Tellicherry Biryani Recipe- Chicken or Motton

Tellicherry Biryani is a rice based dish blended with spices & chicken/mutton or fish. Thalassery biryani is the only biryani recipe in Kerala cuisine with its on method of preparation.All others have a strong influence of north indian /muhgal styles. Most of the foodies rated this is the Best biryani among other styles

Tellicherry Biryani originated from Thalassery in kannur distict, kerala. The main difference between Tellicherry biryani and others is that it uses only Khaima/Jeerakasala rice—a short-grain, thin rice which is also called biryani rice in Kerala. The dish does not use basmati rice and Chicken is not fried before adding to the masala.

Biryani is an exotic dish of Mughal origin, but this variant is an indigenous recipe of Malabar. It is a symbol of the cultural amalgamation of Mughal and Malabari cuisines. The Mughals brought the cuisine of biryani from Samarkand, and later variations of biriyani developed in different parts of India. There are clear distinctions of taste between Tellicherry Biryani and other biryani variants.


--Khaima/Jeerakasala rice, 750 grams (3 cups)
--Chicken, 1 kg Cut into slightly bigger pieces than usually used for curry
--Onion, 6 (500gms) finely chopped
--Ginger, 2 inch piece grated or cut into small pieces
--Garlic, 1 or 1 1/2 full. (More or less to taste)
--Green chilies, 6 (More or less to taste)
--Lime juice, 3 tbsp
--Shallot, 5 (More or less to taste)
--Coriander leaves(chopped), 3/4 or 1 cup (~1 bunch)
--Pudina (mint) leaves(chopped), 3/4 or 1 cup (~1 bunch)
--Tomato, 5 medium chopped
--Ghee, 3 tbsp
--Dalda (Vanaspati), 1 tsp
--Coconut oil, 1/3 cup
--Edible rose water, 1 tbsp
--Curd/ diluted Yogurt, (As required)
--Table salt (More or less to taste)
--Garam masala powder, 1/2 tbsp
--Caraway/Persian Cumin seeds, 1 tsp
--Mace, 3 or 4 pieces
--Turmeric powder, 1/2 tsp
--Red chili powder, 1 tsp
--Black pepper powder, 1/2 tsp
--Curry leaves (Optional) (~1 bunch- 5/6 leaves) of leaves Crushed
--Cinnamon,(As required-few small pieces)
--Cloves, 3 or 4 pieces
--Cardamom,3 or 4 pieces
--Malabar leaf (Indian bay leaf), 2/3 leaves
--Kaskas (Indian white-poppy seed) 1/4 tsp
--Saffron soaked in milk, 1 tsp
--Artificial food colour (Yellow/Orange), A pinch to sprinkle
--Cashew nuts and Kismis (Sultana raisins), 1/4 cup(~50 gms)
--Star anise (Optional) 3/4 pieces

Preparing The Rice

-Wash and drain the Rice.

-In a Kadai, boil Ghee and small amount of Dalda (Vanaspati). Than add drained rice in it and fry for few minutes. (don't over fry- just few minutes is enough)

-Add water and salt in the kadai. The Rice Water ratio is 1 cup : 1 ¾ cup. In this, cinnamon, cloves, cardamom, Malabar leaf (Indian bay leaf), Indian white poppy seed and Star anise are added. Add fresh lime juice and adequate water and reduce the flame to simmer mode. Close the pan with a lid and continue the cooking till all the water is absorbed. Careful not to overcooked the rice.

Preparing Chicken Masala

-Fry chopped onions in ghee until it turns golden brown (Caramel) colour. The onions need to be put Keep apart this in two sets, one for Chicken and a quarter portions for garnishing later.

-Fry the Cashew nuts and Kismis (raisin) in balance ghee for garnishing.

-In big deep dish add chopped tomatoes and a little water and stir. No oil is used in the chicken masala. When tomatoes soften add crushed or chopped ginger, garlic, chopped green chily, chopped shallot and stir, until the raw smell fades.Subsequently Caraway(Persian cumin), turmeric powder, mace, red chilipowder is added in adequate amount. Chicken is added finally to the masala and mixed with it and cooked by covering with lid. It needs to be stirred intermittently to prevent burning and sticking of masala on the dish. Once it is almost cooked add the fried Onion,Lime juice, Garam masala powder and chopped coriander leaves and pudina (mint leaves) . The cooking in these stages are done in low flames and black pepper powder is added.

-Add Beaten Curd and cook till the chicken and masala blend together.

-Dum is the final stage of preparation. This is done after that by layering masala and rice

-Take a big vessel and make layer of rice, garnish with fried cashew nuts, raisins, fried onion, sprinkle a pinch of artificial color,saffron dipped in milk, Rose water, coriander leaves, Star anise. Over the top garnished rice make a layer of chicken masala. Repeat rice layer and masala layer (as per the quantity of rice & masala). Close the vessel lid tightly seal with maida dough. Hot coal or charcoal is placed on the lid while cooking and keep it in simmer flame 15 minutes and serve hot.

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