Thalaserry Biryani Recipe – A Modern Indian Classic

Thalaserry biryani


Thalaserry biryani is a popular dish from the Indian state of Kerala. It is made with rice, spices, and meat or vegetables and is often served with raita (a curd-based condiment) and a lemon wedge. The dish is believed to have originated in the city of Thalassery, which is one theory of how the dish got its name. Thalaserry biryani is usually made with chicken or mutton, but like other biryanis, it can also be made with fish or prawns.

Further reading: How to Make Veg Biryani – The Easy Way (Step by Step process)

Origin of Thalaserry biryani

It is said that Thalaserry biryani was invented by a man named Haji Thalasserry, who was a famous spice merchant in the city of Thalassery in Kerala, India. According to legend, Haji Thalasserry searched for a way to make a spicier and more flavourful biryani, so he decided to add extra spices and ingredients to the dish. This new version of biryani quickly became popular among the people of Thalassery, and it soon spread to other parts of Kerala and India. Today, Thalaserry biryani is one of the most popular types of biryani in Kerala, and it is enjoyed by people all over the world.

Why is Thalaserry biryani loved?

There are many reasons why people love thalaserry biryani. For one, it is a delicious and hearty dish that is perfect for any occasion. The rice is cooked with spices and chicken, resulting in a flavorful and filling meal. Additionally, thalaserry biryani is relatively easy to make, so even beginner cooks can easily create this dish. Finally, the leftovers from thalaserry biryani make great lunches or dinners throughout the week – no one ever gets tired of eating this tasty biryani!

Further Reading: Amma’s Hyderabadi Biryani – Stunning Recipe

Is Thalaserry biryani healthy?

Yes, it is healthy to eat Thalaserry biryani. This dish is typically made with basmati rice, a good source of complex carbs and fiber. Additionally, it is often made with chicken or lamb, both of which are good sources of protein. Thalaserry biryani can also be a good source of vitamins and minerals.

Recipe of Thalaserry biryani

Prep time: 30 minutes 

Cook time: 1 hour 30 minutes 

Makes: 8 servings


For the chicken masala
  • 1/2 kg chicken – whole chicken cut into medium-sized pieces
  • 8 medium-sized onions
  • 20 green chillies
  • 15 cloves of garlic
  • 2-inch ginger
  • 7 medium-sized ripe tomatoes
  • 1 cup of chopped mint leaves
  • 1 1/2 cups of coriander leaves
  • 1 teaspoon of cumin seeds
  • 2 teaspoons of fennel seeds
  • 3 cardamom pods 
  • 4-inch cinnamon stick
  • 1/4 nutmeg – one small piece
  • 4 tablespoons of curd
  • salt to taste
For rice
  • 800 grams of basmati rice –  4 cups
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 2 pods of cardamom
  • 2-inch cinnamon stick 
  • 1 star anise
  • 1 mace
  • 10 black peppercorns
  • 1 small 
  • salt to taste
  • For garnish
  • 2 thinly sliced onions 
  • 1 cup of  sultana raisins
  • 1 cup of  Cashew nuts
  • salt to taste


1. Add one tablespoon of Kashmiri chili powder, one teaspoon turmeric powder, two tablespoons of curd, and salt to the chicken.

2. Mix it well until the chicken pieces are well-coated with the marinade. Keep it aside to marinate 

3. Rinse and Soak 4 cups of rice in water. Allow it to soak for at least an hour. 

Further Reading: How to Make Mutton Biryani in a Pressure Cooker

Biryani Masala

1. In a large pan, heat up a cup of oil. Lower the flame once the oil is hot, and add onions. Stir it occasionally while it fries. 

2. Grind the ginger, garlic, and green chillies into a coarse paste. 

3. Once the onions turn a golden-brown hue, you can add in the ginger, garlic, and chilli mixture. Mix it well and leave it to cook for a few minutes.

4. Add in the chopped tomatoes and let them continue cooking. 

5. Once the tomatoes disappear into the mix, you can add in the chopped mint and coriander leaves. Stir it well and let it cook for 3-4 minutes. 

6. Now drop the marinated chicken pieces, two tablespoons of curd, and salt into the pan. Mix it gently until all the chicken pieces are evenly coated with the onion masala.

7. Close the pan with a lid and let the chicken cook until it is tender and soft.

8. Take the cinnamon, cardamom, cumin seeds, fennel seeds, and nutmeg, and grind them into a coarse powder. Use this as your garam masala.

9. Open the lid and add the garam masala to your cooked chicken. Mix it well and cook it for another 3 to 4 minutes. 

10. Turn off the flame. The chicken masala for your Biryani is now ready. Ensure that there is enough gravy in the chicken masala so that it can flavour the entire rice without leaving it dry and bland in some parts. 

Further reading: Introduction to Kappa Biryani And How To Prepare It

Making the Biryani 

1. Take a pan and heat 3 tablespoons of oil and 3 tablespoons of ghee on a medium flame. Fry 2 sliced onions, raisins, and cashew nuts in the hot oil and ghee mixture until the onions turn brown.

2. Lower the flame, remove the fried onions and cashews, and lay them on a piece of tissue paper to soak up any excess oil. 

3. Add the rest of the spices to the same pan with the oil and ghee mixture and fry them down. 

4. Take the rice and drain the excess water away. Add it to the pan and start mixing it in slow motions. Fry the rice until it becomes crispy. 

5. To cook the rice, add boiling water to the pan. Squeeze in some lime juice, add some salt and stir it well. 

6. Once the rice is sufficiently cooked, turn off the flame. 

Layering the finished dish

1. Add all the complete elements of the Biryani together. 

2. Transfer half of the cooked rice from the pan to a bowl. 

3. Spread the cooked chicken masala evenly on top of the remaining rice in the pan. 

4. Now, layer the other rice on top of the chicken masala. This will create a layer of rice, chicken masala, and rice again. 

5. Add a garnish of fried onions, cashew nuts, and sultan raisins to the top of the rice. 

6. Close the lid and seal it tightly along the edges with aluminum foil. You can also place something heavy on the lid to create an airtight seal. 

7. Cook this on a low flame for another 10 minutes. 

8. Turn off the flame and open the lid; serve the Biryani hot along with raita, papad, or a pickle of your choice.

Further Reading: An Easy Recipe For One Pot Maggi Biryani


This recipe for thalaserry biryani is a delicious and hearty dish that is perfect for any occasion. The succulent chicken, fragrant rice, and flavorful spices create a mouthwatering meal that will leave you wanting more. Whether you’re hosting a dinner party or simply looking for a comforting meal to make at home, this recipe is sure to please. So give it a try today!

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