Thalassery Chicken Dum Biriyani

Thalassery!! A land of passionate foodies. Where the day begins with hot and steaming tea paired with yummy golden brown fried bananas dripping in ghee. Where every meal adds a million calories to your body but satisfies your heart like nothing else. A land where people feed you wholeheartedly and the hospitality is far more filling than the food. No get together goes complete without discussion of food!!

The very first in the never ending list of Thalassery delicacies is the Thalassery dum biriyani!! And my most favorite one is the Chicken Dum Biriyani.  





  •  Chicken – Big pieces washed and drained.
  •  Onions – 5 Chopped
  •  Tomatoes – 4 chopped into small pieces
  •  Ginger – 1
  •  Garlic – 1 whole
  •  Green chilly – 10
  •  Fresh coriander
  •  Turmeric powder – 2 teaspoons
  •  Garam masala – 1/2 teaspoon
  •  Salt to taste
  •  A squeeze of lemon


Marinate the chicken pieces with salt, turmeric and a pinch of red chilly powder. Shallow fry this in a pan until the chicken is slightly cooked and slightly golden. In the same pan after removing excess oil add a teaspoon of ghee. Add the onions and saute till the onions are translucent. In a mixer coarsely blend the ginger garlic and green chilly. Add to the onions and saute. Add tomatoes, turmeric powder and garam masala. Once the masala becomes soft add the chicken pieces, cover and cook for about 5-10 mins and turn off the flame. Add squeeze of a lemon and fresh coriander leaves and keep aside.
  • Biriyani rice – Khaima/Jeerakashala rice
  • Ghee – 3-4 spoons
  • Onion – 1 thinly sliced
  • whole spices
  • salt to taste
Heat a pan and add ghee. Once the ghee is hot add the whole spices and onions and slightly fry. Add washed and drained rice to this and roast until you get a strong smell of roasted ghee. Add boiling water to this. The amount of water should be double the amount of rice. Add salt and simmer. Turn off the heat once the water is completely absorbed and rice becomes soft and fluffy.
  • Onions – 2 thinly sliced and deep fried till golden brown
  • Garam masala
  • Juice of lemon
  • Fresh coriander leaves (optional)


In a round bottomed vessel, spread the masala evenly. Add a layer of rice on top of this. Sprinkle fried onions, garam masala, coriander leaves and lemon juice. Add another layer of rice. Continue doing this. Close the vessel with a tight lid. Keep this on low flame for about 20-25 mins. The bottom of the vessel should be thick , otherwise the masala might burn.
To serve: 
Scoop off the rice on top and serve the masala separately with a glass of hot steaming black tea!!
1)  Frying the chicken while making the masala is optional. You can cook it along with the masala but the chicken pieces wouldnt be as crispy as in the fried method. 
2)  Authentic Thalassery biriyani uses khaima rice, but jeerakashala works quite as fine. 
3) During the dum process, after keeping the vessel on high flame for 5mins alternatively you can remove it and place it on a flat heated dosa pan on medium heat if you’re scared of burning the masala.  
4) The authentic thalassery way of serving is serving the masala and rice separately, but you can mix everything if you like your biriyani that way. 
5) Some people add a pinch of turmeric powder to the lemon juice used in the dum process just to give the biriyani its yellow colour. 


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