Vegetable Brinji, a special kind of rice dish which is very popular in TamilNadu, made during weddings and special occasions. Basically its a mixed vegetable pulao kind of dish…. where rice is cooked in thick coconut milk base with loads of veggies and flavoured with special spices. This is one type which normally shows in every wedding reception menu and served along with veg kurma and raita.
Some pulao recipes to try….
Ingredients – 1
- Bay leaf – 5 small
- Cardamom – 5
- Cloves – 6
- Cinnamon sticks – 3 inch piece
- Fennel seeds – 1/2 teaspoon
- Cumin seeds – 1/2 teaspoon
- Curry leaves – 10
- Cashew nuts – 6
- Ghee – 2 tablespoons
- Oil – 2 tablespoon
Ingredients – 2
- Onion – 2 cups (thinly sliced)
- Green Chilli – 6 slit open
- Garlic – 6 cloves
- Ginger – 2 inch crushed
- Fresh mint – 1/4 cup (chopped)
- Coriander leaves – 1/4 cup (chopped)
- Carrot – 1 (small, diced)
- Green beans – 1/4 cup
- Green peas – 1/8 cup
- Mixed veggies – potato, lima beans, cauliflower (optional) 1/4 cup
- Coriander leaves – 1/4 cup (for garnish)
- Salt – 2 teaspoons
- Basmati Rice – 2 cups
- Coconut milk – 2 cups (dilute)
- Water – 2 cups
- Fried Bread pieces – a few (optional)
Lets see how to make this vegetable brinji
Assemble all the fresh veggies, chop them and keep ready. Typically carrot, beans, peas, potato and cauliflower are used for this recipe, with special added additions like fried bread pieces or soy chunks. The whole dish is spiced with just green chilies, absolutely no chili, dhania or turmeric powder in this recipe. Wash basmati rice and soak for 10 minutes.
Grate about 1/4 of fresh coconut and grind with water. Get the milk out by straining and discard the fiber.
Heat ghee and oil in a pressure cooker pan, temper with all the spices from table-1 , starting with cashews and then followed by curry leaves, bay leaves, cardamom, cloves, cinnamon, fennel and cumin seeds. Let them sizzle for few seconds.
Then add the green chilies, mint leaves and corainder leaves. Let them become crispy. Now add the sliced onions, garlic and ginger followed by all the veggies. Let them fry for 2 minutes.
Now add soaked and drained rice to the spices and saute for few seconds. Add salt, water and coconut milk and stir everything together. Check for salt, add if necessary to adjust your taste. Cover and pressure cook for 2 whistles and switch off. You can also use the same recipe for making it in a rice cooker. When the pressure release, slowly open the lid and garnish with coriander leaves and drizzle some ghee if you wish.
Do not stir while its still hot, transfer the cooked content to a wide pan or tray and let it cool a bit and then mix gently. serve hot with creamy vegetable kurma and onion raita. This is how its usually served, i like mine with either paneer masala or butter chicken.
- Yield: 3-4 adult servings.
- This dish taste really good with fresh coconut milk but if you cannot find then substitute with coconut powder or store bought coconut milk.
- If you wish slightly grainy rice then fry the rice in little ghee before adding. For mushy texture add 1/2 cup extra water while cooking.
- Adding fried bread pieces to this brinji will be too good. Its optional but gives that traditional wedding reception style brinji look.