Vellai Chicken Biryani – This biryani dish hails from the region of coimbatore, salem, erode, krishnagiri districts… mostly populated with muslims who make this flavorful biryani using samba rice. I have just tasted once during a trip to Salem… also learned that they use Pandan leaves for flavoring the biryani… well i cant’t find that here but still wanted try it at home. No one can ever match muslim style biryani, its their speciality but this one is close it with all the flavors… wish i could find that Ramba elai sometime!
Ingredients (Whole Garam Masala)
- Bay leaf – 2
- Cinnamon – 2 sticks
- Cloves – 5
- Cardamom – 2
- Star anise – 1
- Mace flower – 1
- Nut meg – a tiny piece
- Kalpasi – 2 flowers or piece
- Cumin seeds – 1 teaspoon
- Fennel seeds – 1/2 teaspoon
- Pandan leaves / Rambai elai – 2 small (***Read notes)
- Seeraga Samba Rice – 2 cups (Soak for 30 to 45 minutes)
- Chicken – 1 kg or (2 pounds)
- Water – 2 cups
- Light Coconut milk – 2 cups (***Read Notes)
- Yogurt – 1/4 cup
- Onion – 1 cup (sliced) (preferably chinna vengayam)
- Green Chillies – 6 (slit open)
- Ginger Garlic paste – 1 tablespoon
- Mint leaves – 1/2 cup (tightly packed)
- Coriander leaves – 1/4 cup (tighlly packed)
- Coriander leaves – a little for garnish
- Ghee – 2 tablespoons
- Oil – 4 tablespoons
- Salt – 2 teaspoons (or to taste)
Lets see how to make this Vellai Chicken Biryani…
Traditionally this dish is cooked using the dum method… i am using a pressure cooker which is safe, turns out perfect every time.
Some prep work before we start… soak the rice for atleast 30 to 45 minutes.
Marinate the chicken with yogurt and little salt.
Heat oil in a pressure pan and fry all the whole garam masala mentioned in table- 1 (kalpasi and mace flower, nutmeg is a must for this recipe… also they use rambai ellai / Pandan leaves which adds ton of flavor to the biryani. I didn’t find it at the time of making this dish 😥
Saute all of these for few seconds and then add the ginger garlic paste, green chillies and saute well till it turns light brown.
Now add the sliced onions.. (i have used regular as well as chinna vengayam for this recipe) Saute till they turn translucent.
Now add the chicken pieces to the sauteed onions along with remaining salt and some mint leaves.
Also add the soaked rice and fry along with the chicken and onion mixture.
Now add in the 2 cups water + 2 cups light coconut milk (kind of very dilute)
Let the rice boil in it for few seconds.
Add in some coriander leaves at this stage. Put the pressure cooker lid and cook for 3 whistles.
When done, garnish with coriander leaves and drizzle that ghee over. Serve it with boiled egg and raita!
Try this Biryani with SIDE GRAVY FOR BIRYANI
- Serves 4
- Pandan leaves is ramba elai in tamil and i heard that they use this leaf to flavor their biryani… if you find, try t use it in this recipe.
- Light coconut milk is something i have added to give extra flavor… very dilute form of coconut milk just to add a kick… you may skip and add water instead too.
- Kalpasi (Black stone flower is also a special flavoring spice typically used in most muslim garam masala mix)