Tamilnadu Brinji Recipe – Vegetable brinji sadam with coconut milk


Brinji is a flavorful vegetable rice made with coconut and coconut milk. Chef Ramakrishnan in his book says “The word Brinji means nothing in Tamil, always a reasonable indicator that the recipe is a borrowed one. In central Asia, especially in Iran (Persia), polished white rice is still called berenj. Persians excelled in cooking rice. It is likely that this polished white rice cooked with mild spices by Arab traders, caught the fancy of Tamil nation and came to be called Berenji or Brinji. Flavoured Rice boiled in milk is still called Sheer Berenji (Milk Rice). It is possible that flavoured rice boiled in water might have been called just Berenji. The brinji is much older than Biriyani/ Pulao/ Tahiri, which are relatively new entrants to Tamil cuisine. Being older, the brinji has internalized south Indian ingredients like coconut and pepper. I’d think the Brinji is the earliest version of Biriyani/ pulav cooked in Tamilnadu. 50 years back no one knew biriyani or pulav in Tamilnadu. All they knew was Brinji. The Tamil name for bay leaves – Brinji elai ( Brinji Leaf) come from the fact they were invariably used in a brinji! Down south, in places like Madurai, the heart of Tamil culture, Brinji is still more famous than the Biriyani/ Pulao.”

This is an OPOS – One Pot One Shot recipe.
We are not going to saute or fry anything in this recipe. We will layer the ingredients in a cooker and cook. Do not scale the recipe up or down. Use exact measurements and equipment. If using induction stove (recommended), cook the brinji at 800W for 15 minutes or 2 whistles whichever is earlier. If using gas stove, cook on medium heat for 2 whistles.
Many people ask me if things will be raw after cooked as we are not sauteing anything. My answer is no. It will be perfectly cooked. Just try it once. I am sure you will like it.

Here is how to do brinji.
Mix all the ingredients listed under marination in a big bowl and set it aside to marinate for one hour at room temperature. During the same time, soak basmati rice in water and let it soak for one hour too! After one hour, the veggie mixture will be slightly liquidy. You are on the right track. Drain the soaked rice and set aside.


The layering process and cooking has been described in the video. Hope you enjoy.

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Tamilnadu Brinji Recipe – Vegetable brinji saadam with coconut milk

Recipe for Tamilnadu style brinji rice made with vegetables and coconut. This veg brinji is very flavorful tamil style recipe. Measurements used 1Cup approx 250 ml

  • Total Time: 1 hour 15 mins
  • Yield: 3 servings 1x



Ingredients for marination

  • 1/2 cup peas, chopped
  • 1/2 cup carrots, chopped
  • 1/2 cup potatoes, chopped
  • 1/2 cup mint leaves, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon red chilli powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper powder
  • 1/2 cup coconut paste (1/4 cup coconut ground with 1/4 cup water to a fine paste)
  • 2 tablespoon ginger garlic paste ( 6 cloves garlic and 1 inch piece ginger ground with little water)
  • 1 teaspoon salt


  • 1 Cup (250 ml) basmati rice

For final layering

  • 2 teaspoon ghee
  • 3 bay leaves, crushed
  • 2 medium sized onion, chopped
  • 1 tomato chopped
  • 1/3 cup light coconut milk
  • 2/3 cup water


  1. Place all the ingredients listed under marination in a wide bowl. Mix well to combine. Marinate for one hour.
  2. Wash and soak the basmati rice in water for one hour.
  3. Take a 3 liter pressure cooker and add in the ghee. Top it with chopped onions and tomato.
  4. Add in half the quantity of marinated veggies along with its juices.
  5. Drain the basmati rice and add it on top of the veggies to form an even layer.
  6. Add in the remaining veggies.
  7. If using induction stove (recommended), cook the brinji at 800W for 15 minutes or 2 whistles whichever is earlier.
  8. If using gas stove, cook on medium heat for 2 whistles.
  9. Switch of the flame and remove from heat.
  10. Let the pressure release naturally. Wait for 20 minutes.
  11. Open the pan and fluff up the rice. Enjoy!


If using ready made ginger garlic paste, use just 2 teaspoon as its concentrated.
When layering, make sure the veggies totally cover the rice layer.

The term OPOS and One Pot One Shot are registered trademarks owned by Mr.Ramakrishnan. The recipes have been adapted using his OPOS principle. They are used in Kannamma Cooks with prior permission.

  • Author: Kannamma - Suguna Vinodh
  • Prep Time: 1 hour
  • Cook Time: 15 mins
  • Category: Main Dish
  • Cuisine: Tamilnadu


46 thoughts on “Tamilnadu Brinji Recipe – Vegetable brinji sadam with coconut milk”

  1. Suguna, The brinji sadam looks fab! I’ll give it a try.

    Btw, Ramakrishnan is mistaken about brinji being the earliest for of biriyani..Late Chef JAcob Aruni had researched this far into the sangam age and have confirmed that Oon soru was the earliest form of biriyani that we Tamils made.

        1. Parul Solanki

          I am not sure what do you mean when you say 1/3 cup light coconut milk? Ma’am please explain.

  2. Hi, If using ready-made ginger garlic paste, how much to use. I use Himalayan garlic(with big cloves). Can i use three cloves and an inch of ginger? Please answer both options.

    1. Depends on the type of rice you use. The basmati rice that I get stays good for an hour soaking n 2 whistles

  3. Waiting to try! Should I cook this at 800w even though my OPOS standardized level is at 1200w?

  4. why sis its been a very long time since u posted a OPOS recipe??? i came to know about OPOS and tried with confidence only bcoz of ur blog, looking forward for more OPOS recipes

  5. Hi sis I never tried brinji today I am going to try it when I seen the video I liked to make it today your cooking way is awesome sis

  6. Thank u for this wonderful recipe. My family members loved it to the core and after a long time i prepared this hotel taste brinji .

  7. Gayatri Rengarajan

    I make many of ur dishes and it’s always a hit.While cooking any pulav or biryani I make in pan cooker. After closing the lid and once I get full steam, I put the weight and keep the stove on sim for 10 mins and switch off. After half hour the rice is ready. Can I do the same way or medium heat 2 whistles as u sd for this brinji opos.

  8. Wow.. Its very easy to cook, time saving especially for working women. Delicious too…

    Warm Regards…

  9. Your recipe was excellent… I had been wanting this recipe for a long time and i finally got it. Thanks for sharing with all the exact proportion.

  10. Mam, 2/3 cups of water and 1/3 cup of coconut milk means…… For 1 cup of rice I have to 3 cups liquid, am I right mam?

  11. Dear kannamma,

    Thank you so much for your OPOS recipes. It is a time saving process as well as it is so delicious.

    In tamilnadu,in this hot summer it is very difficult to cook. Now with this Opos, i enjoy cooking.

  12. Hi Dear, Tried and came out so nice. Never heard of Brinji rice before 😛
    So thanks to you!! 🙂

  13. Ashwini Benjit

    Hi Suguna, Ive been a regular visitor to this blog…. i must say your blog has one of the most authentic tamil recipes, as i remember from my childhood days, Ive been following your biriyani recipes and its a big hit here in the army circle of delhi.. ( I’m married to an army officer, and do host N number of parties per month ) Just wanted to thank you so much for sharing your knowledge with us. And about birinji i remember the versions i grew up with in chennai… We used fried bread croutons and also sometimes soya nuggets….. and the birinji had a strong smell of just roasted garlic and no ginger… i should say u must try this version and you might love it as much as we chennaivasi’s do! thanks again for the recipes and wish u loads of luck!

  14. Your videos are interesting and are in my never miss list
    I ve used india gate basmati rice n they don’t come so fluffy
    Can u tell me which brand is good

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