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Saturday, March 15, 2014

Thalassery Biriyani (Malabar Biriyani/Kerela Biriyani)

Thalassery Biryani is the famous biriyani served at Muslim weddings in Kerela. It was originally made from a short grained and flavorful rice variety called Jeerakasala but now people has started using Basmati rice as well. While I came across a lot of variations on internet, some using curry leaves, other had coconut milk and still others used rose attar, this one seemed authentic. It is taken from a local TV channel called Amrita TV.

It does not use any red chilli powder, only green chillis. And the gravy made for chicken does not use any oil in it. Only the fried onions called 'Bista' are added to the gravy to deepen its flavor. Read on for the recipe.

















Preparation Time - 1 hour ( and some more standby time )

Ingredients - (serves 2)


  • 400 gm Chicken pieces (medium sized)
  • 2 1/2 cups Jeerakasala rice ( or Jeera Samba rice )
  • 3 large Onions (finely sliced in circular/semi-circular shapes)
  • 5-6 garlic cloves
  • 1 inch long ginger
  • 4-5 green chillis
  • 2 large tomatoes (finely chopped)
  • 1 cup mint leaves (chopped)
  • 1/2 cup coriander leaves (chopped)
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric
  • 1 lemon
  • Salt to taste
  • Ghee + Oil for frying the onions


For the Biriyani Masala Powder


  • 3 cloves
  • 1 1/2 inch cinnamon
  • 2 green cardamoms
  • 1 petal Mace
  • 1/2 tsp fennel seeds
  • 1 tsp peppercorns
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds 
  • a pinch of Nutmeg


( Some recipes also have a little bit of aniseed and shahjeera added to this masala. But the one I tried was quite good

in itself. )

For cooking the rice -


  • 1 tsp ghee
  • 1 star anise
  • 2-3 cardomoms
  • 2-3 cloves
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • salt to taste


Preparation - Wash and marinate the chicken with salt and turmeric.

Cooking - Heat oil in a wok for frying the onions.

Fry onions in small batches on medium heat and take each batch out of the oil for a few second during frying. This makes them crisper as it allows the water content of onions to turn into vapour.

Dry roast all the spices (except nutmeg) mentioned under Biriyani Masala. Allow to cool down a few degrees. Then grind into a powder in a mixer/coffee grinder. (Add a little bit of coarse salt when using a mixer, it helps to get a fine powder )

Roughly grind the ginger, garlic and green chillis.

Cook the rice in a pressure cooker along with the ingredients mentioned under 'For cooking the rice'. After levelling the rice with a spatula, add water in sufficient quantity so that it stands nearly 1 1/2 inch above the rice. Close lid and cook for 1 whistle. Remove and open after steam escapes. Fluff up with a fork.

Heat a thick bottomed vessel (we will be using it for the DUM process later on, so it should be really thick). Add the chopped tomatoes with a little water. Cook till soft and mashy.

Add the ginger-garlic-green chilli paste and cook till raw smell goes off.

Add the chicken and cook for 5 minutes.

Add the powdered masala and chopped mint leaves. Mix well and cook till chicken is 80 percent done.

Add 3/4 th of the fried onions at this stage. Mix well and cook till chicken is tender.

Add lemon juice and coriander leaves. Mix well and switch off flame.

Layer the cooked rice over the chicken. Add remaining fried onions and dot with the saffrom milk.

Cover the vessel with a cloth and put on the lid. Allow to sit on lowest possible heat/flame for 15-20 mins. (I did this process using an induction cooker.)

Remove the lid and cloth. Mix the layers a bit.

Serve hot with raita and coriander coconut chutney.



2 comments:

  1. Dont make me hungry, am drooling here..wat a fabulous biryani.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Delicious and yummy biriyani ..mouthwatering dear :)

    ReplyDelete

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