As we grow older, we tend to go back to the roots, and I was craving my hometown Biryani that is served at weddings and what better time than for the MFB challenge!
When it is biryani day, then mom makes a surplus to see through the next meal too. So we always had biryani for lunch and dinner and some days even the next day. 😀 I am glad it is the same practice even at my in-laws. If this recipe could make Mr F utter "tastes just like the wedding biryani" 🙂 it means I have nailed it. 😛 Now, that is the kind of motivation I was aiming for - the appreciation that makes you want to do it again and try different types of biryani. InshaAllah.
Thalassery Chicken Dum Biryani Recipe
Serves 2 hungry people
- 750gms whole chicken, cut into 8 pieces, washed and pat dried
- 2 medium-sized onions, sliced finely
- 7-8 garlic, minced
- 2-inch ginger, grated
- 5-7 green chillies, finely chopped
- 2 medium-sized tomatoes, chopped
- ½ teaspoon pepper powder
- 1 and ½ teaspoons coriander powder
- Handful of chopped coriander leaves
- Fistful chopped mint leaves
- 2 teaspoon lime juice
- 1 tablespoon whisked yoghurt/curd
- ½ teaspoon garam masala (more for layering before dum cooking).
- 2 to 3 tablespoons sunflower oil
- Salt as required
- 8 to 10 cashews
- 1 tablespoon golden raisins
- 1 onion, chopped and dusted with a teaspoon of cornflour just before frying
- 2 tablespoons ghee plus 2 tablespoons oil to fry
For Ghee rice:
- 2 cups Jeerakasala rice, washed and drained
- 3 cups of water
- 1 medium-sized red onion, diced
- ½ teaspoon cumin seeds
- 3 cardamom pods
- 3 cloves
- 2" cinnamon stick
- 2 bay leaves
- ¼ cup melted ghee
- Salt to taste
- Heat oil in a curry pot or pressure cooker or any pan to make the masala.
- Sauté the chopped onions, and the ground ginger, garlic, and chillies paste along with salt until the onions become translucent.
- Stir in the chopped tomatoes and cook until tomatoes start to soften and the oil separates.
- Add the chicken pieces, pepper powder, and coriander powder and cook until you are left with a thick gravy.
- Sprinkle the lime juice, chopped coriander, and mint leaves.
- When the chicken is completely cooked, switch off and stir in the whisked curd.
- Sprinkle garam masala and close the pot to infuse in the flavour.
NOTE: While preparing the masala, ensure that it has very minimal “watery” gravy. It is best to keep the consistency of the masala thick and not runny. This is to prevent the rice from getting overcooked during the dum cooking as the rice would absorb all the excess gravy and become mushy. In case you end up with a runny masala, you can either turn the heat up and boil off the excess water until you get thick gravy or strain the liquid and keep aside and use it to cook the ghee rice. If you choose to use the strained gravy to cook the ghee rice, then adjust the water accordingly.
- Heat ghee in a pan, fry the cashews, and keep aside.
- Fry the raisins, and keep them aside.
- Add more oil and ghee and fry the onions, keep aside. (stay and keep a close watch on the onions to prevent them from getting burnt)
- Boil enough water in the kettle.
- Heat ghee in a deep pot.
- Add onions and all the whole spices like cardamom, cloves, bay leaves, cinnamon, and cumin seeds and sauté for a minute until fragrant.
- Add the required amount of boiling water and salt.
- Tip in the rice slowly and cook on high heat by keeping the lid open until there is no water on the surface and you see only rice. Then reduce the flame to the lowest and close the lid tightly and let it cook for around 5 to 8 minutes. Now, you have to stir and bring the bottom part of the rice to the top so that the rice gets cooked evenly. Cover and cook for another 5 minutes and then switch off and open only after 5 minutes.
- Meanwhile, prepare your Dum cooking pot ready. Have a deep, thick-bottomed pot that has a tight-fitting lid ready by greasing the bottom with ghee.
- Once the rice is completely cooked, open and fluff it using a fork carefully and do the assembling for dum cooking while hot.
Layer and Dum cooking:
- Line the counter like this - Prepared rice pot - Dum cooking pot (greased with ghee) - masala pot - garam masala/fried onions/cashews and raisins.
- Layering should start and end with rice, topped with garnish items.
- Layer the bottom of the Dum cooking pot with enough rice. Sprinkle a good pinch of garam masala and spread some biryani masala all over the rice. Repeat this till the masala is over and end with a layer of rice.
- Cover the entire pot with foil and close with a heavy lid tightly.
- Keep a comal or a thick flat lid or a flat pan on the flame and then keep the` biryani pot over this.
- Dum cook on the lowest flame for 30 minutes.
- Before serving garnish with fried onions, cashews, and raisins.
- Serve with any yoghurt dip, pickled onions, coconut mint chammanthi, pickle, and pappadams!
Apart from a sink full of dishes to wash, I also lose my appetite by the time I serve biryani. But the good news is this or any biryani gets better the next day. 😛 So, let the folks enjoy and we can have a better service later on... 😀
After this, I made Malabar Chemeen (Prawns) biryani too...Thanks to Rafeeda who had advised me long ago stating "Aim to learn one type of biryani at a time and do it often!" Yes, Ma'm! Now I understand the "somewhat" feeling towards preparing biryani - it is the starting trouble - now no one can stop me! 😀