Cookbook:Thalassery Biryani

Thalassery Biryani
Thalassery biryani
Category Chicken recipes
Servings 4
Energy ~ 600-700 Cal per serving[1]
Time ~1 hour

Cookbook | Ingredients | Recipes | Rice| Meat recipes | Cuisine of India| South Asian cuisines

Thalassery biriyani ( t̪laʃeɾi biɾijɑːɳi ) is a rice dish blended with Chicken and Spices. The recipe has a strong legacy of the Mughlai cuisine. This variant of biryani is an Indian cuisine and has originated from the Malabar region of South India. [2] The specialty is the difference in the choice of rice (Basmati rice is not used; small-grained Khaima/Jeerakasala rice is used); Chicken is not fried before adding to the masala. Thalassery biryani is a Pakki biryani where as Hyderabadi is a Kacchi biryani and therefore apparently a dum biryani. There are clear distinctions of taste between Thalassery biryani and other biryani variants.[2]


File:Khyma and Basmati.jpg
Short-grained thin Kaima rice (left) and long-grained thin Basmati rice (right)- Kaima is only used to make Thalassery biriyani, Where as Basmati rice is used for most of the biriyani like Hyderabadi Biryani

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)
Cookbook: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
Fennel seeds, 1 tsp
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 whitepoppy 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


The dish is prepared by combining the separately prepared Ghee rice and Chicken masala.

  1. Specially dressed Chicken (comparatively larger pieces than used for curry) is immersed in water(Marination ~ 20-30 minutes) and then thoroughly washed.
  • Preparation of Ghee-rice
  1. Khaima/Jeerakasala is cleaned(washed) with out presoaking.
  2. Ghee and small amount of Dalda (Vanaspati) boiled in a Kadai. The drained rice is added and fried for a few minutes.
  3. Water is added to this. Ratio of rice:water is 1: 1+3/4.
  4. Cinnamon,cloves, cardamom, bay leaf, Indian white poppy seeds and Star anise(optional) are added.
  5. Add lemon 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.
  • Preparation of Masala
  1. Coconut oil and a little Ghee is boiled in a deep kadai and chopped onions, Cashew nuts, Sultana raisins are fried until it turns Caramel colour. 1/4 th of the fried Onion is separated from this to add in masala.
  2. In a deep Kadai chopped tomatoes and a little water are stirred. No oil is used in the chicken masala.
  3. When tomatoes soften add crushed ginger, garlic, chopped green chili, chopped shallot and stir, until the raw smell fades.
  4. Add fennel seeds, cumin seeds, turmeric powder, mace, red chili powder is in adequate amount.
  5. 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.
  6. Once it is almost cooked add the fried Onion which was separated before, Lemon juice, Garam masala powder, Chopped coriander leaves and Pudina (mint) leaves. The flame is now adjusted to simmer mode.
  7. Add Black pepper powder, Beaten Curd and cook till the Chicken and masala blend together.[2]
  • Coalescing the Chicken masala and Ghee-rice
  1. Garnishing is done on the ghee rice by adding the 3/4 th of the remaining fry of Onion, Cashew nuts and Sultana raisins, a pinch of artificial colour (yellow/ orange) sprinkled over the rice, Saffron dipped in milk, Edible Rose water, Coriander leaves and Star anise (Optional)[2].
  2. Dum is the final stage of preparation. This is done by layering masala and rice and tightly sealing the lid by a maida dough or even using a loincloth. Hot coal or charcoal is placed on the lid while cooking. The flame need to be in a simmer mode in this stage of preparation[2].

Notes and tipsEdit

  • The rice is different in Thalassery biryani. A small-grained, thin(not round), good aroma, variant of rice known as Khaima/Jeerkasala [1] is used. Basmati rice is not used to make Thalassery biryani.
  • Khaima/Jeerakasala rice do not require Pre-soaking and Post-draining of water after preparation, like the usual rice varieties.
  • No oil is used for chicken base and chicken is not fried before adding to the masala[2].


  1. "Chicken biryani". BBC Good Food. Retrieved 7 August 2013. "Nutrient Value of Chicken biryani" 
  2. a b c d e f Abdulla, Ummi (1993). Malabar Muslim Cookery. Orient Blackswan. ISBN 8125013490. 


External linksEdit

Jeerakasala rice [2] Kaima rice [3]