The Fiery Chettinad Biryani

Monday, January 18, 2016

Here is a revamped post on Chettinad Biryani. The first time, I made this recipe was way back in 2009. I made it several times after that  And, somehow I never went back to making this version again. in a long time. Although, I have a few favourites, I keep trying new versions of to improvise. 

This recipe has been well received by my readers. A few of them wrote back to me mentioning that it turned out very well for them. So, do give it a try
You will love this version of Biryani, if you have a thing for Spicy Biryani. Chettinad Cuisine is known for its Spice after all 

Chettinad Biryani

The very first time I tried this Biryani was in Goa. We were away on a little getaway & it had been a couple of days since I had eaten rice & I was really craving for a big bowl of Rice & Dal. It was late in the night & a small eat out that we went to didn't have much rice options. Chettinad Biryani was on the list & I placed an order without expecting much. Goa isn't a place for Chettinad Cuisine anyway.

I had never tried Chettinad Biryani before & this one was one of the good Biryanis I had tasted. I came back home & did my  little research  to recreate the recipe. And, this is quite close

You Will Need:

  • 1 cup Basmati Rice
  • 1 Big Onion - sliced lengthwise
  • 2 carrots - cleaned & diced
  • 1/2 cup Green Peas - fresh/frozen
  • 1 big potato - peeled & diced
  • 2 tbsp Ghee
  • A small piece of ginger
  • 1/2 tsp Garam Masala
  • 1/2 tsp Turmeric
  • 2 Bay Leaves
  • A handful of chopped fresh coriander
  • Juice of half a lime
  • Salt as per taste

To Roast & Grind:
  • 1 big onion 
  • 2 tomatoes
  • 5-6 cloves
  • A small stick of cinnamon
  • 1 tsp Fennel Seeds
  • 2 green cardamom
  • 2 Black Cardamom
  • 5-6 cloves of garlic
  • 7-8 Dry Red chilies - I used Byadagi Chilies 
  • 1 tsp coriander seeds
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1/4th tsp black pepper
  • 1 tbsp fresh grated coconut

How To:

Clean Basmati Rice under running water until the water runs clear. Soak in ample water & set aside for 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, prepare the vegetables. Immerse diced potatoes in water until put to use.

In a small pan, dry roast all the ingredients mentioned in the list, except Onios, tomatoes & garlic. Once the spices are aromatic & transfer into a mixie jar. In the same pan, heat a tsp of oil & add Garlic. Add onions & tomatoes & fry until they are well cooked. Allow it to cool a bit. transfer into the mixie jar & grind into a smooth paste along with ginger. Do not add any water.

In a Pressure cooker, heat Ghee. Add bay leaves. Now add sliced onions & fry till they turn pink. Now add the ground paste & give it a mix. Fry for a couple of minutes.

Now add all the vegetables one by one. Add Garam Masala, turmeric powder & mix well. Drain Basmati rice & add.

Now, add about 1 1/2 cups of water & add the salt. mix well with the spatula. Pressure cook for 1 whistle

Once the pressure drops, allow it to cool & bit. Add lime juice & garnish with coriander before serving. Fluff gently with a fork to avoid breakage.

Serve with slices of Onion & diced cucumber & a Raita of your choice.


Use good quality Basmati Rice. There are many brands available. I mostly use Daawat

You can make your own Biryani spice mix by dry roasting & powdering all the dry ingredients mentioned in the list. Store it in an airtight jar for later use. 

Not everyone loves a lot of spices in their Biryani. Reduce the amount of spices, if its not your liking

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