Thursday, October 14, 2021


Brinji is a flavored rice popular in Chennai.  It is a cousin sister of the popular ghee rice, pulav, kuska, veg briyani and tomato rice. There are many kinds of rices in India with a garam masala flavor. The south Indian Ghee rice is prepared without tomato, while kuska is cooked with some soup (if it is non veg kuska). Brinji is something like 'vegetable briyani' minus the vegetables and coconut. As far as I know , Chennai people do not use much coconut milk or ghee in their cooking. So obviously brinji should be made with simple ingredients like a pack of store bought 'whole garam masala sachet', ginger garlic, onion, tomato etc. 

In Chennai, they usually serve this with onion raitha for breakfast cum lunch or dinner. But if served in weddings, they would serve this brinji as a tiny scoop along with a kurma and potato chips before serving the white rice for sambar. I prepare it very rarely, but we love it very much.Mostly I cook rice and sambar or some non veg curry during weekends. Nowadays my hubby dear always wants different and newer variety of foods, as we are all eating 100% home cooked meals since 2020. The following recipe is for 4.

Brinji rice with tandoori chicken and onion raitha

cook soy chunks in hot water

soak rice at room temp for 10 -15 mins

whole spices getting saute`ed

onion sauteed

adding ginger garlic paste

Basmati rice - 2  1/2 cup (approx 500 gm or 1 lb)
peanut oil - 1/2 cup
Onion - 2 big (250 gm)
tomato - 2 big (300 gm)
green chili - 5
Soy chunks - 1 cup
Salt - to taste
curd - 1 cup 
cilantro , mint leaf - handful

Paste 1:
Ginger - 2 inch
garlic - 10 pearls

For tempering:
fennel - 1 tbsp
cinnamon - 2 inch , 
1 star aniseed, 
cashews - 5,
Sea weed (kalpaasi) - a small piece
a small chip of Nutmeg (jathikkai) 
1/4 of a mace (jaathi pathiri) 
raisin - 10 
bay leaf - 2 
cardamom - 4
cloves - 4.

turmeric powder - 1/2 tsp
coriander powder - 2 tsp
red chili powder - 1/2 tsp 
garam masala / briyani powder - 1 tsp

Wash and soak the rice for 15 minutes.  I recommend doing this while we start chopping the onion.
Keep aside the stuffs given under tempering in a bowl.
Peel and grind ginger garlic together.
Slice the onion lengthwise.
Chop tomato into big cubes and chili to long slices.
chop mint, cilantro.
Bring 3 cups of water to boil. Add soy chunks and cook it. Drain water and keep it handy.
Heat oil in a wide vessel (heavy bottomed).
Add the tempering items. 
As the fennel gets mild red, add onion and saute' till it gets mild pink (not brown). 
Add the ginger garlic paste.
Saute for 15 seconds and add chopped tomato, chili, mint, cilantro and cook well till oil separates.
Add curd, saute for a minute.
Add turmeric powder, coriander powder, red chili powder, garam masala / briyani powder, cooked soya chunks and cook covered for a minute.
Add the soaked rice and stir well.
Add required salt (I add 1/2 tsp per cup of rice).
Pour water until it covers the rice and an inch of water stands above. Stir gently to mix everything well.
Bring to a high boil. Let it simmer in low flame and wait till all water is almost absorbed. Don't stir.
Close the vessel with a tight lid. Cook at low flame for 10 minutes. 
Open and check if the rice is cooked,
Brinji rice is ready!

Serving suggestion:
Serve as main course meal (lunch or dinner) along with raitha.
This is a non spicy rice dish. So serve this with any curry of choice.

Happy Vijaya Dasami, Dussehra 🌷🌷🌷🌷

 Wishing all my readers Happy Navaratri and prosperous Vijaya Dasami !

அனைவருக்கும் எங்கள் மனமார்ந்த இனிய நவராத்திரி , தசரா , விஜயதசமி நல்வாழ்த்துக்கள்!

                                                    வாழ்க வளமுடன் ! 🌷Viki Xavier 🌷

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