‪Thalassery chicken biryani


The famed biryani of Thalasseri is a unique preparation that is enticingly spicy. A staple during Eid, this rice treat is a sumptuous mix of colours and flavours.

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1 kg chicken
1 kg biriyani rice (5 cups)
6 onion, sliced thin
3 big tomatoes, sliced
8 green chillies
A big piece ginger
6 garlic pods 
½ tsp turmeric powder
1 tbsp chilli powder
1 tsp garam masala
Salt as required
1 lemon
3 sprigs of curry leaves
2 sprigs of coriander leaves
6 raisins, toasted
6 cashew nuts roasted in ghee
100gm oil
50gm ghee
7½ cups water
½ tsp saffron soaked in ¼ cup of warm milk


For chicken masala

Marinate the chicken with turmeric powder, chilli powder and salt, and keep aside for 10-15 minutes
Heat a vessel and pour half cup oil and half cup ghee and put half of the sliced onions and sauté until they turn brown color. Keep aside
To the sauteed onion, add garam masala and coriander leaves. Mix well
Heat a pan, add ¼ cup of oil 
Add chicken pieces and fry for 10-15 minutes. Keep aside
In the same oil, add the remaining onion, salt and sauté well for 10-15 minutes 
To this, add green chilli, garlic and ginger paste and sauté
Add the tomatoes to it and sauté well
Now add curry leaves and cilantros into it.
Add fried chicken pieces and half of fried onion mix, lemon juice into the masala mix well and close it with a lid and make the fire in simmer mode. Let it cook for some time.
Open the lid add after a few minutes and turn over the masala with a stirrer. Now our masala is ready

For the biriyani rice

Heat another vessel and pour in the oil used for frying onion
Add the cleaned biriyani rice, salt and sauté it for few seconds 
Add boiling water and mix well
Close the vessel with a lid and let it cook
Scrape the sides using a stirrer at regular intervals. Make sure the rice does not stick to the bottom of the vessel
Simmer and keep it to cook
Heat a heavy-bottom pot and add the chicken masala 
Add half the rice on top, sprinkle some fried onion, cashew nuts and chopped cilantro
Make another layer with the rice and repeat the previous layer. Sprinkle saffron milk 
Close the vessel tightly with the lid (You can place a weight over the lid so that it will be closed tightly)
Let the spice of the masala blend with the rice
Let it cook for 15 minutes on low flame
Delicious Thalassery chicken biriyani is ready

(The author is a chef and tutor at Greens Ayur)