Monday, May 27, 2013

Malabar Chicken Biryani

Chicken biryani is one dish I was scared of making. I had met success with the Vah Chef's Hyderabad chicken biryani many a times, but the great Malabar chicken biryani always used to fail me, how much ever care I take. Biryani expert S I L 's advises were also in vain. Then came Hubby dear's statement : "Until you make good Malabar chicken biryani, I cannot certify you as a good cook". Sheesh ! I accepted the challenge. Tried once more, failed once more. I couldn't give up. Tightening my apron, I decided to give it a final try - with good confidence and ALL ingredients in hand. Obviously, it was a huge success ( or else you won't be finding it here ;) ). The long list of ingredients and preparation is totally worth it ! And if I can, anyone can make it a success !

Recipe source : Mishmash

Serves : 2 

Ingredients : 

For the rice : 

Basmati rice : 1.5 cups
Water : 4 cups
Cloves : 4 
Cinnamon : 1 small stick
Bay leaves : 1
Cardamom : 2 
Mint leaves : 1 sprig
Lime juice : 1/2 tsp
Salt : to taste

For the Chicken :

To shallow fry :

  • Chicken : 1/2 kg
  • Kashmiri chilly powder : 1 tsp
  • Turmeric powder : 1/4 tsp
  • Garam masala : 1/2 tsp
  • Salt : to taste
  • Oil
(Marinate chicken with the ingredients for 15 minutes keeping in the freezer.)

To make the gravy :

  • Onions sliced : 1.5 cups
  • Tomato : 2 medium
  • Curd : 2 tbsp
  • Chilli powder : 1 tsp
  • Coriander powder : 2 tsp
  • Ginger garlic paste : 5 tbsp
  • Green chillies : 5-10 nos.
  • Coriander leaves : 2 sprigs
  • Mint leaves : 1 sprig

To grind to a paste :

  • Khus khus / poppy seeds ; 2 tsp
  • Cashew nuts : 5-6 nos.
  • Almonds : 2-3 nos.
(All soaked in water before grinding for 15 minutes.)

For biryani masala :

  • Cloves : 10 nos.
  • Cardamom pods : 8 nos.
  • Fennel seeds : 1 tsp
  • Cumin seeds : 1/2 tsp
  • Cinnamon : 2-3 sticks
  • Mace : 4
  • Peppercorns : 1 tsp
  • Ghee : 2 tbsp

For garnishing :

  • Onions thinly sliced : 1 medium
  • Cashewnuts : 4 tbsp
  • Raisins : 4 tbsp
  • Coriander leaves : 1/4 cup chopped

Get, set, go !

The lengthy process should be organized in order to simplify it. I followed Mishmash's cooking schedule.

  1. Once the mise-en-place is ready ( which is important for this recipe to save time ), heat ghee in a pan and saute the stuff under "For Biryani masala ". Let it cool down.
  2. In another pan, Heat some oil and shallow fry the marinated chicken pieces.
  3. When the final batch of chicken is being fried, keep a non-stick kadai on another burner and start off with the gravy prep.
  4. Pour 2 tbsp ghee in the kadai, add the onions and saute well. Let them brown well. 
  5. Duing this time, powder the cooled Biryani masala into a very fine powder.
  6. Add this freshly ground biryani masala to the onions ( 2 tbsp ). 
  7. Now add the ginger garlic paste alongwith the green chillies. Let it get sauteed well.
  8. Next, add the chopped tomatoes, chilli powder, coriander powder and curd. Saute well.
  9. During this time, grind the soaked ingredients under " to grind to a paste" into a smooth paste and keep aside.
  10. Add the chopped leaves to the kadai. Next, add the ground nutty paste to the gravy and mix well.
  11. Add the shallow fried chicken pieces to this. Add very little water and cover and cook. 
  12. Let the water get absorbed fully and the gravy nicely cooked.
  13. As and when the gravy is getting cooked, heat a big vessel with 4 cups of water.
  14. Add the whole spices and salt to the water. Once the water starts boiling, add the soaked basmati rice to this.
  15. Check for the doneness of the rice. Once done, strain the water and keep aside sprinkling the lime juice on top.
  16. Constantly check the gravy and the rice, switch off the flame when either is done.
  17. Now heat some ghee in a pan, fry the cashews and raisins for garnishing, keep aside.
  18. In the same pan, fry the sliced onions till they are caramelized.
  19. Now everything is ready to be assembled.
  20. Take a thick-bottomed vessel, preferably pressure cooker.
  21. Smear the bottom with 2 tbsp of ghee. Spread the chicken gravy on the bottom to form a layer. Next spread some cooked rice on it. 
  22. Sprinkle very little biryani masala and some coriander and mint leaves on the rice. Continue this layering till the chicken and rice are exhausted.
  23. The final layer should be rice. Now sprinkle the fried onions, cashews and raisins on top of the rice.
  24. Close with a big flat lid ( not the cooker lid ). Keep something heavy on the lid ( I used my cast iron cheenachatti).
  25. Place the cooker on low heat and cook for 15-20 minutes.
  26. Switch off the flame and let it rest for another 15 minutes before opening.
  27. Now open the lid, whiff in some great aroma, dig in with a long ladle, go deep till the bottom of the cooker is reached.
  28. Slowly take some with the ladle and transfer to a plate.
  29. Serve hot with raita and pickle ! Yum is the word !
PS : Adding salt must be carefully done since it is added in many stages.


  1. O M G..this is such a beautiful looking biriyani..

    1. Thanks Meena :) U r always so nice to me :)

  2. wonderful shree...simply tempting....divi search your plate for scoop :)

  3. so happy to follow your stunning blog...eyes on you!

  4. looks awesome love biriyani congrats on the recipe success

  5. Wow! Just fabulous Shree.. Biryani looks fantastic and delicious dear :-)

  6. love ur version on the biriyani shree... looks so droolworthy... :) thank you so much for coming by and leaving your lovely comments, glad to follow you back... u 2 have an awesome space... :)

    1. Thanks for stopping by Rafeeda :)

  7. Biryani looks delicious,Shree! Thnx for stopping by my space! Do follow my blog! :)

    1. Thank u. Sure Rita, count me in :)

  8. Fabulous biryani for big rice eaters like us. The flavors are bold, punchy and with the chicken pieces added in, one complete delicious meal for utmost satisfaction.

    1. True, a satisfying one-pot meal. Thanks for dropping by :)

  9. Delicious!!! Best wishes for your upcoming recipes!

  10. o me o my...can't take my eyes off this chicken malabar biryani....superb.

  11. gr8 receipe. thnkx a lott ..... :-)

    1. Thank u :). Did u try this Aneesha ?

  12. thanks. for like my comment

  13. Absolutely delicious basmati rice,classic recipe..looks divine.


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