Chettinad Biryani - Tamil Nadu Special for ICC

I missed the last months ICC and Valli told me that it had turned out really delicious, and I repented. This time I did not want to miss and planned to cook the Biryani as soon as Valli announced it. The hitch was the Jeera Samba rice and the whole spices which go into this Biryani, but after trying at the Kerala store, which was my only resort , I gave up. I did get the shallots but not the marati moggu . After speaking to Padma and Valli I decided to use the short grain rice that we get here.

While the biryani was cooking the house was filled with a wonderful aroma, I was so tempted to try it right away, but waited for everyone to get back home so we could enjoy the dinner together.Iserved onion raita and a simple cucumber tomato salad.
Normally the Biryanis that I prepare are made with basmati rice, which is really aromatic and has a long grain. A Biryani with short grain rice was new to all, but everyone relished it as it had awesome flavors. The combination of onion raita along with the biryani was a hit and I have been asked to include this in our regular menu.Thanks PJ for suggesting this Biryani.

Chettinad Biryani
2 cups mixed vegetables
3 cups rice, any short grained
300 gms Sambar onions, shallots, peeled and chopped
2 tomatoes, large, chopped
4 green chillies, slit and break into two
3 tbsp ginger garlic paste
2 tsp red chilly powder
1 tbsp coriander powder
1/4 tsp turmeric powder
1 bunch mint leaves
1/4 bunch coriander leaves
20 cashews, fried
2 tbsp ghee
Salt to taste
41/2 cups water

2 bay leaves
1" piece cinnamon stick
1 star anise
1/4 cup oil

The original recipe calls for
1 no marati moggu
Annachi poo
( I could not get them here so I made the Biryani without these)

Dice the potatoes,carrots into cubes
Slice beans into 1" pieces
Cut cauliflower into small flowerets.
Some washed fresh peas.
Wash the rice and soak in 4 cups water for 30 mins.
Heat oil in a pressure cooker.
Add whole spices under tempering.
Add onions and green chillies, Saute till onion turns translucent.
Add ginger garlic paste and saute for 2-3 minutes.
Add coriander and mint leaves leaving a few for garnish.
Add all the vegetables, dry spices and tomatoes.
Cook till the tomatoes are tender.
Add 1/4 cup of water and let boil.
Once the water and veggies boil, add the soaked rice along with the water.
Add salt.
Stir well .
Let cook till half the water is reduced by half.
Close the lid of the pressure cooker and pressure cook for 7-8 minutes on slow fire.
This should be about 3 hisses.
Let the pressure drop and then open the cooker.
Add fried cashews, ghee and garnish with coriander and mint.

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