Easy and simple Veg Biryani

I have tried many different versions of vegetable biryanis over the last few years, and nothing has come this close to being a favorite. This recipe that I have here now is what I would call my Vegetable Biryani winner in the “Easy Biryani” category. It all started out with a packet of mint remaining in my vegetable drawer section that I wanted to use it somehow and be done with it. I strongly feel any biryani is incomplete without the mint. The mint leaves give that addictive and crazy “wanting for more” taste at the end of each mouthful. With some mint, ginger-garlic paste, and handful of mixed veggies this super quick biryani fix could make your day 🙂

Serves – 2
Spice Level – Moderate
Prep Time – 15 min
Cook time 15 min

Red Onion – 1, thinly sliced
Cauliflower florets – 7, cut into bite sized pieces
Frozen Green Peas – 1/4 cup
Carrot – 1, cut into small pieces
Beans – 7, cut into small pieces
Mushroom – 5 pieces, sliced into pieces
Tomato – 1, cubed into medium sized pieces
Bay leaf – 1
Cinnamon – 1-inch piece
Curry/Red chilli powder – 1 Tsp
Oil – 2 Tbsp
Basmati Rice – 1.25 cups

To grind to a paste

Mint leaves – 1/2 cup loosely packed [
Ginger-Garlic paste – 1 tbsp
Green chili – 5
cloves – 2
cardamom – 2
Fennel seeds – 1 Tsp

How do you do it

1. First wash the basmati rice well and soak the basmati rice in enough water for 20 minutes. Meanwhile, grind the ingredients under ” to grind to paste” with the little water and keep aside.

2. Heat oil in a pressure cooker. Add bay leaf, cinnamon, and jeera seeds and wait for the jeera seeds to roast. Add the sliced onions and saute until they turn transparent, for about 3-5 minutes.

3. Add the ground paste now and red chili/curry powder and saute for 3 minutes. Add all the veggies now except cauliflower and saute for a couple of minutes. Cauliflower is added last because we don’t want them to be overcooked.

4. Drain the soaked rice now and add it to the cooker. Saute for another 2 minutes.

3. Add 1.5 cups of water now, required salt [ about three tsp ], cauliflower pieces and close the pressure cooker. After pressure starts coming out [it will take 1-2 minutes], then put the weight on. Keep the flame in medium, Cook for 8 minutes exactly starting from the time you close the pressure cooker with lid.

4. Keep aside until pressure releases naturally. Remove the cooker lid now and fluff well with a fork.

Serve this yummy biryani with the traditional onion raitha and chips for a splendid meal.

Authentic Chettinadu Therrakal Coconut Gravy with brinjal and potato

This is another authentic Chettinadu dish. The coconut based gravy is used as a side dish for dosais and Idlis. It is super yum, and this preparation never fails to impress. This curry has been a super hit in all parties that I have hosted until now:).


Brinjal – 2 medium sized, chopped into small pieces
Potato – 1 Medium sized, chopped into small pieces
Tomato – 1 Medium sized, chopped.
Onion – 1 Large, chopped finely
Ginger-garlic paste – 1 Tspn
Curry Leaves – 1 Sprig

To Temper

Mustard – 1 tspn
Jeera – 1 Tbspn

To dry roast and Grind

Mustard – 1 Tbpn
Jeera – 1 Tbpn
Raw Rice – 2 Tbspn
Fenugreek – 1 Tspn
Saunf – 1 Tspn
Khus – 1 Tspn
Dry red chili – 4
Grated Coconut – 1/2 cup


Heat a pan and dry roast the following – throw in mustard, jeera, raw rice, fenugreek,khus-khus, sound one after the other. Let them roast for a minute or two.Then add in the grated coconut and dry red chili. Roast for a couple of more minutes and switch off the flame. Cool and blend in a mixer with 1/2 cup water to a smooth paste.

Now in the same pan, heat 2 Tbsp of oil. Add mustard and when it splutters, add jeera, let it roast.Add in the onions, curry leaves, and ginger-garlic paste. Saute till onions are translucent.Add the tomatoes and saute till its soft and juicy.Add the brinjal pieces and saute till soft. Now add the ground paste and 1.5 cups of water, and let it boil. When it boils, toss in the potato pieces, and cook till they are half done. Add salt and cook on low flame till the potatoes are fully done, and all the flavors in the curry come together. Add more water if you would like to loosen the gravy.

Serve with hot idli or freshly done dosais. The awesome combination I tell you!.

Easy Pressure Cooker Chicken Biryani

This is a no fuss recipe for Chicken Biryani that I have been using very often for a while now. Planning a non-vegetarian menu is so much easier than planning an elaborate vegetarian meal because you don’t need to bother making a variety of dishes when it comes to non-veg menus. If there is a tasty chicken biryani pot on the table, everything else is forgotten, and so I wish I had gotten into the habit of cooking chicken/fish based dishes earlier, it would have made my life much easier :).
As long you have some mint leaves in your hand and remember to marinate the chicken well in advance, this can be made in less than 30 minutes. Chicken biryani served with some pappad, and simple onion raitha can make weekend lunches very special.



Adapted from  – Solai

Serves – 4
Spice Level – Moderate
Prep Time – 30 min
Cook time – 20 min

Chicken – 1/2 kg, cut into medium sized pieces
Basmati Rice – 2 cups
Coconut milk – half a cup if canned, if fresh use 1 cup
Onion – 2 , chopped finely
Tomato – 2, chopped finely
Salt – as per need
Turmeric powder – 1/2 tsp
Mint Leaves – 2 handful
Green chillies – 2, slit
Plain red chilli powder – 1 tsp
Ghee – 1 Tbsp
Oil – 2 Tbsp

For seasoning

Bay leaf – 2
Cinnamon – 1 inch pieces, 2 no.
Cardamom – 3
Cloves – 3
Star Anise – 2

To grind to a paste

ginger -3 small pieces
garlic-10 pods
fennel seeds-1 teaspoon
small onions – 10
green chili- 6
Cinnamon- one inch piece
Mint leaves – 2 handful

For Marination

Lemon juice – of half a lemon
Curd – 1 tablespoon
Red Chilli powder -1 tbsp
Coriander powder – 1 1/2 tbsp
Ginger Garlic paste – 2 Tsp
Pepper powder – 2 Tsp
Cumin powder – 2 Tsp
Half of the above ground paste

How do you do it

1. Grind the paste with ingredients under ” To grind to as paste” with the little water and keep aside. Wash and soak Basmati Rice in enough water for 30 minutes

2. Wash the chicken well and marinate the chicken with the listed ingredients under “For marination” for 2 hours at least.

3. Heat 1 tbsp ghee in a kadai. Drain the water from the rice and add it to the kadai. Saute the rice for 2 minutes until it gives out a nice aroma. Keep aside.

4. Heat oil in a pressure cooker, add the items under “To season” one by one and let them roast. Add onions, green chilies, and ginger-garlic paste and saute well until the onions are cooked well.

5. Add the tomatoes and turmeric now and half the quantity of salt, mix well. Let the tomatoes get cooked well – 4 minutes. Now add the red chili powder and remaining half of the ground paste [step 1 paste] and saute well for about 5-7 minutes.

6. Add the chicken pieces, and mint leaves now and cooks for 5 minutes.

7. Mix coconut milk and water to get 3 cups in total to add the pressure cooker. If you are using canned coconut milk, use the half cup of that and remaining 2.5 cups of water. If using fresh coconut milk, use 1 cup of that and 2 cups of water. Now add this to the pressure cooker. Add the required salt and rice now and mix well.

8. Close the cooker with the lid and Pressure cook for 8 minutes. After 8 minutes switch off the flame and let the pressure release naturally. Garnish with chopped coriander leaves and cashews.

Serve this delicious chicken biryani with raita and papad.