Chettinad cuisine is famous for its use of variety of spices and its popular for its fragrant biryanis and curries. I’ve been making Arundati’s mushroom biryani for ages now and its always a huge hit among friends and family. I followed the same recipe for this vegetable biryani and boy! I can’t tell you enough about how much we loved it. Star Anise is an integral spice in Chettinad cuisine, make sure to use this spice for added flavor. This recipe involves marinating the vegetables, i usually let it marinate overnight and have noticed that this definitely adds depth and flavor to the rice. This recipe can give any restaurant biryani a run for its money. Its flavorful and fabulous, minus the oil slick you find in most restaurant briyani.
Ingredients for the rice
2 cups Basmati rice, washed and soaked in 2 cups of water for at least 30 minutes
3 cups onion, finely sliced
2 bay leaves
2 star anise
1 teaspoon fennel seeds
1 one inch piece cinnamon
3 tablespoons oil
Ingredients for the marinade
3 cups vegetables ( a mix of carrots, beans, potato), sliced lengthwise
2/3 cup plain yogurt
1 tablespoon ginger-garlic paste
1 teaspoon red chili powder
1 teaspoon coriander powder
1/2 teaspoon garam masala
1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup cilantro leaves, chopped
1/2 cup mint leaves, chopped
1. Heat 2 tablespoons of oil in a pan and fry the chopped onions until golden brown, set aside
2. Mix all the ingredients listed under marinade along with one cup of fried onions from step 1 and keep it in the refrigerator for at least an hour.
3. In a deep, heavy bottomed pan, add oil and when oil is hot, add all the whole spices and cook for a minute.
4. Add the marinated vegetables along with any remaining marinade and cook for 10 minutes until the moisture evaporates and oil starts to separate.
5. Drain and add the rice to the pan and saute gently for 5 minutes.
6. Add 4 cups of water to the rice mixture and bring it to a boil.
7. Add more salt, if needed and garam masala and mix well.
8. Cover with a lid and cook on medium flame for 15 minutes.
9. Simmer for 10 minutes until rice is cooked.
10. When ready to serve, gently fluff with a fork and sprinkle remaining fried onions on top.