Nov 27, 2011

Thalassery Chicken Dum Biryani

Thalassery is a small town on the Malabar coast of Kerala and district head quarter is Kannur. Thalassery is famous for Malabar Muslim cuisine. Popular dishes are Thalassery chicken / mutton dum biryani, Arikadukka, Nei pathiri, Thanneeramrit, Kalathappam, Kinnathappam, Kozhiyada, Pazham vaattiyathu, Varutharacha Sambar, Varutharacha meen curry, Elanchi pollichathu, Chemmen Ethal Orotti, Orotti, Mutta Pathiri, Chemmeenunda, Alisa, Banana halwa & Cakes.

Thalasseri Chicken Dum Biryani

Serves: 5 - 6


For the Rice:

Tip - Please use same measuring cup to measure rice and water. Jeerakasala rice is a popular variety of aromatic rice used in Tamilnadu and Kerala. As the name suggests the grains are smaller in size like jeera ( cumin seeds ). It is very tasty and fragrant when cooked. Available at whole sale rice merchants in Chennai ( Rs60 - 65/ kg ), More, Nilgiris and other leading supermarkets. Ratio of rice and water is 1: 1 1/2

4 1/2 cups water

2 bay leaves

6 cloves

6 cardamoms

3 cinnamon stick (1 - inch in size)

2 star anise

2 teaspoons ghee

1 1/2 teaspoons salt

3 cups (600 g) jeerakasala rice


For the rice:

Wash and clean rice. Do not soak in water.

Heat 4 1/2 cups water in a heavy bottomed vessel or non stick pan. Add bay leaves, cloves, cardamoms, cinnamon, star anise, ghee and salt. When the water boils completely, add cleaned rice. Cover with a tight lid and cook on a low heat for 15 - 18 minutes or until the water completely dries up and each rice grains should be separated. Keep aside.

For fried onion - cashew nuts and raisins:

45 ml oil / ghee (3 tablespoons)

2 onions, finely sliced

1 tablespoons cashew nut splits

1 tablespoons raisins


Heat oil in a pan. Add finely sliced onions and fry on a low to medium heat until golden color and crisp. Do not fry on high heat. Approximate frying time is 15 - 18 minutes. Drain out oil and keep aside.

Add cashew nut splits and fry on a low heat until golden color.

Add raisins and fry on a low heat until golden color. Keep aside. Do not use remaining oil.

For the chicken masala:

2 tablespoons oil

3 onions, finely sliced

6 green chillies, slit lengthwise

2 - inch piece ginger

24 cloves garlic (2 big pods)

1 tablespoon chopped coriander leaves

1 tablespoons chopped mint leaves

2 tomatoes, chopped

900 g (net weight after cleaning) chicken pieces, cut into medium size

3/4 teaspoon salt (or to taste)

1 tablespoon lemon juice

1 teaspoon garam masala powder


Finely crush slit green chillies, garlic and ginger. No need to make fine paste in a mixer / blender (or you can use mortar and pestle). Keep aside.

Heat oil in a pan. Add finely sliced onions and fry medium golden color.

Add crushed ginger - garlic and green chilli mixture. Stir well on a low to medium eat until light brown.

Add chopped tomato and chopped coriander - mint leaves. Stir well for 5 - 8 minutes.

Add chicken pieces and salt to taste. Mix well.

Add lemon juice. Stir well continuously on a low heat for 2 - 3 minutes.

Add garam msala powder. Cover with a tight lid and cook on a low heat for 25 - 35 minutes or until done and soft / gravy thickens. Do not add water when cooking.

For the dum:

Extra 1 tablespoon chopped coriander leaves

Extra 1 tablespoon chopped mint leaves

1 cup (125 g) maida (to make seal - Mix maida with 1/2 cup water and make a dough (like chapati dough)

Extra 1 tablespoon ghee

Clean wet towel or a clean & wet Kerala thorth

Final preparation:

Dum method:

In a heavy - bottomed vessel or biryani pot, spread a layer of chicken masala (along with thick gravy) and half portion of cooked rice. Make 2 layers with cooked rice and chicken masala. Sprinkle 1 tablespoon ghee, chopped mint and coriander leaves, fried onions, cashew nuts and raisins (1 teaspoon diluted saffron & 1 teaspoon rose water, optional). Carefully place a wet towel over it. It'll retain the flavor of the biryani.

Cover with a tight lid. Seal with maida dough on the edges of the lid. Heat a heavy - bottomed iron kadai. Keep biryani pot over it. Cook on a low heat for 25 - 30 minutes. You can find a color change on the maida seal. Open the seal carefully. Serve with raita / pickle / boiled egg / pappadam.


Aysha said...

Irresistible!!!This has been my all time favourite...

Asish said...

I tried it. It is simply great