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Biryani Dishes

Yoghurt Rice  Biryani Kanji-Payar Bean Rice Lemon Rice


Biryani is a dish traditionally made more commonly in the north of India, more than likely as a result of receipes passed on by Arabian travellers.  
The name is derived from the Persian word beryā(n) (بریان) which means "fried" or "roasted".



Chicken Biriyani of the North Malabar region is very popular and is known outside as Malabar Biriyani. A less spicy but delicious version, Malabar biriyani also follows the 'Dum' (pressure) cooking style, and is believed to have been brought to Kerala directly by the ancient Arabian traders with whom there existed very strong spice trade links. Malabar Biriyani is usually had with Onion&Tomatoes in Yogurt Raita, dates pickle, to be washed in by hot black lemon tea, known as 'Suleimani'.

In Kerala biryani is also eaten with onion&tomatoe raita as well as pickles. Below are the receipes for biriyani and accompaniments.


1/2 kg chicken

1/2 cup yoghurt
25 grams coriander leaves finely chopped
25 grams mint leaves finely chopped
10 grams curry leaves
1/2 tsp cumin seeds
1 tsp coriander seeds lightly crushed
1/2 tsp aniseed powder
25 grams chopped green chillies
20 grams garlic
2 tsp chopped ginger
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
1 tsp lime juice
1 tsp poppy seed paste

1 tbsp clarified butter or vegetable oil
5-6 cinnamon pieces
1 bay leaf
4-5 cardamom seeds
4-5 curry leaves torn in half
3 cloves
1 chopped onion
250 grams broken rice
1/2 litre water

Biryani masala
2 tbsp clarified butter
5-6 cinnamon pieces
1 bay leaf
3 cloves
4-5 cardamom seeds
1 nutmeg
100 grams onions
1 medium tomato cut in



For the Marinade
Finely chop the coriander leaves and mint leaves.  Lightly crush the cumin and corriander seeds.
Mix the yoghurt, coriander leaves, mint leaves, curry leaves, cumin seeds, coriander seeds, aniseed powder, green chillies, garlic, ginger, turmeric powder, lime juice and poppy seed paste and marinate the chicken in it.
Keep aside for half an hour.

For the Rice:
Heat clarified butter in pan. Add cinnamon, 1 bay leaf, cardamom seeds, curry leaves and cloves. Add onions and sweat till they turn translucent. Add washed and cleaned rice. Cook till rice turns translucent. Add water. When water comes to a boil, turn flame to low and cover pan. Cook on low flame for at least 15 minutes. The rice is done.

For the Biriyani Masala:
Heat clarified butter in pan and add cinnamon, 1 bay leaf, cardamom seeds, nutmeg and cloves. Add onions and sauté till brown. Add tomatoes. Add marinated chicken. Cover pan and cook for at least 5 minutes on a medium flame. Remove cover and cook on low flame for another 10 minutes to allow gravy to thicken. Layer the serving bowl with alternating layers of rice and the chicken masala.

Garnish the top with a boiled egg cut in four pieces, roasted cashews and raisins.

Tip:  If the rice is still a little wet (i.e. is not dry and seperates easily) then layer the rice and chicken in a pot and leave in oven on a very low heat for about 10 minutes.

Accompaniments for the Biryani

1) Dates Pickle:


Dates deseeded and chopped 2 cups
garlic paste 2 tsp
ginger paste 2 tsp
green chillies chopped optional
garlic pearls few optional
curry leaves chopped few
fenugreek 1/2 tsp
mustard seeds 2 tsp
chilly powder 1 Tbsp
coconut oil 1 1/2 Tbsp
vinegar 1/2 cup

Chop dates into 4 pieces (or make small pieces). Heat pan, pour oil.Allow mustard seeds and fenugreek seeds splutter.Saute garlic - ginger paste and chopped green chillies and curry leaves for few seconds. Add red chilly powder, salt, vinegar and allow to boil. Put chopped dates into this, mix well. Pour little boiled water if you want to get a loose texture. Add little more vinegar for your desired sourness.


2) Onion and Tomato Raita


2 whole fresh ripe meduim tomatoes
1 medium fresh red onion
250ml fresh plain yogurt
salt – to taste
black pepper – to taste


Finely slice both tomatoes and onion into rings.  Mix salt and freshly ground black pepper as required into the yogurt.  Pour the yogurt over the tomatoes and onions, and gently fold them in so that everything is mixed well.  Spoon into serving dish and refridgerate until ready to serve. Garnish with a little corriander leaves (cilantro) when ready to serve.

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