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Thalassery Biryani

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Thalassery Biryani, also known as Malabar Biryani, is a very popular Biryani dish of Kerala. This takes its name from the place Thalassery, a coastal town in Kannur district in Kerala. In Thalassery Biryani, the rice used is Jeeraka shaala(Seeraga samba/Jeera Rice), a short-grained fragrant rice. One can find a lot of variations in preparing Thalassery Biryani. This is a recipe I found at Resna’s tasty home some time back and has been following the same, with some minor tweaks. You could use mutton/lamb in place of Chicken.

Thalassery Biryani

Thalassery Biryani, also known as Malabar Biryani, is a very popular Biryani dish of Kerala. This takes its name from the place Thalassery, a coastal town in Kannur district in Kerala. In Thalassery Biryani, the rice used is Jeeraka shaala(Seeraga samba/Jeera Rice), a short-grained fragrant rice. One can find a lot of variations in preparing Thalassery Biryani. You could use mutton/lamb in place of Chicken.
Prep Time 1 hr
Cook Time 1 hr
Total Time 2 hrs
Course Main Course
Cuisine kerala
Servings 5 servings

Ingredients
  

For the Rice

  • 500 gms Seeraga Samba/ Jeera Rice
  • as required Water
  • to taste Salt
  • 5 Cloves
  • 2 - 3 Cardamom
  • 1 inch Cinnamon Stick
  • 1 tablespoon Clarified Butter/ Ghee/Oil

For Marination

  • 1 kg Chicken
  • 2 teaspoons Chilli powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon Turmeric powder
  • to taste Salt
  • 1/2 of 1 lemon Lemon juice

For the Masala

  • 6 Sliced onion
  • 3 Chopped tomato
  • 15 - 20 green chillies
  • 8 - 10 Garlic cloves
  • 1 inch Ginger
  • 1 cup Chopped Coriander leaves
  • 1 cup Chopped Mint leaves
  • Oil for deep frying

For Garnish

  • 6 - 7 Cashew nuts
  • 6 - 7 Raisins
  • 1 teaspoon Garam masala powder
  • a pinch Saffron
  • 1 tablespoon Hot Milk

Instructions
 

  • Soak the saffron in hot milk. Keep aside.
  • Marinate the chicken with chilli powder, turmeric powder, salt and lemon juice for at least an hour. The more you marinate, the tastier the meat.
  • Heat ghee in a pan.
  • Fry the cardamom, cloves and cinnamon sticks till it crackles.
  • Drain and crush them. Keep aside.
  • In the remaining ghee, fry the rice till it changes colour. Keep aside.
  • Take adequate water in a vessel.
  • Tip in the crushed spices and salt.
  • When it comes to a rolling boil, add the rice.
  • Cook till the rice is 3/4th done.
  • Drain onto a colander and keep aside.
  • Grind the chillies, ginger and garlic together to form a smooth paste. Keep aside.
  • Heat oil for deep frying.
  • Fry the onions in 2-3 batches till they turn brown in colour.Drain and keep aside.
  • Keep a handful of this for garnish.
  • In the remaining oil, fry the chicken in 2-3 batches till brown in colour.Drain and keep aside.
  • Take 2 tablespoons of the oil(in which onion and chicken were fried) in a pan.
  • Fry the cashews and raisins till golden brown. Drain and keep aside.
  • Tip in the tomatoes and saute till they turn mushy.
  • Add the ground chilli paste and saute till oil separates.
  • Add the fried onion, chopped corinader and mint leaves, fried chicken and the remaining marinade, along with some water into the pan.
  • Mix well.Cover and cook till the chicken is cooked through.Mix the fried onions kept for garnish, with cashew nuts, raisins and garam masala powder and keep aside.

Assembling the Biryani

  • Take the chicken gravy in a utensil.
  • Tip in the cooked rice.
  • Sprinkle the fried onion-cashew-raisin-garam masala mixture on top.
  • Sprinkle the soaked saffron and some chopped coriander and mint leaves.
  • If you prefer having multiple layers, divide the chicken and rice and layer it alternately, sprinkling the coriander and mint leaves in between.
  • Cover the vessel with aluminium foil and place a lid.
  • Place the vessel on a thick bottomed Tawa.
  • Place a vessel containing hot water on top of the Biryani vessel.
  • Cook on high heat for 5 minutes.
  • Lower the heat to minimum and cook for 15 minutes.
  • Switch off heat.
  • Serve hot with Raita.

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