Brinji Rice | Instant Pot Vegetable Brinji Rice

A flavorful rice recipe with exotic Indian spices and vegetables cooked in coconut milk. Here comes my second kid-friendly lunch box special – Brinji rice or to precisely say Instant pot vegetable brinji rice. Hop on to read what exactly is Brinji rice and how to make it?

This brinji rice or colloquially called as veg brinji is a famous dish in Tamil Nadu, and you can see in the wedding reception menu or on the Jaanavasam day menu along with kurma and cauliflower or potato roast. (We had it at our wedding too) A couple of years ago, when I made kuska rice, I got this grave doubt whats the difference between pulav, biryani, kuska rice and brinji are? I pinged Mullai, and we were discussing all these varieties.

Every recipe traces its route long back in history. But I am just going to share what I understood. Please excuse me, if I am wrong. Biryani, as we all know, was introduced to us by Persians. We cook Biryani with different spices and spice powders. Traditionally Dum cooking should be followed for biryani. Pulao, on the other hand, is subtly spiced than biryani and it doesn’t require the Dum cooking. You can read more about pulao, pilaf, and biryani here.

Now coming to Kuska rice or Kuska biryani, it is plain biryani without any veggies or meat, Whereas brinji is mild like pulav but cooked with coconut milk.  There are no hard and fast rules; you can make what your family likes. I made the veggie version of kuska biryani with coconut milk, calling it thengai paal saadam.

Kiddo likes mild biryani and pulav, and during the toddler stage, kiddo used call biryani as the brown mum mum. A couple of years ago, I tried kuska rice with coconut milk, and he liked it very much and from then on it became our lunch box recipe. When I realized brinji rice is similar, then I tried this variation as well. I adapted the base recipe from Mullai’s space but modified it a bit to suit our taste buds.

When you are tired of regular idli, roti and pasta for kids lunch, try this mild veg brinji rice. I used store bought coconut milk for this recipe, but of course, you can make it at home too. Also, I had only carrots and potatoes in hand so went with those veggies. But you can add beans, peas, and cauliflower too, but in little quantity.

Here is the recipe for the Instant Pot Vegetable Brinji Rice prepared with seeraga samba rice,

Brinji Rice | Instant Pot Vegetable Brinji Rice

A flavorful rice recipe with exotic Indian spices and vegetables cooked in coconut milk. Here is the instant pot version of the famous veg brinji.

Ingredients

  • Onion – 1 (Medium sized)
  • Carrot -1 ( when chopped, I got 3/4 cup)
  • Potato – 1
  • Tomato – 1
  • Bay leaves – 2
  • Green chilies – 2
  • Oil – 1 tsp
  • Ghee – 2 tsp
  • Star Anise – 1
  • Fennel seeds – 1 tsp
  • Ginger Garlic paste – 1 tsp
  • Mint leaves – 15
  • Salt – 1.5 tsp
  • Rice – 1.5 cups (I used seeraga samba variety)
  • Thick Coconut Milk – 1.5 cups
  • Water – 1.5 cups
  • Chopped cilantro – 1 tbsp
  • To roughly grind:
  • Cardamom – 3
  • Cloves – 3
  • Cinnamon – 1-inch stick
  • Fennel seeds – 1/2 tsp

Prep – Work:

  • Cut the onion and tomato and cut the carrot and potatoes into small cubes.
  • If preparing fresh coconut milk, make it and set aside 1.5 cups of thick coconut milk. I used store bought one. Make sure you shake the can well before using and set aside 1.5 cups of coconut milk.
  • Using hand mortar and pestle or using a mixer (in pulse mode) roughly grind the cardamom, cloves, cinnamon and fennel seeds.

  • Wash and soak the rice for 15 minutes.
  • Roughly the chop the mint leaves.

Instant Pot Method:

  • Set the IP in saute mode. When it is hot, then add the oil and ghee. Followed by fennel seeds, bay leaf and star anise.

  • Let it cook for 30 seconds and then add slit green chilies, ginger garlic paste, and onions. Cook until the onions turn translucent.

  • At this stage, add the mint leaves and the roughly ground masala and mix well.

  • Let it cook for a minute and then add the tomatoes, potatoes, and carrots.

  • Add salt and let it cook for two minutes.

  • Now add the water, coconut milk, and cilantro.

  • Drain the water from the rice and then add it the IP.

  • Mix all the ingredients and set the IP in manual mode and set it high pressure for 5 minutes. After 5 minutes let it sit in warm mode for 3 or 4 minutes and then quickly release the pressure.

  • Carefully open the lid and let it cool for 5 minutes before mixing.

Pressure cooker Method:

  • Heat a pressure pan or cooker and add the oil and ghee.
  • When it hot, then add the fennel seeds, bay leaf and star anise.
  • Let it cook for 30 seconds and then add slit green chilies, ginger garlic paste, and onions. Cook until the onions turn translucent.
  • At this stage, add the mint leaves and the roughly ground masala and mix well.
  • Let it cook for a minute and then add the tomatoes, potatoes, and carrots.
  • Add salt and let it cook for two minutes.
  • Now add the water, coconut milk, and cilantro.
  • Drain the water from the rice and then add it the pressure cooker.
  • Mix all the ingredients and pressure cook for just one whistle. Let the pressure subside naturally and carefully open the lid.
  • Allow it to cool again for 5 minutes, before mixing.

Notes:

  • Along with potatoes and carrots, you can use peas, beans, and cauliflower.
  • Adjust the salt and spice as per your preference.
  • Instead of water, you can use thin coconut milk. In that case, increase the green chili amount.
  • I soak the rice only for 15 minutes and for seerga samba this timing worked out better. The cooking time in IP varies
  • depending upon the rice variety and also based on the soaking time.
  • If you want to skip the quick pressure release option, then cook the rice in the low-pressure mode for 3 to 5 minutes depending on the rice variety and let the pressure release naturally. Will post more about the low-pressure mode in the coming posts.
  • Instead of seeraga sambar, you can use basmati or regular rice as well.

I usually serve this with raita, and I pack the rice when it is at room temperature.

4.5 from 2 votes
Brinji Rice | Instant Pot Vegetable Brinji Rice
Prep Time
10 mins
Cook Time
20 mins
Total Time
30 mins
 
A flavorful rice recipe with exotic Indian spices and vegetables cooked in coconut milk. Here is the instant pot version of the famous veg brinji.
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: TamilNadu
Servings: 4
Author: Srividhya G
Ingredients
  • Onion - 1 Medium sized
  • Carrot -1 when chopped, I got 3/4 cup
  • Potato - 1
  • Tomato - 1
  • Bay leaves - 2
  • Green chilies - 2
  • Oil - 1 tsp
  • Ghee - 2 tsp
  • Star Anise - 1
  • Fennel seeds - 1 tsp
  • Ginger Garlic paste - 1 tsp
  • Mint leaves - 15
  • Salt - 1.5 tsp
  • Rice - 1.5 cups I used seeraga samba variety
  • Thick Coconut Milk - 1.5 cups
  • Water - 1.5 cups
  • Chopped cilantro - 1 tbsp
To roughly grind:
  • Cardamom - 3
  • Cloves - 3
  • Cinnamon - 1-inch stick
  • Fennel seeds - 1/2 tsp
Instructions
Prep - Work:
  1. Cut the onion and tomato and cut the carrot and potatoes into small cubes.
  2. If preparing fresh coconut milk, make it and set aside 1.5 cups of thick coconut milk. I used store bought one. Make sure you shake the can well before using and set aside 1.5 cups of coconut milk.
  3. Using hand mortar and pestle or using a mixer (in pulse mode) roughly grind the cardamom, cloves, cinnamon and fennel seeds.
  4. Wash and soak the rice for 15 minutes.
  5. Roughly the chop the mint leaves.
Instant Pot Method:
  1. Set the IP in saute mode. When it is hot, then add the oil and ghee. Followed by fennel seeds, bay leaf and star anise.
  2. Let it cook for 30 seconds and then add slit green chilies,ginger garlic paste, and onions. Cook until the onions turn translucent.

  3. At this stage, add the mint leaves and the roughly ground masala and mix well.
  4. Let it cook for a minute and then add the tomatoes, potatoes, and carrots.
  5. Add salt and let it cook for two minutes.
  6. Now add the water, coconut milk, and cilantro.
  7. Drain the water from the rice and then add it the IP.
  8. Mix all the ingredients and set the IP in manual mode and set it high pressure for 5 minutes. After 5 minutes let it sit in warm mode for 3 or 4 minutes and then quickly release the pressure.
  9. Carefully open the lid and let it cool for 5 minutes before mixing.
Pressure cooker Method:
  1. Heat a pressure pan or cooker and add the oil and ghee.
  2. When it hot, then add the fennel seeds, bay leaf and star anise.
  3. Let it cook for 30 seconds and then add slit green chilies ginger garlic paste, and onions. Cook until the onions turn translucent.

  4. At this stage, add the mint leaves and the roughly ground masala and mix well.
  5. Let it cook for a minute and then add the tomatoes, potatoes, and carrots.
  6. Add salt and let it cook for two minutes.
  7. Now add the water, coconut milk, and cilantro.
  8. Drain the water from the rice and then add it the pressure cooker.
  9. Mix all the ingredients and pressure cook for just one whistle. Let the pressure subside naturally and carefully open the lid.
  10. Allow it to cool again for 5 minutes, before mixing.
Recipe Notes
  • Along with potatoes and carrots, you can use peas, beans, and cauliflower.
  • Adjust the salt and spice as per your preference. Instead of water, you can use thin coconut milk. In that case, increase the green chili amount.
  • I soak the rice only for 15 minutes and for seerga samba this timing worked out better. The cooking time in IP varies depending upon the rice variety and also based on the soaking time.
  • If you want to skip the quick pressure release option, then cook the rice in the low-pressure mode for 3 to 5 minutes depending on the rice variety and let the pressure release naturally. Will post more about the low-pressure mode in the coming posts.
  • Instead of seeraga sambar, you can use basmati or regular rice as well.
  • I usually serve this with raita, and I pack the rice when it is at room temperature.

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32 thoughts on “Brinji Rice | Instant Pot Vegetable Brinji Rice

  1. This is surely a fantastic one pot meal Srividhya, this surely tastes yummy and great for lunch..I normally make something like this with different masala powders as the mood strikes, makes it easy to plan..

  2. Nice to read about the difference between all the types of rice preparations the Indian cuisine has. I love anything with coconut in it. Nice brinji rice, healthy and tasty for lunch box.

  3. I too make this kind of rice often and prefer coconut milk to regular water as it gives a nice aroma to the dish. I m yet to use different spices, i m kind of stuck with 4-5 which i use in tempering!
    Rice looks perfectly done in your magic pot IP!! Perfect for lunchboxes!

  4. Never thought of the difference in names but it is quite interesting to read about it. Mom used coconut milk for rices only when there were guests and it used to be amazing. So even I follow the same tradition. This version of brinji rice with veggies look so yum Vidya.

  5. Simple and flavorful brinji rice Vidhya. My kids like vegetable pulao, actually my daughter likes the vegetables and my son likes the rice — but they both eat it veggie fried rice without complaining. I am going to try your Brinji rice for them — I’m sure they will like it.

  6. Definitely this is my kind of food !!! You know what i love to add coconut milk for all my pulao, biryani or even for tomato rice sometimes and really love the mild sweetness and flavor from the coconut milk. But seriously i don’t know till now that cooking with coconut milk is called as Brinji rice :-) . Glad at least now i know :-)

  7. And here comes the IP recipe queen !! Till the end of the recipe I kept thinking this was brinjal rice (vangibhath) which u kept referring to as brinji rice !! How mistaken I was .. interesting to know this is a nomenclature of variety rice ! Bookmarking to try

  8. A very good read , i generally make Pulaos or Biryanis but haven’t made much variety with coconut milk . The brinj sounds flavourful , the mild rice and can be served with a simple curry too . Great lunch box idea

  9. manjulabharathkumar2016

    Omg such an flavorful and delicious looking brinji rice there :) I love having brinji rice with spicy curry on side , but this mild version is calling me vidhya . It is such an torture to just watch all these yummy dishes and unable to dig into them :D Love how you made them in Instant pot, so perfectly done not only kids even I can finish the box full of brinji in no time :) wonderful lunc box recipe again vidhya !!

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