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Category: Mains
Serving: 3-4 servings
Preparation: 2 hours

Biryani is rice and meat or vegetables cooked together. There are many variations to this. Let us get into some basics Biryani is of Central Asian origin, Persia where these two words could have probably given birth to the current day Biryani.'Birinj' means rice and 'Biryan' means to roast.

The difference between Biryani and Pulao (or) pilaf is very minimal as both have the same or similar ingredients.

The secret to a good Biryani are:
1. Meat (vegetable) ratio needs to be equal or 1 part meat to two parts rice.
2. Marinating the meat is very important (8-12 hours) marinades vary.
3. Whole spices and ghee make the magic. (allow the ghee to heat up on medium heat and add the spices and allow them to bloom)
4. Onions slice thin and caramelize on a slow heat. stir continuously to achieve even color.
5. Soak the rice for 35-40 minutes ad rinse them gently. not more not less.
6. Drain the rice completely before adding to the pan.
7. Make sure to use the same cup to measure water and rice.
8. The rest of the techniques will depend on each style of biryani.

What makes Chettinad egg biryani unique:
use whole spices and lichen which imparts a unique flavor
use of ponni rice which is native to the region
The masala is mixed with the rice
Lets us get started...


Onion red- 350g
tomato- 150g
green chili- 3-4 each
ginger garlic paste- 2 tsp
curry leaves- 2 sprigs

ponni rice (raw or par boiled variety)- 3 cups
free range eggs- 4-5 each
water (or) vegetable stock- 8 cups

gingelly (raw sesame) or sunflower oil- 3-4 tbsp
green cardamom-5-6 pods
black cardamom- 2-3 pods
cinnamon- 1 inch stick
cloves- 5-6 each
black peppercorns- 10 each
bay leaves- 3-4 each
pathar ka phool (lichen)- 2-3 pieces
star anise- 2-3 petals
java long pepper- 2-3 each
fennel seeds- 2 tsp
sea salt- to taste


1. Slice the onion thin, cube the tomatoes say about half an inch in size.
2. Remove the curry leaves from the sprigs, wash and pat dry. remove the stem of the green chilis.
3. Ginger and garlic paste (3-4 cloves garlic, 1 inch piece ginger both peeled in a blender with some water - blend to a smooth paste)
4. Hard boil eggs 4-5 pieces.
5. Soak the ponni rice in cold water for 35-40 minutes.Rinse and drain the water completely.

6. In a flat pot with tigh fitting lid heat gingelly oil, add the whole spices (hard ones first) allow to bloom gently, continue adding the litchen, fennel seeds.
7. Once the spices release their aroma, add the whole green chilis, curry leaves and saute for a minute or two.
8. Add the ginger garlic paste and cook them till slightly brown - 3-4 minutes on slow heat.
9. Continue adding the sliced onion and cook stiring continuously.
(Tip: add a teaspoon of salt this will help the moisture to evaporate, the onions will brown faster)
10. Continue adding the tomatoes and cook till they are soft.
11. Add the rice and cook for 3-5 minutes along with the masala. Season with salt.
12. Bring vegetable stock or water to boil 8 cups. Pour on top of the biryani mixture and cover with a tight lid.
13. Cook on medium heat till there are fish eyes form on top of the biryani. Place the eggs on top, cover and cook till water is dry.
14. Keep the lid closed for 15-20 minutes.
15. Remove the lid mix and serve fragrant and hot Chettinad egg biryani.

Serving Ideas

Serve along with cucmber and onion raita and appalam.

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