Mochai Kottai is called Field Beans or Hyacinth bean in English. It is also called Mochai payaru or mochai kai in Tamil. Every year during Pongal festival time, they are available in abundance in all the vegetable markets. As it is in season now, I wanted to share this flavorful and delicious biryani (pulao) prepared with fresh field beans/mochai. They are perfect for office lunch box also. Today we will learn how to make mochai biryani following this easy recipe with step wise pictures.
Do not get intimidated by the long list of ingredients above, actually it is a very easy recipe.
First we will prepare the masala
Heat a tsp of oil and fry cinnamon, cloves, coriander seeds, cumin seeds, bengal gram dal and red chillies. Remove from pan. In the same pan, saute ginger, garlic and green chillies. Then grind both together adding little water. Our masala paste for the biryani is ready.
Thinly slice onions. Peel the skin and cut potatoes into medium sized pieces. Chop tomatoes and keep it ready.
Pressure cook field beans with a little salt until soft.
Dilute 1/2 cup of thick coconut milk by adding 1 1/2 cup of water. Now we have 2 cups of liquid (very thin coconut milk) for cooking rice. If you do not want to use coconut milk, just use 2 cups of water but adding coconut milk gives a nice taste.
Soak basmati rice for 30 minutes, drain the water completely and keep it ready.
Now cooked mochai, uncooked soaked rice and the masala paste is ready, we will proceed to make the biryani.
Heat oil in a pan or kadai, add cinnamon and cloves. Saute for a few seconds and then add onions. Saute until onions turn transparent. Add a little salt to speed up the process.
Add tomatoes and saute for a few more minutes.
Add chopped potatoes, turmeric powder, salt and cook for a further 2-3 minutes.
Add the masala paste and saute on medium flame until it ooze out oil. Saute the masala paste well stirring continuously.
Add the cooked field beans, curd, chopped coriander and mint leaves.
Then add rice and thin coconut milk. Taste the liquid and check for salt. If required add salt at this stage.
You can do all this directly in the cooker or rice cooker. As I wanted to show the pictures clearly, I did it in a kadai and then transferred it to a cooker. Close the cooker and cook on medium flame until rice is half cooked. Do not put the weight/whistle. Once it is half cooked, stir the contents and close it with weight.
Simmer and cook for another 4 minutes. Once the pressure subsides, open the cooker and serve piping hot mochai biryani with raitha, papads or chips.
Check out more mochai recipes
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