Methi Biryani

Every restaurant, juice shop, or roadside frankie stall I go to, there’s already a couple of Swiggy and Zomato guys ahead of me. I see them at every traffic light. On the road, there’s always one of them behind me who is trying to overtake me from the wrong side. When I step out on the balcony I see one of them zip past my house. What are the odds?

But the one I am waiting for always goes to my neighbour’s house instead. I then provide all my id proof details to persuade him that I am the rightful owner of that biryani.

Methi biryani

We’re not cooking as a people, I conclude. What’s happening?! I find that disturbing. This is one of those small, innocuous little changes that just happen and seem perfectly reasonable but are actually harbingers of a much bigger shift.

It can’t seem right that we’re cooking less and less at home. We may well forget how to cook. There’s nothing more tragic. Cooking is a life skill. Jagan believes checking the car’s coolant, changing a punctured tyre and cleaning the AC filter are important life skills too. We agree to disagree.

Cooking is zen. Cooking is power. Cooking is freedom.

Methi biryani


I know I can make biryani if I was tempted by all the Bhai biryani but I had no muslim friends to give me Biryani. I know I can make Thai green curry if I really wanted it.

I need not eat Pongal if everyone else in the family loves it but I hate it. I can make myself a sandwich instead. Note that this is not applicable if you’re in a joint family. You’re screwed.

I am eating healthier. I am eating fresher. I am also avoiding all that plastic packaging that comes with home-delivered food.

Cooking is work. It has taught me patience and compassion. I am more understanding now when my mother’s vadai is not as fluffy one day, when the hotel’s tiffen sambar is less stunning today than last time, when my own biryani is ear-shattering hot this time.

There’s nothing more fulfilling, more soul-satisfying than a sitting down to a favourite home-cooked meal. Yes, it’s a little work but so worth it.

I know what you’re thinking in your minds. “Then why do you order on Swiggy and Zomato?” I try my best not to. Sometimes I need to. And then there’s Jagan. I’ve found that the weeks I plan my menu in advance we’re less likely to order take-out. So that’s something I plan to do more regularly in future. I’ll share my weekly menu one of these days.

How about you? What do you think is the best way around this? I’d love to hear your thoughts.

Today I am sharing the recipe to an easy yet delicious Methi Biryani. I wanted to make something other than Thepla with the Methi leaves I’d got. So I made up this recipe. I hope you like it.

Methi biryani

I surprised myself with this Methi biryani. I did not expect it to turn out as well as it did. I am really glad I have one more recipe up my sleeve that uses Keerai (greens) but is not the usual keerai masiyal. This biryani is bursting with fresh flavours of methi, ginger and spices. This Methi biryani is simple enough to make for school lunch on a weekday when you’ve woken up late. I did just that. Serve this methi biryani with a simple raitha and you’re done.

Let me know if you make it. I’d love to see your pictures.


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Methi Biryani
An easy yet delicious Methi biryani that's bursting with fresh flavours of Methi, ginger and spices!
  1. Wash Basmati rice and soak in water for 20 minutes. Heat a pressure cooker. Add oil and ghee and wait till it turns hot. Add the whole spices - bay leaf, cinnamon, cardamom, cloves and star anise and fry till they turn fragrant.
  2. Add chopped onion, grated ginger and green chillies and fry till the onions turn translucent. Add the methi leaves and green peas and fry for a couple of minutes. Add spice powders and salt and yogurt and mix well. Cook on low heat for 5-7 minutes making sure to scrape the bottom of the cooker from time to time.
  3. When oil glistens around the edges, pour in the soaking liquid from the rice and bring to a boil. Check the height of liquid in the cooker. Make sure that it is just about an inch high. Taste and adjust seasoning. Add the soaked rice and mix well. Cover with the pressure cooker lid and wait till steam emerges. Plug in the weight and reduce heat to low. Pressure cook for 8-10 minutes on low heat. Switch off. Wait for 5 minutes. Let pressure subside naturally. Open the lid and fluff up the rice gently with a wooden spoon. Serve hot with a simple raita. Enjoy!
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