Brinji ~ Vegetable Pulav | Tamil Nadu Style Brinji Rice | Lunch Box Series : LBS#25

The best experience one can have with food, will be having a good wedding feast. The varieties one gets served, is simply out of the world. Previous to being a food blogger, I have never really appreciated the varieties one can see in a spread. Not that I eat all of them now. But I have started appreciating the efforts and the varieties one gets served in a wedding feast. I always restrict myself to sambar, appalam and whatever snack that served. Rest of the items just goes wasted. Most times I ask them not to serve. These days I atleast try to eat the poriyal or the kootu.

My favorite feast has always been a Brahmin wedding spread. I simply love their choice and the taste that comes out of it. Of course, now I make usil and other dishes at home. Back then, it used to be a treat. My best friend at school was a brahmin and once when my parents had gone out of station, I was invited for a breakfast at their place. I was in for a real feast. What we have for lunch, they had for their breakfast. Aunty had made Drumstick Sambar with Appalam, Parupu Usil, Avial, Kootu, Rasam and Curds. Gosh by the time I eat all of that, I was ready for a sleep. Imagine eating all that heavy stuff right in the morning. All my brahmin friends had this habit. For me, once was more than enough, though I thoroughly enjoyed the experience. We also make all these items in the morning for our packed lunch. I can never imagine changing my food habit. And during weekends, we start our lunch preparation quite late in the morning. But my friends used to have a brunch and then have some light tiffin around 4 pm and then straight dinner. They follow the wise words correctly. I guess each one to their habit.

Coming back to the wedding feast, one of the common items these days in any wedding is a rice dish that they as Brinji. Not sure of the origin of the name but it's one of the most delicious dish one gets to eat. Sure it does tastes different in all weddings, still it's something that's very unique to the wedding feast. I have for many years tried searching for the perfect one or rather the ones that I remember eating at the wedding feasts. I came across another version called, though on its own it tasted great, it wasn't the same thing. I don't remember where I saw this one but I am still searching for the perfect one as its in my mind. If you know one, I would be glad to know the way this is prepared and served in the wedding, meanwhile I will go ahead with the one I prepared recently. First time I did, I didn't have Pudina but it tasted good. So I thought maybe adding pudina/mint might give that exact taste. But it was altogether different one. I had a version minus the roasted spices but adding the roasted spices gave a different taste. Still we enjoyed for our lunch box.
Today's Lunch Box had

Brinji ~ Vegetable Rice
Onion Raitha
Pepper Cumin Rasam
Curd Rice

Brinji ~ Vegetable Rice

Ingredients Needed:

Basmati Rice - 1 & 1/2cup
Onions - 2 medium
Mixed vegetables – 1 cup (potato, carrot, beans, peas)
Coconut milk – 2 cups (1 half of a medium sized coconut)
Cloves – 2
Cardamom – 2
Cinnamon – 1 "
Bay leaf – 1
Oil – 2 tbsp
Salt – to taste

Spices to be ground

Grated coconut – ½ cup
Cumin seeds – 1 tsp
Green chillies – 4
Ginger – 1 "
Garlic – 5 cloves
Coriander leaves – ¼ cup packed tightly
Mint leaves – handful

Method to prepare

Soak the basmati rice in water for 15 minutes.

Grind all the spice ingredients to a fine paste with little water.

Grind the coconut with little water to get a thick milk.

Heat the oil in a pressure cooker, add the cloves, cardamom, cinnamon and the bay leaf. Sauté for 1 min, then add the onions chopped as julienne and sauté till lightly browned.

Once the onions are brown, add the spice paste and fry for another 5 minutes on a low flame. Take care to ensure it doesn't stick to the bottom.

Add the chopped vegetables and fry for 2-3 minutes.

Drain the rice and reserve the water. Add the rice to the cooker and gently fry for 2 min. Take 2 cups of coconut milk and 1 cup of reserved water, and add to the cooker. Stir well so that it gets mixed properly. Add salt. Cover and put it for 1 whistle.

Serve with Onion raitha.

Before covering, ensure you stir it well so that it gets mixed. Once you open the lid, it might be little watery but once you keep it aside, its all set.

This is my entry for Meeta's Monthly Mingle which this month is one dish dinner.

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