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Thalassery Biryani By Chef Rakesh Raghunathan

Thalassery Biryani

Thalassery Biryani is a popular rice-based dish from the famous Malabar cuisine. Chef Rakesh Raghunathan shares the recipe for this fragrant and flavoursome biryani.
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Cooking Time

30-35 Min

Meal Type


Preparation Time

10-15 Min



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    • 2 cups kaima rice

    • 2 tomatoes

    • 2 chopped onions

    • 2 tsp saffron milk

    • 8 raisins and cashew nuts

    • coriander leaves

    • mint leaves

    • 1 tsp garam masala

    • 1 cup fried onions

    • 300 gms chicken marinated with curd, red chilli powder, turmeric powder, salt and ghee

    • 2 tsp chilli powder

    • 1 tsp turmeric powder

    • 3 bay leaves

    • 2 cinnamon sticks

    • 2 mace pieces

    • salt to taste

    • 2 tsp ginger garlic paste

    • 2 cardamoms

    • 1 tsp cumin seeds

    • 1 tsp fennel seeds

    • 2 tsp lemon juice


  1. 1

    Heat a pot with 2 tsp of ghee and sauté the spices, add drained rice and sauté for 2 to 3 minutes, then add salt. Add hot water, cook covered and lower the flame completely and do 90% cook until the rice absorbs all the water and turn dry.
  2. 2

    Heat 50 ml oil in a pan, add bay leaves, cinnamon sticks, and mace pieces, and roast it.
  3. 3

    Then add chopped onions, salt, ginger garlic paste, 2 cardamoms, 1 tsp cumin seeds, 1 tsp fennel seeds, roast until it turns golden brown and aromatic.
  4. 4

    Now add 2 tsp red chilli powder, 1 tsp turmeric powder, 2 tsp garam masala, water, tomatoes, coriander leaves, mint leaves and cook it well.
  5. 5

    Add marinated chicken and cook until the chicken is done. Add lemon juice and mix well.
  6. 6

    Layer the boiled rice on the cooked chicken and sprinkle some fried onion, 2 tsp saffron milk, a few mint leaves, roasted cashew nuts, raisins and cover it with a heavy lid or seal with a thick cloth. Let the biryani cook on low flame.
  7. 7

    Allow biryani to rest for a while. Now Thalassery Biryani is ready to serve.

Thalassery Biryani is made with Khaima rice (a small-grained variety of rice distinct to the Malabar region) and chicken along with some spices. 
As with other biryanis, the rice and chicken are cooked separately and then are layered in a pot and cooked on a slow flame for hours. 

The ground spices and the Thalassery black pepper gives this biryani its distinct flavour and aroma.

The slow-cooked, spicy and aromatic Thalassery Biryani just melts in your mouth.

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