Tomato Biryani | How to make the Perfect Biryani

>>  Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Don't get misled my the title that this is part of the How to make Perfect Series. This is my own series of covering up the perfect dish. I can vouch that today's biryani is the perfect one on all fronts.

I almost thought I won't be doing the third day post. It was quite a surprise that I actually did manage the first two days, however I was so confident that I can no longer expect to do something on the lines of a gourmet rice dish on a short notice. 

However situation presented itself to me, and I am not one who won't take advantage of it. I had to make some one pot meal for lunch today and I thought I might as well do something that I can post today. So this is rather hot from the pot, or camera. Amma had suggested I do Tomato Pulao. Since I already have so many varieties of Tomato rice, doing another new one was looking bleak. I was looking for inspiration and when I checked this recipe, I thought I can modify to suit the gourmet requirement. This is almost like combining many of the versions I already make. It's nice to know that mix and match can actually end up with a perfect dish for you!
I added more spices and made it extra rich as well. Infact I made my regular cauliflower gravy, and when I had my lunch I realized I could've served it with just raitha or as such. The rice was amazing on it's own. Not to mention that everybody loved it, both at office and at home.

Coming to the spices I added extra, I am not sure of the name of this long pepper kind of spice that gets sold. I think I should find out the exact name, I keep forgetting. The reasons for achieving the perfect taste could be attributed to the half of the star anise and this long pepper like spice I used. 

Tomato Biryani

Ingredients Needed:

For the Ground Masala

Shallot Onions/ Sambar Onions - 1/2 cup / 10 nos
Garlic - 4 -5 cloves
Ginger - 1"
Fennel - 1 tsp

For the Rice Saute

Basmati Rice - 1 & 1/2 cups
Onion, julienne - 1 medium
Mint leaves - handful
Green Chillies - 2 long
Tomato Puree - 2 medium or 3/4 cup
Fresh Peas - 1/2 cup
Red chili powder - 3/4 tsp
Turmeric powder a pinch
Salt to taste
Ghee - 2 tsp
Oil - 2 tsp
Thick Coconut Milk - 1 cup
Water - 1 & 1/4 cup

Whole spices

Bay leaf - 2 medium
Cumin seeds - 3/4 tsp
Star Anise - 1/2
Long biryani spice - 1
Cloves - 3 - 4
Cardamom - 2

How to make the Tomato Biryani

Wash and soak the rice for 15 mins.

Soak and peel the shallots, garlic and ginger. Grind to a smooth paste along with fennel seeds. Keep it aside.

Heat a pressure cooker with ghee and oil. Add the whole spices, slit green chilies, onion juliennes, mint leaves.

Saute well and then add the ground masala. Cook for couple of mins, then add the fresh peas, saute well.

After couple of mins, add the tomato puree, salt and red chili powder. Allow the mix to get cooked well.

Next add the drained rice and combine everything well. Add the thick coconut milk, water and adjust the seasoning. Add finely chopped coriander leaves.

Cover with lid and pressure cook for 3 whistles.


You could replace the water with all coconut milk. Just ensure you adjust the spice accordingly. 

This tends to make the rice till soft and soggy when you make in pressure cooker, you can easily reduce the water content by 1/2 cup. 

Basmati rice is always 1 cup to 1 & 1/2 cup water. However when you are adding tomato puree, you can reduce the final water measurement by 1/2 cup

If you still feel that the rice is still on the mushy side, you could cover the lid with newspaper and tightly cover again with the top lid. Leave it for 10 mins and your rice will become dry.

This version of rice is really spiced well, so you could simply serve with plain raitha and no need for any spicy gravy to accompany.

Check out the Blogging Marathon page for the other Blogging Marathoners doing BM# 38


Manjula Bharath March 13, 2014 at 12:49 AM  

omg thats really a perfect and flavorful Biryani there :) Make me hungry dear , pass me the bowl :)

Pavani N March 13, 2014 at 3:46 AM  

That is one very flavorful tomato biryani. One more dish bookmarked!!

Ruchi Indu March 13, 2014 at 9:54 AM  

My favourite... This is one dish which I keep coming back to.

I think the spice you indicated in your post (long pepper kind) is Marathi Moggu. Just search for this name in the internet :-)

Varadas Kitchen March 13, 2014 at 9:55 AM  

That is one spicy biryani. Looks delicious.

Kalpana Sareesh March 13, 2014 at 10:04 AM  

love such onepot meal.

Briju Parthasarathy March 13, 2014 at 10:08 AM  

Very tasty and a new twist to tomato biryani aka rice. The spices add zing to the dish and the long pepper is called marathi moggu is a type of capers also known as Kapk Buds used in karnatak cuisines especially in making bhath powders.

Srivalli March 13, 2014 at 11:22 AM  

Thank you everybody...

Ruchi This is not Marathi Moggu. Marthi Moggu looks different and I have showed in another spice mix..

Briju Can you please let me know the english name or even a picture of Kapk Buds ?..I am not able to gather any info on net

Pallavi Purani March 13, 2014 at 11:30 AM  

Thats a delish combo of spices. Super. Well done

Resna Nishad March 13, 2014 at 12:05 PM  

Wow its so perfect....looks delicious...

Priya Suresh March 13, 2014 at 5:19 PM  

Valli its Kapok buds aka marathi mokku,i'll add it in briyani,

Such a flavourful briyani, even i love to add green peas in briyani..inviting.

Sathya Priya March 14, 2014 at 5:09 AM  

Love the flavourful biriyani.For a change in regular rice n sambhars biriyanis are needed .Loved ur version .

Chef Mireille March 15, 2014 at 10:54 AM  

with the use of fennel and coconut milk, this must have an amazing flavor

sushma March 18, 2014 at 9:01 PM  

Delicious pulao. Coconut milk must have given an awesome taste to the dish

Sreevalli E March 26, 2014 at 2:25 AM  

Delicious & flavorful rice.. Very tempting dish.

Harini-Jaya R March 28, 2014 at 6:02 AM  

Valli, I can never get enough of tomato rice..I also make it in so many different ways but never get to take pictures as they are all spur of the moment inspirations in the morning rush hour! This one sounds wonderful too.

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