I am a sucker for dishes with exotic names. :-) So the moment I heard the name Dindigul Thalapakatti Biryani I had to—absolutely HAD to—try it.
You can read all about the origins of this recipe at http://www.thalappakatti.com/.
As I searched for the recipe, I found that it was a primarily non-vegetarian dish and so set about adapting it to make a vegetarian version. As I learnt from my experience of converting the Mutton Do Pyaaza to Paneer do Pyaaza, I have to be careful and reduce the spices because vegetables don’t need the same level of spice as meat.
The recipe I have adapted is the Thalapakatti Biryani Recipe found on Kannamma Cooks. Why did I choose this one? Well, first she adapted it from an recipe provided by a cook from the original Thalapakatti Hotel. Secondly, she vouches that the taste is the closest to the original; since I have not tasted the original I had to go with a Chef who said so. Finally, the pictures of her biryani most resembled the original. :-)
A Note: I did not have Seeraga Samba rice that is traditionally used to make this biryani and was not about to go out in pouring rain to get some; so I made it with Basmati. The result was excellent and the next round will be with Seeraga Samba rice which I have bought since.
What I loved about this Biryani is that it had flavours very different from the traditional biryanis, which lends the diversity that I sometimes crave for.
Do try this biryani!
Cooking Time: 45 to 60 Minutes
- Basmati Rice or Seeraga Samba Rice – 1.25 Cup
- French Beans – 10
- Potato – 1 Medium
- Carrot – 1 Small
- Cauliflower Florets – 1/2 Cup
- Shallots or Madras Onions – 15
- Fresh Garlic Paste – 1.5 tsp
- Fresh Ginger Paste – 1 tsp
- Yogurt or Dahi – 1/3 Cup
- Fresh Coriander – A Handful
- Fresh Mint Leaves – A Handful
- Lemon Juice – 1 tsp
- Green Chillies – 4
- Cinnamon – 2″ piece
- Cloves – 3
- Green Cardamom – 3
- Red Chilli Powder – 1/2 tsp
- Nutmeg or Jaiphal Powder – A Pinch
- Javitri or Mace – 1 Large Petal or Piece
- Ghee – 1 tbsp
- Bay Leaf – 1
- Salt to Taste
Preparation for Thalapakatti Biryani
- Soak the Basmati Rice in water for 10 minutes.
- Drain and set aside.
- Peel and cut the potato into 1/2″ pieces.
- Peel and cut the carrot into 1/2″ pieces.
- Cut the french beans into 1/2″ pieces.
- Whisk the dahi till it is smooth.
- Chop the mint and coriander leaves into fine pieces.
Method To Make Thalapakatti Biryani
- Grind the shallots, garlic, ginger, green chillies, cardamom seeds, cinnamon, nutmeg, mace, and cloves into a smooth paste. Add very little water, if required.
- In a kadhai or heavy bottomed vessel, heat 1 tbsp of ghee.
- Add the bay leave and the ground masala.
- Over medium flame, stir-fry the masala for about 3-5 minutes till the raw masala disappears.
- Add the potato, carrot pieces, beans, and cauliflower.
- Stir-fry for 2-3 minutes.
- Turn the flame to low.
- Add the dahi, salt, and red chilli powder.
- Mix well.
- Add the mint and coriander leaves.
- Mix well.
- Add the drained basmati rice.
- Mix well.
- Add 2 cups water.
- Cover and cook till the rice and vegetables is just cooked.
- Turn off the heat and let the Thalapakatti Biryani rest for about 30 minutes.
- I used a pressure cooker to make the biryani and it turned out just fine.
- Do use ghee as it lends a wonderful flavour to the biryani.