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.


  1. Your biriyani recipe looks very simple. I will surely give it a try. Thanks for sharing.

  2. I make it almost the same way except for the coconut. Want to try how it would taste with coconut included.

  3. I love tamilian BIRIYANI :) one of my favorites.
    Nice idea of adding cinnamon & clove powder instead of using whole spices.. Shall try this soon.

  4. Yes!Thanks Mika for posting this, I have been looking for ponnusamy style biriyani for a long time..always crave for it

  5. Oh loved this recipe.I am always on the lookout for such vegtarian rice dishes!Thanks Mika:)

  6. Good post about biriyani vs.biryani! Loved the recipe too.

  7. Mika, I tried making this and it was delicious. I had to substitute dried mint and dried coconut for the fresh stuff but it worked. Thanks for sharing!

  8. hey
    Thanks for enlightning us abt Biriyani and briyani. Sure seems to be interesting and probably I wld make it for this Sunday lunch.
    BTW chk out a lot of authentic South Indian baths and variety rice here:

  9. Hey this was awesome.

    Check my attempt at the chicken Biriyani.