Malabar Chicken Biryani

This is a rice-based dish blended with spices and chicken. It is also called Thalassery Biryani, originated from Kerala. Malabar Chicken Biryani is different from the rest of the biryani as it uses khaima/jeerakasala rice. It is a short-grained rice and is much flavorful than the basmati rice.

Biryani is probably the most popular dish in Indian cuisine. It is generally cooked on special occasions. The Biryani is prepared differently in various states of India and is also named according to their origin. To name a few, we have Awadhi Biryani, Sindhi biryani, Chettinad biryani, Hyderabadi biryani, Ambur biryani, Calcutta/Bengali biryani, and my personal favorite Malabar biryani. Different choices of protein are used in the preparation of biryani like chicken, mutton, fish, and beef.

Malabar Chicken Biryani is rich with liberal usage of ghee/oil. A mix of spices like cinnamon, cloves, fennel seed, cardamom is used. Whole red chilies or chili powder is not used in this biryani, which makes it uniquely different from the rest of the biryanis.

Process of making Malabar Chicken Biryani

Preparation of Ingredients

1. Soak 3 cups of Jeerakasala rice in water for 30 minutes.

2. Slice the onions and tomatoes keep it aside.

3. Crush the ginger, garlic and green chilies in a blender. Do not make it into a fine paste. It should be coarse. Keep it aside.

4. Marinating the chicken for 30 min to 1 hour.

Chicken Marination

1. Cut the chicken in large pieces, add it to a bowl.

2. Next, add turmeric powder, coriander powder, cumin powder, pepper powder, fennel powder, garam masala powder, and curd/yogurt.

3. Add salt and mix it well. Make sure that the spices are well coated on the chicken.

4. Marinate for 30 min or 1 hour. If possible you can marinate it overnight in the fridge.

For garnish

1. Heat oil/ghee in a pan(i used both), add cashews and fry till they turn golden. Then add raisins, when they become plump. Remove and transfer them to a plate.

2. To the same oil/ghee, add sliced onions. Fry the onions till they turn brown. Once they turn brown remove the fried onions(barista) with a slotted spoon and drain them on to a kitchen towel. Do not over fry them as it will taste bitter.

Chicken masala Preparation

1. Transfer the remaining oil/ghee to another deep bottomed saucepan, add sliced onions, fry till they turn golden brown. Then add the crushed ginger, garlic and green chilies. Fry till the raw smell disappears. Then add sliced tomatoes. Fry till the tomatoes turn mushy.

2. Once the tomatoes turn mushy, add the marinated chicken pieces. Cook till the chicken is half done. Then add Coriander powder, cumin powder, fennel powder, and garam masala powder. Mix everything well. Close the lid and cook till the chicken is fully cooked. If you feel the gravy is less add one cup of water.

3. Once the chicken is fully cooked, add chopped coriander and pudina leaves. Cover and cook for 2 more minutes. Switch off the flame. You can remove a little gravy into another bowl. Serve it as an accompaniment with biryani.

Rice Preparation

1. In another saucepan, add oil/ghee. Once the ghee becomes hot add whole spices. Saute till it becomes fragrant.

2. Add the drained rice, and saute the rice for 2-3 minutes. Add hot water and salt. Do not add cold water because the rice will turn sticky.

3. Once the water comes to a boil, add chopped coriander and pudina leaves. Then add lemon juice.

4. Cook the rice till the water is completely absorbed. Switch off the flame and lightly fluff the rice with a fork.

Layering of rice of Dum Preparation

1. Use the same saucepan in which the chicken gravy was done. Add a thin layer of rice. Add few fried onions, some cashews, raisins, and few chopped coriander and pudina leaves.

2. Again add a layer of rice, few fried onions, cashews, raisins and chopped coriander and pudina leaves.

3. Cover the pot with aluminum foil. Place a heavy lid on top. Keep the flame on low and dum cook the biryani over a heat diffuser for 20 minutes.

4. After 20 minutes, switch off the flame. Let the biryani sit for 10 minutes before removing the lid. Gently fluff the biryani to combine everything together.

5. Serve with raita, papads, pickles or gravy.


Malabar Chicken Biryani

Preparation time:15 min

Cooking time:1 hour

Total Time:1 hour 15 min

Yield:4-5 servings

Cuisine: Indian

Ingredients

For Chicken Marination

  • 1 kg Chicken
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1/2 tsp coriander powder
  • 1/2 tsp cumin powder
  • 1/2 tsp fennel powder
  • 1/2 tsp garam masala powder
  • 1/2 tsp pepper powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup curd

For Garnish

  • 1 large onion, sliced
  • 4-5 tbsp ghee
  • handful of cashews
  • handful of raisins

For chicken masala

  • 2 large onions, sliced
  • 3-4 medium tomatoes, sliced
  • 10-12 large cloves of garlic
  • 2-inch ginger
  • 8-10 green chilies (increase for more spiciness)
  • 1 tsp coriander powder
  • 1 tsp cumin powder
  • 1 tsp garam masala powder
  • 1 tsp fennel powder
  • 1 cup of water
  • 1/4 cup chopped coriander leaves
  • 1/4 cup chopped pudina leaves

For Rice

  • 4-5 tbsp ghee
  • 1 large onion, sliced
  • 3-4 cloves
  • 1 stick cinnamon
  • 3 cardamom
  • 3 cups of Jeerakasala/ Khaima rice
  • 4 and 1/2 cups of water
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup chopped coriander leaves
  • 1/4 cup chopped pudina leaves
  • salt to taste

Instructions

For Garnish

  1. In a pan, add few tablespoons of ghee. Once the ghee becomes hot, add the cashews. Fry till it turns golden brown.
  2. Remove the cashews, add the raisins. Once the raisins become plump. Transfer them onto a plate.
  3. Then add the sliced onions, fry till it turns dark brown in color. Transfer them onto a plate.

Chicken masala

  1. Cut the chicken into large pieces. Wash in water and drain the chicken pieces completely.
  2. In a large bowl, rub the chicken with the marinade ingredients. Cover with a lid and keep it aside for 30 min to 1 hour.
  3. For the chicken masala, make sure you have all the ingredients on hand before starting. Grind the ginger, garlic and green chilies coarsely in a blender.
  4. In a deep bottomed saucepan, use the same ghee used to fry the barista and cashews, add sliced onions. Saute till it turns light brown, add the crushed ginger, garlic and green chilies. Saute till the raw smell goes off.
  5. Add the sliced tomatoes, saute till the tomatoes become fully cooked and mushy.
  6. Add the marinated chicken pieces. Stir to combine everything well. Cook till the chicken is half done.
  7. Once the chicken is half done, add coriander powder, cumin powder, fennel powder, garam masala, and salt. Add water. Cook till the chicken is fully cooked.
  8. Next, add in the chopped coriander and pudina leaves. Cook for 2-3 minutes. Switch off the flame.

For cooking rice

  1. Soak the Jeerakasala rice in water for 30 minutes. After 30 minutes, drain the water.
  2. In a deep bottomed saucepan, add few tablespoons of ghee, add whole spices. Saute till the spices become fragrant.
  3. Add sliced onions, saute till it turns light brown. Add the washed and drained rice.
  4. Fry the rice for 2-3 minutes, add in hot water and salt.
  5. Once the water comes to a boil, add chopped coriander and pudina leaves. Then add lemon juice. Continue to cook the rice until the water is fully absorbed.
  6. Switch off the flame. Gently fluff the rice with a fork.

Dum Cooking

  1. Use the same saucepan which was used to make the chicken gravy. Add a thin layer of rice. Add few fried onions, some cashews, raisins, and few chopped coriander and pudina leaves.
  2. Repeat the process again, till all the rice is used up.
  3. Cover the pot with aluminum foil. Place a heavy lid on top. Keep the flame on low and dum cook the biryani over a heat diffuser for 20 minutes.
  4. After 20 minutes, switch off the flame. Let the biryani sit for 10 minutes before removing the lid. Gently fluff the biryani to combine everything together.
  5. Serve with raita, papads, pickles or gravy.

Nutrition Facts: Calories: 364cal, Proteins: 25g, Carbs: 38.1g, Fats: 12.5g, Fiber: 3.2g.

*The nutritional information are calculated automatically. I cannot guarantee the accuracy of this data.

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