Seeraga Samba Biryani with Brinjal Thokku

Interestingly Indian Biryani & Italian Risotto share some similarities: Seeraga samba rice & arborio rice are of same texture and they are cooked al dente in both the recipes. Seeraga samba rice is a quintessential ingredient of biryani in south India for its wonderful flavor, it also absorbs the flavors of all the spices used in it, and it does not gather into thick lumps.

IMG_8131-Copy-Copy Seeraga Samba Biryani with Brinjal Thokku

Biryani served in Dindigul Thalapakatti Restaurant in Chennai is my son’s favorite dish. So I tried to reproduce the same and I was delighted to find my attempt turned to be a successful one as it was liked by my son. Now the recipe for seeraga samba biryani & brinjal thokku (kathrikai pachadi) usually served in restaurants.

img_8208 Seeraga Samba Biryani with Brinjal Thokku

Generally it is recommended to prepare any biryani 2 or 3 hours before serving (and keep warm in a hot casserole) so that the flavor of spices is fully absorbed by rice and we can savor the biryani heartily. This is the main reason behind the delicious aroma of biryani served in restaurants.

img_8229 Seeraga Samba Biryani with Brinjal Thokku

First let us get into the recipe for restaurant style Seeraga Samba Vegetable Biryani:

img_8205 Seeraga Samba Biryani with Brinjal Thokku

Time taken: 40 min

Serves : 4

Ingredients:

  1. Seeraga Samba Rice – 2 cups (400 g)
  2. Soy chunks – 1 cup
  3. Water – 4 cups (800 ml)
  4. Vegetable Oil – 1/2 cup (100 ml)
  5. Bay leaf – 1 No.
  6. Star Aniseed – 1 No.
  7. Red chilli powder – 1 tsp
  8. Lemon – 1/2
  9. Curd (yoghurt) – 1/3 cup
  10. Ghee (clarified butter) – 1 tsp
  11.  Salt – 2 tsp

Vegetables: 

  1. Carrot (large) – 2 Nos
  2. Beans – 15-20 Nos.
  3. Potato  – 2 Nos
  4. Fresh peas – 1/2 cup (100 g)
img_8146 Seeraga Samba Biryani with Brinjal Thokku

For Grinding:

  1. Green chillies – 6 Nos
  2. Shallots  – 30 Nos.
  3. Ginger – 2 inch length
  4. Garlic – 15 pods
  5. Cloves (krambu) – 6 Nos.
  6. Cardamom (yelam) – 2 Nos
  7. Cinnamon (pattai) – 2 Nos (each 2 inch)
  8. Nutmeg (jadhikai) – cut into a small piece
  9. Mint leaves – a handful
  10. Salt – 1/8 tsp (a pinch) to avoid blackening

Mise en place:

  • Wash rice & soak in 800 ml of water along with soy chunks.
  • Wash vegetables & chop them into small cubes.
  • Grind all ingredients “For Grinding” into a smooth paste and keep aside; if you like biryani darker as served in restaurant, leave salt while grinding.

Cooking Method:

  • Heat oil in a heavy bottom pressure cooker, add  bay leaf & aniseed.
  • Add all vegetables and saute in medium flame.
  • Add ground masala and saute till oil separates.
  • Add red chilli powder & fry for 30 sec.
  • Add soy chunks after squeezing the water.
  • Add curd and saute in low flame.
  • Add rice soaking water & salt and bring to a boil.
  • Add lemon juice, soaked rice & remaining salt and mix them well.
  • Close the pressure cooker and simmer for 10 min.
  • When pressure releases add 1 tsp ghee and leave it to settle for 3-5 minutes.
  • Gently mix rice & vegetables with wooden spatula.
  • Serve seeraga samba vegetable biryani with kathirikai pachadi & onion raitha.

Please Note: You may also use vegetables like cauliflower, capsicum, mushroom, baby corn, sweet corn, butter beans, fresh soy beans, etc. in this biryani.

Kathirikai Pachadi

img_8210 Seeraga Samba Biryani with Brinjal Thokku

Time Taken: 20 min

Ingredients:

  1. Sunflower oil – 2 tbsp
  2. Fennel seeds – 1/4 tsp
  3. Onion – 1 No.
  4. Garlic – 5 pods
  5. Brinjal – 2 Nos.
  6. Tomato – 1 No.
  7. Turmeric powder – 1/2 tsp
  8. Red chilli powder – 1 tsp
  9. Thick juice extracted from amla sized tamarind – 1/4 cup
  10. Salt – 3/4 tsp
img_8180 Seeraga Samba Biryani with Brinjal Thokku

Cooking Method:

  • Chop brinjal, onion & garlic finely and keep aside.
  • Heat a pan with oil, add fennel seeds.
  • Add onion & garlic and saute till they become translucent.
  • Add turmeric & red chilli powders and stir fry for 30 sec.
  • Add chopped brinjal, tomato and salt and saute till they become mushy.
  • Add tamarind juice and bring to a boil.
  • Mash the mixture with masher.
  • Add water to reach the required consistency and bring to a final boil.
  • Serve kathirikai pachadi as a side for biryani.
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