There have been lot of requests for Kozhikkodan Chicken Biriyani, and Cinnamon Weekends has the perfect Biriyani recipe, straight from an experienced Malabari- Aysha. I have already mentioned about Aysha in the Paaliyakka recipe. This super woman was so kind enough to share her recipe along with some secret tips, which has become a favorite at home.
My husband believes that Biriyani has healing properties….and it’s his favorite dish. He’s had all types of Biryani from across India, but was bowled over by the Biriyani served at our Zains Hotel in Calicut, soon after our wedding. Since then he’s been a huge fan of our Kozhikkodan Biriyani.
Unlike other biriyan recipes, Kozhikkodan Chicken Biriyani has a few differences. There’s no turmeric, chilli powder, pepper or garlic used in the preparation. Garlic though is used in many other Malabar biriyani recipes that I have seen, this one below comes with an exception. Also the rice used is a special variety called Khyma or Jeerakashala, small grained rice, famous for its characteristic fragrance and aroma.
The Kozhikkodan Chicken Biriyani is distinctive in its own way, because of the unique blend of spices and the flavor of Khyma rice. Very less oil is used to make the chicken biriyani Masala, and the abundance of mint and coriander leaves just makes it a culinary delight.
Make your weekends special with this unique dish from the Malabar Coast! Serve this with some green chutney, dates pickle and raita, and finish it off with some Sulaimani.. True Malabar Style!!
A Mild, flavorful delicacy from the Malabar region, the Kozhikkodan Chicken Biriyani will soon be a regular favorite in your homes
- Prep Time : 15 minutes
- Cook Time : 45 minutes
- Yield : 5-6
- For the Rice
- Khyma/ Jeerakashala Rice - 4 cups
- Ghee - 4-6 tbsp
- Onions - 1, thinly sliced
- Green Cardamom - 3
- Cloves - 4-5
- Cinnamon Stick - 2 inch piece
- Bay Leaves - 1 or 2
- Rose Water - 1 tsp
- For the Biriyani Masala
- Chicken - 1 Kg
- Onions - 5-6, thinly sliced
- Tomatoes - 3
- Ginger - 2 inch piece
- Green Chillies - 10-15
- Curd - 1 cup
- Fennel seeds powder/ perumjeerakam - 1 tsp
- Garam masala - 1 tbsp
- Mint and Coriander leaves - a bunch each
- Lemon juice - for sourness
- Rose Water - 1 tbsp
- For the Dum
- Saffron - a pinch, soaked in 1/4 cup warm milk
- Mint and Coriander Leaves - a bunch
- Raisins and Cashews
- Fried Onions
Wash and soak the Khyma rice for 15 minutes.
In a heavy bottomed pan, add 5- 6 tbsps of ghee...Add the spices- cinnamon,cloves and cardamom and fry for a few seconds. Add the finely sliced onions and sauté until transluscent. Care should be taken that the onions don’t brown. Add a pinch of salt to the onions. This helps to cook faster.
Add the drained rice to this, and mix well and sauté for 3-5 minutes. Add water, 1 tsp rose water and salt (Rice to water ratio 4 cups rice = 6 cups of water). Cover the lid and cook for 5 minutes. Now open the lid and cook till the water has fully evaporated (on low flame). Remove from stove...
Ensure that the rice is not cooked completely, maybe around 80 percent. The remaining gets cooked when we prepare the dum.
In another heavy bottomed pan, add ghee and sauté onions with some salt (Salt helps onion cook faster) When it is translucent, add the chicken and mix well. When the chicken is tender, (or loses its colour), add the sliced tomatoes.
In a small bowl, place the ginger and the green chillies. Add a cup of curd. This needs to be made into a smooth paste in a blender. Pour this mixture into the chicken and mix thoroughly. Now we need to do a taste test for sourness and spice. For additional sourness, add some lemon juice, and green chillies for spice.
To this, add 1 to 2 tbsp garam masala, 1 tsp fennel seeds powder, and a bunch of coriander and mint (pudina) leaves (the more, the better). Also add one tbsp of rose water (or 1 tsp rose essence). This is Aysha’s secret tip for that awesome flavor. Mix thoroughly.
If there is enough water from the meat and curd, let cook. If not, add some water. This usually takes about 35- 40 minutes.
After the meat is done, the dum can be prepared. This process is usually layering the rice and the masala alternatively so that the flavor of masala is infused n the rice. (Dum has to be from both top and bottom). So, I used an oven roaster, as it was easier. The oven does all the work perfectly.
The Oven Method
a) Preheat oven to180 degree Celsius.
b) Layer a generous portion of masala, then spread the rice on top of it, add some coriander /mint leaves and some cashews (optional), and top it again with masala, then rice and greens until the layering is complete (3-4 layers is good). Top with the fried onions, nuts and raisins. Sprinkle rose water and saffron.
c) Cover the roaster tightly with aluminium foil and also top it with a baking sheet/ ceramic plate. This is to ensure that heat does not escape/ Bake at 180 degrees for around 20 minutes.
Traditional Dum Method
In a Handi or a large roaster, layer the rice and masala as mentioned in b) above, Close the pan/roaster tightly with a lid. If the lid is not very tight.. make some chappathi batter and seal the sides of the lid. This is then kept on dum on very low flame for around 20-30 minutes.
You can also keep a lid between the flame and the vessel. This prevents the rice in the bottom from burning.. Heat a frying pan on low heat- and keep the Handi on it for 20- 30 mins. Once done, switch off the gas, take the pan and put it on top of the Handi till you serve.
Garnish with fried onions and dry fruits. Serve this with some green chutney, dates pickle and raita, and finish it off with some Sulaimani..
1. You can Lay a piece of Banana leaf (this is optional) on the chicken masala, and then put the rice as the top layer. It just adds to the flavor.
2. Add the juice of half a lemon while cooking the rice.The lime not only separates the rice it also gives a good color
3. Ensure that the fried onions are crisp. Mine turned out soggy (See pic.). For crispy fried onion tips, check this link