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Friday, June 26, 2009

Thakkali/Tomato Biriyani

This is one of my favorite dish that my Amma prepares. I drool even when I think about this dish. Here goes the recipe for Sourashtrian Tomato Biriyani. Few people call this as Tomato rice or thakkali sadam but its more of biriyani types.

  • Basmati Rice - 1 1/2 cup
  • Onion (large) - 1 sliced
  • Tomato - 4 or 5 (depends on how juicy it is) chopped
  • Ginger Garlic Paste - 1 1/2 tbsp
  • Coriander leaves - few sprigs
  • Pudhina/Mint - 1 or 2 sprig
  • Garlic - 2 pods finely chopped (optional)
  • Ginger - thin slice (equal to the size of garlic) finely chopped (optional)
  • Green Chili - 6
  • Salt to taste
  • Oil - 9 tbsp
  • Water - 1 1/2 cup
  • Cloves - 6
  • Cinnamon - 2 nos
  • Cardamon - 1
  • Bay leaves - 1 nos
  • Cumin Seeds - 1/2 tsp
  • Ghee - 2 tsp
  • Turmeric Powder - 1/4 tsp
  • Curd/Yogurt [Optional] - 1 tsp [gives a great taste to biriyani]
  • Chili Powder [Optional] - 1/4 tsp

  • Wash the rice thoroughly changing water and soak it for few minutes. Do not over soak as the biriyani might become soggy. Strain water.
  • Heat ghee in a kadai. When it is hot, add basmati rice and fry for 3-4 minutes on a low flame. I sometimes skip this step but Amma does it always. Add pudhina/mint leaves and let it rest.

  • In a pressure cooker, Add oil, when it is hot add Cumin Seeds, cloves, cinnnamon, cardamon and bay leaves.

  • When it splutters add chopped ginger and garlic and then add sliced onion and fry it for 3-4 minutes. Add turmeric powder, Green chili (cut it on the top) and fry it for a while. Ensure that the onion does NOT turn golden brown.
  • Add chopped tomatoes, a portion of salt and saute. In India Amma uses Bangalore tomatoes for this recipe. Here in US I use Stem tomatoes. I needed 4 large tomatoes for this recipe. If the tomates are juicy and sour then you might want to reduce the no. of tomatoes. Let the tomatoes get mushy.
  • Now add 1 tbsp of ginger garlic paste and fry until its smell disappears and the oil separates. This usually takes 4-5 minutes. Now add salt, chili powder, curd, rice. Mix it well.

  • Add water. Usually basmati rice needs equal amount of water ie., for 1 cup of rice we would need 1 cup of water. Since the tomatoes I added were juicy and the mix was already in a semi-liquid/gravy state (around 1/2 cup), I added 3/4 cup of water only. If your gravy is dry then add equal amount of water else reduce the quantity depending upon the gravy that you have. (I usually taste it and see if the salt is ok at this stage, as the rice absorbs some salt)
  • When the water starts boiling, add coriander leaves, stir and close the lid and pressure cook it for 3 whistles.
  • Wait until the gas releases and then open the lid. Serve it hot with boiled eggs and raitha of your choice.