Thalassery Chicken Biryani| Kerela Style Chicken Biryani

Thalassery is a town on the Malabar Coast in Kannur district in Kerela. The biryani is named after this place, and also the most popular and best-served biryani throughout Kerela.Thalassery is a town on the Malabar Coast in Kannur district in Kerela. The biryani is named after this place and is also the most popular and best-served biryani throughout Kerela. Let me tell you what is so special about this biryani and how it is different from other biryanis. Other than spices, it is the technique and also a different kind of rice used.
chicken biryani on a banana leaf with cashew toppings
Prep Time
30 mins
Cook Time
60 mins
Total Time
90 mins
Biryani, Main Course
Indian, Kerala
Allergens in this recipe include dairy from yoghurt and ghee, as well as tree nuts from cashew nuts.
Jeera Rice Biryani with a Southern Twist

In another type of biryani, we usually cook the rice in a lot of water and then strain it. Whereas, here we will cook the rice like a regular pulao, by cooking the rice in the measured amount of water or similar to steamed rice. Instead of using the regular long-grain basmati rice, we use the short-grain aromatic ‘Jeera Rice’. This type of rice is very popular in the southern part of India. Jeera Rice can be substituted with Basmati rice in case it is not available, but the technique remains the same. Other dominating ingredients are the flavour of curry leaves and green chillies.

Chicken gravy:
  • 1 kilogram Chicken cut into medium size pieces
  • 2 large onions sliced
  • 2 medium tomatoes sliced
  • 2 tbsp ginger & garlic paste combined
  • 3 green chillies or more
  • ¾ cup yoghurt whisked
  • 1 tbsp red chilli powder kashmiri
  • 1 tbsp coriander powder
  • ½ tsp turmeric powder
  • ½ cup chopped mint
  • ½ cup chopped coriander leaves
  • 7 curry leaves
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ¼ cup cooking oil or less
Biryani Spice Powder: Dry roast and grind together:
  • 6 cloves
  • 4 cardamom
  • 2 pieces of cinnamon sticks
  • 1 tbsp whole black pepper
  • 1 tbsp fennel seeds badi saunf
  • 1 tsp whole cumin
Biryani Rice:
  • 4 cups Jeera rice
  • 1 small onion sliced
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 big size cinnamon stick
  • 3 cardamom
  • 7 and 3/4 cups of water
  • 4 tsp salt according to taste
  • 4 tbsp of ghee or cooking oil
  • 1 tbsp vinegar
Dum cooking:
  • 1 small sliced onion and deep fried
  • ¼ cup whole cashew nuts fried
  • 2 green chilies sliced
  • 7 to 8 curry leaves or more
  • 1 tsp garam masala powder any brand
  • 4 to 5 tbsp ghee
  • ¼ cup chopped coriander leaves
For chicken curry
1Heat 1/4 cup cooking oil in a large saucepan and fry 2 large onions sliced along with 3 green chillies till golden brown. Add mint leaves, 2 tbsp of ginger garlic paste, 2 chopped tomatoes, and curry leaves. Fry till tomatoes soften and oil separates.
2Add chicken pieces, 1 tbsp red chilli powder, 1 tbsp coriander powder, 1/2 tsp turmeric powder, and biryani spice powder. Fry on high heat for 1 minute and stir well till everything is well combined.
3* Then add 3/4 cup whisked yoghurt, salt, and chopped coriander leaves. Cover and cook on medium-low heat till chicken is almost cooked.
4* While the chicken is cooking, prepare biryani rice.
For making Biryani Rice
1Heat 4 tbsp of ghee in a large nonstick vessel and add bay leaf, cinnamon stick and cardamom.
2 Now add sliced onion and fry till soft and pink. To this add the measured water – 7 and 3/4 cups of water.
3Once the water starts to boil, add salt (4 tsp) and 1 tbsp vinegar. Wash the rice and add to the boiling water. Bring the water and rice to a boil, and then reduce the heat, cover and cook on low flame till rice is almost cooked and water has evaporated.
4With the help of a ladle, lift the rice from sides and bottom and allow the trapped steam to come out. Do not overcook the rice. Switch off the heat and keep the vessel partially covered.
For Dum Cooking
1In a large vessel or the same vessel in which you cooked gravy, make the first layer of chicken gravy. For the second layer, add half of the cooked rice. Then sprinkle a pinch of garam masala powder, curry leaves, sliced green chillies, half of the fried onion some fried cashew nuts and a few tbsp of ghee.
2Again make a layer of another half of the rice, and repeat all the things from step 9.
3Make deep dents in the rice for steam to circulate. Cover the vessel well and keep for dum cooking on medium heat for 5 minutes. Then reduce the heat and cook on low heat for another 10 minutes. Once the steam starts forming, switch off the heat and leave the biryani covered for 15 to 20 minutes before serving.
Cooking Tips
Serve hot with Raita, Pickle, and Pappad.
Nutrition Value
Total fat(g)
Saturated value(g)
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