Friday, March 21, 2014

Kerala Style Chicken Biryani

I'm back :) The story of my disappearance is rather dull and dreary. So we won't go into that. 

So we will talk Biryanis. Normally, I refuse to have anything to do with any Biryani recipes other than my Mom's Malabar Style Biryani (which incidentally is the first recipe on this blog). That recipe is one among those she had written out sometime in her recipe book and I stick with it all the time. My allegiance to her recipe is so much so that when my MIL asked me whether I would like to have her Biryani recipe, I told her it is okay as I have Mamma's recipe with me and I cook only that!

Anyway, the other day, I thought I will start expanding my horizon and kicked off with my Aunt GA's recipe. The Techie was rather surprised (not to mention happy) to see Briyani for dinner as I normally prepare it only when we have guests or there is some special occasion. We loved GA's version just as much as my Mom's :)
Oh and before I forget, I have some pending 'Colour Me' round up and other posts. I will back date them and publish since I don't want to traumatize your feeds with things long past gone. I will of course be informing you when I publish them. Also, thank you so much to all those who had inquired after me when I hibernated :)

What You Will Need:

The Rice:

  1. Basmati Rice – 2 and a 1/2 cups
  2. Water – 4 to 4 and a 1/4 cups (A bit less than the normal 5 cups as we don't want the rice to be fully cooked at first.)
  3. Bay leaf - 1
  4. Cloves – 3
  5. Cardamom, crushed  – 3
  6. Cinnamon – 1 inch stick 
  7. Ghee
  8. Salt
The Chicken and The Marinade:
  1. Chicken, cut into medium sized pieces – 1/2 kg
  2. Biryani Masala Powder - 1 tsp.
  3. Turmeric Powder - 1/4 tsp.
  4. Lime Juice - 1/2 tbsp.
  5. Salt
The Meat Masala:
  1. Onions, thinly sliced – 2 cups
  2. Shallots, sliced - 1 cup
  3. Tomatoes, chopped – 1 cup
  4. Garlic, sliced – 2 tbsp.
  5. Ginger, julienned – 2 tbsp.
  6. Kashmiri Red Chilli Powder - A heaping 1/2 tbsp. (You can add up to a scant tbsp.)
  7. Coriander Powder - A heaping tbsp. (You can add up to a scant 1 and a 1/2 tbsp.)
  8. Biryani Masala Powder – 1 tbsp. (I use a store bought brand from Kerala.)
  9. Cashew Nuts – 10
  10. Poppy Seeds - 1 tsp. 
  11. Cilantro, chopped finely – 1/2 cup (You can add mint leaves too.)
  12. Oil (Or a combination of Ghee and Oil.)
  13. Water
  14. Salt 
The Garnish: 
  1. Cashew Nuts - 1/4 cup
  2. Golden Raisins - 1/4 cup
  3. Onions, thinly sliced - 1 cup 
  4. Cilantro - About 2 or 3 tbsp.
  5. Biryani Masala Powder - A few pinches.
On To the Cauldron:

The Rice:

Wash and drain the rice.

Heat up a heavy bottomed pan. Pour some ghee and splutter the whole spices. Add the rice and fry it for about 5 minutes. 

Now add the water and some salt. Bring to a boil on a high flame and then cook covered on a medium flame till the rice is almost done. (We will do a bit of a cheat's dum later on. So the rice shouldn't get over cooked now.)

Spread the rice onto three or four plates as soon as it is ready and cool off completely. 

The Chicken and The Marinade:

Marinate the chicken and keep aside for half an hour.

The Meat Masala:

Crush the shallots, ginger and garlic separately and keep aside. 

Soak the cashew nuts and poppy seeds in some water and keep aside. After fifteen minutes or so, grind them together to a very smooth paste and keep aside.

Now heat up a pan and sauté onions in ghee (or oil) with a bit of salt till they turn brown. Add the crushed shallots, ginger and garlic and sauté well. The shallots should turn a light to medium brown. Now add the tomatoes and cook till they get completely mashed up and the oil can be seen. 

Add all the powders (take care not to burn) and stir well. Now add the chicken and fry the chicken on a high heat for a few minues in that masala. (So that the juices sort of get sealed in there. Take care not to burn.). 
After that add quarter to half cup of water, bring to a boil.and cook covered. When about half done, add cilantro and continue cooking. 

Once done, add the nut and seed paste and cook for a few minutes. (The meat masala should have a bit of gravy, though not too much.)

The Garnish:

Heat up a pan with ghee and fry the cashews till golden and set aside. 

In the same pan, fry the raisins.

Add some more ghee/oil if needed and fry the onions till they turn a golden brown.

The Layers and Dum:

Choose a heavy bottomed pan and grease it with some ghee. Place half of the chicken masala on the bottom. Now add a layer of rice (half of what you have cooked). Sprinkle half of all the garnishes and then repeat the layers. (You can go for three layers each of everything. But this is easier and more manageable - at least for me.)

I just used a heavy and tight fitting lid for the dum this time. (You can seal the lid with a wheat/plain flour dough.) Place an iron tawa on the stove top and place the Biryani pot on top of that. You must use a low heat. Cook for about fifteen to twenty minutes and then switch off. Wait for ten to fifteen minutes before opening the lid/breaking the seal. 

Stir the Biryani a bit and serve with Raita and Pappadam. 

This recipe has been sent to Nancy's YBR at Spicie Foodie.


  1. biryani looks super yumm.. kalakki..

  2. biryani luks so yum and flavourful!!!

  3. wow so yummy n very nice clicks ..

  4. so tempting the clicks too :)

  5. Super yummy biriyani....lovely click....

  6. Yaay gr8 to have u back!! Talk about imparting sense before marriage, I too needed somebody to do that. The biriyani sounds totally delicious. Can't see pics on mobile. Will come back and check them out.

    1. Yes they are lovely!! Loved the mortar and pastle one a lot... tells a story..

    2. Thank you so much, Pankti :) That mortar and pestle one is a fav of mine too :)

  7. Biriyani is always welcome for me. This one looks really droolworthy!

  8. Wat a delicious,droolworthy and mouthwatering dish, seriously hard to resist.Inviting briyani.

  9. so good to see u back with a refreshing biriyani post... hope to see u take this as a start and keep blogging yeah dear... did miss u badly... the biriyani looks so mouthwatering...

    1. He he :) Hope I won't go to snooze mode anytime soon Rafee :) And thank you sooo much girl!

  10. chicken biryani is so tempting and makes me hungry....

  11. chicken biriyani looks delicious. very nice.


I'd love to hear from you. Thanks for stopping by :) (Please don't leave links in your comments.)