Malabar Chicken Biryani Recipe – Simple and Delicious

malabar chicken biryani : biriyani MALABAR CHICKEN BIRYANI

Malabar Chicken Biryani Recipe

This bejeweled rice is  the favorite of many! A delicious Malabar Chicken Biryani! Although the ‘Hyderabadi Dum Biriyani’ may be tagged as ”The most famous Biriyani “, I know many Kerala food enthusiasts will make a good argument to the contrary. Kannur, Thallessery, Kozhikode Biriyanis are indeed sought after and devoured with passion. Recipes are varied but this one is a keeper! A delicious and fulfilling recipe!

A favorite in our home!

malabar chicken biryani recipe

Malabar Chicken Biryani Recipe

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Recipe Name:  Malabar Chicken Biryani 
Recipe Type: Rice / Chicken
Author: Shana c/o Recipes ‘R’ Simple
Prep time: 
Cook time: 30 min
Total time: 
Yield: (5 servings)


  • 1 ½ kg Chicken cut into medium to large pieces. Washed & Drained
  • 2 Tbsp thick Yogurt (greek style)
  • 100 gm / 3 ¾ oz Dalda & Half that amount  Ghee
  • 3 Tbsp  dalda and ghee combined  for Masala
  • 250 gm /4 medium Onions sliced finely (for the garnish)
  • 4  large onion sliced (for the masala)kaima rice for Malabar Chicken Biryani Recipe
  • 50 gm /about 2 oz or ¼ cup kismis/golden sultanas or raisins
  • 50 gm/about 2 oz or ¼ cup cashewnuts
  • Whole spices (2 tsp cardomom pods crushed, 2 tsp cloves,  2 tsp cinamon sticks)
  • 1 ½ kg or 5 cups rice Kaima OR Basmati Rice
  • 1 ¼ litre or 7 cups of water
  • 50 gm /1 ¼ large bulb garlic & same amount fresh ginger, crushed to form a paste
  • 5-6 green chilies (I recommend the smaller variety for the distinct flavor it imparts. It has more heat: you may de-seed for less heat) – also crushed to a paste
  • 3 medium – large firm tomato, chopped
  • 2 tsp lime juice
  • ½ tsp Garam Masala (Malabar Garam Masala Recipe)
  • Handful each of chopped mint and coriander leaves
  • 4 Tbsp milk
  • 2 Tbsp rose water


  • Marinate the chicken with 1 tsp salt and Yogurt and 2 tsp each of the ginger and garlic paste.15 – 30 minutes.
  • Heat large saute pan or pot, Heat dalda and ghee.
  • Fry the onions till crisp golden( keep your eyes on this, it may seem to take time at the begining but they burn very quickly).Remove with slotted spoon &  set aside.
  • Next fry kismis/sultanas  till plump- set aside.
  • Fry cashews till golden- set aside.

The rice:

  • Remove any grits from the ghee left in the pan. Remove all but 4-5 Tbsp ghee.
  • To this, add the whole spices and fry lightly.
  • Add 7 cups previously boiled water and bring to boil again.
  • Add 4 – 4 ½ salt  (to taste) and washed  rice.
  • Stir and cook covered on medium heat till water runs dry and you can fluff up the rice.

The Masala:

  • In another deep pot. Heat ghee and dalda.
  • Add remaining ginger & garlic pastes along with the green chilly paste.
  • Sauté  gently to a nice light golden color.
  • Add onion and a dash of salt and continue sautéing, till softened and just  changing color.
  • Add chicken and stir fry well on high heat. Stir fry till the chicken becomes white.
  • Add the mint, coriander leaves and garam masala (see note).
  • Add tomato and stir-cook till liquid runs dry and the tomatoes are reduced to a pulp.
  • Stir in some of the fried onion to this (about ¼ cup loosely packed).
  • Mix in the  lime juice/yoghurt. Stir till combined.
  • Cook covered, on low till chicken is done and liquids evaporate.


The layers of “dum”  – baking layers:

  • Transfer  the chiken masala to the ‘Dum’ pot or baking dish.
  • Layer half of the rice over this.
  • Over this layer, sprinkle milk and rose water mixed together, some  coriander, mint and garam masala.
  • Then layer the rest of the rice followed by some more garam masala, fried onions , cashews and raisins.
  • Cover and seal  the lid, either with a kneaded dough  making sure the steam can not escape.
  • Place  pot on a flat griddle pan and cook on stove top on low-medium heat for about 20 minutes.
  • Alternatively, cover with aluminum foil and bake for 20- 30 minutes at 190 °c /375° F. Turn off the heat source. Leave undisturbed for at least 30 minutes.
  • Spoon out the rice carefully first and set aside in a large plate.
  • Next, transfer the chicken pieced gently to a serving dish.
  • Return half the rice to the masala on the bottom and gently toss to coat the rice with chicken masala.
  • Add the remaining white rice on top just folding over masala a few times so that the rice stays a nice white color. Serve with the chicken pieces and the fried garnish. Yummy!

Malabar Chicken Biryani Recipe1 the dum

Malabar Chicken Biryani Recipe

    Garam Masala – A powdered spice blend of Cloves, Cardamom, Cinnamon, Fennel, Nutmeg, Star Anise, Mace, Black pepper, Shah jeera(black cumin)

  • You may choose to use ghee alone instead of the combination of dalda and ghee,Or you may use refined oil. Ghee makes the Biriyani better tasting.

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Key Ingredients: Chicken, Rice, Spices, Onion, Ginger, Garlic, Tomatoes, Herbs, Yoghurt, Salt, Rose water, Milk

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About Shana Shameer

Love Cooking and discovering the very Best recipes out there.

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