Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Malabar' Koyi 'Biriyani/Malabar Chicken Biryani


Malabar Koyi Biriyani(as we malabaris fondly mispronounce the 'Kozhi' or chicken!)is perhaps one of the most loved,most common dish for all the Malabaris.Any celebration in Malabar would be incomplete without its Biriyani. If you ask me how different it is from other Biriyanis,I'm not so much an expert on the topic...I just know this is the way my mom cooked, this is the way our 'Mammadka'(our muslim chef for exclusive get togethers)cooked and this is how I have been cooking!!Well, of course each of us would have definitely added a little bit of our whims and fancies,but this dish has always topped our list of favourites .When I thought of sending an entry(though I cd not send it in time) for
  • Indira's
  • Independence day parade I could not remember anything better than this that could parade the flavours of Malabar,my home.

    So here goes the recipe which many of my friends here had earlier requested:


    Serves: Eight
    Chicken - 1 kg
    Basmati rice - 1 kg
    Onion - 500 gm
    Garlic - 50 gm
    Ginger - 50 gm
    Green chillies - 100 gm
    Poppy seed/Khuskhus - 2 tsp
    Coriander leaves - 1 bunch
    Mint leaves - 1 small bunch
    Fresh Curry leaves-2 sprigs
    Curd - 1 cup
    Juice of one lime
    Ghee - 250 gm(You may mix oil,if u r health conscious)
    Sliced cashew nuts - 20 gm
    Raisins - 20 gm
    Rose water - 2 tbsp(optional
    Saffron - 1 gm(optional)
    Biriyani masala - 2 tsp
    Salt - as reqd
    For frying chicken
    Turmeric powder-1/2tsp(optional)
    Salt-as reqd


    Cut the Chicken into big pieces and wash.Make small gashes on the pieces.Marinate it with turmeric powder,chilli powder(optional) and salt and keep it aside.(You may fry the chicken pieces marinated with just salt too) Slice the onion very thin.

    Heat a little ghee in a wok.Roast the cashews and raisins to a golden brown tinge and keep it aside.Now add half the onions and fry them to brownish texture(Almost caramalised look),strain off the ghee and keep it separate.In the same ghee shallow fry the marinated chicken pieces slightly.(This enhances the taste of the chicken, and moreover keeps the chicken pieces intact during the cooking process,especially when cooking large quantities).

    Grind together green chillies, garlic, ginger and poppy seeds( poppy seeds should be soaked in water for 10 minutes) into a coarse paste. Heat a heavy-bottomed vessel. Add half of the ghee. Add half of the sliced onions and fry till they become transluscent.Add chopped tomatoes and then add garlic- ginger- chillies- poppy seed paste and fry for 2-3 minutes. Add the curd,salt and lemonjuice.Now add the fried chicken pieces.When the chicken is half cooked, add chopped coriander leaves,mint leaves,curry leaves and the garam masala.(I generally grind them too,but not with ginger-garlic) Cook till the chicken is tender and the water, absorbed and the whole masala coats the pieces. Remove from the fire and keep it aside.

    Clean the rice and drain it in a colander.Leave it for 10 minutes. Heat the remaining ghee in a vessel.Add the rice and sauté it for 4-5 minutes,till the grain becomes slightly soft on biting. Add double the quantity of hot water with salt added and cook till the rice is soft and the water is absorbed. Remove from the fire.

    Now take a big mouthed vessel which has a proper lid.Layer the chicken pieces and masala.Put one layer of cooked rice on top of the chicken.Sprinkle a little garam masala powder, fried onions, cashew nuts, raisins and a little saffron mixed in rose water.(When saffron was not available,people generally used the food colour mixed in rose water, I have not added any for we dont like saffron and rosewater smell in the biriyani, so it is purely 'apna choice'!) Finish it off with two more layers of rice, garam masala, fried onions, cashew nuts and raisins. Cover with a heavy lid.Seal the lid with Maida. Place some embers of coconut husk on top and some below as well, and leave it for 15 minutes.This is the traditional 'Dum'.Since we cant afford to do this in our UK home or US home,jut place the dish in a hot oven(150 degree celsius) for about 15 minutes.Finally mix the biriyani carefully and serve it hot with boiled egg in the middle, and Onion Raita,Onion in Vinegar Salad(UlliSurka),Biriyani Chammanthi,Dates pickle and a Suleimani Tea as accompaniments, in the Malabari style!(I was in a hurry to send my post to Indira,my egg is half boiled and is delicately perched on the biriyani mountain and the presentation was honestly a mess,but taste compensated!!);)

    Biriyani masala powder
    Cinnamon - 2 gm
    Cardamom - 1 gm
    Cloves - 1 gm
    Nutmeg - quarter
    Fennelseed - half tsp
    Cumin seed - half tsp
    Shahjeera - half tsp
    Mace - 2 gm

    Dry these ingredients and make a fine powder and this can be stored in airtight containers.

  • Shaheen
  • has posted wonderful snaps of both Ulli Surka and Biriyani Chammanthi.

    Ulli surka is all about mixing thinly chopped onions,green chilli and vinegar well and then adding some thinly sliced tomatoes to it.


    Biryani chammanthi
    Coconut - 1/2 cup(grated)
    Green chilies-4
    Ginger- 3/4 inch piece
    Mint, coriander- a handful all together,
    ThickYoghurt/Curd-1/2 cup
    Salt (preferable sea salt)-1/2 tsp

    Grind fresh grated coconut into a coarse paste.Add mint,coriander,ginger,and green chilli and salt.Just give a few whisks enough to grind the leaves..It should be a very coarse pasteFinally mix the ground paste with thick curd.For an alternate version pl check
  • BiriyaniChammanthi

  • Hyderabad Biriyani-a recent finding


    Mixed Biryani-a medley of vegetables,meat& sea food

    Vande Mataram

    Happy Independence day to everybody!!


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    maddy said...

    The very thought of this wonderful biryani has made me homesick- i wanna go to calicut and eat at Sagar or paramount!!!!

    RP said...

    I am craving for biriyani now!
    Hey I didn't see this at the parade? Didn't you email it to Indira?

    Anonymous said...

    hello, just wondering where in Uk u r? i have been reading the food blogs of u, annita, etc & i really got interested in eating & cooking... i am in London and like to meet u if u r somewhere near.
    i am also from kerala, from south, here in london with my husband and kid

    Monisha said...

    Malabar Koyi Biryani - one of those dishes that I'd like to know how to make well, I'm curious if this recipe is different from what is known as Kozhikode Biryani. Aromatic and delicious - food that can soothe the soul !

    Thank you for sharing.

    KrishnaArjuna said...

    Love the biryani recipe! Can you send some over??

    Shaheen said...

    good going shynee.any mutton fry with it?yum.. when do u get the time to do so much?

    Shankari said...

    Shynee, the dish is soo good, I feel like having biriyani now..I am going home for vacation, I can go eat in ponnusamy in chennai(my parents are vegetarians)


    Hey...I have wanted to eat Biriyani for the past few months and know I knwo I have a solid recipe. The pictures has already made me crave for this..I however dont have all the ingredients and will make it once I manage to get all of them...This weekend however, I hope to make the egg rice n malabar kozi curry and invite someone home too!!!

    I read tht your hubby was runing his nose after eating the kozi curry which made me wonder if he is non indian as no indians generally cant take too much spice.....:) :) It is so interesting tht you make such authentic kerala food for someone who is not used to it (assuming he is not a MAL) :) :)

    Annita said...

    Wow..I was craving for this one,Shynee..didn't have a proper recipe with me..Gonna try this on MY b'day and impress my hubby..:))

    indianadoc said...

    >Thanx Jiangning for dropping in and shall definitely go thro' u'r photoblog..
    >Maddy,Kozhikkode sagar ennu parayumbol thanney naavil vellam oorunnu.!!As kids,we used to start sniffing and scratching our father's hand to go inside,whenever we were around Sagar and paramount!Wah! Hot Hot biriyani and....
    >RP,I did mail it,but it was a bit late I suppose...oh, Indira already has laid out a wonderful parade...
    >Happy to know that you hv become interested in cooking,after reading all the blogs...Well, I'm quite far off fr London..I'm in Shropshire...May be someday we can meet!
    >Thanx Monisha for dropping in...Malabar Kozhi Biriyani,as the recipe is given, is the Biriyani that we used to make in Kozhikkode...so it has to be Kozhikkode Biriyani, right?!! ;)Yes,this Biriyani is ever tempting a dish...
    >Sure KA,but our London Airport Authorities may send it to lab to test the amt of terrorism in it before it reaches u!! ;)
    >Shaheen, I dint make a mutton fry cos I took your chicken fry...u dint know the 2 chicken legs missing?!!
    >Oh Shankari, I have had Ponnuswami biriyani a couple of times...it tastes great but different from our Biriyani!Oh so many varieties of Biriyani!!
    >Scribblez, pl do try the recipe...Dear, my husband is a proper south indian, but of course not Malayali...and he is as villainous as me when it comes to eating hot n spicy curries!! I think u might have mistaken my reference to our accountant or our friend richard who ws miserable with my hot curries....
    >Annita, dont u think that on u'r b'day it is u'r husband's turn to impress u cooking this biriyani for u?!! ;)Give him too a chance, darling!!

    Puspha said...

    Super delicious!!!

    My 2 yrs old dgtr also pronounces kozhi as koyi :o)

    KeralaGirl said...

    Koyi Biriyani looks very authentic :-) Hmmm I am a veg now...So staying away from all the non-veg posts...but the mention of Sagar etc how can a kozhikodukari not comment !!! Good job Shynee...You have a lot of Malabar recipes here...Makes me wanna go home :-(

    Anonymous said...

    wow! Adipoli! I was craving for this chicken biryani for very long time. I couldn't wait to try this one out. I just now saw shaheen's mutton biryani too... now I'm in a big dilemma which biryani to make for my hubby's b'day this month. Lucky draw would work I guess, right? anyways,thanks for sharing this wonderful recipe and other mouth watering recipes too..Keep it coming! wonderful blogging! Dhaanks again.


    indianadoc said...

    >hahaha,look pushpa, we always have the 2yr kid's innocence!!;)
    >keralagirl hw can kozhikkodans not go gagaga over Sagar biriyani!!Reminds JagathySreeKumar in 'Nandanam'...Me too,me too want to eat at home!! Your independence day float was great...proper kozhikkodan weakness...i ws infact thinking of posting it some day...i love those halwa dotted with cucumber seeds...why dont u start one blog n share the kozhikkodan experiences?
    >Dear Anony,thanx for all the compliments...I too just had a look at shaheen's biriyani after reading u'r comment...we both seem to be celebrating the malabar biriyanis!!

    priya said...

    Hey thanks for sharing that recipe. My first visit here.

    Anonymous said...

    Hello Shynee,
    The biriyani snaps are mouthwatering indeed. Like someone else has commented I too have started developing a good interest for cooking after I came to ur site. I have tried many of ur recipes (sorry for not commenting promptly...my 2yr old doesnt let me sit in front of the system as and when I wish) and all have come out absolutely well. Do keep up the great work.

    indianadoc said...

    >Welcome Priya to my blog...pl do visit again...
    >thanx swapna for all the kind words...and happy to know that u liked my recipes...yes, i know managing u'r two yr darling is really difficult...bt pl do visit again...doesnt matter even if u dont get time to comment...

    Maya Cassis said...

    wow!you are awesome!I have always wanted this recipe.i had asked Sarah from the blog and she too had conjured up something similar :)
    happy Onam :)

    indianadoc said...

    thanx maya...and happy to know tht it is useful for u ...do tell me once u have cooked it... :)

    Nisha said...

    hey great recipe... brought out the nostalgic memories of good old calicut. tried ur chiken biriyani for lunch today and my husband and i really enjoyed it. pls keep posting more traditional recipes. i am from tellicherry originally and there we would make a chutney with dates,rasins gur and stuff. do u have the recipe for that? if u do pls post it.
    thank you

    mallurecipes said...

    great recipe was looking for the authentic one from long time.
    I just made malabar biriyani following ur recipe
    It turned out great!!!:)
    thanks so much.
    keep up the good work.

    Krish said...

    My Kozhicodan friends wee dropping in and I was in afix, saw you blog, made Biriyani and curry.. it worked like a dream!!

    Anna said...

    Hi Shynee,
    I had seen this post on Chicken Biriyani some time back, but was not confident enough to try it out.
    I made it last weekend, and my husband and 3-year old daughter is a fan of this dish now. I had to make it again this weekend to appease them:)...
    Thank you very much for this recipe.

    Take Care

    Resna Arun said...

    Hai Shynee, I too am from calicut and has always enjoyed the chicken biriyani...i had recepie with me and i lost it 2 years back when we moved....after that how many times i have tried either spices will be too much or there wont be any nice biriyani smell...some missing used to be ther.After trying ur recepie i got that real taste and smell of the biriyani (i've used rosewater and saffron thats how my mom and sahita-thatha used to make).My husband-who is a briyani fan loved it soo much and got so impressed he told all friends that i have become an expert in briyani....its all bcoz of ur recepie so thank u ...thank u very much.
    I also have request...i have always enjoyed the dishes my friends, neighbours and sahita-thatha used to give during Ramzan time and my personal fav among all is that small cute li'l yummy tasting meat samosas....if u have the recepie pls pls post it....that is something i have tried many times and never tasted like theirs......looking forward for the same.

    Thanks and Rgds

    indianadoc said...

    thanks all you buddies for dropping in, for trying my recipes and am very happy that you all enjoyed it..nisha, i do know to make the eethappazham achar, shall post it some time...(sorry guys I'm having an acute time crunch tht this blog often goes neglected)..Resna I deliberately avoided the rosewater and saffron, because here at home we both dont like its taste..but I think I should have mentioned, that Malabar biriyani does include that as well..thanks for pointing out...I know... they often mix saffron in the rose water and sprinkle over for that colour...
    thank u ..thanks a lot..

    Anonymous said...


    I tried out ur recipe and it turned out very well.i am also from kerala from thrissur and i just came to uk last month to join my husband and just beginning to cook.we invited a couple of friends for dinner(my first dinner)and i made ur biriyani and it was great.they loved it with the chammandi.


    indianadoc said...

    Dear Anony friend

    Happy that u liked the recipe and that u'r dinner ws a success...


    arya said...

    Hi!! I would lik 2 try out the malabar chicken biriyani recipe. Am a litl new to cookin!! I had a small doubt. In the end u hav mentioned abt somtng called "dum". I din't understand abt it. Wat s that?? could u pls help me out???

    indianadoc said...

    >thanks arya for dropping in..well, dum is nothing but a traditional baking method....where u keep hot coconut husk embers on top of the sealed vessel of biryani and a few embers below for a slow baking process...Instead u could just seal the vessel with maida and keep it in a hot oven at 180-200 C for 10 mts.

    Arya said...
    This comment has been removed by the author.
    Arya said...

    Hi shynee!! i tried out the recipe it came out really well!! thank u so much. A great recipe indeed!! :) :)

    indianadoc said...

    >happy that you loved the recipe...it is one of my favourites too...

    spicyme said...

    Hi Indianadoc
    Awesome..I tried this one and came out perfect !! After a long time,I got a very authentic recipe.Thank you for this.I am new to your blog.Well,missed a lot from you..I belong to Thrissur,but always gone crazy over malabar dishes..anyways,this is a perfect biriyani..lol..(without rosewater/color in this one, i Feel now I have spoilt all biriyanis with them earlier)Dear,athukondu puthiyoru pazhanchollu kitti...kazhicha bhakshanamellam madhuratharam...kazhikkanullava athimadhuram..!!Love you.

    Nishanth Menon said...

    Just had to say -> made me home sick in just about 2 hrs of cooking :) delicious...

    Smitha said...

    I am a journalist with a love for food.Last week we decided to make biriyani. Unfortunatley, all my treasured recipe books are back home in Kochi and I had to net surf for some nice recipes. Found yours through deepa's blog on wordpress. the biriyani recipe was very nice. I substituted chicken with lamb and made a few changes. I was too hungry to wait till all that baking was done. Thanks a lot for the awesome recipe. :D- smitha

    Nasreen said...

    Hi, i am from kasaragod and am settled in kozhikode. The other day when i was trying to bake bread, my mom challenged me to cook something desi. In an effort to prove myself, I took up the challenge to make biryani. While net surfing, I found your site. I must say, you have a wonderfully wonderful blog. Hopefully I am gonna try your biryani recipe this friday. Will let you know how it goes...:-)

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    Anonymous said...

    Hi Dear!!!

    I don't know wat 2 say!!! simply suprb Biriyani receipe and I had tried too.Everybdy likes it and defently credit goes to uuuuuu..specialy the ULLI SURKA...with this..yummy!!! Bundles of txs..coz my hubby is a gujju and he loves biriyani verymch and with lots of intrest I made this and came nicely...txs a lop!!! god bless u.

    Mary said...

    Hi shynee,I am from kozhikode, now in US.had been to Sagar recently and their biriyani didn't taste as good as they used to be.I make biritani sometimes which my koyilandikaran husband and daughter ilkes very much. But your recipe is very authentic. Itried with my US friends with less chilly

    Preets said...

    Hi Shynee(I believe that's your name as many others have addressed you that way.. sorry if I am wrong)

    Thanks a TON for this amazing recipe. I have been in search of sagar's chicken biryani all these years and this is the closest I have ever gotten to :) Sagar's chicken biryani, paragon's fried rice, calicut tower's singapore fried rice etc are the things I crave for and biryani is all set and no need to search for it anymore.. thank you so much.. this recipe is a sure keeper :)

    Great job :D

    happiness said...

    i would like to sincerely thank you for this wonderful recipe .i was born and raised in calicut and lived there for 20 long years finally moving out for good.
    Zaines fish biriyani and erachi pathhiri//Paragon porotta and prawns/Sagar/Bombay hotel/plaza/ and what not comes to ones mind when one remembers all that:)
    Yesterday evening i came across ur recipe for the koyi biriyani and made an attempt and have to admit that it turned out quite nice..many thanks.
    i just made some change where in i used 2 tsp of eastern biriyani masala and star anise as well other that what u mentioned:) also the green chutney in the link was also yummy:)great going...cheers nandita

    happiness said...

    hi there..i am a non mallu who has lived in Koyakkode for long:) we even tagged along the owner of Sagar,,,who was from a different college to our college picnic so that we get the biriyani packed at 6 am:)...its been almost a decade and a half since Calicut days:)
    i must admit your recipe is simple and it really brought back some good memories...changes i made in this was
    -add some star anise
    -marinate the chicken with a few spoons of youghurt and some eastern biriyani masala and ginger garlic paste and and no more adding youghurt in cooking
    -add a few spoons of dry dessicated coconut in the chicken masala after cooking
    -add some eastern biriyani masala powder in layering of rice as well
    -used some butter while giving it dum......
    thanks a ton again:)

    happiness said...

    amazing stuff...i love most of your recipes..they are so authentic and easy to do....my favourites are chicken and fish biriyani:)reminds me of Zains fish biriyani and of course bombay hotel....