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