Sunday, September 30, 2007

Chicken Biryani – Indian Rice flavored with spices and herbs in ghee & layered in curried meat.

A thoughtful gift from my reader!

The picture below is what Liz sent me for my reference.

I know , some of us food bloggers, have a more or less same or similar morning routine……Waking up next to your loved one……..enjoying the sun rays coming through the window….embracing the new day with lots of hopes and plans…..sipping a hot cup of tea/coffee…..logging in the computer and checking the mails and comments, if any……and sometimes we feel a sense of satisfaction realizing that the recipe we blogged became someone else’s family favourite or sometimes we blush reading a nice sweet comment from one of our fellow bloggers or readers or sometimes a humorous comment lightens up our mood and spirit and very-very rarely a bad or disheartening comment that spoils your mood !

On one such day when I was enjoying my morning tea and CJJ was reading out a few comments I received the previous night, we came across a comment from someone named Liz who introduced herself and said how much she enjoyed my posts and the way she appreciated me, made my day!! She became a regular here and also showed her interest in sharing some of her family favourite recipes with me. In between she kept contacting me through the comment section clearing her doubts on the Blackforest Cake recipe. And one fine day, I received a mail from her with a picture of the Blackforest cake she made, based on the recipe I posted! If you are a food blogger, you can imagine how thrilled and excited I was receiving such a beautiful gift from one of my readers!! The story does not end there, she shared a couple of her family favorite recipes with me and Chicken Biryani was one among them. Liz is married to a Muslim family and when she shared her MIL’s classic Chicken Biryani, that was one more reason to try it out immediately for me who was already on top as this was the first time I received such a gift from one of my readers. I really felt good! Since this Muslim Style Chicken Biryani- Indian Rice flavored with spices and herbs in ghee & layered in curried meat, was a hit at our place, I thought of sharing it with you all. This was a gift for Mishmash! and now this is a gift for you all from Liz:)

Before I go to the recipe writing, let me write something for my non-Indian readers and bloggers. The number of ingredients and the steps involved in cooking might stop you from trying this dish. Cooking Biryani is time consuming and process oriented but it is worth the effort. An easy route to enjoying a Biryani is probably hitting a good Indian restaurant in town, but to relish an authentic Indian Biryani, one has to go through all this process and it is worth the effort, not just because of the taste but the fact that if there is some leftovers, you can enjoy it the next day too and that’s when it tastes the best!! What you might taste from an Indian restaurant is nothing compared to the home cooked authentic Biryani. Recipe follows:

Kerala Muslim Style Chicken Biryani: (Serves 4-5 adults)

Ingredients for cooking rice:
  • 4 cups Basmati Rice (I use Tilda )
  • 8 cups water or more depending on the cooking method*
  • 10 Cloves
  • 8 Cardamom pods
  • 5-7 small ½” inch long Cinnamon sticks
  • 1-2 bay leaves (Optional)
  • A handful of fresh mint leaves
  • 2 tsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • Salt to taste
Ingredients for cooking Chicken:
Step 1: To shallow fry the Chicken:
  • 1- 1 ¼ kg (Approx. 2 ½ lb) cleaned & cut chicken pieces
  • ½ tsp turmeric powder
  • ¾ tsp red chilly powder
  • ½ tsp garam masala
  • Salt to taste
  • Oil for shallow frying.
Step 2: To prepare the Chicken Kurma
Step 2:A) For the spicy paste:
  • 1/3 cup sliced garlic (Approx. 50gms)
  • 1/3 cup sliced ginger (Approx. 50gms)
  • 20-26 Indian Green chillies (Approx. 75gms) (adjust as per your tolerance level)
Step 2:B)For Sautéing:
  • 2 tbsp ghee
  • 4 cups thinly sliced big onions (Approx. 300 gms)
  • 2 cups chopped or 2 big tomatoes
  • ½ cup yoghurt
  • ½ - 1 tsp red chilly powder
  • 4 tsp coriander powder
  • ¾ tsp turmeric powder
  • 1/8 cup lightly packed chopped coriander leaves
  • ¼ cup lightly packed chopped mint leaves
Step 2:C) For grinding the Masala Powder
  • 10 cloves
  • 8 cardamom pods
  • 3-4 small 1” inch long Cinnamon sticks
  • ½ tsp Shajeera
  • 1 tsp fennel seeds
  • 6 mace
Step 2: D ) For the nutty paste (Soak in water for 30 mins before grinding)
  • 15 whole cashew nuts
  • 5-10 almonds
  • 1tbsp poppy seeds
For layering & garnishing:
  • ½ cup raisins (preferably golden raisins)
  • ¼ - ½ cup cashew nuts
  • 1 medium size big onion, thinly sliced
  • 3tbsp + 2 -3 tbsp ghee + more ghee/ oil for frying onions
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped fresh coriander leaves.
  • A pinch of saffron
  • 2tbsp warm milk
For the aromatic masala powder:
  • 2-3 cloves
  • 2 cardamom pods
  • 3-4 small ½ “ inch long cinnamon sticks
  • 2 tbsp ghee
  • Make the Chicken Kurma : To shallow fry the chicken first, make a marinade with turmeric powder, red chilly powder, garam masala and salt with some drops of water and apply it on the chicken pieces and leave it in the room temperature for 30 minutes and then shallow fry in oil, not more than 4 minutes, including both the sides. This phase of cooking is done mainly to enhance the taste of the chicken as well as to keep the pieces slightly firm in the cooking process to follow.

    In a big cooking vessel, heat 2 tbsp ghee and sauté thinly sliced onions, until golden in colour; make a fine paste of ginger, garlic and green chillies (Step 2: A)and add the same to the cooked onions and sauté till they turn a nice brown colour (Note: This will fetch you a darker brown colour for the chicken Kurma, as shown in Liz’s picture. I did not cook till they turned dark brown and hence the lighter shade for my Kurma.) At this stage, add tomatoes and mix well; add chopped coriander leaves and mint leaves and combine well; add the ground Masala powder (Step 2: C), chilly powder, coriander powder and turmeric powder and mix well with all the ingredients and sauté, until the raw smell of the spices is gone, for a couple of minutes. This is base of the Chicken Kurma masala and it will be dark brown in colour. Once the raw smell is gone, add the shallow fried chicken and cook covered in medium heat. If the chicken was not shallow-fried for a longer time, then this stage will produce some water from the chicken, during the cooking time; but if the chicken is dry and there is no gravy at all, cook with very little water and salt. When the chicken is half-done, add the yoghurt and cook covered and when it is almost done, just before turning off the stove, add the nutty paste of nuts, almonds and poppy seeds (Note: Nuts, almonds and poppy seeds should be soaked in water for 30 mins before grinding them into a fine paste) and cook for a couple of minutes. Chicken should not be overcooked at all or it should not fall off the bones. The Kurma will be a thick, creamy and rich gravy. (Note: Adding the nutty paste will change the really dark brown colour of the chicken kurma to a lighter shade.)

  • Cook the Rice:
    Microwave Method:Wash Basmati rice well. In a microwave safe bowl, pour 8 cups of water, add rice and whole spices mentioned above, in the respective section, along with bay leaves and a handful of mint leaves and salt to taste and cook until the rice is just cooked. Since my microwave compatible bowl is not large enough to accommodate so much of rice and water, I halve the ingredients, i.e 2 cups of rice and 4 cups of water with half of the spices and herbs and microwave for 23 minutes. This way, you can make sure that no two grains stick to each other. Immediately after the microwave cooking, using a fork, gently separate the rice, so as not to get sticky and sprinkle 2 tsp fresh lemon juice. Please note that you should halve the quantity for lime juice too, if you are cooking the rice in two batches.
    Stove-top Method: Liz follows stove top method for cooking rice and she does that in the old fashioned way where in a huge vessel is heated and when water is fully boiling, add the washed rice and whole spices and herbs and cook the rice uncovered, for 12-15 minutes. When the rice is cooked (do not overcook), drain the excess water immediately and sprinkle the fresh lemon juice.
  • Prepare the garnish:
    For the aromatic masala powder used in between the layers, heat 2tbsp ghee and fry the whole spices, mentioned in the respective section; and grind these into a fine powder. Save this ghee in a small bowl for later use.

    Fried Nuts and raisins: In the same pan, add 3 tbsp ghee, fry the raisins, stirring continuously until they turn plump or look like golden grapes and keep them aside; fry the cashew nuts in the same oil, till they turn golden in colour and keep aside.

    Fried caramelized onions: Add more ghee or oil to the same pan, to fry the thinly sliced onions till they become golden brown; at this stage sprinkling a pinch of sugar to the onion, while frying, to get a taste of nice caramelized onions is a good idea; remove the fried onions from the oil with a slotted spoon and let them drain on paper towels.

    Saffron Milk: Heat 2 tbsp milk and a pinch of saffron
  • Get your work-area ready for layering with Chicken Kurma, spices and herb flavored cooked rice, fried nuts, fried raisins, fried onions, saffron milk, ground aromatic masala powder and the leftover spice flavored ghee and some 2-3 tbsp fresh ghee and finely chopped fresh coriander leaves.
  • Final layering: This Chicken Biryani can be prepared either in a conventional oven or through the Dum method. Click here, to get a better idea for the Dum Method. Choose your cooking method and depending on your choice, choose your cooking vessel. Grease your cooking dish generously with some ghee. Randomly place some chicken pieces along with gravy in the bottom of the dish; then spread some cooked rice, (do not stack); sprinkle a pinch of ground aromatic masala powder; some fried nuts, fried raisins, fried onions and finely chopped coriander leaves; sprinkle some spice flavored leftover ghee (the one used for frying the spices for making the aromatic masala powder) and also a few drops of saffron milk. Repeat this layering process 3 or 4 times, depending on the quantity of the rice and meat as well as the largeness of the vessel. Reserve some fried onions, nuts and raisins for final garnishing before serving.
  • Final cooking:
    Conventional Oven Method: Preheat the oven to 350F. Close the oven safe dish with aluminum foil and bake for 20-30 minutes.

    Dum Method: Perfectly seal the lid with the dough and cook in low heat for 20-30 minutes.

  • Serving: After the final cooking, keep the dish covered for minimum 30 minutes. Ideally, a window of 30 mins to 2 hours is suggested, to get a better taste, and for all the flavors to set in thoroughly. Place your individual serving platter; Just like you slice a cake, dig with a bigger serving spoon and transfer it to the serving platter; you should not mix the rice and meat; it’s already layered and hence just transfer it to the platter and garnish with some fried onions, nuts and raisins. Serve with Raitha (Coarsely chopped onions, tomatoes and cucumber mixed in yogurt and seasoned with a dash of salt and pepper), Indian pickle, Pappadam (Indian wafers) and a chilled Diet Coke or Pepsi :)
Cooking Schedule I Followed :
  • Cut and clean the chicken; marinate the chicken pieces.
  • Chop the onions, cut the tomatoes peel and slice the garlic, ginger and green chilly, and chop the herbs.
  • Make the spicy paste of green chilly, ginger and garlic
  • Soak the cashew nuts, almonds, and poppy seeds
  • Grind and powder the Masala powder
  • Shallow fry the chicken
  • Prepare the Nutty paste
  • When half of the chicken is fried, start sautéing the veggies and make the base masala for the Chicken Kurma
  • Prepare the chicken Kurma.
  • While chicken is being cooked, wash and cook the rice with spices and herbs.
  • Fry the whole spices in ghee and grind and powder them into aromatic masala powder and reserve the leftover ghee.
  • Fry the nuts and raisins and onions
  • Prepare the saffron milk.
  • Get the work area ready.
  • Final layering
  • Final Cooking

Verdict & Recommendation: When I finished preparing the Chicken Kurma, I was sure this is going to be a super hit in our place and when I finished cooking and served it , the first response was, ”Adipoli” meaning ”Excellent”!!. It has a nice aroma and the Chicken Kurma is medium spicy which gives a distinct character to the Biryani. The chicken Kurma on its own is very tasty and can be served with Nan or Roti (Indian breads). Though the rice preparation is different from the general method of washing and draining the rice and then roasting that in ghee along with whole spices, it does not reduce the look or taste of the flavored rice. I will be making this again on special occasions and to treat my friends and guests. Liz suggests one more method to make the look appealing; she suggests mixing some lemon juice with a pinch of turmeric powder or saffron and add it to ½ cup cooked rice and reserve and sprinkle this on the top layer to get some colour, as she has done in her picture. This dish taste better the next day but since we cannot serve one day old food to our guests, better to prepare it in the morning if guests are invited for dinner! The amount of ghee given in the recipe is my personal choice , one is free to use more than the noted measurements, it will only increase the aroma and taste.

I have thanked Liz enough already for this very sweet gesture of hers but it is ok if I tell this one more time, "Thank you, sweetie :) "

On another note, I thank all of you who dropped a comment checking on me and visited my blog the last one week. Thanks a lot for showing interest and I appreciate that a lot. Now that I am back, I will catch up with all of you in your blogs :)



No part of the content ( articles, photographs, recipes) of this blog may be reproduced without my written permission.Copyright © 2007-2010 All rights reserved.


  1. Shn, brava!

    When I read the title of your post, I wanted to jum happily! I have been looking for good Chicken Bryani and there it is! Thanks so much for sharing this recipe. And Liz, if you read this, my special thanks to you also!!! You girls rock!

    *hugs hugs*

  2. As usual Shn, a rich recipe and beautiful photos. Nice explanation. Viji

  3. :) That was soooo sweet of Liz... well deserved appreciation for your blog though... That biryani looks amazing... yet another biryani recipe for me to try... the muslim biryanis are the best... I wish someone organized a blog event for biryani :)

  4. S, long post..pedippichukalanjallo.. :)

    I prefer biryani for lunch and dinner for guests, since it is the easiest..

    Just reading all these makes me drooling..thanks to you and Liz for sharing the recipe..

  5. What a coincidence! I cooked a chicken biryani too, but my pictures weren't great. The recipe is so similar to yours!! And I have to say the entire house was smelling delicious!! You've explained the procedure well. Have you tried using Eastern Chicken Masala?

  6. Shn absolutely mouthwatering. What a gorgeous array of flavors. Your hard work was worth it. Lovely!

  7. Shn:

    Thats a lovely post. So sweet of Liz to have shared her family recipe with you. I completely agree, such gifts are really precious! The pics look great!


  8. Nice post, Shn! And nice pix too, as usual!

  9. adipole molley ;)
    beautifully written post mishy. u r so true abt the difference bet home-made and restaurant one. i have to try this recipe and my bookmark list from ur blog is already over-flowing;)
    thanks to u and Liz for this authentic recipe.

  10. looks nice and spicy :) reminds me of amma's biriyani. I haven't tried this myself.

  11. You have a very nice blog here.This ia a mind blowing biriyani recipe! I really liked your clear instructions that I can follow blindly.!Thanks Shn

  12. Iam drooling shn. Looks delicious.My kids love Biryanis. Thank you and Liz!:))

  13. I knew biryani was intensive, but, Shn (and Liz), you've made it accessible with finely detailed directions. By day's end, the kitchen must smell like paradise. Thx for sharing!

  14. One more lovely post, early in the morning :) That was so sweet of Liz to send you the pic and everything. Thanks to her for the recipe and to you for making such a beautiful dish out of it.

  15. I am just drololing seeing the picture. I love Biriyani.
    You have explained it so well how to make it.

  16. I have heard quite about this biryani.

  17. Looks Spicy and delicious... just the way I like it.... U are making me hungry....

  18. Oh boy ! this looks really really mouth watering. When are you inviting me over mishy ? I will come over...just tell me when you are cooking chicken biriyani next :P

  19. looks so tasty..the narrative was almost as good as the biriyani... is frustrating for us to just see the snaps..all readers should be given a parcel delivery too...

    this is somethin i wont dare attempt..coz i might ger frustrated considering the effort put to make a biriyani..thought i have tried using the ready made powders..but it nowhere comes close the real thing..

    great snaps as always too..probably urs is the only food blog which makes me really hungry..

  20. Very nice presentation with carrot flower. Looks yummy.:)

  21. Shn............ where is your feet dear lady,I bow down to you dear for not only making a biryani but taking the pains to write it in such detail.Thank you Liz for sharing the recipe,the garnishes and picture shows that you are a pro!Plz do share more recipes.

  22. Muslim Biriyani + Kerala style nothing perfect than that. Thru years biriyani remains the fav dish of (us) NV Indians. Your Biriyani looks tempting. Thanks for the recipe.

  23. Hey Shn...

    Mouthwatering recipe...will definitely give a try...very elaborate narration....good for people like me.....u have a amazing blog..keep it going....thanks to LIZ too....


  24. 4 cups rice? shn, you have enough biryani to feed everyone at food blog desam. looks wonderful. i'm trying to think of a good veggie alternative - with mushroom maybe?

    thank you, liz, for the recipe.

  25. Accept your thanx,Shn.And I am grateful&thankful to you all, those who have commented here, for showing this much appreciation for the recipe.But I owe this to you only Shn;as all this happened as you showed genuine interest in my recipe and presented that in a beautiful post&nice writeup in your blog.And that was so generous of you,Shn.

  26. Wow ! Absolutely lovely pictures Shn ! I and my Huuby love Chicken biryani and i prepare it almost on almost every weekend :-) We might be the greatest lovers of this dish on this earth Ha Ha, I'll try out your version of chicken biryani this weekend, Thanks for the recipe, Liz and Mishmash :-)

  27. Heavenly biriyani! Adipoli indeed!! wish i was there...

  28. wow such a lovely post :) that really feels great! the biryani looks yum with the masala i can imagine will substitute soy and try out :)

  29. Your biryani looks stunning indeed...thanks to you and Liz.We, especially Dinesh, adores biryani...that was what made me try the recipe in the first place...he's like a kid when it's around. And yes, home cooked biryani's are really worth the effort.

  30. how many cups is 2 1/2 punds of rice.
    thanks & regards,

  31. Such a beautiful platter Shn! I never had KM friends so didnot get a chance to taste their cuisine. But now I can count on you!

  32. That's a lot of work but I'm sure tat its all worth the effort.

  33. I LOVE LOVE LOVE Biryani! Your pictures are making me hungry!

  34. OMG, it is labor intensive but so worth it!

    I make a spice-pelau with cumin seeds, cardamom pods, cloves, cinnamon stick and bay leaves - I can eat it just as is without any meat. :)

    As always my friend, your pics are outstanding and do true justice to all your hard work!

  35. Forget to say thanks to Liz and thanks to you! You gals rock!

  36. Adipoli..adipoli...bumper adipoli....!!! I very well address you with the name that i feel suits you the most.."Onida" !!! gosh!, u take soo much effort to come up with a post..the detailed writing!!..

  37. wow......Awesome post mishmash........Thanks for giving lotsa information....a very useful post.,.....The biryani looks perfect dear :-)

  38. I love the flavors. Think I'll have to sub out the chicken with veggies (or maybe vegetarian ham?!) and try it out.

  39. Shn, do you have an email address that I can send to?

  40. Yummy Yummy!!!

    Only that it was slightly spicy for me......should have cut down on the amount of chillies...

  41. Yummy Yummy!!!

    Wee bit spicy for my taste buds..should have cut down on the green chillies...

  42. this biryani really looks mouth watering. And it is really fancy with the shahi jeera , mace and fennel ....the works eh ! i usually save this one for really big occasions, for the regular one i just use cardamom n cinnamon n bay leaves...and of course no dry fruits. This post of yours just reminds me how i've not taken th effort in such a long time to prepare the REAL BIRYANI !!! Discovered your blog thru ahn's i think dunno ... but am glad i came by :))

  43. chicken biriyani
    wow who can bet that!!!
    great recipe!

  44. I didn't cook anything today...and I wish I could have that biriyani. :P

  45. Anh, Glad I could post this on time...feel free to contact me if you have any doubts or confusion :)

    Vcuisine, Thanks :)

    Sig,you mean a Biryani-Mela eh ? :)

    Seena, :))) athey 'kurachu' lengthy aayi poyee :P

    Jyothsna, U re a Biryani expert from your teens right ?:) I do use Easter meat masala, but I prefer it only for making regular chicken curry , not for Biryani Kurma for which I prefer the homemade one :)

    Meeta, Thanks a lot :)

    Musical, thank you, my friend :)

    Sra, Thanks dear :)

    Sia, hahah...that was nice :) hey you really want to try the non veg stuff.;) I have posted a veg ghee rice, thats absolutely safe for you :)

    Nags, thank you :)

    Sati, hope you try and let me know. All the best :)

    Asha, thanks a bunch :)

    Susan, If you re trying this reduce the green chillies , as this will be too hot for your palate :) I have blogged a vegetable ghee rice, which is not at all spicy but still flavorful :)

    Sandeepa, your comments are always heartwarming :)

    Sharmi, Cinnamon, Thanks girls :)

    Pravs, just when u tell me you re boarding the flight to my place :)

    Mathew, that was one of the best compliments I have received :) Me too truly wish that i could meet all of you and treat you at home...A blogger's meet would be a good idea....Food bloggers will bring great food and you bring all your satirist friends, lets have a day with some classic humour and great food, howzzat ?:)

    Kajal, that was Liz' presentation and she is quite happy to receive that comment :)

    Sumitha, ee kutteede karyam :))) Yes Liz is a great cook, I wish she could start a blog of her own...let me see if I can give her a nudge :)

    Rina, yeah Kerala Muslim style Biryani is quite famous , especially from the Malabar region. Hope you try !

    Rashmi, Thanks so much :)

    Bee, oh..yea...thats true...when I make Biryani, I make sure that I need not enter kitchen for the next two days, a well deserved break , isn't it ?:) I havent tried the veggies version, but you probably can try with cauliflower, potato, paneer et al.

    Liz , :)

    Mona, I am waiting for your feedback...if you re a blogger, pls leave your link too :)

    Lissie, Thanks :)

    Roopa, hmm...sounds like a plan :)

    Sunita, yes it is definitely worth the effort especially if you have a husband who is an ardent lover of this dish :)

    Anon, i guess it will be around 5 cups...check this link for cooking covertions,

    Padma, If you were my next door girl, I would have deft'ly invited you over for dinner :)

    Pushpa, Yes it IS :)

    Nabeela, who doesn't right?:)

    Cynthia, your spice pelau sounds something like our ghee rice...I have blogged a veg ghe rice, thats also tasty, can relish with a bowl of raitha :)

    Kitchen scientist,haha...hope you re referring only to the punch line not to the brand mascot :P Thanks a lot :))))

    Sirisha,thanks a lot :)

    kaykat, thanks for coming by, welcome here :)

    Rachel, hey you already tried it???

    Kate, Thanks a lot for visiting my page, as I already told, I would have missed your pretty place, otherwise :) Welcome here :)

    Mallurecipes, Thanks :)

    RP, :(


  46. Thanks for sharing such a deatiled recipe for biryani, which I have never made. And thanks for sharing a heart-warming story about Liz. It's so gratifying to have readers share their feelings and make your creations! It's no wonder she loves your food, Shn. Everything you make is made with love.

  47. Hi! I have just discovered your blog and very impressed by your photos! This rice recipe sounds a little complicated but i have to try it.

  48. A Real feast Shn...Love biriyanis!!
    The morn routine is 101% right in mine as well...congenial and amazing write up with that..:)

    Spl thanx to sweetie liz..after all biriyani is something nice to share na??

    ...and Shn it's over due for you to visit my place..didnt visit for long I think...I see you in most of the comment boxes around but not in mine...Looking forward..:D

  49. What delicious dishes! I wasn't hungry until now ...

    And the descriptions are great, I could totally recreate this at home.

  50. thank god my mom is here!other wise i would be drooling all over ur blog!!

  51. Shn, your biryanni is a winner!
    Although the city I live also has its famous rice dish, I still find it nothing able to compare with chinese or Indian! What a nice co-incident, the other day my husband just said how much he wanted biryani. I will faithfully follow your fantastic recipe... (got to buy a couple more spices). will let you know how mine turns out later.
    thanks millions sweetie!

  52. Oh yes! Tried it and left you a comment..even sent some over to my folks and they all loved it!!!

    Thanx again for the great recipe..

  53. helo Mishmash..
    itried ur biriyani & replaced chicken with prawn,,, it was delicious..
    .. itries all ur recipies...
    thankss mish.. waiting 4 ur further hits...:D

  54. I can eat Biryani for lunch and dinner.Especially Muslim biryani is the best. I am going to try it this weekend for sure. I can't wait. Thank you for this post.


  55. Mishmash,
    I just made this biryani, it is ABSOLUTELY FANTASTIC!!!
    Your recipe is so well written; it is the first time I cooked the rice 101% satisfactory (we are from rice-eating countries, we are just super-picky on this :)) Although your recipe looks long, thanks for your list of priority so that when came to cook, I managed my time very well and completed each step without a mess. The dish came out really delicious, my family enjoyed a ton! Seems that this dish can be prepared ahead (just do the baking right before serving), I definitely do it again for my next party!
    Thanks millions for sharing this wonderful gift with us *big hug*

  56. Thanks for the recipe. I plan on trying it our during Thanksgiving this year. Because of all the family visiting and other items that I have to cook, I was wondering if I could prepare the dish in advance, layering the rice and chicken together, and save the oven/heating section for the day we plan on eating it?

    Would it be possible for me to do it 3 days in advance? Should I increase my heating time since it will be at the fridge temperature not "just cooked" temperature?

    Thanks in advance! Love the blog!

  57. Susan, the last sentence is applicable to u as well, I think we all love food and serve food with a double dose of love :)

    Cooking Blogger, its not complicated but a bit process oriented though. Give it a try. Thanks a lot for dropping by :)

    Bharathy,food bloggers life is pretty much the same i guess :)

    Kelly,A warm welcome here. Do give it a try, and let me know :)

    Mallugirl, :))

    Gattina, you made my day! :) Liz is also happy to learn about your success story and we re both happy that your family enjoyed this dish. Thanks a lot for such a heartwarming feedback :)

    Rachel, you were quite fast girl and thats why I was confused :) We are so happy to hear such a great feedback :)

    Ammu, oh prawn biryani is always tasty....thanks for trying out the dishes and hope you re enjoying it too. Would love to receive feedbacks more often :)

    Rumya, Hope it turns out well for you. Thanks a lot for dropping by:)

    Gayatri, Both Liz and myself have tried refrigerating and using it for 3 days or more. In our experience, we have never faced any problems so far. Generally, if I make it today , I will use it for next two days too. But i do the full cooking, I mean both layering and baking. You may follow this method, do the layering and bake for say 20-25 minutes and then keep it outside and when it is cool, refrigerate, thereby you dont run the risk of refrigerating hot food. Make sure that it is completely sealed and you have continuous power supply in the refrigerator for the next two days. On the third day, before your guests arrive, bring it to the room temperature, and bake for 30-40 minutes, which usually leaves me with a warm biryani. To be on the safer side, you may check to see if the centre portions are also heated well as you have already brought it to the room temp, you wont mostly face a challenge there. This timing should work as thats what i follow.Hope this works for you too. Do let us know how it turned out . All the best and Happy Holidays :)


  58. Thank you so much for the detailed directions. I plan on cooking this tomorrow. As I look over the recipe, however, I noticed that you asked for "6 Mace" under the "Ground Masala" section. I only have ground Mace - what measurement should I use? 2 tablespoons?

    Also, how long should I expect the biryani to reach room temperature after I remove it from the fridge?

    Arr! I'm getting nervous about this. I'm just like you where I call my mom constantly about recipes and measurements. Well, you used to and I still do. Luckily, she's in the same time zone! ;)

    Thanks again.

  59. Gayatri, Its ok, you can shoot all your doubts until you are clear. First of all, relax yourself and there is nothing to be nervous about biryani coz if you follow the process, definitely there is a minimum guarantee that this will turn out good and biryani always tastes good even if you make slight changes in the cooking, so be confident about that part. Follow the cooking schedule , so you will not miss any ingredients in between. As for the mace part , I guess 2 tbsp is very much on the higher side, its better to use 1 to 1 1/2 tsp. And for the room temp part, if you are going by the recipe, i guess you need to keep it for 2-3 hours only, which is good enough but that again depends on your climate zone. If it not a very cold zone, i think 2 hours is also fine. Perhaps one thing to be careful while layering is to make sure that you dont stack chicken and rice in each layer...just go easy and loosely fill each layer .....also keep the chicken pieces, not too close, I mean with one scoop, there should be equal amount of rice and chicken.

    Am sure you will do a good job.Dont be nervous at all. Hope your family enjoys this . Have fun and enjoy all the food :)


  60. You are awesome! This took me quite some time to make - almost 5 1/2 hours. Ha! I'm just not that fast in the kitchen. I've never cooked with bone-in chicken (didn't know how to cut it) and I wasn't very good at getting the skin off. Once I got started, though, I got the hang of it thanks to the clarity of your detailed instructions.

    The biryani looks beautiful! I guess my husband (and his family) will have to wait to see how it tastes. I offered him some but he didn't want to ruin the looks. I will let you know what the reaction is.

    I did end up with about a tablespoon of the Aromatic Masala left. Did I not use enough? I will save it for next time.

    Thank you and Liz!

    Happy Thanksgiving!

  61. Just wanted to say thanks again. The biryani was a big hit. Everyone was extemely impressed and my mother-in-law wanted the recipe. My husband was happy that we had some leftovers, so he could enjoy it after everyone left.

    The only thing I would do differently, is not make the rice all at once in the microwave. It ended up coming out a bit dry and sticky. (When I reheated it after the big meal, I just sprinkled water on it and it was fine.) I should have split it up like you recommended or made it on the stove but by this time I was getting lazy.

    Can't wait to try out your other recipes!!

  62. Getting a compliment from MIL is a great thing and if she asks for the recipe, its even better :) Glad to know that all your efforts paid off well and everyone enjoyed the meal. Really appreciate the feedback :)


  63. Turned out to be a tasty biriyani! Applaud you for the detailed instructions to make this biriyani.
    Adding sugar to caramalise sugar was a good tip. Loved the way onion caramalised after adding sugar. Biriyani tastes even better the next day. Great job, shn. Thanks to Liz for a yummy recipe.

  64. Wow, what a list of good and tasty that looks!!!

  65. Hi Mishmash,
    i tried this recipe today..tasting the kuruma itself i felt so happy.
    Eventhough its a bit long procedure i think all the effort is worth it.
    i have a doubt. what is this shajeera?is there any malayalam name for it?
    then in most of ur cake recipies u use cake flour? where can i get it? i am in US. is this different from all purpose flour? is there any particular brand that u stick to?
    Since i am budding cook and a baker
    i am having all these doubts even if it sound silly to u.
    Hope u will reply.
    and once again thanks for such a wonderful blog.

  66. Pravs, I am really happy to get a feedback from you....thanks so much for continuing to try out my recipes :)

    Meeso, yeah....its quite a list..but assure you, its worth the effort :)

    Sarah, Your prompt feedback is really appreciated. Quite happy to know you liked this dish. Shahjeera is cake jeera in Malayalam I guess, and cake jeera here is called caraway seeds, you will get that in all supermarkets in the spice section. I buy McCormick caraway seeds. Cake four is different from all purpose flour and its again available in all stores. There are two main brands: one is Softasilk and the other is Swans Down...both are good. All the best with ur cooking and baking experiments. Thanks again for your comment :)


  67. hi mishmash, thanks for the reply. will try out the other recipes and will let you know the outcome

  68. Hey Mishmash...
    Another successful execution of ur recipes:) My earlier attempts at this kind of chicken biriyani was never this good..was a little intimidated initially seeing the elaborate procedure but didnt feel so once I was at it..My husband was never a fan of this layered biriyani but he really enjoyed this one!
    Thank you so much:)

  69. hey mish, thanks a lot for beautiful recipe...u seeem to have spent so much time writing everythign so detailly, thats really great...i havent prepared it in ur style yet,, but i am planning to make all changes to my preparing procedure next time i make it........more or less i followed the same procedure for preparing biryani till now, but my biryani never has that aroma..i always feel that while cooking it shud have beautiful aroma which should spread in the house., but it never happens like dat....what do u think, what i shud be i particular about to get a rich aroma from my biryani...can u pls tell more thing is...
    after the whole biryani is ready, adter i serve it,the taste of korma and rice is not that much blended in each other.....the combination of rice and korma overall does not give a very rich and good taste.but they taste good seperately when i taste the korma while cooking/.....what to do to make the rice in the biryani also tasty...
    One comment where u said that the rice and chicken should be loosely filled is great..i wud follow that too..till now i was actually putting thck layer of rice and then thick layer of chicken....but can u tell me these 2 things,..
    .this weeken i am going to my inlaws place and planning to make, learning to make it more perfectly...:)..Thanks a ton., awaiting ur reply. Naaz

  70. zo-ya, thanks a lot for this wonderful feedback.....yeah the procedure looks elaborate when you write it down but actually it is not so , right ? :)

    Anonymous, Since I have no idea about the recipe you follow, I cannot help you with the root cause, but certain pointers would be using ghee, corainder and mint leaves and spice powders and sometimes saffron and rose water for the aroma and the flavour to blend in , you need to cook the rice and kurma together for someime, If you take it out or just layer it, flavours wont blend well. Why dont you follow this recipe and see if it is working for you? All the best.


  71. yep, i will follow ur recipe...i too used to follow same way, like preparing korma first and then mixing rice...layer wise..but i am some what lineant abt putting masalas...i mean, instead of all types of masalas in ur recipe, i just use the garam masala powder which is available in the market. i think there is the problem..and i also keep very thick layers of chicken and then thick layer of rice..i think the layers have to be thin....what say Mish...

  72. is poppy seed and sabhudhana the same

  73. nope...both re different...poppy seeds are khas-khas or khasa-khasa

  74. Hi mish, im immu. Living in UK. Expecting iraqi guests n wonder if i could serve them this bryani. I miss my country and my mom cooking esp malabari byrani. We malabari always serve this for eid. If you dont mine could you pls email this to me. Your bryani so tempting esp the garnishings. Bye

  75. Hi mishmash, first time commenting on your blog. Made this biryani last biryani and it turned out delicious....Keep up the gud work.

  76. We made this for lunch today. Absolutely fabulous. Thanks for the recipe.

  77. Hi Mishmash,

    Superb-licious post!!!I'm a newbie to foodblogging and just reached ur blog thru, ManeAdige, just by chance. Cant thank my luck enough.

    Since I started blogging, I have been hunting for this chicken biryani recipe. i ate it at a Friend's place(keralite).Been wanting to try knowing how.
    Will surely try it this time.


  78. Dear Mishmash..
    Don't know how to thank you for all that wonderful recipies. i am just a beginner in cooking as 1) i got married one and a half years back 2) and my MIL is a sweet heart;) i thought cooking is rocket science, but recently developin an interest towards it and realised how interesting it can be! ur blog came in handy for reference for all occasions. am gonna try kappa puzhugiyathu today.thanks again and keep posting.

  79. Hi Shn....i made your chicken biriyani,chicken varattiyathu and puliyinju..and all were very take so much efforts to put up a recipe mentioning each and every single small details and the nostalgia associated with it...its sooo easy to follow it...i really appreciate your efforts...and the pics are simply 'kidu'...


  80. tried it today..made slight changes according to my bhavana..;)
    it really was great..thanx to u n liz

  81. hi shn,
    I started reading your blog since last month and this is the first recipie i tried. And Thanks a lot for the detailed recipie paying attention to all details that it came out realy really well.. I tried biriyani several times before and all the time it became a big flop.Your pic made me to try this recipie and I followed all instructions blindly and and it was a success. I was very nervous when I started as some guests were expected.Oh!! thanks a lot.. i never thought I could make a good biriyani.. n thanks for the microwave method for rice. It was easy n rice didnt stick each other..
    I really love reading all ur posts and all stories..esp love all ur pics and the way u present.. will try some more recipies soon.. thanks a lot.. keep posting

  82. A friend asked me to check out your chicken biriyani recipe ... since i've been hooked to your blog...the detailed narration along with the visually appealing pics ...keeps me coming back ... thank u so much for sharing such a good recipe ... all the best to you guys !!

  83. Hi..Thanks for a great food site for a non cooking person like me...who is now hooked onto cooking because of you...keep up the good work...the site rocks...

  84. Hi Shn,

    I am an avid fan of your blog. I have learnt a lot through your wonderful and especially typical nadan recipies.

    Keep rocking


  85. Thank you shn n liz for this awesome recipe....when i read this recipe of yours, i wanted to try it but i felt that its too much of work and left it...but those pictures you posted along with recipe would always tempt me to try it out .....and i finally made it this EASTER.Let me tell you it was not that difficult as i imagined it to be and it was much tastier than i expected it to be...MY FRIENDS AND FAMILY REALLY LIKED IT.THANKS FOR THE RECIPE ONCE AGAIN

  86. hi Shn,
    i tried this recipe.dat was really great. thanxs a lot for sharing this wonerful recipe.actually the bottom layer of my rice burnt(
    maybe bcauz i used a stainless steel vessel for steaming).
    Also another problem was after the final layering and steaming,i mixed everything the rice was sticky.i uesd basmati u've any solution?

  87. Dear Shn,
    I really dont know how to thank u. My search for the perfect biriyani recipe has come to an end.i even dared to make this to guests,for the very first time becoz I knew that u could never go wrong.Thanks a lot once again,

  88. May sound like a stupid question, but wanted to get an assurance from a master chef like you before I went ahead with the plan. Can I finish all the steps in the biriyani making, except for the final baking and garnishing, refrigerate it until the guests arrive and then bake an hour before serving? Would 8-10 hours in the fridge spoil the taste? :)

  89. i have tried refrigerating only after the final baking...i mean the leftovers and then reheating the next day ....but the method I usually prefer when i have guests and lots of things on the menu, is get the kurma , fried onions, nuts and raisins ready the previous day and then make a fresh batch of ghee rice the next day , layer and bake it...that way it tastes fresh and less time consuming too

  90. Yup, that was another option I thought of after I posted the comment and now that you have 'certified' it I will follow that plan. Thanks a lot for your time. I will let you know after the saturday lunch. :)

  91. Hi Shn,
    I have been a regular follower, and have been trying your recepies for the past couple of months. Some of them come out well, and the others, leaves something to be desired (but rest assured, its my hurry to eat, which me take the instructions haphazardly, invariably missing a line or two)
    Anyway, please please help me - my husband's invited about 5 of his friends, and well - I am looking a for a biriyani recipe that will feed 8. Preferably mutton.. could you direct me somewhere or give me pointers? or something? before i resort to buying it from a restaurant?

  92. A friend of mine (Maheshwari)told me about this recipe of yours when I was searching for a chicken biryani recipe for a potluck party. I am not at all a good cook. Said so, if the recipe does not talk about an important ingrediant (assuming that its common sense to put it) my dish will not have it either. You have explained this recipe soo well, that I had no trouble making this dish. It turned out to be soo tasty, that at the end of the party, I had very little biryani left to bring back home (I wanted to bring it back home for the next day :-) ) Everyone thought I am a great cook, but the secret being your recipe and the way you explained it, step by step, quantity of each ingrediant, without taking things for granted. I will definately try your other recipes. Thank you soo much for posting this wonderful recipe.

  93. hi dheedhi....i am frzana,actually am a newly as u strange 2 kitchen for a long...
    nw am in stayin away frm mom nd her tastes...
    so 2day i searched for biriyani recipie, i got your blog's recipie..
    so for thiz ramadan day, i tried ur chkn biriyani recp,
    cant say my dheedhi...much awesom it wazzzzzz
    soooo...still fingerlickn....
    tnx shoooo much

  94. Hey!
    Shn! Let me salute every effort you put in to make your blog the best… I am Liya from Doha and bumped into your blog on a search for Malabar biriyani recipe… A newly wed and quite new to Doha, we are expecting some guests ths Friday – sept 11 – thought of preparing biriyani, beef ulathiyathu and chicken curry – the version my mom prepares is a pakka hyderabadi biriyani and I wanted to try out something different.. came across many versions of malabari biriyanis but I loved your version – reading your recipe itself was filling and am going to try it out this Friday! Will send you a picture for sure.
    Happy blogging.
    Liya Jeffin

  95. They all lked ad even packed it while leavin.. sorry shn I couldn click the pic of the biriyani before servin as the guests arrived 2 hours before they wre expected to.. so was on a last minute rush.. should hv followed ur advise of preparing the biriyani in the morning itself.. so that I wld hav got enough time.. also I couldn get my hands on poppy seeds so had to adjust with badam and cashew for the nutty paste.
    Thanks a loads.. and lookin forward to more recipes frm u…

  96. I LOVEE THIS BIRIYANII..this was the best biriyani that I have made in my whole life..Thank you so so much for sharing this whole family loved are the best..

  97. shn,
    you are just soooo in kerala,studyin, degree student n i lovvve cooking, i searched for recipe of chemmeen biriyani in google,n thts hw i was introduced to this blog, well, hats off to you a fan of yours, n am gonna try out most of your recipes this vacation...keep up the good work dear... and thanks a ya

  98. I have become a fan of your recipes Shn. I am so glad that I could reproduce the same taste of Kaikka's Biriyani from Kochi finally!! Thank You so much !! Mishmash Ki guests owe you now! I used to make similar ones, but not as organized as this.

  99. I have tried this recipe twice and I have to admit that it is just awesome.... Though it looks a little complicated it just turns out to be worth all the effort .... Thank you so much for posting .... Hats off to the two of you ....

  100. Shn,

    Thank u so much for sharing Lizs recipe with all of us. I tried making the biryani yesterday..It was too good. I dont eat non veg...but the smell did tempt me a bit :) I started cooking non veg after my marriage and was looking out for a authentic malabar biryani for my hubby..He was very happy and is still enjoying it :) He also told me..why do u need candles at home...the masalas in biryani was working out like a potpouri :)

  101. worst biriyani i ever made. this looks good in the picture, taste really bad

  102. Thanks a tonne for sharing this yummy biryani recipe.Finally made a biryani that was perfect( my earlier biryani experiments were a disaster). This recipe is definitely a keeper !!!

  103. The best Biryani I have ever made. Thanks for sharing such a wonderful recipe with exact details

  104. Tried ur biriyani today as a valentine special for my husband and he just loved it.. Even though it took a while to make it, it was really worth the effort..


    This one's for you:)

    I owe you big time for inspiring me to cook and remember and relish the stories that are associated with each dish!

  106. i have a question...after taking from the oven how can we cool the rice..if i open it and keep the rice is getting dried up..

  107. I have already made this three times. This is our official biriyani recipe. After trying many other recipes I always tell myself never to try anything else again because I cant find anything as tasty as yours. Thank you for posting this recipe.

  108. Hi
    Discovered your bog and tried a few receipes..must say they were all lovely...and the stories evoke nostalgia...tried out the prawn biriyani and today have tried the chicken biriyani...took some time n my backs aching however im sure the effort was worth it. Already my daughters ga ga over the chicken curry and the prawn biriyani was a hit too! Tried out the chicken fry and it was aaadipoli! Prawn vadas were lovely too n reminded me of my childhood when mom wud dich out yum wadas and we would gobble it up.. Thanks a ton...Jithu

  109. have tried ur recipe atleast thrice...but was never able to thank u enough. it is my official biriyani recipe. I used to follow only your and malluspice blogspot recipes. However, now i am not able to access malluspice blogspot. I just made it today....and tastes just yummy...thankyou....

  110. Shn, I have friends for lunch next week. I am going to try this mouthwatering recipe. What part of your recipe would you suggest could be prepared in advance the previous evening.

  111. Such a wonderful post. The procedures are well-explained to the way that it easy to follow. I would like to mention also the photos you include, its great and it makes me be more excited to try this chicken biryani of yours. Thanks for sharing it. More power to your blog.

  112. very good post and useful recipe, very eager to taste this amazing chicken biryani. Thanks for the post

  113. thank you for sharing this delicious chicken biryani recipe. I really love the presentation as well as the organized step by step procedure.. thumbs up !!


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