Vegetable Brinji Rice, or Brinji sadam is a popular one pot ‘pulao’ from South India. It is a complete meal in itself with rice and vegetables. Short-grained rice, usually seeraga samba is cooked with whole spices in coconut milk. There are many variations with freshly ground spices, several spices etc. My version uses minimal spices, involves no grinding, and is made in a pressure cooker.
The word ‘Brinji’ could be because it uses bayleaf, commonly known as Brinji elai in tamil or a more logical reason is it has its roots in a Persian dish called ‘Berenj’ – a pudding cooked with rice and milk. However, this Tamilnadu style is no pudding! It is a wholesome, one pot meal with rice, coconut milk, vegetables and whole spices. It needs no side dish, and I’d happily lap it up with Raitha and potato chips but any spice side dish will go well with it.
Let’s make some Vegetable Brinji now. If you start now, you can have it in 30 minutes!
We had with some Gutti Vankaya, an Andhra style brinjal dish and it was a delicious meal. Recipe for this is coming soon!
Vegetable Brinji | Brinji Sadam in Pressure Cooker
- 1 tbsp oil
- 1 tbsp ghee read notes for a vegan version
- 1 small piece of cinnamon
- 2 cardamom pods
- 2 cloves
- 1 medium sliced onion about 1/2 cup
- 1 tsp crushed ginger
- 1 tsp crushed garlic
- 4 sliced green chillies I use Indian green chillies. 4 chillies are not a lot because of coconut milk used, however do reduce if suitable for your spice levels.
- a handful mint leaves
- a handful coriander leaves
- 1 cup rice I prefer a short grained rice like seeraga samba but this can also be made with Basmati. Read notes for water level.
- 2 cups mixed vegetables carrots, beans, potatoes, peas
- 1 cup coconut milk
- 3/4 cup water
- 2 tsp curd read notes for a vegan version
- 1 tsp salt
- 2 tsp oil
- 2 bay leaves
- 4-5 cashews
- 1 slice bread
- Soak rice for 10 minutes.
- To a pressure cooker, add oil, ghee and whole spices.
- Once the spices are roasted, add onions, ginger, garlic, chillies and saute for a bit. Now add the mint leaves and mix again.
- Add vegetables and saute for 3-4 minutes. The vegetables have to get sauteed for a while and the flavour of mint, spices infuse into the vegetables.
- Now, add the coconut milk, curd, water, salt to taste followed by the soaked rice.
- Reduce flame and let the rice and coconut milk mixture boil for 2-3 minutes.
- Close the cooker, keep flame on low to medium and cook for 1-2 whistles, or 5 minutes whichever is earlier.
- Let pressure fully settle and then open the cooker.
- In a pan, add oil and fry the cashews, then the bay leaves. Seperately, fry some bread pieces.
- Add these bay leaves on the cooked pulao and keep the dish closed for 10 minutes before serving.
- Garnish with cashews, more coriander before serving
Instant pot Cooking Instructions
- To make this in a Instant Pot, use the saute mode until adding rice. Close immediately and cook in Pressure Cook mode for 3 minutes. Open after 5 minutes.
- I also recommend using an inner vessel if cooking 1 cup of rice only in a 6qt IP. If making more than 1 cup rice, then you can use directly as mentioned in the above point.
- To use an inner vessel, saute as usual and transfer to the inner vessel. Add water to the base, place the inner vessel and cook as above. You may need a minute or more so.
- Any rice only requires about 10 minutes of soaking time.
- The water measurements above are for Seeraga Samba, short-grained rice. The ratio of rice to liquid is 1:1 and 3/4. Of this, we use 1 cup as coconut milk and the rest as water+ curd.
- If using basmati, the same amount of water will suffice.
- If using another short-grained rice like ponni, sona masoori – an extra 1/4 cup of water may be required.
- It is recommended to use coconut milk and water – cooking fully in coconut milk will be too rich.
- To make this dish vegan, substitute the ghee with oil and instead of curd, add 1/2 tsp lemon juice just before closing the cooker ( after adding rice).
Want more interesting rice recipes?
Please leave a comment below if you made this recipe, have any questions or thoughts! Your comment will help me learn more about your preferences and will help other readers.
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