Chacko’s Kitchen came from very humble beginnings, but now it’s a milestone, 100 recipes – each with photo, story, and dedicated post. I thank all my readers, well-wishers who gave me the passion and energy to go ahead.
To celebrate this occasion, I found no better way other than posting this great Biryani from the Southern State of Kerala. Kozhikode Biryani, also known as Calicut Biryani, Thalasseri Biryani or Malabar Biryani is very popular in Kerala.
This preparation differs from others in cooking, were Ghee (Clarified Butter) is used in the cooking of Rice to give this distinct aroma of Ghee. Nutmeg, Mace, Cloves, Cinnamon and Cashew Nuts are used liberally in this preparation and are locally grown in Kerala.
Things You’ll Need
- Basmati Rice1 – 1 kg
- Chicken Thigh2 – 1 kg
- Onion – 500 gm
- Tomato – 250 gm
- Ginger – 3 inch root
- Garlic – 2 bulbs3
- Ghee (Clarified Butter) – 10 tsp
- Coriander leaves – 1 bunch
- Mint leaves – 1/4 bunch
- Green Chilli – 5 nos (adjust to sensitivity)
- Lime Juice of 2 Lemons
- Cinnamon – 1 inch piece
- Cardamom – 5 nos
- Cloves – 5 nos
- Cashew nuts – 25 nos
- Raisins – 25 nos
- Salt – to taste
- Rose water – 3 tsp
- Saffron – few strands
- Water – 1700 ml
Garam Masala for Chicken:
- Cinnamon – 2 inch piece
- Cardamom – 5 nos
- Cloves – 5 nos
- Nutmeg – 1/4 piece
- Mace – 1 whole
- Fennel seeds – 1/2 tsp
- Cumin seeds – 1/2 tsp
- Black Cumin seeds – 1/2 tsp
- Eggs – 2 nos
- Coriander Leaves – few strands
Golden Touch Mise en Place – [15 mins]
- Clean and cut Chicken into bite size pieces.
- Finely slice the Onions.
- Chop Tomatoes.
- Chop and crush green Chillies.
- Wash and chop the Coriander and Mint leaves; store separately.
- Make a very fine paste of Garlic and Ginger.
- Dry roast for 4 mins and grind to a fine paste the Garam Masala.
- Soak Saffron strands in 2 tbsp Milk.
- Hard boil Eggs
Golden Touch Preparation: [1 hour 25 mins]
Stage One: Frying the Onion
Heat 5 tbsp Ghee in a non-stick pan. Fry Onions till they are golden and crispy. Strain and remove the crispy Onions from the hot Ghee. Layer on a tissue paper to absorb the excess Ghee. These crispy Onions are known as Bista in Kozhikode (Calicut).
Stage Two: Chicken
- Heat a non-stick pan and add Tomatoes. Sauté for about 5 mins.
- Add Ginger-Garlic paste, crushed green Chillies, and sauté for 3 mins till the raw taste leaves and you can smell the fine aroma.
- Add Chicken, Salt and 200ml Water, cover and bring to boil. Lower the flame and allow to cook on low flame for 20 mins. Stir occasionally.
- Now add ¾ of the Bista, Garam Masala, Lemon Juice and ½ of the chopped Coriander and Mint leaves, cover and leave for 2 mins.
Stage Three: Rice
- Heat the left-over Ghee, fry the Rice for about 3 mins.
- Boil 1500 ml Water in a large deep bottomed pan.
- Add Salt, Cinnamon, Cardamom, Cloves and Rose Water to the boiling Water, stir in well, add the Rice and cook till the entire Water is absorbed in the Rice.
Stage Four: Layering and Garnish
- In a about ½ tsp Ghee and fry Cashew-nuts and Raisins for about 2 mins.
- In a large deep-bottomed, non-stick pan, spread ½ of the Chicken, topped by Rice, spread evenly ½ of the fried Onion, Mint and Coriander Leaves, Raisins, Cashew-nuts and a few drops of Saffron Milk.
- Repeat the above step.
- Cover. Seal with Flour dough all-around to make it an air-tight container.
- On very low flame cook for about 5 mins on fire.
Golden Touch Service:
- Garnish with Coriander leaves and quartered boiled Eggs.
- Serve hot with Dates Chutney and roasted Pappad (Poppadom)
1. Replace Basmati Rice with small grain Rice if available locally, this is used in traditional recipe. The Hindi word Basmati means fragrant, referring to the nutty flavour and aroma of this long grained Rice.
2. I prefer Chicken thigh as it has very high quality flesh when compared to the rest of the Chicken, plus it does not become rubbery like Chicken breast.
3. Bulb of Garlic usually contains between ten and twenty individual cloves of Garlic. When buying Garlic look for the smallest ones, that are firm with lot of dry papery covering. Avoid sprouting ones and ones that leave a dent when pressed with your thumb finger.