MALABAR KOZHI BIRIYANI

(MALABAR CHICKEN BIRIYANI)

This biriyani is also called Thalassery Biriyani and is evocative of various foreign influences on Malabar Region……Thalassery is sea port through which export of spices took place….. Thus Arab, European & Malabar cultures merged here giving rise to some wonderful recipes like this biriyani…… A short grained, thin & fragrant Kaima or Jeerakasala rice is used in this recipe.

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INGREDIENTS : 1/2 kg Chicken, 250 gms Kaima/Jeerakasala rice.

1st MARINADE : 1/2 tsp turmeric powder, 1 tsp red chilli powder, 1 lemon, salt to taste.

2nd MARINADE : 1/2 tsp cumin seeds, 1 tsp coriander seeds, 1/2 tsp fennel seeds, 1- 2 tsp poppy seeds, 2″ginger, 1 pod garlic, 3-4 green chillies, few sprigs coriander, few mint leaves, few curry leaves, 1/2 cup yoghurt.

MASALA FOR CHICKEN : 2-3″ cinnamon, 4-6 cloves, 4-6 cardamom, 2-3 bay leaves, a pinch of nutmeg powder, 4-6 onions, 1 large tomato(optional), 1-2 tbsp ghee (clarified butter).

FOR THE RICE : 2″ cinnamon, 4-6 cloves, 4-6 cardamoms, 2-3 bay leaves, 6-8 curry leaves, 1 large onion(optional), 2-3 tbsp ghee, salt to taste, water.

FOR GARNISH : Eggs, cashew nuts, raisins, 1 pinch saffron, 1/2 cup milk.

DIRECTIONS : Wash chicken pieces thoroughly….. Mix 1st marinade together and marinate the chicken for at least an hour……

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Stir fry the marinated chicken quickly in oil till 1/4th done…….

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Keep aside.

Grind together cumin seeds, coriander seeds, fennel seeds, poppy seeds, ginger, garlic & green chillies……. Mix the paste with coriander leaves, mint leaves, curry leaves, yoghurt & the remaining 1st marinade……. Marinate the 1/4th done chicken with this marinade for at least 1/2 an hour.

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Wash the rice thoroughly…… Heat ghee in a pan….. Add cinnamon, cloves, cardamoms, bay leaves & curry leaves…… Sauté….. Add onions….. Fry till it just turns pink……. Add the washed rice….. Sauté till rice turns translucent…… Add just enough water….. Cook till almost done & water is dry. Keep aside.

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Heat ghee in another pan….. Add cinnamon, cloves, cardamoms, bay leaves……. Add sliced onions….. Fry till brown….. Add in chopped tomatoes & a pinch of nutmeg powder….. Sauté….. Add marinated chicken….. Stir properly…..

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Cover the pan with lid & cook on medium flame for at least 5-6 minutes….. Remove the lid, increase the flame, keep stirring, cook till chicken is done & the gravy is thickened.

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Finally, take another pan ….. Layer it with alternate layers of rice & cooked chicken……

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Top layer should be rice…….

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Make some small holes in rice……. Pour into each hole saffron milk…….

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Garnish the top with boiled eggs cut in 4 pieces, fried cashew nuts & fried raisins…… Sprinkle little ghee on top……Cover the pan with lid……. Keep it on very slow flame for few minutes…… Put off the flame…… Let it rest for at least 10 minutes…… Serve hot with pachadi (raita), biriyani chammanthi (chutney), date pickle (Ethapazham Achar) & papad…….

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Instead of water, Dahasamani water is preferred to be used for drinking with the meal……. After the meal of Biriyani, Sulaimani Tea is served.

NOTE : Kaima rice does not need to be pre-soaked…… One can use normal Basmati rice if Kaima/Jeerakasala rice is not available……. If the egg is nicely three fourth done then it can be used as garnish just before serving…….. Can also garnish with fried onions.

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