Authentic Kerala Chicken Biriyani Recipe


First step in making this your very own dish is take ownership of this Authentic Kerala Chicken Biriyani Recipe from the get go. Don’t be nervous as you go through the gears and remember it’s not about you Parrot fashioning my recipe, but making subtle changes to make it your own. After your first attempt, everything will start to come together and you will know what changes to make the next time.

The preparation of a good Authentic Kerala Chicken Biriyani is set in three stages and in the order below. (1) The first is to part cook the Chicken (2) The second is to part cook the Rice (3) Finish the dish by steam cooking the Chicken and Rice in an oven for 30-min at a temperature if 120c or 100c for fan assisted oven.

Let’s now look at the steps to make an Authentic Kerala Chicken Biriyani

  • Take the Chicken out of the fridge and let it sit in ambient temperature for 60-90-minutes before cutting it to required size. The skin can be left on if you prefer and this will give added flavour to the dish.
  • Gently wash the Rice using cold water and paddle your fingers through it a couple of times and drain the starch water and repeat this process till the water becomes clear of starch. Drain and set aside for later.
  • Sauce ingredients: Onion, fresh Tomato, tinned plum Tomato, garlic, ginger thinly sliced and chillies slit down the middle.
  • Powdered spices: Measure and add all the spices- (Coriander, Chilli, Pepper, Turmeric, Garam masala) into a bowl. .
  • Whole spices: Set aside Mustard seeds and use only for curry. All other spices-Cinnamon stick, black Pepper, Cloves, Cardamom, Mace, black Cardamom, Bay leaves and Fennel seed. (split the spices in two for both the curry and rice).
  • Additives: Set aside Yogurt, Lemon juice, Oil, Ghee, Rose Water, Pineapple essence, Salt and Colour.

Let’s start cooking the Chicken

Step-1 Place a suitable pot on the hob large enough to hold both the Chicken and Rice and allow it to heat. Add the Ghee and Oil and allow it to heat properly and then first throw in the mustard seed and allow it to splutter before throwing in all the other whole spices except the bay leaves. Allow spices to infuse for about 1-minute.

Step-2 Add the Ginger, Garlic and Chilli to the pot and stir for 1-minute before adding the Onion. Keep flame on low heat and allow it all to saute till the Onion browns nicely. Now add the Plum tomato and stir for another 2-minutes and then throw in all the powdered spices, Lemon juice and Salt. Next add 2-tbsp of the Rose water and 1-tbsp of Pineapple essence and stir it all in. If you wish, roast the ground spices in a pan for about a minute stirring through out while heating to ensure it doesn’t burn. You will know when it’s ready from the heavenly aroma it releases. 

Step-3 Add the Chicken, mix it well with the spices and leave the lid on for 5-minutes on medium heat. Now add the Yogurt and give it another good stir and put the lid back on and cook on medium heat for 10-minutes.

Step-4 Add the hot Water and allow it to simmer away nicely for another 15-minutes, add the Mint and Coriander leaves and mix it in before switching the heat off. Taste to check Salt is sufficient for your taste and add a little if need be.

Lets cook the Rice

Step-1 Find a suitable pot and heat before adding the Oil and Butter and when hot, add the whole spices set aside and splutter. Remove from heat and add boiling water, hold lid at the front to protect from any Oil spitting.

Step-2 Place the pot back on to the hob and add the rice and Salt and allow it to cook for about 12-15 minutes till water dries up. Since the rice is almost steam cooked, it’s important you get the water measurement correct first time. Stir gently couple of times during cooking to avoid risk of sticking to base. Don’t worry about the rice not being fully cooked at this stage as this will happen later in the oven.

Step-3 Now let’s put together the finish. Firstly bring the Chicken pot to the front and add 1/3rd of the cooked rice on top. Now sprinkle some of the rose water, pineapple essence, 1/2tsp melted ghee and sprinkle some of the sliced Mint and Coriander leaves. Repeat the process two more times to create layers by adding remaining rice and all the other ingredients on top. Ensure you have enough Mint and Coriander for the top layer and finish with a good drizzle of ghee and pack the Rice tight with a flat spoon. If you want to add a little colour, mix orange and yellow in two separate bowls and sprinkle 1tbsp of each on top.

Step-4 Cover the pot tightly with foil, cover with lid and place into a pre-heated oven at 120c or 100c for fan assisted oven. Take out after 30-minutes and remove the covering. If you see steam coming through and you can smell the aroma, you will know its ready.

Hope you enjoy this dish and please make this your home for good cooking and leave your feedback.

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