Over the past few years, Biryani has become my absolute favorite and my go-to meal option for a quick Sunday lunch. I cannot imagine a Sunday without my Amma’s classic Vegetable Biriyani growing up and that probably is why I decided to post a series of different Biryani recipes on my blog. Check out some of the interesting Biryani recipes on this blog!
When I posted my Thalapakkatti Biryani recipe, Srividhya mentioned about her Chettinad Biryani recipe and I immediately made a mental note to give it a try. I already had most of the spices required and on a lazy Sunday afternoon, I did give it a try! Biryani turned out to be quite awesome and flavorful – with the special Chettinad spices used in the recipe. I have mostly followed Srividhya’s recipe except for changing just a few things to suit our taste preferences.
Talking about the special Chettinad spices, Marati Moggu and Kalpasi are what make this Biryani quite aromatic. Marati Moggu called as Kapok Bud is kind of a caper, which when fried in oil releases a lot of flavor. Kalpasi called as Black Stone Flower is a type of lichen but is full of flavor and a popular spice used in this recipe. As I mentioned in my Thalapakatti Biryani recipe, Seeraga Samba is a special small grain rice that can be considered the pride of Tamilnadu, a Southern state in India. The rice has a subtle aroma to it and cooking it along with these rich spices and vegetables, makes this Biryani really tasty. Instead of the onions, pearl onions or shallots are used – yet again, for the flavor that these small onions pack. This biryani is on the spicier side and we enjoyed it with a big bowl of onion raita (yogurt mixed with salt and finely chopped onions). I am sure I am going to keep making this recipe many more times – it definitely is a keeper.
To make Chettinad Biryani | Chettinadu Style Vegetable Biryani
What I used –
For Biriyani Masala Tempering-
- Cloves, 2
- Green Cardamom, 1
- Cinnamon, 1 inch piece
- Dried Bay Leaf, 1
- Marati Moggu, 2
- Kalpasi/Black Stone Flower, 1 piece
- Star Anise, 1
For Biriyani –
- Shallots, 10-12 (or 1 large onion)
- Tomatoes, 2 medium
- Green Chillies, 1 or 2
- Ginger Garlic Paste, 1.5 tsp
- Seeraga Samba Rice, 1 cups
- Ghee/Clarified Butter, 2 tbsp
- Mixed Vegetables, 1.5 cups (I used carrots, French beans, potatoes, green peas and cauliflower)
- Red Chilli Powder, 3/4 tsp
- Coriander Powder, 3/4 tsp
- Garam Masala Powder, ½ tsp
- Turmeric Powder, ½ tsp
- Coriander Leaves, 1/4 cup (packed)
- Mint Leaves, 1/4 cup (packed)
- Water, 1.5 -2 cups
- Salt, as required
- Cashews, 8-10
How I made –
1. Wash and soak the rice in 2 cups of water for atleast 20 mins.
2. In a thick bottomed pan, heat ghee. Add all the items under Biryani masala tempering and fry for 10-20 secs. Add cashews (if using) and fry until golden brown. Add chopped onions along with slit green chillies. Fry until translucent.
3. Add ginger garlic paste and fry for 2 mins until the raw smell is gone. Add finely chopped coriander and mint leaves. Once they are wilted, add chopped tomatoes. Keep cooking until the tomatoes are mushy.
4. Add turmeric powder, coriander powder, red chilli powder and garam masala powder. Keep frying until the raw smell of the powders is gone. Add chopped vegetables and stir fry.
5. Keep frying the vegetables on low flame for 2-3 mins. Add 1/4th cup of the water to the vegetables and cook on medium flame until the vegetables are half cooked. Add the water used to soak the rice and add salt as required. Let the water come to a boil.
6. Add the soaked rice to the boiling water. Reduce the flame to low and keep the Biryani covered. After 12-15 mins, as all the water is absorbed and the rice looks cooked, switch off the flame. Let the Biriyani rest for 7-10mins before mixing it all up.
7. Serve hot with extra fried cashews/ghee with onion raita or thick curd/yogurt on the side.
- Marati Moggu, Kalpasi and Star Anise are absolutely necessary to make this biryani and to give it the Chettinad touch.
- Seeraga Samba rice is highly recommended for the perfect Chettinad biryani, if not available – basmati rice can be used.
- I did not have pearl onions/shallots while making this biryani but again, shallots do bring in an unique flavor.
- I use 1.5 cups of water for each cup of Seeraga Samba rice, if required sprinkle additional water while the rice is cooking.
- Adjust red chilli powder or green chillies as per spice preference.
- Don’t keep mixing the rice while Biryani is cooking. Instead let it cook on low flame covered for at least 12-15 mins before opening the lid.
- The resting time is very important to get proper non-sticky rice in the Biryani.