Tag Archives: rice variety

Home Cook’s Pressure Cooker Mutton Biriyani with Thayir Pachadi/Raita

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That was a simple Sunday that started with the usual home made bread for breakfast.  Sundays can turn out to be one of the laziest days, yet the best is expected to come from the kitchen.  Thankfully for me, Cooking has always been a stress buster and an energy creator. This attitude can be termed as the height of optimism by those relaxing Sunday souls, who refuse to enter kitchen on holidays.

With the same positive energy, to make that lazy Sunday a flavorful one, I chose to try a Mutton Biriyani, a favorite delicacy throughout the world, with some good mathematics to post here. Mathematics with Biriyani…. certainly not written due to stress in brain activity. But, Biriyani needs meticulous measurements to bring out that ultimate aroma and taste.

I’ve tried to be accurate with the quantity of ingredients involved in the making of Mutton Biriyani. Additionally, reducing the effort involved in the making of good Biriyani, Pressure Cooker is used for quick cooking. This is no advertisement for Pressure Cookers, but believe me… it does reduce the stress of watching the Biriyani in a Pot or Handi cook to long grainy soft perfection.
A note on the history of Biriyani in India-

 

Though it may appear to be a dish indigenous to India, in reality the dish originated quite far away. Biryani is derived from the Persian word Birian, which means ‘fried before cooking’ and Birinj, the Persian word for rice. While there are multiple theories about how biryani made its way to India, it is generally accepted that it originated in West Asia.

There are records of a rice dish known as Oon Soru in Tamil literature as early as the year 2 A.D. Oon Soru was said to be made of rice, ghee, meat, turmeric, coriander, pepper, and bay leaf, and was used to feed military warriors.
http://www.thebetterindia.com/60553/history-biryani-india/

 

Just type – ‘oon soru’ and browse the internet. Your box would be filled with websites that talk about the same above said detail, verbatim. Which website posted the basic article is unknown. The above article gives a very fine and elaborate write up on different biriyanis in India.

An elaborate research would provide different insights into the culinary secret behind the speciality rice in Tamilnadu. I’ve heard people well versed in Tamil literature, talk about ‘Oon Soru’ and the practice of cooking rice with meat among the early Tamils.

With various popular versions of Biriyanis-  Hyderabadi, Lucknowi or Old Delhi’s famous Mughal preparations, Tamilnadu has its own versions – Dindukkal Biriyani, Arcot Biriyani, Ambur Biriyani, Chettinad Biriyani and so on. There is one more variety that has no popular name, but the version is different from home to home – that’s the Home Made Biriyani, with the tasteful signature of the amateur home cook.

So, this Sunday I decided to make the Home Cook’s Mutton Biriyani – with step by step elaborate procedures for purpose of sharing here. This is a two-way process, where meat is pressure cooked initially with turmeric and salt, and then pressure cooked again together with spices and rice. This second part, makes the biriyani an easier version, where no ‘Dum’ (closed cooking in sim flame) is required and hence, is less time consuming, but no compromise in taste.
With the urge to cook Biriyani, came a list of other things that go well with the exotic Rice.

a. Thayir Pachadi – Onion and Yoghurt Raita

b. Kathirikkai Salna – Mildly spiced, tangy Gravy with brinjal/egg plant that is served alongside Biriyani

c. Mutton Vadhakkal – Spicy, Pan fried Mutton – the perfect munching companion for the succulent Biriyani

A successful Sunday with special delights calls for 2 connected posts on the lunch served. So, first – Biriyani and Pachadi, I call it the match made in kitchen, which is supposedly a cook’s heaven of culinary creations!
Home Cook’s Pressure Cooker Mutton Biriyani

 

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Ingredients (serves 3)

 

long grain basmati rice

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and meat

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  • basmati rice – 1 ½ cups – (app. 225 gms)
  • mutton – 500 gms
  • turmeric powder – ¼ tsp for cooking meat separately + ½ tsp while making biriyani
  • salt – to taste
  • oil – 3 tsp (for caramelising onions) + 3 tsp (for making biriyani)
  • clarified butter – 3 tsp

Dry Spices

 

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  • cardamom pods – 7 no.s
  • cloves – 7 no.s
  • cinnamon – 2-3 sticks
  • bay leaves – 2 no.s
  • big cardamom – 1 no.
  • fennel seeds – 1 ½ tsp
  • pepper corns – 1 tsp

To chop

 

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and green chillies

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  • ginger – 50 gms
  • garlic – 30 gms (app. 3 small pods)
  • onion – 3 large – 165 gms
  • tomato – 2 large – 130 gms
  • green chillies – 5 -7 no.s (finely chopped)

For freshness

caramelised onions with mint and coriander

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  • mint leaves – 3 tsp
  • coriander leaves. – 3 tsp

Exotic touch

 

saffron in water

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  • generous strands of saffron soaked in ¼ cup hot water tsp bring out that gorgeous colour
  • nutmeg – ½ tsp grated

Method of Preparation

 

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Part I

  1. Wash and soak basmati rice at least ½ an hour before pressure cooking meat
  2. Soak saffron in ¼ cup hot water

 

soaked rice

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Part II– Cook Mutton

  1. Remove fat as far possible from meat
  2. Mix turmeric and salt to meat and keep aside for 15 minutes
  3. Wash and clean well
  4. Squeeze out excess water from the washed meat
  5. In a pressure cooker, add meat, ¼ tsp turmeric and salt with water enough to cook for approximately 30 minutes
  6. Pressure cook meat till done (It takes 30-40 minutes to be cooked well)
  7. Do not forget to use the meat broth to cook the final Biriyani.

Part III– Getting things ready – grinding, slicing, chopping, caramelizing.

 

  1. Coarse grind ginger, garlic, fennel seeds and pepper corns together in a blender (without water). Though full pepper corns are fried with spices in Biriyani, I prefer to grind as there is no wastage on the plate. Additionally, ground pepper corn spices up the Biriyani with its unique flavor.
  2. Thinly slice onions. Caramelize sliced onions in 3 tsp oil.
  3. Finely chop green chilies and tomatoes separately. Keep aside.

 

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Part IV – Let’s do it – THE BIRIYANI

1. Heat pressure cooker and add oil and clarified butter.

2. Drop all the dry spices except pepper corns and fennel seeds (already blended with ginger-garlic)

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3. Next, add the ground ginger-garlic-pepper-fennel paste with green chillies and sauté.

 

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4. Add the chopped tomatoes and sauté till soft and mushy.

5. Then, add the caramelized onions and mix well.

6. Strain rice without water and add to the hot ingredients in the cooker and stir well.

 

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7. Add nutmeg, turmeric powder and salt.

8. Strain mutton and save the cooked broth.

9. Add cooked mutton pieces and mix.
10.The most important ingredient- WATER

Now, it’s time to add water. I go by this ratio and it turns out good.

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For 1 cup of rice – 2 cups of water;
For 2 cups of rice – 4 cups water minus ½ cup = 3 ½ cups water
For 3 cups of rice – 6 cups of water minus ½ cup = 5 ½ cups water
For 4 cups of rice – 8 cups of water minus 1 cup = 7 cups water

So, for this biriyani, where 1 ½ cups rice is used, less than double or less than 3 cups, i.e. 2 ¾ cups of water is used.

  • Mutton cooked water – 1 cup
  • Saffron water – ¾ cup
  • Extra plain water – 1 cup

That works out to be 2 ¾ cups water for 1 ½ cups of rice.
Alter plain water according to the quantity of mutton cooked water you have. Add water, mix well.

11. Check for salt. As mutton is already cooked, the water tasted does not consist raw meat. So, go ahead, taste and add salt if needed.

12. Close cooker with lid in full flame. Keep in full flame for 3 whistles. Switch off and wait for the pressure to release by itself.

 

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13.Open cooker and serve hot Biriyani.
Biriyani- Thayir Pachadi / Biriyani- Onions in Yoghurt: Match made in heaven!

Thayir Pachadi – Onions in Yoghurt

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Biriyani needs a Thayir pachadi or Raita as in North Indian cuisine. Vegetable, chicken or mutton biriyani, is incomplete without the accompaniment of Pachadi.

Though, there can be many varieties of Pachadi/Raita. In Tamilnadu, a pachadi with just onions and little green chillies for spice is generally served with Biriyani.

  • thinly sliced onions – 3 no.s
  • thick yoghurt – to soak the sliced onions (approximately 3 cups)
  • chopped green chillies – as preferred
  • salt – to taste
  • coriander leaves (fresh) – for garnish

 

Mix all ingredients together and garnish with coriander leaves. In a restaurant that serves, vengaya pachadi or onion raita – yoghurt is less than mentioned above. But I prefer to have more yoghurt to the quantity Alter quantity of yoghurt as preferred.

 

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Ulundham Paruppu Saadham with Ellu Thuvayal / Black Gram Rice with Black Sesame Chutney

Super Healthy Rice Package

 

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Revival of Bone Strength – Nutrilicious Ulundham Paruppu Saadham/ Black Gram Rice with Ellu Thuvayal/Sesame Chutney

 
This is a speciality Variety/Mixed Rice or Kalavai Saadham as we call it in Tamil. Rice, black gram, garlic and salt are the only ingredients that go in the making of this super-healthy rice package. Black Gram Rice is had with Black Sesame Seed Chutney and Avial (vegetable stew) for the vegetable curry in the platter and  Appalam (disc shaped crispy fries) as a crunchy accompaniment – giving it a balance of many combined flavours. (see above picture)

 

An insight into the core ingredients of the rice and chutney..
  
The Goodness of Ulundhu/Black gram

  

split whole black gram used for this variety rice

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Ulundham Paruppu or Black Gram is used in various Indian Foods. From exotic restaurant menu cards to humble homely meals, this highly nutritious lentil can be found frequently in the Indian food arena. Dal Makhani, one of the north Indian speciality creamy lentil preparation is an all time favorite throughout the world. The Paruppu/Dhal/Lentil is also called Maa ki Dhal in Hindi or Mother’s Lentil, might be due to its nutrient value.

As far as South Indian Cuisine is concerned, Black Gram husked or dehusked is almost a staple diet and also a trusted stable diet. Stable Diet? Yes, ‘Ulundhu’/Black Gram aids in the growth and stability of infants, toddlers, teenagers, adults and the aged alike. It aids in Bone growth of all members of family.

Black Gram takes its place in the quintessential breakfast and dinner Idly and Dosai, the unavoidable snack Ulundhu Vadai, health food Ulundhu Kanji/Porridge, traditional food Ulundhu Kali/thick pudding, and crunchy chips Murukkus/crispies. In many foods, black gram is the core ingredient and a few others added for technical consistency. The appalam or pappad had has a starter or with rice meal is also made with Ulundhu.

In some preparations like Ulundhu Vadai, Black Gram is the sole main ingredient.

  

ulundhu vadai

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There cannot be a south Indian household without Ulandham paruppu as Idlies and Dosais cannot be made without this ingredient. I can be sure of this atleast with today’s parental generation. Cannot be sure about the next generation who might opt for breads, cereals and pastas for staple food but be rest assured certainly not stable.

Ulundham Paruppu/Black Gram is used in different forms. The whole lentil with black skin in certain foods, skin removed but whole in shape in certain foods and skin removed but split in halves, split in halves with skin…. Might be quite confusing for new comers to the Ulundhu Industry, but tradition says that that type that that dish! So, enjoy and don’t bother. De-skinning, splitting and all other technical necessities are taken care of and what one needs to do is just do some intelligent grocery shopping.

  

black gram – whole 

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These are a few Ulundhu Preparations from Tamilnadu, with the kind of black gram used, mostly common with mild differentiations among the other three states of the southern part of India. There are many more varieties depending upon the varied districts of Tamilnadu. Other South Indian states might have many more to add to the list too.

  

kutty idli – mini idli

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De-Husked or De-Skinned whole lentil for Idlies and Dosais;
De-Husked Split for Seasoning;
De-Skinned, Roasted and Milled for Appalam and Murukku;
Black Whole Lentil (with skin) for Porridge, Pudding;
Whole Split Lentil for One Pot Rice – ulundham paruppu saadham

  
Sesame Seeds –  a Girl’s Support Mechanism….
  
How I was introduced to Ulundhu Saadham and Ellu Thuvayal?
  
This variety rice is prepared mostly on all weekends or leisurely family meals as it tastes best direct hot from the cooker. But another essential occasion when ulundham paruppu saadham comes into the platter is during the monthly menstrual time. The rice with sesame chutney is believed to be a Cleanser Combo.

    

Sesame seeds are best among the other home medicines for menstrual problems. Some quantity of dried sesame seeds can be pounded and stored. A fresh solution can be prepared daily by mixing half a spoon of this powder in a cup of water. This concoction can be used once in a day for the better results of the treatment. Regular use of this decoction can help in relieving completely from scanty menstruation. – See more at:http://www.findhomeremedy.com/natural-home-remedies-for-menstrual-problems. http://www.findhomeremedy.com/natural-home-remedies-for-menstrual-problems/#sthash.MCaQlI3O.dpuf

    

We are adviced to have it at the end of the cycle as Sesame is supposed to cleanse the uterus of all the leftovers. So, it is a routine monthly cleanser of a woman’s unique organ. Additionally, mothers prepare their daughters from the right time for a healthy motherhood in future. While Ulundhu/Black gram aids in strengthening hip bones, sesame seeds help in cleansing.

Whether the notes on sesame seeds are scientific proven or not doesn’t matter to me. I totally believe the medical effects that the key ingredients of this Combo Rice Platter can provide to the system as a whole.

    

During the Post-Menstrual phase it’s important to nourish blood and yin after the menstrual flow of the previous week. It’s important to include ample amounts of protein, fat, folic acid, and vitamin B12, which are essential for building blood and yin. Also important during the Post-menstrual phase is foods rich in chlorophyll (that’s all the green goodies!): kale, chard, bok choy, micro-algae, seaweeds (especially dulse, which is high in iron). Other foods that are nourishing during this time include nuts and seeds, especially flax and black sesame seeds.. http://vibrantwellnessjournal.com/2013/02/11/balance-the-reproductive-cycle-naturally-with-traditional-chinese-medicine/

    

Sesame Seeds are also a rich source of calcium. Milk Allergic People and those who follow a Vegan Diet or Diary Free Diet use sesame seeds as a substitute to milk.

    

A good source of Natural Calcium which is easily assimilated in the body is Sesame seeds. The Black variety has a higher therapeutic value and a lower Oil content. You may soak overnight and eat. Chew to a fine paste. Include Sesame Seeds with your daily meals. They are a rich source of Calcium, Proteins, Magnesium and Iron. http://www.space-age.com/herbs/hormonebalance.html

  

In recent studies, calcium has been shown to:

  • Help protect colon cells from cancer-causing chemicals
  • Help prevent the bone loss that can occur as a result of menopause or certain conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis
  • Help prevent migraine headaches in those who suffer from them
  • Reduce PMS symptoms during the luteal phase (the second half) of the menstrual cycle http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php/genpage.php?tname=foodspice&dbid=84

   

Now, it’s recipe time –
  
Ulundham Paruppu Saadham/Black Gram Rice with Ellu Thuvayal/Black Sesame Seed Chutney

  

Ulundham Paruppu Saadham

  

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Ingredients (serves 3-4)

  • puzhungal arisi/par boiled cooking rice – 200 gms
  • ulundham paruppu/split black gram(with skin) – 100 gms
  • poondu/garlic – 10 cloves
  • uppu/salt – as needed
  • thengai/coconut – ½ (grated) – optional

  
Method of Preparation

 

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  1. Wash and soak rice with garlic for ½ hour
  2. Wash the black gram well
  3. In a pressure cooker, cook rice, black gram, garlic and salt with enough water; cooked rice-black gram should be soft and not just right
  4. Mix the grated coconut and the rice is ready to be served hot.

  

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Ellu Thuvayal/Black Sesame Seed Chutney

  

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  • ellu/sesame (black) – 3 tsp
  • milagai vatral/red chillies – 4 no.
  • puli/tamarind – 1/4 lemon sized
  • thengai/coconut (grated) – 4 tsp
  • salt – to taste

  
Meth0d of Preparation
  
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  1. Separately dry roast sesame seeds in a pan
  2. Remove the sesame seeds once roasted and in the same pan, roast red chillies with very little oil
  3. When the chillies are done, add grated coconut and roast till slightly golden in colour
  4. Wash the roasted sesame seeds (to remove sand particles generally found in sesame) and grind all ingredients with salt to a smooth paste/dip/ chutney
  5. Serve the thuvayal with ulundham paruppu saadham

  

Ulundham Paruppu Saadham is always served with Ellu thuvayal and preferably with Avial (mixed Vegetable stew) and Appalam/Roasted or Fried Pappad.
  
Notes:

  

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For Ulundham Paruppu Saadham

  1. This mixed rice is preferably prepared with puzhungal arisi/par-boiled rice if not available one can use other varieties too.
  2. Coconut is optional in the rice but tastes best with the humble coconut.
  3. The Black Gram used is whole-split as whole black gram tends to make the rice mushy.

  
For Ellu Thuvayal

  1. Always roast sesame seeds and then wash; Simple logic – The seeds cannot be roasted if washed before.
  2. Red Chillies can also be roasted dry without oil but roasting with little oil helps in fine grinding later.
  3. One can also fry tamarind with red chillies and coconut to make the tamarind softer.
  4. The quantity given is for very limited chutney; one can prepare according to family preferences.

  

For more on Sesame Seeds –
  

Sesame seeds may be the oldest condiment known to man. They are highly valued for their oil which is exceptionally resistant to rancidity.

Not only are sesame seeds an excellent source of copper and a very good source of manganese, but they are also a good source of calcium, magnesium, iron, phosphorus, vitamin B1, zinc, molybdenum, selenium, and dietary fiber. In addition to these important nutrients, sesame seeds contain two unique substances: sesamin and sesamolin. Both of these substances belong to a group of special beneficial fibers called lignans, and have been shown to have a cholesterol-lowering effect in humans, and to prevent high blood pressure and increase vitamin E supplies in animals. Sesamin has also been found to protect the liver from oxidative damage. http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php/genpage.php?tname=foodspice&dbid=84