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.
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.