Kozhikodan Chicken Biryani

kozhikodan Chicken Biryani

‘Kozhikode’ or Calicut (the anglicized name) is a coastal city in the state of Kerala in India also known as the ‘land of spices’. A visit to Calicut is not complete without enjoying the very famous Kozhikodan chicken biryani! There are a couple of popular restaurants like Paragon, Saagar,  Bombay hotel, etc which serve this extremely delicious meal, and sometimes the wait times at peak hours can be really long. It is however totally worth the wait!

What type of rice can be used for making  Kozhikodan Chicken Biryani?

I learned to make a version of this dish at home with inputs from friends and the internet and it tastes almost like it! The main star ingredient of this dish is the rice used which is a special ‘Jeerakasala’ or ‘Kaima’ rice and this is a tiny variety of rice that enhances the taste of this dish. However, I use the regular Basmati rice which is easily available in the stores here in the US which also tastes good and comes close in taste!

This biryani does not use red chilly powder and all the spice is from the green chilies and other dry spices. The traditional recipe has an off white color due to very little turmeric used. I did use turmeric in my preparation so you can see it has a yellow tinge. In my preparation, I also cook the chicken and rice separately and then layer them together. The traditional recipe calls for cooking the rice and chicken in the ‘dum'(steaming over coal).

The final outcome of my dish is very close to the original and usually loved by everyone who has had it. Hope you enjoyed reading about this special and popular dish and will try it sometime. Please read on for the ingredients and the detailed cooking procedure 🙂 Happy cooking!


Kozhikodan Chicken Biriyani

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A very popular dish from Kozhikode or Malabar with chicken  and layered rice based on Malabar Indian cuisine


It’s preferable to use Jeerakasala or Kaima rice for the authentic taste. I have however used Basmati rice. Other varieties of raw rice can be also used. It is preferred to liberally use ghee for biryani to get the authentic taste (I use a combination of ghee and oil ). Feel free to adjust the quantities and spices to your liking.


Ingredients


For Rice

  • 4 cups  Basmati Rice
  • 4 teaspoon ghee or Clarified Butter
  • 4 tsp oil
  • 5-6 cloves
  • 3-4  stick  cinnamon (small pieces)
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 5-6 cardamoms
  • 1/2 an onion diced
  • salt per taste
  • 5 cups Water

For Chicken marination

  • 11/2 pounds chicken
  • 3 cups of yogurt
  • 1 1/2  cups coriander leaves finely chopped
  • 1 cup mint leaves finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup curry leaves finely hopped
  • 3 medium tomatoes diced
  • 1 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1 tsp Biryani Masala (optional)
  • 1/2 tsp Garam Masala
  • 1 squeezed lemon juice
  • 2 tsp poppy seed paste
  • salt to taste

To powder for the marinade

  • 1 1/2 tsp cumin seeds
  • 2 tbsp coriander seeds
  • 1 1/2 tsp fennel seeds (perinjeerakam)

To grind for the marinade

  • 1-inch ginger
  • 10-12 cloves of garlic
  • 10-15 green chilies

For Chicken Preparation

  • 4 tbsp ghee or oil
  • 3 -4 small cinnamon pieces
  • 5-6 cloves
  • 4-5 cardamom pieces
  • 1 nutmeg (jathikka)
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 tomato diced
  • 1 tsp ginger garlic paste

For Garnish

  • 1 onion cut into long thin stripes
  • 10 cashews
  • 10 raisins
  • ghee for frying
  • 1 sprig of mint leaves
  • coriander leaves chopped
  • Boiled Egg (optional)


Directions


Chicken Marination

  1. Wash the meat thoroughly with salt and lemon and drain the water completely.
  2. Powder the ingredients in the “to powder for marinade” section.
  3. Grind the ingredients in the “to grind for marinade” section with minimum water.
  4. Add the powdered spices, ground paste, and all contents in the “for chicken marination” section to the chicken.
  5. Mix well and marinate for about 2 to 3 hours in a refrigerator

Rice Preparation and garnishes

  1. Wash the rice, drain, and keep aside
  2. Heat a thick bottomed pan, add the ghee and oil
  3. Add the thinly sliced onions and fry until crisp golden brown
  4. Drain and keep aside.
  5. Add the cashews and raisins, brown it as well
  6. Drain and keep aside.
  7. The thin fried onions, cashews, and raisins will be used for garnishing.
  8. In the remaining ghee and oil, add the spices under the “For rice” section
  9. Next, add the diced onions and sautée
  10. After 2 mins add the washed rice
  11. Fry for about 5 to 7 mins until the rice turns opaque
  12. Add the salt and water and cook until done in a rice cooker
  13. Wait for the steam to be released and rice to be cooled.

Chicken Preparation

  1. Next, for the preparation of the Chicken, pour ghee and oil into a large deep bottomed pan
  2. Add onions and sautée it for 10 mins
  3. Add tomatoes and ginger garlic paste,sautée for another 5 mins
  4. Next, add the marinated chicken and fry it for a while
  5. Cook until the chicken is well done.
  6. Add some chopped coriander leaves and squeeze a little lemon.

Layering biryani and garnishing

  1. The next process is layering of the biryani, transfer the cooked rice into a serving bowl and garnish with fried onions, cashews, raisins, chopped mint, and coriander leaves
  2. Then add a layer of the chicken gravy and repeat layering with rice, chicken, and again layer with garnish onions, nuts, raisins, mint, and coriander leaves.
  3. Gently mix so the gravy is evenly mixed into the rice.
  4. Squeeze half a lemon if you like (optional).
  5. Finally garnish with chopped coriander leaves, boiled egg,  and the remaining garnishes.
  6. Kozhikodan Chicken Biryani is ready to be served.
  7. Accompaniments that are usually served with this dish are fritters (pappad), yogurt salad, coconut chutney, and pickle. Enjoy 🙂



Marinated Chicken


Onions being fried


Fried garnishes


Frying the rice


Chicken cooking!


Kozhikodan chicken biryani with Basmati Rice


Kozhikodan chicken biryani

Kozhikodan chicken biryani with Basmati Rice, served with Raita

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5 from 6 votes
kozhikodan Chicken Biryani
Kozhikodan Chicken Biryani
Prep Time
30 mins
Cook Time
45 mins
 

Kozhikodan Chicken Biryani is a very popular and delicious biryani (rice and chicken dish ) from Kozhikode, the Malabar region of Kerala , cooked with aromatic spices separately and then assembled by layering rice , chicken gravy, along with fried onions and nuts.

Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Indian, kerala, malabar
Keyword: calicut biriyani, kozhi biryani, kozhikodan chicken biryani, malabar chicken biryani
Ingredients
For Biryani Rice
  • cups Basmati Rice
  • 4 tsp Ghee or Clarified Butter
  • 4 tsp Oil
  • 5-6 Cloves
  • 3-4 Cinnamon (small pieces)
  • 2 Bay leaves
  • 5-6 Cardamoms
  • 1/2 Onion diced
  • 2 tsp Salt or to taste
  • 5 cups Water
For Chicken Marination
  • 1 1/2 pounds Chicken
  • 3 cups Yogurt
  • 1 1/2 cups Coriander leaves finely chopped
  • 1 cup Mint leaves finely chopped
  • 3 medium Tomatoes chopped
  • 1 tsp Turmeric powder
  • 1 tsp Biryani Masala (optional)
  • 1/2 tsp Garam Masala
  • 1 medium Lemon juice
  • 2 tsp Poppy seeds paste
  • 1 tsp salt or to taste
To powder for marinade

  • 1 1/2 tsp cumin seeds
  • 2 tbsp coriander seeds
  • 1 1/2 tsp fennel seeds (perinjeerakam)
To grind for marinade
  • 1 inch ginger
  • 10-12 cloves garlic
  • 10-15 green chillies
For Chicken Preparation

  • 4 tbsp ghee or oil
  • 3-4 cinnamon pieces
  • 5-6 cloves
  • 4-5 cardamom
  • 1 nutmeg
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 tomato diced
  • 1 tsp ginger garlic paste
For Garnish
  • 1 onion cut into long thin stripes
  • 10 cashews
  • 10 raisins
  • 4 tbsp ghee
  • 1 sprig mint leaves chopped
  • 1 cup coriander leaves chopped
  • 4 boiled eggs optional
Instructions
Chicken Marination

  1. Wash the meat thoroughly with salt and lemon and drain water completely.

  2. Powder the ingredients in the "to powder for marinade" section .

  3. Grind the ingredients in the "to grind for marinade" section with minimum water .

  4. Add the powdered spices, ground paste and all contents  in the "for chicken  marination" section to the chicken.

  5. Mix well and marinate for about 2 to 3 hours in a referigrator

Rice Preparation and garnishes

  1. Wash the rice, drain and keep aside

  2. Heat a thick bottomed pan , add the ghee and oil

  3. Add the thin sliced onions and fry until crisp golden brown

  4. Drain and keep aside.

  5. Add the cashews and raisins ,brown it as well

  6. Drain and keep aside.

  7. The thin fried onions, cashews and raisins will be used for garnishing.

  8. In the remaining ghee and oil, add the spices under the "For Biryani rice" section

  9. Next add the diced onions and sautée

  10. After 2 mins add the washed rice

  11. Fry for about 5 to 7 mins until the rice turns opaque

  12. Add the salt and water and cook until done in a rice cooker

  13. Wait for the steam to be released and rice to be cooled.

Chicken Preparation

  1. Next for the preparation of the Chicken , pour ghee and oil in a large deep bottomed pan

  2. Add onions and sautée it for 10 mins

  3. Add tomatoes and ginger garlic paste ,sautée for another 5 mins

  4. Next add the marinated chicken and fry it for a while

  5. Cook until the chicken is well done.

  6. Add some chopped coriander leaves and squeeze a little lemon.

Layering biryani and garnishing

  1. For layering , transfer the cooked rice into a serving bowl and garnish with fried onions, cashews ,raisins, chopped mint and coriander leaves

  2. Then add a layer of the chicken gravy and repeat layering with rice, chicken and again layer with garnish onions , nuts ,raisins, mint and coriander leaves.

  3. Gently mix so the gravy is evenly mixed into the rice.

  4. Squeeze half a lemon if you like (optional).

  5. Finally garnish with chopped coriander leaves, boiled egg,  and the remaining garnishes.

  6. Kozhikodan Chicken Biryani is ready to be served.

  7. Accompaniments that are usually served with this dish  are fritters (pappad), yogurt salad, coconut chutney and pickle . Enjoy 🙂

kozhikodanChickenBiryani
Kozhikodan Chicken Biryani with Basmati rice

Kozhikodan Chicken biryani with Jeeraka shala rice

Updated Sep 24, 2020: I was able to find ‘Jeerakashala’ rice in the Indian grocery store here. It closely resembles the ‘Kaima’ rice that is used in this recipe back home. I used the exact same recipe as above and made this dish. Here is an updated picture of the biryani made with the ‘Jeerakashala rice’ below.

As you can see, from the picture, the rice is a very different type of tiny variety. The ratio of rice and water for this recipe, when cooking in an instant pot is 6:10 or 3:5. The fragrance of the ‘Jeerakashala’ rice along with the spices, really stands out and is awesome. If you get a chance to find this type of rice, I would highly recommend you try this recipe using that for exact taste.

kozhikodanChickenBiryani
Kozhikodan Chicken Biryani with the ‘JeerakaShala’ Rice

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47 Comments

  • Reply
    deepscookbook
    January 19, 2018 at 10:17 am

    Hmmm yummmy

    • Reply
      InspiresN
      January 21, 2018 at 10:40 am

      Thank you so much Deepa!

  • Reply
    Dippy-Dotty Girl
    January 19, 2018 at 10:18 am

    How delicious your biryani looks! I am making a note of it so that I shall try it when I am back home, Nisha. xx

    • Reply
      InspiresN
      January 19, 2018 at 10:30 am

      Thank you so much Dippy! I’m sure you will definitely love the Malabar version of Chicken Biryani and would love to hear how it turned out 🙂 Enjoy the rest of your stay and have a safe trip back!

      • Reply
        Dippy-Dotty Girl
        January 19, 2018 at 11:51 am

        I will and thanks my girl. I love Malabar everything, including the parottas 🙂 xx

        • Reply
          InspiresN
          January 20, 2018 at 10:06 am

          Yes indeed Malabar dishes are to die for 🙂 very delicious, parottas are a favorite among many!

  • Reply
    afoodiehousewife
    January 19, 2018 at 1:39 pm

    Mouth watering this looks! Must try! <3

    • Reply
      InspiresN
      January 20, 2018 at 10:07 am

      Thank you so much Mallika! Hope you will try it some time , it is very delicious!

  • Reply
    jyo
    January 19, 2018 at 1:59 pm

    Biryani is ❤

    • Reply
      InspiresN
      January 20, 2018 at 10:08 am

      Thank you so much Jyo!

  • Reply
    jyo
    January 19, 2018 at 2:06 pm

    Perfect for this season ✌✌

    • Reply
      InspiresN
      January 20, 2018 at 10:09 am

      Yes perfect for this cold snowy weather here as well!

  • Reply
    Chris Riley
    January 19, 2018 at 5:01 pm

    I absolutely love a good biryanii. Can’t get my husband past curry in a gravy of some sort though.

    • Reply
      InspiresN
      January 20, 2018 at 10:15 am

      Thank you for the comments! Happy to hear you love a good biryani. I love curries and gravies as well ,this biryani definitely has it’s own unique taste and flavor and am sure he will love it!

  • Reply
    a little Swiss, a little Canadian
    January 19, 2018 at 8:52 pm

    Looks so delicious! 😍😋😋

    • Reply
      InspiresN
      January 20, 2018 at 10:17 am

      Thank you so much ,this biryani has a unique blend of spices which makes it really different and delicious!

  • Reply
    Jyoti Rao :)
    January 21, 2018 at 9:15 pm

    Abolutely delicious. Thanks for sharing the recipe.

    • Reply
      InspiresN
      January 22, 2018 at 1:58 pm

      Thank you so much Jyoti!

  • Reply
    Vidya Narayan
    January 29, 2018 at 2:21 am

    The Biryani at Calicut is indeed yum. During my trip in December, I happened to have the vegetarian version of biryani (which is more like a pulav) but the flavours of masalas were simply great.

    • Reply
      InspiresN
      January 29, 2018 at 11:26 am

      oh! Thats wonderful Vidya to hear that you visited Calicut and loved the Vegetarian biryani’s flavor and taste! Thank you for the comments!

  • Reply
    Anya Wangsuwan
    January 31, 2018 at 9:31 pm

    Yum! That looks so tasty! Thanks for sharing the recipe.

    • Reply
      InspiresN
      January 31, 2018 at 10:12 pm

      Thank you so much Anya! It is indeed a very delicious dish .

  • Reply
    indianeskitchen
    February 1, 2018 at 1:19 am

    That looks so good!

    • Reply
      InspiresN
      February 1, 2018 at 10:54 am

      Thank you so much Diane! It’s a very popular and delicious dish!

  • Reply
    Lily Kaitlyn
    February 9, 2018 at 12:34 pm

    Looks very scrumptious and filling. A perfect all-in-one meal with great mix of ingredients. Thanks for sharing this recipe!

    • Reply
      InspiresN
      February 9, 2018 at 8:09 pm

      Thank you so much Lily, much appreciated!

  • Reply
    lisharj
    February 27, 2018 at 9:16 am

    The aroma of biryani while it is being cooked is fantastic. I never tasted Biryani from kerala. I would love to try this recipe out.

    • Reply
      InspiresN
      February 27, 2018 at 10:12 am

      Thank you so much Lisha, It is definitely worth the try you will absolutely love it, and yes the aroma is just awesome!

  • Reply
    Malabar Prawn (Shrimp) Biryani – InspiresN
    March 27, 2018 at 10:15 am

    […] the Malabar region in Southern India .I had posted the recipe of  the very famous and delicious Kozhikodan Chicken biryani couple of weeks earlier which was loved by many readers.The shrimp or prawn biryani is another […]

  • Reply
    Lathiya
    September 26, 2018 at 9:50 pm

    Did I miss your invite…The chicken Biriyani looks lip smacking and I loved your kitchen back splash too

    • Reply
      InspiresNish
      October 23, 2018 at 4:02 pm

      Thanks so much dear .Glad to hear that you love the recipe . I love the back splash as well 🙂

  • Reply
    Diane
    December 8, 2018 at 4:04 pm

    I have never put cinnamon in my rice….great idea!

    • Reply
      InspiresNish
      September 29, 2020 at 6:10 pm

      Many Thanks Diane! Cinnamon gives a nice fragrance to the biryani.

  • Reply
    Tera
    September 29, 2020 at 5:34 pm

    5 stars
    Oh wow this looks really amazing! I love all the different spices. Thanks so much for sharing.

    • Reply
      InspiresNish
      September 29, 2020 at 6:09 pm

      Thank you so much Tera! Yes indeed this recipe does have many different spices, appreciate your comments!

  • Reply
    Leah
    September 30, 2020 at 2:48 am

    Yum! I love Indian dishes and this looks so delicious! Thank you for sharing your recipe with us.

    • Reply
      InspiresNish
      September 30, 2020 at 1:52 pm

      Wonderful to hear that Leah, am so glad that you loved this share .It is indeed delish. Thank you so much!

  • Reply
    Nart at Cooking with Nart
    September 30, 2020 at 10:09 am

    5 stars
    Wow, looking at the ingredients, this must be super flavorful. Love it!

    • Reply
      InspiresNish
      September 30, 2020 at 1:53 pm

      Thank you so much Nart! Yes the spices and ingredients in it make this dish unique and very flavorful. It is much different from the Biryanis in other parts of India.

  • Reply
    LaRena
    October 1, 2020 at 3:34 am

    5 stars
    I have never heard of this before. But, this sounds amazing and looks yummy!

    • Reply
      InspiresNish
      October 1, 2020 at 1:44 pm

      Thank you so much Larena , it sure is an amazing dish

  • Reply
    The Gourmet Country Girl
    October 1, 2020 at 6:42 pm

    5 stars
    I love biryani recipes! This looks pretty darn good and I think I will have to try it soon.

    • Reply
      InspiresNish
      October 1, 2020 at 6:52 pm

      Thank you so much for the lovely feedback ! I’m pretty sure you will love it .

  • Reply
    Ai
    October 2, 2020 at 12:39 pm

    5 stars
    Mmm that marinated chicken sounds SO flavorful and delicious!!

    • Reply
      InspiresNish
      October 2, 2020 at 2:21 pm

      Thank you so much! Yes it does , sometimes I save a little bit of the gravy to go with naan or rotis (bread) .It tastes really awesome.

  • Reply
    Beth
    October 2, 2020 at 6:00 pm

    5 stars
    The ingredients look so good and that sauce it so tempting – I’ll be it is just delicious stirred into the rice.

    • Reply
      InspiresNish
      October 2, 2020 at 9:23 pm

      Yes! exactly Beth, the sauce especially the combination of fennel, mint ,yogurt , spices and ginger garlic in it, is what makes it so different .It blends well with the rice and gives that unique flavor. Thank you so much!

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