Sunday, June 15, 2008

Egg Biryani finally makes it to the Hall of Fame!

An excerpt from the speech made by Egg Biryani at the National Biryani Fest 08….

“My dearest gastronomists…….till yesterday, I was this undiscovered jewel, in the deep sea leading a dreary life ………when all my peers made it to the glitz and glam of the dining table receiving great raves from the guests, I was sitting there, with a heavy heart, waiting for the day I will be finally asked to come to the spotlight……but I was always that neglected cousin……many thought of me only when meat loaded freezers and vegetable studded crispers got empty and they had no other option but to dress me up with some curried masala and herbs and then layer and mix with some ghee rice. Yet, I could not impress anyone until the day an artist gave me a much needed makeover……I was given layers of flavour and an identity of my own…..the artist moulded me into a scrumptious delicacy people would crave for, even in their dreams!! ………………”
This dish is our recent discovery, a new favourite and addition to our repertoire. On one of my aimless leapfrogging on the World Wide Web, I happened to get a glimpse of handful of recipes from ‘The Epicure Cookbook’ by Ms.Ummi Abdulla who captured the essence of Malabar cooking in her cookbooks and introduced this piquant cuisine to the world. The moment I glanced through the recipe, I knew there was something different about it as egg omelette constituted egg masala instead of hardboiled eggs, which in this case was only used as a topping and more than a garnish. Secondly, one more layer of flavour was added to the ghee rice by spicing it up with a green chilly-ginger-garlic paste which gave a real kick to the entire dish. The egg masala was again a surprise as it missed the regular spice parade of coriander powder, chilly powder etc.

As much as I was bowled over by the recipe, there were some areas I wanted to add my personal touch. The original recipe does not call for mint leaves and personally I cant imagine a Biryani without the refreshing fragrance and taste of mint leaves and hence I added some; again while layering the dish, I sprinkled some ghee and Biryani masala for an added layer of aroma and flavour; also fried the hardboiled egg with a dry spice rub to jazz up the topping; you may skip it and use plain hardboiled eggs. All these additions gelled well with the original recipe, giving us a real masterpiece.

Mutta/Egg Biryani - Malabar Style ( Serves 4 adults )
(Recipe Source: Adapted from 'The Epicure Cookbook' by Ms. Ummi Abdulla)

Step 1: Make Biryani Masala/Dry Spice Mix

  • ½ tsp fennel seeds/Perinjeerakam
  • ½ tsp cumin seeds / Jeera
  • ½ tsp Shahjeera/Caraway seeds/Sahjeerakam
  • 4 cloves (Gramboo)
  • 1 cardamom/Elakkaya
  • 1 flat cinnamon ( 1” inch length)/ Karukapatta
  • ¼ tsp grated nutmeg (Jaathikka)
  • 1 whole mace (Jaathipathri)
Grind everything to a fine powder. This yields around 2 tsp masala but you will require only 1 ½ tsp for making this dish.

Step 2: Cook Flavored and spiced up Rice
  • 4 green chillies
  • 4 medium garlic cloves
  • 1” inch piece ginger, thinly sliced
  • 1 medium size big onion, thinly sliced
  • 3tbsp ghee
  • 4 pods of cardamom
  • 4 cloves
  • 1 ½ ” inch flat cinnamon stick, broken into 4 pieces
  • 2 ½ cups Basmati rice (around 1/2 kg)
  • 5 cups water
  • Salt to taste
Grind green chillies, garlic and ginger into a paste and keep aside.

Wash and drain the rice on a paper towel. When it is medium dry, heat ghee in a large skillet and throw in cardamom, cloves and cinnamon. Now add thinly sliced onions and sauté till it is transparent; then add the ground paste, stir well till it gives out an aroma. Add rice and stir continuously for 2-3 minutes in low heat. Microwave Method: Transfer everything to a microwave safe bowl with 5 cups of water (2 cups of water for 1 cup basmati rice) and adjust the salt and pop it in the microwave and cook for 23-25 minutes or until rice is done. Stove-top Method: Boil water in a heavy bottom cooking vessel, and when it comes to boil, add all the ingredients and bring it to a boil again and then reduce the flame and cook covered in low-medium heat, until rice is fully done and water is absorbed. Using a fork, gently fluff/separate the rice, so as not to get sticky.

Step 3: Make Omelette and Egg Masala
  • 3 eggs
  • 2tbsp grated coconut
  • A pinch of turmeric powder
  • 1 big onion, chopped
  • ¼ tsp chilly powder
  • 2 Indian green chillies, finely chopped
  • Salt to taste
  • 2-3 tsp Oil
Beat the eggs and add all the other ingredients and mix well. Heat half of he oil in a pan, pour half of the egg mixture and make a thin omelet. Repeat the process for the rest of egg mixture to make a thin Omelette. When done, remove it to a chopping board and cut them into small bite size pieces and keep aside.
  • 1 ½ cup big onions, chopped
  • 4 green chillies
  • 6 big garlic cloves (approx. one small pod)
  • 3” inch piece of ginger, thinly sliced
  • ½ cup tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 ½ - 2tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 ¼ tsp Biryani Masala
  • 1/3 cup fresh cilantro/coriander leaves, chopped
  • ¼ cup fresh mint leaves, chopped
  • Salt to taste
  • 2-3 tbsp oil
Grind ginger, garlic and green chillies into a paste and keep aside.

Heat oil in a pan and cook thinly sliced onion, till they turn transparent; now add the ground paste and sauté till it gives out a nice aroma. Add chopped tomatoes and fry for a few more minutes. Now add the Biryani masala, and combine well with the base. At this stage add bite size piece of omelette and blend well, followed by chopped cilantro/coriander and mint leaves. Sprinkle lemon juice, mix well. Do a taste test here and adjust the salt. Turn off the stove and remove from heat.

Step 4: Layering and Final cooking
  • 4 tbsp ghee
  • 2 pinches of Biryani Masala
The final part of the cooking can be done either in a conventional oven or on stove top. Decide on your preferred cooking method and based on that decision, choose your cooking vessel. Pour 2 tbsp ghee into your cooking vessel; spread half of the rice at the bottom, followed by the egg masala and sprinkle two pinches of biryani masala; spread rest of the rice as the top layer and drop 2 tbsp ghee. Conventional Oven Method: Preheat oven to 350 F. Close the oven –safe dish with aluminum foil and cook for 30 minutes. Stove top Method: As per the original recipe, remove half the rice ( from the vessel you cooked rice earlier) to a plate ; pour the egg masala, sprinkle biryani masala and then transfer the rice, set aside in the plate, back to the cooking vessel. Keep a tight fitting lid and cook over very low heat for 5 more minutes. Note: I haven’t tested this method and hence I am not sure of the outcome.

Step 5: Fry Hardboiled Eggs
  • 4 hardboiled eggs, halved
  • A pinch of Biryani Masala
  • A pinch of pepper powder
  • A pinch of salt
  • 2tsp Oil
While rice is at the final phase of cooking, hard-boil 4 eggs and when done, halve them. Sprinkle biryani masala, pepper powder and salt on halved eggs and shallow fry them in oil for a minute. Remove from the pan.

To Serve: After the final phase of cooking, let the dish rest undisturbed for minimum 30 minutes on your kitchen counter. Before serving, stir the entire dish gently, mixing rice with the egg masala and plate it. Place fried eggs on top and serve with Pickle, puli inji, Pappadam and Onion-yogurt salad (Thinly sliced red big onion, 1 small green chilli chopped and mixed with yogurt and a dash of salt) or any one of these condiments.

Cooking schedule I followed:
  • Wash and drain the rice
  • Hard boil 4 eggs
  • Make Biryani Masala/Dry Spice mix
  • Make the chilly-ginger-garlic paste for rice and get the onions ready for rice
  • Roast and cook rice
  • While rice is cooking, make omelette and egg masala
  • Layering and final phase of cooking
  • Fry hard-boiled eggs while rice is at the last phase of cooking
  • Serve.
Verdict: Fantastic! That is the only word I can find for this recipe and dish. I made it on a Saturday, had it for lunch and dinner and again for lunch on Sunday; Monday and Tuesday, both of us silently fantasized its taste and aroma and on Wednesday, it came out, “That egg biryani was really tasty…….feel like having it again now” !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! If you trust me, go ahead and make it….it is delicious :)

Other Rice specials from this blog:

Fried Rice Vegetable Ghee rice Chicken Biriyani Kanji & Payar Kuthari Choru


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. That sounds so worth the effort! HAVE to try it out soon.

  2. Wow i made your chicken biriyani.the long-processes one and it is a method I frequently use..this looks way too tempting!!!

  3. I am standing here with a spoon Shn. Want to taste some from that pic :). Looks great. I am going to make it this week.

  4. Such a unique idea. I usually make omelette curry (when I dont have time to boil it. But in biryani never thought about. I usually flavor my rice in biryani with chilly paste too. Might be trying this recipe soon . Finally I caught ur sunday eduition b4 I slept.

  5. oh..i am drooling here.Just had omlette kuzhambu.This is a MUST TRY...

  6. Wow.. A lovely lovely biryani Shn.. Its a bit elaborate but when you call it fantastic this must be given a try.
    Trust you!!

  7. Yummy looking Egg Biryani..Looks too delicious

  8. This looks like a lot of work, but the end result seems well worth every muscle flexed :-) I'm bookmarking this... will make a great Sunday lunch. Thanks Shn.

  9. I am teaching Egg Biriyani in class on tue and I sent out the recipe, but now looking at your recipe, I have to try this one and want to teach in class.

  10. Shn, seriously the you have described..makes me want to try this recipe right away!..excellent..what you say is so true..everybody wants this and that..never one orders egg biryani on its own the first time. And yes without mint leaves there can't be a biryani. I also always add it to all non veg dishes even gravies....your bowl looks super duper delicious..I think the fried eggs added more to the appeal!

  11. Aah, your are my kinda girl! We like a spicy biryani, with extra masala. Will try this egg biryani, like the spice on the hardboiled eggs than bland eggs!

  12. What detailed recipe and delicious biryani. Awesome!

  13. Dear Shn,
    This egg biriyani looks just perfect. Thank you for posting such a nice recipe in such a wonderful manner. I am inspired to try it out.
    By the way i love your blog, all your recipes and the way you write in detail and ofcourse the lovely background stories are entertaining.
    Reena, Kuwait

  14. This looks delicious... Definitely will be trying this out over the weekend. I love one dish meals....

  15. I love egg biriyani, well atleast in india i ate them, here i dont make as hubby can't stand had boiled eggs.

  16. Dear, dear Shn, you have really got me drooling! Beautiful biryani :-))

  17. What a beautiful festive mouthwatering dish! I am going to bookmark it for some occasion when an elaborate dish is called for- it sure looks like a labor of love.

  18. your egg biriyani looks great! book marked it .... your verdict makes me want to try...
    hey one award waiting you at my blog!

  19. Oh, you gave me a Biryani masala, excellent shn, I would love tot try. I will after my vacation!:)

  20. shn,
    egg biryani looks awesome

  21. Wow that was an elaborate biriyani post! Loved every bit of it:) I like the way you write out the instructions and tips and tricks:) I still keep coming to your website for the fruit cake :)

  22. Wow! I love biriyani, and this one looks absolutely divine! You made me really hungry:)Wonderful blog!

  23. great recipe and really temting pictures shn!! this is now the highest on my list of to-try recipes! ;-)thanks a lot for sharing!! :-)

  24. gorgeous recipe. will try it when sanity prevails in my life.

  25. Ow... Ow, my knuckles! When am I going to learn that I can't reach through the screen and grab the food off of your blog? Really an awesome idea, Shn! :)

  26. mouthwatering biryaniii mishmash

  27. S,
    I make egg biryani during fasting days, to save my time.. :)
    I had posted one long back, I think it is among the most googled recipes from my blog..!

  28. Shn, that write up was 2good!Loved the steps, ur scheduling of steps, moreover that biryani looooks yuuuuuuuum! As usual ur writeup, directions n pic hv me hooked on!

  29. This is just too tempting and I can't wait to give this a try... Looks just fabulous!

  30. Evolvingtastes, Rachel, Shilpa, Mocha, Mahe, Swati, Maya,Raaga, Shankari, Srivalli, Jyothsna, Delhibelle, Prajusha, Reena, Kamini, Happy cook, Sunita, Nupur, Nanditha, Asha, Swathi,Roopa, Indranee, Jz, Bee, Kalai,Sagari, Seena, Purnima & Laavanya, Thanks a ton, friends......:)

    Glad to see you all appreciating the beauty of this recipe....I wish you all try it out too and enjoy the dish as much as we some of you had written, yeah it looks like a bit time consuming process but I would say, if you plan & organise well , you can get it done easily as there is not much time required for cooking egg unlike meat and seafood.....I am sure it is worth giving a try atleast once ....Thanks again for taking time to drop by and leave a line or two....I am unable to respond to each and every comment this time, due to some time constraints....


  31. Wow...such a wonderful & yummy looking biryani. The procedure is so elaborate :-)I bet the taste will be unbelievable with such a process followed.

    I am a great fan of eggs in any form. This one is sure on the Next "To do" list of mine :-)

    Nice recipe! Thanks

  32. i loveeee egg biryanis coz i dont have chicken ... and i love ur color.... and that bowl too :)

  33. hi shn,
    this one looks great.i am going 2 make this next week.


  34. i luv these tooo egg biriyani...i rememeber whenever i travel for a train journey i intent my mom to buy me egg birinayi for lunch...looks tempting

  35. Hi shn,

    I love all the recipes you post here,you are really a helping hand to many like me.Thanks a lot for sharing all your treasures.When i have some guests,i pick recipes from your blog,because till now all the dishes i picked from your blog got me a lot of appreciation.Thank you Shn!!I got a request for another recipe,do you know how to make kothu porotta?the ones we get in thattu kada?it will be great if you can share it.


  36. will surely try this sometime soon..ofcoz after my parents go back...eggs have always been an alltime fav of it in any form!!;-P

    The snaps says it going to be as good as a CB or a FB!!;-D

  37. Mishmash, what a lovely write up, and this dish needs to be bookmarked as we are egg lovers and I do often make biryani, but the homemade biryani mix sounds too good.Tanks for sharing lovely mouthwatering recipe. Lovely picture too.

  38. Mishmash
    I have already tasted many of your recipies.But the outstanding one was Chemmeen varattiytahu,which turned a fav on my dining table.Among the others,Chicken cutlets,avial,toddy shop fish curry,Fish fry all have to be mentioned.Shn,why dont you blog some on Indian Bread ?

  39. I love the picture Shn, I can eat it right now :)

  40. This is such a superb tasting biryani Shn. Can't thank you enough for posting this. I simply loved this.

  41. Your egg biriyani looks the ultimate - great gorgeous looking, mouth watering stuff.....aaah

  42. very late here,this morning only I went tro' the recipe in detail,& guess what followed.....
    .....rolled up my sleeves &knot the apron....& yummy yummy egg biryani was ready on the table by the time Nish arrived for lunch....Great,Shn!everyone loved it & ofcoz' a relief from heavy CB & MB's....

  43. just made this. it's fantastic. thank you.

  44. Hi Shn,

    I made this for the second time today... I just love the recipe.
    Just a small tip... While pan frying the hard-boiled eggs, you can add some of the omelette masala. It gives that nadan egg roast taste to the boiled eggs... its awesome!

  45. Hi,
    I tried your recipe today and wow came out excellent.Really thanks for sharing this wonderfull recipe!!..Though i don't eat eggs as am allergic to it,but i love to cook for my loved ones,and they just loved it.From the smell of the biryani i could tell it must be really tatsy.Once again thankyou!


  47. Hiiiiiiiiiiii
    no words to express
    fantastic, superb, history.
    I did some variation but its just yummyyyyyyyyyy and wow!!!!!! :-)
    thanks alot

  48. Hi Shn,
    I made this Egg Biryani for the second time yesterday..We both loved it..Thanks for a keeper recipe..Its fantastic..

  49. I tried it again today following all the steps EXACTLY. It took me 1hr from start to finish (including cleanup). We simply LOVE this biryani. Thanks a lot dear.

  50. Hai
    Today I tried ur Egg Biriyani.. its tasty. but the problem was rice overcooked.and nutmeg smell was more than enoguh. so it became spicy egg biriyani.. i know allthese r my problems..anyway i'll try the exact recipe later.. thank u so much for the recipe.. but ur kuttanadan meencurry(toddy special)its really fantastic.. I'm loving request if u can please try some north indian dishes also.. bcos after marg,i settled in maharashtra,heres a lot of varities for chappathi side dishes..but i dont know exact recipes.. if u can do a research on it it;ll be veryful to me..thank u so much!!!!!!!!!!

  51. Shn,

    I tried u'r egg biriyani last weekend
    and i must say that it was extremely good.

  52. SHN,
    tis the first recipe i tried from ur blog.. for a party .. The result was amazing ..My hubby was licking his fingers.He was happy! Thank you for trying out and posting this recipe! It is for keepers and not for those who are in a hurry! Great work Kepp it up!

  53. Hi,

    I made egg biriyani yesterday and came out well. Infact i have been to umi abdullas restaurant many times.thanx for posting her recipes .Your food blog is excellent

  54. Hiii,
    again posting for the same recipe. Everytime I see the photo, I feel like eating it!!. This time I tried your masala for Mutton biryani! and it was Suppppperrrrb!! I have posted your link for the same in my blog!Please take time to visit me!!

  55. I replaced the eggs with parboiled resulted in the best vegetable biryani i ever made.thanku for the recipe, for the masala pwd.i think that did the trick.

  56. Hai mishmash,
    u are doing a great job in this space.i am a novice in cooking.learnt to keep up with all the spices now. i tried ur egg biryani and it turned on one was chicken biryani. made that for hubbys bday.and hurray got compliments for that very happy and some part of the credit for this goes to you.thanks a lot for sharing these recipes.i keep checking ur blog for updates everynow and then.think am addicted to it now hehe.........

  57. After drooling over the pictures for so many days, I finally tried the recipe today. Loved it! Thank you :)

  58. Looked at the picture(Egg Biryani), looked amazing so started trying it out and 2 hours later I had the most amazing biryani in my life !!!! Yes I am going to try out your other recipes too!!

  59. hey shn,
    its me tn again, the degree studen from kerala...listen, i tried this out, n its jst turned out so awesome..evry1 at home liked it..thanxxxxxxxx

  60. Hello Shn,

    A Google search for spicy egg biryani brought me to this page.

    I was instantly hooked when I saw the pictures and the personal manner you'd outlined everything.

    I was delighted when I saw the 'Cooking Schedule' section because that's a real gem.

    The biryani was super-tasty - and I've honestly never made anything so delicious.

    I also tried out the Chicken Biryani last night, and yes, it was awesome.

    Thank you very much. I really admire your passion for cooking and the loving way in which you share your recipes.

  61. hey, made this today and it came out well. thanks for sharing the recipe.

  62. Hi!

    Thanks so much for the Egg Biryani recipe. Though the process was a bit tedious, the end result was so good:-)
    My guests too thorughly enjoyed the Biryani.

  63. Hi Shn,
    This Biryani was so flavorful and tasty. I followed the recipe to the "T" and over the "Stove Top method" and the end result was simply AWESOME!! So much worth all the effort. Got Rave reviews. Thanks so much for this wonderful recipe.

  64. Hi shn,
    i tried ur egg biryani receipe.. came out very well.. i did it without the mint leaves..
    that came out very well.. ;)
    thanks for the receipe..

  65. Shn,

    Tried the egg biryani yesterday for Christmas dinner...It was awesome....Thanks for sharing the recipe...Ur personal touch along with ummi abdullahs recipe...made the biryani come out well...

  66. I made ur egg biriyani for the fourth time today and each time i make it i am loving it more :) ... Thanks a ton for this wonderful recipe.. Keep postin more...

  67. Hi Shn..
    I live in Calicut, but though this recipe comes from Malabar, my husband and MIL sneered when I told them I am going to make egg biriyani. There are two reasons, one is they are chicken lovers, the second is egg biriyani is normally given in weddings here by the less affluent folks.. Anyway, I trust you, and reading all the comments, I know I have to try this. Will make it this Monday, and sure will drop another mail to you on the feedback :-)

  68. Hi Shn, forgot to add my name on the previous comment, i did make ur egg biryani and it was very tasty. We had it with chemmeen fry and papadam and chammanthi... loved it :-)


  69. That looks exotic! Love biryani but am yet to attempt it. Thanks for the detailed instructions and fabulous photos!

  70. Hi Mish Mash, I tried your egg Biryani y'day, I just loved it.... All your biryani recipes are my life time recipes........Thanks for the wonderful recipes......

  71. hai..I got the link to this recipe from Aayi's recipe blog by Shilpa.Instead of making dry masala I used store bought. But still it was wonderful.Most authentic biryani recipe.Loved it.This is the tastier biryani I ever had.Next time I will use home made masala.I think 5 cup of water to cook rice is a bit over,4.5 cup is enough if you are cooking on stove.What do u think?I've a suggestion.It will be very useful if you put photographs for each step. Thank you so much...

  72. Finally i could hear yes from my husband for a good biriyani.Thanks a lot for the great recipe :) i never succeed in biriyani..Need to try chicken biriyani soon.

  73. Tried this recipe and the result was really good ..Me n husband really loved the recipe.thank you so much.Is thr any fish biriyani recipe?

  74. Hey shn... I prepared the egg biryani the other day and it was sooooo tastyyyy..... My family loved it... Thank u so much..

  75. Hey shn.. Ur recipe is awesome... I made it the other day.. N my family loved was soooo tastyyyy.... thank u so much...

  76. I tried this recipe..the best food i ever made...thx a ton.


Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.