a pan add a tsp of fennel, one anise star, 2 bay leaves and fry for a minute.Then add ginger garlic paste and shallots and cook until the raw smell disappears. Add the onions and saute until they become transparent. Add the chilli powder and 1 to 2 tsp of the freshly ground garam masala and saute for 2 minutes. Add all the vegetables and salt and saute for another 3 - 4 minutes. Add the rice and fry for another 2 minutes. Then add 2 cups of water and mix well, check for salt and spices and mix in the yogurt. Pressure cook this on medium flame. Garnish with mint leaves and serve hot with yogurt raita.

For the Raita - Mix in 1 cup of fresh thick yogurt with 1 cup of finely chopped cucumber, onions and tomatoes. Add a pinch of salt and chilli powder. Garnish this with corriander leaves. You can also add a dollop of sour cream to make this more creamier and rich :)

Yummy Biriyani Ready !!!

Cut the vegetables into 1 inch (larger) cubes (this way they will cook evenly with the rice).
You can use normal rice (Basmati rice is optional). But use only 2 cups of water and see to that you do not over cook when you leave it in the cooker.

You can use any mix of the vegetables. Or just use onions and mushrooms for a yummy mushroom biriyani.
You can also substitute the yogurt with coconut milk... this is just to neutralise the spicyness of the garam masala...


  1. I have some non-vegetarian friends who cooked vegetarian biryani for us. Somehow, it tastes way way better their way. She uses a lot more garlic, everything is bumped up, that's the secret. They want the spices and flavours to blend with the vegetables as well. And she suggest never to use yogurt. Instead, use lemon juice.

  2. Oh and... using 1.5 cups of water for 1 cup of basmati also makes the difference. Since all the masalas and fluid oozing from vegetables count for the remaining.

  3. I personally feel lemon & coconut milk are a little overpowering... I got this recipe from a non-vege friend... Her mushroom briyani was just awesome... Got the garam masala recipe from her... :).. and the vege briyani was just toooooo good.

  4. Oh yes, recipes could differ from family to family and tastes from person to person :) I was dying to get the right combination till I tasted my friend's biryani and I still can't duplicate it irrespective of following her instructions to the T! But my biryanis turn out delicious nonetheless. As they always say, I kinda prefer eating what others cook over what I make for myself :D

  5. Hey sangee,

    Tried out the biriyani, and liked it a lot. I just put in a lot of kraambu and emptied the whole jar of mixie containing the masala into the biriyani, so the pinching taste of cloves was there always! Will try it out with the proper quantity of kraambu next time :-)

  6. @shweths.... hei glad u n raapi liked it.. try the other recipes also... n ask raapi to cook for you too ;)