Having tried Biryanis from different outlets in Chennai, the one we got hooked on to was the Thalappakatti Biryani. In case you are wondering what it is, let me explain. The Thalappakatti Biriyani Hotels roots can be traced all the way back to 1957. Founded by Mr. Nagasamy Naidu under the name Anandha Vilas Biriyani Hotel in Dindigul. He always wore a turban called THALAPA(a traditional head dress), which over the years became synonymous with his brand and cooking styles, leading him to earn the nick name “Thalappakatti Naidu” which eventually became the name of the brand and restaurants. (Courtesy: http://www.thalappakatti.com/aboutus.html )
Though I had bookmarked a couple of recipesfor this Biryani, followed my gut feeling and chose the recipe from Kannamma cooks. This was pretty close to the original Thalappakatti Biryani. Usually “Seeraga samba” rice is used while making Thalappakatti Biryani. You can use Basmati rice also.
- 500 gms Rice Seeraga Samba (2- 1/2 cups)
- 750 gms Chicken
- 3 tablespoons Ghee
- 1/2 teaspoon Chilli Powder
- 1/2 cup Curd
- to taste Salt
- 1 handful Mint Leaves
- 2 handfuls Coriander Leaves
- half lime Juice of
- 2 cups Water
To be Ground to a paste
- 5 - 8 Green Chillies (Adjust to suit your heat tolerance)
- 3 Cinnamon sticks
- 3 Cardamom
- 3 Cloves
- 1/8 Nutmeg
- 1 Mace (small piece)
- 50 gms Ginger
- 50 gms Garlic
- 50 gms Shallots
- Soak the rice in water for 30 minutes.
- Grind all the ingredients mentioned above and keep aside.
- Heat oil and ghee in a heavy pan and add the ground paste.
- Fry on medium heat till oil separates from the mixture.
- Add the chilli powder and stir for a few seconds.
- Add the chicken. Saute the chicken so the masala coats evenly. Add water and salt and mix well.
- Cover and cook till the chicken is almost done.
- Add the curd. Cook with the lid open for 5 minutes.
- Remove the cooked meat to a bowl and roughly measure how much liquid is left behind.
- As we are using 2-1/2 cups of rice, we require double the quantity of liquid, i.e 5 cups. Add just enough water to the liquid so that you get 5 cups of liquid. (If using Basmati rice, you need to use 3 cups of liquid only).
- Bring the liquid to a rolling boil. Add the chopped mint and coriander leaves. Add the meat along with the drained rice. Check and adjust the seasoning. Add the lime juice.
- Cover and cook till the rice is cooked through. Allow to rest for 20 minutes before opening the pan. Serve hot with Raita.