Monday, July 24, 2006

Biriyani vs Biryani

The tamilian Biriyani has a huge fan following. There is no spelling mistake here- it is biriyani for tamilians, quite different in taste from the North Indian Biryani. Biryani usually has several layers and then baked in an oven for 30 min or more. It is a very festive, expensive and of course, time consuming dish.

For tamilians, especially, those non-vegetarians who relish eating at Chettinad style joints (Ponnusamy hotel, Aachi's and the like), you know this style of biriyani. There is usually a vegetarian version available without the chicken but with a whole, boiled egg perched on top. This biriyani is very easy to make and it makes a delicious meal with onion raita. You could also go the entire mile by serving it with some South Indian kurma.

I got this recipe from my friend several years ago and this recipe has been a hit every time. Two ingredients are essential to this dish- Fennel seeds (or saunf) and a few mint leaves. They give the characteristic flavor of the dish.

Vegetable Bir(i)yani

1 cup long-grain rice (basmati is not required)
1 cup finely chopped carrots, beans, cauliflower and a handful of peas

1/2 a medium onion
3-4 garlic cloves
1 inch piece ginger
1/2 cup grated coconut
1 tsp cinnamon powder
1/4 tsp clove powder
4-5 green chilies

1 tsp fennel seeds
1 bay leaf
3-4 crushed cardamom
10-15 mint leaves, roughly chopped
2-3 slit green chilies

1. Heat oil or ghee in a pan. Add the whole spices in the seasonings, then add mint and green chilies. Now add the paste and saute for 2-3 min.
2. Add vegetables and saute for a minute. Now add rice, salt and stir well to mix. Add appropriate quantity water, cover tightly and cook until done.
3. Serve hot with onion raita and an optional boiled egg.

Monday, July 17, 2006

Jaggery dosa

This is one of my childhood favorite tiffins. My husband is not a big fan of it and so I really don't bother making it much. I like this dosa on the sweet side although the amount of jaggery in this recipe is for the lightly sweetened version. This tastes like appam made into a dosa. It contains a whole lotta wheat flour in proportion to rice flour.


1 cup wheat flour
1/8 th cup rice flour
1/2-2/3 cup Jaggery
1/2 cup coconut grated
1/2 tsp Powdered cardamom
1/2-1 ripe banana

Take jaggery with a cup of water in a saucepan in stove and keep stirring till completely dissolved. Keep it down and when little warm add wheat flour, rice flour, mashed banana, coconut and elaichi powder. Mix everything very well. Let rest for 10 min until luke warm or even room temperature. Keep the tawa on medium heat and pour the batter like normal dosa and pour a little ghee on sides.Turn both sides till light red. Be slow when you turn.

Best served when hot or warm.

I like this with just ghee but I know people have this with milagai podi or chutney too (those are weird combos, IMHO).