June 28, 2012

Kozhikode Chicken Biriyani

Kozhikode Biriyani is known by several other names like Malabar Biriyani, Thalassery Biriyani etc. It is probably because this Biriyani uses a variety of spices all of which are grown in Kerala itself and very easily available. Have you ever noticed that no matter how many people make biriyani, it is different in every house and every restaurant! This is more my mother's recipe but is still different when she and I make it. This is definitely my go to Biriyani recipe. It is truly deli-sh with a combination of Papad, Raita, pickle and most importantly, Date Chutney. Try this recipe for a taste of Kerala! 
You will need:
Jeera Rice or Basmathi Rice - 6 cups
Water - 9 cups
Cinnamon - 3 sticks
Cloves - 5
Cardamom - 5
Bay Leaf - 2
Ghee - 2 tbsp

Cook the above together. I use a rice cooker for this. The rice will only be semi- cooked but that is what we want.

Garam Masala Mix
Cinnamon - 2 inch piece
Cloves - 5
Cardamom - 5
Nutmeg powder - 1/4 tsp
Fennel Seeds - 1/2 tsp
Cumin Seeds - 1/2 tsp
Ajwain - 1/4 tsp
Salt to taste

Dry roast the above and grind to a fine powder.

Rest of the ingredients required
Chicken  pieces - 1 kg
Chili powder - 1 tsp
Coriander Powder - 1 tsp
Big Onions sliced very thin - 5
Tomato chopped - 4 medium sized
Ginger grated - 3 inch piece
Garlic chopped fine - 1 bulb
Green chilli chopped - 5
Coriander leaves chopped - a small bunch
Mint leaves - a small bunch
Lime Juice - 2 tbsp
Cashew nuts - 20
Raisins - 20
Saffron - a few strands
Milk - 2 tbsp
Salt to taste
Ghee - 4 tbsp
Water - 2 cups

Prep Work
Sprinkle a teaspoon of salt to the finely sliced onions and squeeze well to remove all the water from it. Deep fry the onions to a nice brown crisp texture. Make sure you do not burn the onions especially at the last stages of frying. Keep aside.
Fry the cashew nuts and raisins. Keep aside.
Soak the saffron in the milk. Keep aside.
For the Chicken Kurma
Heat 4 tbsp of ghee and sauté the chopped tomatoes in it.
Add the ginger, garlic, chopped green chillies, coriander powder, chili powder and sauté well until the tomatoes are cooked well.
Add the chicken pieces with the water and salt. Close the lid and cook on low heat for about 20 minutes or until the chicken is cooked.
Now add the lemon juice, half the fried onions, the garam masala powder mentioned above, mint leaves and the coriander leaves. Cook for another 5 minutes. You should have sufficient gravy for the Kurma else add water accordingly.

Assemble and Dum
Pour some ghee at the bottom of a large flat bottomed kadai.
Put half of the Chicken Kurma and top it with half the cooked rice.
Sprinkle half the soaked saffron with the milk along with a little ghee on top the rice.
Repeat the steps finishing with the rice, more ghee and saffron milk.
Press firmly with a flat spoon.
Close the lid of the vessel with some dough and seal well.
Keep the vessel on top of an iron tawa and heat the biriyani on low heat for about 10 minutes. This is called Dum.
Remove the sealed lid. Do not mix. Transfer to a serving plate carefully.
Garnish with the fried cashew nuts, raisins and the remaining fried onions.


  1. what a coincidence, i just posted a malabar biryani a couple of days back..now seeing this im soo craving some.

    1. I knowwww Nisha :) !! I saw it too. Thats when i decided to make this for my in laws who are here now

  2. OMG !!! Tempting like anything....


  3. What is this ajwain.? Is that parsley seeds?

    1. Ajwain is also known as Carom seeds and Caraway. It looks like parsley seeds but it isnt the same. Similar to thyme seeds but much more aromatic and subtle says Wikipedia :) . We use veryyyyy little of ajwain seeds in Indian cooking like kababs etc as a little is a LOT of flavour.