Kerala Thalassery Chicken Biryani is quite popular for its unique taste and aroma that comes from a different variety of rice called Jeerakasala. This is a premium quality short grain rice available in Kerala and it is also known as Kaima rice. This recipe originated from the Malabar region of Kerala.
If you can’t get your hands on Jeerakasala rice, don’t worry- there is a solution. You can easily create this biryani using aged Basmati rice and it still turns out just as delicious. So let’s get started, all the ingredients and instructions that you would need to make this awesome biryani are mentioned below.
For Chicken Marination:
1kg of chicken Biryani cut pieces
2 teaspoons of red chili powder (lal mirch)
½ teaspoon of turmeric powder (haldi)
1.5 teaspoons of coriander powder (dhania powder)
1 teaspoon salt (namak)
2 tablespoons lemon juice
3-4 tablespoons of cooking oil
For Biryani Masala
1 tablespoon of garam masala powder
6 green chilis (hari mirch)
2 tablespoons ginger garlic paste (adrak lehsun paste)
1/3 cup of cooking oil
3 tablespoons of ghee
1 star anise (badyan ka phool)
Half cinnamon stick (darchini)
2- 3 cloves (laung)
2-3 green cardamom (green elaichi)
8- 10 black peppercorns (sabut kali mirch)
2 cups of chopped medium-sized onions (pyaz)
2 medium chopped tomatoes (tamatar)
2 teaspoons of red chili powder (lal mirch powder)
½ teaspoon turmeric powder ( haldi powder)
1 tablespoon coriander powder (dhania powder)
1 tablespoon crushed roasted cumin seeds (jeera)
½ tablespoon or to taste salt (namak)
3 tablespoons of lemon juice
½ water or as required
½ cup whisked yogurt (dahi)
2 tablespoons of freshly chopped coriander(dhania)
2 tablespoons of freshly chopped mint leaves (pudina)
¼ cup of fried onion (pyaz)
10-12 fried cashew nuts
20 fried raisins
For Biryani Rice:
1kg Jeerakasala rice or aged Basmati rice (soaked for 30 minutes)
2 tablespoons of ghee
1 large onion chopped
5- 6 cups of water
1-2 bay leaves
2-3 green cardamom pods
2-inch piece of cinnamon
2- 3 cloves
Salt to taste
1 teaspoon of sugar
Boil the rice until it’s 70% cooked. Drain water and set aside.
For Chicken Marinade:
In a large bowl, add all the ingredients for the chicken marinade and mix well. biryani recipe
Make cuts of chicken pieces and mix them well in the marination and make sure all chicken pieces are well coated. Let it marinate for 1-2 hours in the refrigerator for the best flavor.
For Biryani Masala:
In a biryani pot add 3-4 tablespoons of ghee and fry cashew nuts until they are golden brown and then add raisins. Fry them until they are plum and transfer them to a plate for later use.
In a blender add all the spices and make very fine powder and set it aside for later use.
In the same pot, heat cooking oil, add thinly sliced onions, and fry them until they are golden brown. Set them aside with cashew nuts and raisins as we are going to use them later for garnishing.
For biryani masala, add cooking oil, 2 tablespoons of ghee and sliced onions (2 cups) in the same pan and cook them until they are translucent.
Next toss in the chicken pieces and fry them until they change from pink to light brown color then add salt to taste.
Meanwhile add green chilies, garlic and ginger in a blender and make a paste and add this paste with the chicken.
Saute the chicken with the paste for 2-3 minutes until you smell a nice aroma.
Now add tomatoes and stir them in with the chicken and add curd.
Saute for next 2-3 minutes then cook them covered on low flame until the chicken is fully cooked and tender. Moisture released from chicken, tomatoes and curd is enough to cook the chicken properly.
In between you need to stir the chicken to prevent burning and add lemon juice, powdered spices and Biryani Masala to it and let it cook until the chicken is completely cooked.
Add coriander leaves and turn the flame off.
Cooking the rice:
If you’re using Jeerakasala rice then there is no need to soak it, you can just wash and drain it to a colander. If you are not using Jeerakasala, then use aged Basmati rice and soak them for 30 minutes and drain them.
Heat a pot with 2 tablespoons of ghee and saute the spices and add drained rice in it.
Saute the rice for 2-3 minutes and add salt.
Now add hot water and make the rice sticky and cook on medium heat until the water gets absorbed but still the rice is wet.
Next cook them covered and let the rice absorb all the water and turn dry. At this stage rice is 90% cooked. If you feel like rice is still undercooked you can sprinkle some water and let it cook for a few more minutes.
Separate the gravy in two parts and top the chicken masala with the first layer of rice.
Drizzle some fried onions, mint leaves, coriander leaves, and garam masala.
Layer the remaining chicken masala and rice again and sprinkle some fried onions, mint leaves, and fried cashew nuts and raisins.
Add a tablespoon of ghee cover it tightly with a heavy lid and let it cook on dum for the next 10- 15 minutes and allow the flavours to meld. Make sure the flame is low.
Allow biryani to set for a while then serve it with raita and make sure every portion gets equal serving of masala and rice.