Popularly known in my husband’s family as Coimbatore Biriyani and Palakkad Biriyani, my brother in law’s wife and cousin (lubi) got me hooked on to this recipe. You’d love it if you are already a fan of different varieties of pulav. The richness of South Indian spices and mint leaves and their aroma wafting through the house excites quite an appetite.
This spicy dum biriyani is naturally deep red colored (by using plenty of ripe tomatoes and kashmiri red chilli powder) and made from an aromatic variety of short rice grains called Jeerakasala rice. It is popular in some parts of Tamil Nadu and Kerala. Particularly found in the Rawther Muslim Community in Coimbatore and Palakkad district in Kerala, it is getting popular outside the Rawther communities too.
Served even during celebrations and weddings, Rawther Biriyani is served alongside non-veg sambhar popularly known as ‘Kaichar‘ and melon halwa (rich,red and yummy halwa).I found this link to the halwa recipe:
Very recently, I tried this recipe (thank you Lubi) at home with my mother in law. We used pre-marinated and lightly fried chicken in this recipe. You may reduce the amount of green chillies, ginger paste and red chilli powder to reduce the biriyani’s spice. Alternatively you may grill two large red peppers, remove the skin, blend the red flesh and add the ground paste to the biriyani masala for rich red color.
Big Onions – 5 nos medium
Small Onions – 20 nos
Ginger garlic paste – 2 tsp
Ripe Tomatoes – 5 large
Green Chillies – 3 or 4 nos
Cilantro Leaves – one handful
Mint Leaves – one handful
Red Capsicum (optional) – 1 no
Red Chilli powder – 3 tsp
Turmeric powder – 1.5 tsp
lime juice – (juice of one lime)
garam masala – a pinch
ghee – for taste
salt – as per taste
Jeerakasaala rice – 1.5 kilo
Chicken (biriyani cuts) – 2 kilo (optional – marinate it with turmeric, red chilli powder, salt and shallow fry it before adding to the biriyani masala)
Soak jeerakasaala rice in water for 15 minutes and then rinse it well. Saute finely sliced onions in a deep bottomed pan, followed by green chillies, ginger garlic paste, and then add tomatoes. Add chopped cilantro and mint leaves, followed by red chilli powder, turmeric powder and lime juice.
You may grill one red capsicum, remove the black skin and pulse the flesh to add to the masala at this stage if you want to naturally deepen the reddish color of the masala.Add the (fried)chicken pieces and mix well.
Add enough water to the masala, season with salt and then add the rinsed rice. The water level should be 1.5 inches above the rice level. Cover it and cook it in high heat for 15 minutes. Lower the heat.Season it with some ghee and garam masala at this stage, cover it again and leave it for additional 10 minutes. Take the biriyani off the heat, fluff it up and serve it with raita and pappadums.