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Thalassery Chicken Dum Biriyani

Course Rice
Cuisine Malabar
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 10 minutes
Servings 4
Author Rafeeda


  • 2 cup jeerakashala rice
  • 1 tbsp ghee
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 small pc cinnamon
  • 4-6 black peppercorns
  • 2 cloves
  • 3 cardamoms
  • 1 onion thinly sliced
  • 1 tsp ginger paste
  • Salt to taste
  • 4 cups of water
  • 750 gm chicken
  • 1 tsp Kashmiri chilli powder
  • 1/4 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1 tsp ginger garlic paste
  • Salt to taste
  • 3 tbsp ghee/ oil
  • 3 large onions sliced
  • 4 green chillies slit
  • 1 tbsp ginger-garlic paste
  • 2 to matoes sliced
  • 1/2 tsp garam masala
  • Juice of 1/2 lemon
  • 2 tbsp ghee
  • 1 onion sliced
  • 6-8 cashews
  • 5-6 raisins
  • 3 tbsp chopped coriander leaves
  • 3 tbsp chopped mint leaves
  • 1 tbsp garam masala
  • 1 tsp rose water optional


  • Marinate the chicken along with the masalas in a pressure cooker for an hour. Pressure cook the chicken for one whistle, switch off and allow the pressure to go on its own. (refer notes)
  • In a large saucepan, heat ghee. Add the onion and slit green chillies along with salt and cook till the onion turns transparent.
  • Add in the ginger and garlic paste and cook for 5 minutes.
  • Add the chopped tomatoes and cook on low flame with a tight lid till the tomatoes get completely mashed and incorporated into the onion.
  • Literally you would not be able to make out the onion or the tomato - it needs to get that mashed up. The more you cook the onion tomato masala, the tastier the biriyani turns out to be!
  • Once the masala is well cooked, add the garam masala and lime juice. Give it a mix.
  • Finally dump in the cooked chicken along with all its stock and cook till the masala becomes slightly dry. Ensure not to dry it up too much, or else your biriyani will not be moist.
  • Cook the rice. Heat ghee, splutter the whole masalas. Fry the onion and ginger. Add the water, bring to a boil. Add the salt and the rice, and cook till done.
  • Now let's prepare the dum ingredients. In a small kadai, heat the ghee.
  • Add in the onion and fry till it browns. Sprinkle some salt to ensure that the onion stays crisp.
  • Drain the browned onions onto a kitchen towel.
  • Fry the cashews till brown and drain. Fry the raisins till puffed up and drain.
  • For the dum, take a large saucepan which is dry. Spread a thin layer of Neychoru on the bottom.
  • Now dump in the prepared chicken masala and spread to make it even.
  • Sprinkle half of the garam masala, chopped coriander and mint leaves and fried dum ingredients.
  • Add all the remaining rice on the top and spread at the top to level.
  • Sprinkle the remaining dum ingredients on the top. Finally sprinkle the rose water.
  • Wrap up the top with aluminium foil, close the lid tightly and leave on the lowest flame possible for 30 to 45 minutes till a lovely aroma spreads across your kitchen!!!


To serve, there are two ways:
1. You can mix up the whole biriyani till well mixed and serve into plates.
2. Separate the rice into a large saucepan and the masala and the last layer rice together into another saucepan. When it is served on the plate, you can take how much ever masala and rice you require, ie. the person being served can adjust their level of masala and rice.
The second method is more authentic as far as Thalassery Biriyani serving method is concerned. But then to ensure that I do not run short of the masala or rice, I always mix it up and serve!!! ;)
Yum, slurpy Thalassery Chicken Dum Biriyani is ready. Serve hot with raita, pappad and chammanthi, along with some pickle as well...
The original recipe says to cook the chicken in the pressure cooker and then fry the chicken till brown. So if you want to fry, you can do that, and add the fried oil into the masala - gives an awesome taste!