I am going to share one more famous biryani from Tamilnadu, which is the Dindigul biryani. Most of my friends may not be knowing the Dindigul biryani as they are mostly familiar only with Lucknowi (Awadh) and Hyderabadi dum biryani. In Chennai, there are many varieties of biryani like Ambur Biryani, Vaniyambadi Biryani, Arcot Biryani, Vellore Biryani, Thalappakattu Biryani, Dindigul Biryani and more. These are all named after the town they originated and became popular in. But in recent years because of food chains, these have spread everywhere and made it to the major cities. My favourite one is the biryani which is served in Muslim marriages. This biryani is special and cooked by good and experienced Muslim chefs only. This biryani is cooked using wood (charcoal) and dum is given with coal from both beneath and above.
The same thing goes with the Dindigul biryani. The Dindigul biryani has its own spices, which are simple but pretty much based out of the standard biryani. One main difference is the rice. The Dindigul biryani is made with Seeraga samba rice, which is small in size unlike basmati rice. For making Dindigul biryani, you need 3 whole spices which are unique like kalpasi (Black stone or Dagad phool), Marathi moggu and star anise. I have cooked this biryani by absorption method and added no colours. The colour of the biryani has to be brown and the meat very tender. The rice grain will be soft and clumped together lightly when cooked unlike dum biryani where each grain has to be separate. It is served with Dalcha (made with Bengal gram and Brinjal in it, vegetarian) and very rarely with kathrika Pachadi also known as Brinjal ki chutney or Baigan chutney in Chennai. In this recipe, I have used basmati rice and cooked it as per its timings.
- Oil – 3/4 cup or less
- Onions (medium, sliced) – 3
- Ginger and garlic paste - 2 tbsp
- Chilli powder – 3 tsp
- Coriander powder – 1 tbsp
- Turmeric powder – 1 tsp
- Green chillies – 7
- Tomato (medium) – 2 to 3
- Curd (thick) – 5 tbsp
- Mint – 1 cup
- Coriander leaves – 1 cup
- Salt - as per taste
- Rice – 2 cups
- Mutton – 500 to 600 gms
- Water – 4 1/2 to 5 cups
- Ghee - 4 tbsp
- Lemon (optional) – 1
- Green cardamoms – 4
- Star anise – 2
- Kalpasi (also called dagad phool or black stone flower) – 1 tbsp
- Cloves - 5
- Marathi moggu – 2
- Cinnamon stick (3 inch pieces) – 2
- Slice the onions, chop the tomatoes, slit the green chillies, chop mint and coriander leaves, and keep it aside.
- Wash the rice, soak for 1/2hr and drain and keep it aside.
- Heat the big wider vessel, add oil as per your requirement and add onion and all the whole spices, sauté till onions are golden brown.
- Add ginger and garlic paste roast for 1min, add mint and coriander leaves roast for 2 to 3 min, and keep stirring.
- Add chopped tomatoes and sauté for 3min, add chilli powder, turmeric powder and coriander powder, mix well and sauté for 1 to 2 min.
- Add lamb or mutton, mix well, cook for 5 to 8 min, without burning the spices , keep stirring.
- Add curd mix immediately, by simmering the flame while adding and then 3 cups water mix well.
- Add the green chillies and cook till the meat is cooked well by closing the lid, in between stir the meat.
- When the meat curry is ready and meat is cooked well, simmer the flame for 10min, as it will starts leaving the oil.
- Add the rice in the curry, mix well and add water as required, as it depends how much curry(gravy) is left after cooking (I added 2 cups water as per the requirement).
- Cook the rice till all the liquid is absorbed and you can see the holes in the rice and still liquid is there, then simmer the flame and close the lid by first putting aluminium foil on top close it no steam should escape and then with the lid tightly for 20 to 25 min or till the rice is cooked.
- Switch of and let it rest.
- Serve the biryani with brinjal pacchadi or dalcha and onion pachadi.
- While cooking the rice add water as required(Seeraga samba rice and basmati rice requires water as per their cooking), in between if the rice is not cooked and still water needed add hot water, mix and cook.
- You can cook the rice with salt, sufficient water in other vessel 90%, just cooked, but still 10minutes more cooking is needed, add the drained rice to the curry and give dum for 15 to 20min.
- While simmering when the rice is cooked, just press the rice and see, as you will know how much time it will take to simmer 15min or 25min.
- You can reduce the chillies as per your taste.