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Monday, September 5, 2016

Rice Dishes ~ D for Dindigul Thalapakatti Veg Biryani

Hyderabadi Dum Biryani or Maharashtrian Dalimbi Bhaat were my original choices for today's alphabet. After having a tussle with myself over the choice of 'D' dish, I finally settled with neither of those but with a veg version of Dindigul biryani. I remembered seeing Kalyani's post during one of the previous mega marathons and decided to try it. And am glad that I did since this has become a favorite of mine.

A little googling told me that the dish is associated with the  'Dindigul Thalappakatti Resturant', a restaurant chain that operates in the south Indian state of Tamilnadu, focusing on biryani. The first outlet was started in 1957 by a paan seller named Nagasamy Naidu under the name 'Anandha Vilas Biriyani Hotel' in Dindigul town. The customers ended up calling the restaurant 'Thalapakatti' instead of it's name from the beginning. A reference to the hotel owner who sat at the cash counter always wearing a 'Thalapa' (A white traditional, head turban). 
Naidu's wife used to prepare a unique biryani which was quite popular and he realized that the recipe had the potential to go places. The particular recipe used a local short grain rice, special blend of spices and meat that came from tender grass fed goats from a neighboring town named Kannivadi. The short grain rice, seeraga samba rice used is called parakkum sittu with no particular taste of it's own and hence absorbs the spice flavors.

The original hotel was a hole in the wall kinda place with hardly seating for four but however the mutton bityani sold there became so popular that it started to attract customers even from the neighboring cities and now they operate over 21 restaurants in the state. 
The vegetarian versions I found online for the recipe mostly used mushrooms and soya chunks. I was the only one who was home to eat the biryani the day I prepared it and so I stuck with my preferences and used only soya chunks. I did not make any changes to Kalyani's recipe and I totally fell in love with the spicy biryani. I made it a point to save some for my husband who was traveling and he too enjoyed the flavorsome biryani as excepted.

Ingredients for spice powder:
2 inch piece cinnamon
1 tsp. coriander seeds
1 black stone flower / Dagad phool (optional but recommended)
1/2 tbsp. fennel seeds / saunf
2 cardamom pods
3 cloves
Ingredients for Biryani:
1 & 1/4 cup Seeraga Samba rice / Basmati rice
1/4 cup soya chunks (I used mini sized ones.)
1 big sized onion
1 medium sized tomato
2 to 3 green chillies 
3 tbsp. oil
2 bay leaves
1 tsp. ginger - garlic paste
Salt to taste
1 tsp. coriander powder
1/2 tsp. red chili powder (optional)
2 tbsp. curd
1/4 cup chopped mint & coriander leaves

* Dry roast and fine grind the ingredients under the 'spice powder' list.
* Wash and soak rice for 10 - 15 minutes in water, if using Basmati rice.  Drain and keep it aside. Seeraga samba rice do not need to soak. 
* Soak the soy chunks in hot water for about 10 minutes. Squeeze out the water and cut into desired size if using bigger sized chunks. There is no need to chop if using smaller sized chunks. 
* Chop onion and tomato fine. Slice green chilies lengthwise.
* Heat oil in a pan or a small pressure cook directly and add bay leaves, onion, ginger-garlic paste and green chillies. Saute until done.
* Next add tomatoes and the ground spice powder to the pan and cook until tomatoes turn mushy.
* Add salt, coriander powder, chili powder, mint and coriander leaves to the pan and mix well.
* Then add soy chunks and curd to the pan and saute for few minutes until the spices are well coated. Add the drained rice next and saute for a minute.
* Transfer the contents to a pressure cooker and add enough water to it. Close the lid and pressure cook for 3 whistles. (I used Basmati rice and 1 & 3/4 cups water.) 
Cook covered on low flame, if using a pan instead of a cooker. The water quantity will increase if using a pan.
* Serve it with raita and papad. (I used chili powder along with chillies and the biryani was spicy. And so, I served it with plain yogurt instead of raita.)

Recipes so far in A - Z Rice Dishes,
A for Achaari Chole Pulao
B for Bhuna Khichuri
C for Chintapandu Pulihora

Check out the Blogging Marathon page for the other Blogging Marathoners doing BM# 68.


Gayathri Kumar said...

The original restaurant is very near to my place and it is so famous. Love the twist you have given to make it vegetarian. Looks so yum..

Kalyani said...

Thanks for the mention Suma . 😊 Glad u guys enjoyed it ... We love this version too and goes so well for Sunday brunches / potlucks

Sandhya Ramakrishnan said...

Love that you made the vegeatarian version of this very famous biriyani. Looks wonderful!

Srivalli said...

Yet another flavoursome biryani from you Suma..love this version and enjoyed reading the intro!

Usha said...

I remember Kalyani's post and your version has also come out so good.

Srividhya Gopalakrishnan said...

I tried this for last mega BM. Love the history of this biryani.. amazing naa.. yours has come out really well.

Priya Suresh said...

Can smell the flavor of this biriyani rite from here, such a beautiful vegetarian version SUma.

Suja Ram said...

Thanks for the recipe for Veg Thalapakatti biryani. Can't wait to try this. Bookmarked.

Harini-Jaya R said...

Sounds very flavorful, Suma. I am yet to try this spice powder in rice.

vaishali sabnani said...

Nice read and i love the ingredients hoing in the Biryani . The spices sound just perfect and flavorful to fill a house with aroma . Interesting pick for D.

Sapana Behl said...

Such a flavorful looking biryani.

Archana Potdar said...

Wow I am bookmarking this one for my biryani crazy daughter. Sounds delicious and amazingly aromatic.

www.annapurnaz.in said...

the sight of biryani makes me drool even though I just finished my lunch

Priya Srinivasan said...

Lunch time and the way you describe the biriyani, I m all the more hungry!!
Looks totally tempting and I m bookmarking this to try!!!

Smruti Shah said...

The biryani ia making me hungry. Such a wonderful recipe you shared!!

Pavani N said...

I've Kalyani's Dindigul biryani bookmarked and now you are tempting me to make this right away. It looks so flavorful and delicious.