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Monday, 26 December 2016

Thalassery Mutton Biryani - Kerala Style


          This delicious Thalassery Mutton Biryani is also known by the name of Malabar Biryani. The name derives from a small city called Thalassery in the Malabar coast of kerala. The special aroma from this biryani basically comes from the special garam masala that is freshly ground.

           A special variety of small grained rice is used for this biryani. The mutton and rice are cooked separately and then layered to be cooked in the dum style. It is relished with raita, sliced onion and lime wedges. Please check for a step by step method with photos to prepare it.






          This is my first attempt at trying out this amazing Biryani, of which I have heard a lot. I was not the least disappointed at all. The Biryani turned out very delicious and flavourful. The various spices that are freshly ground imparts a very nice aroma and this gives the Biryani a distinct flavour. 

         The chilies can be adjusted according to individual preference. The only disappointment was the non-availability of the special rice variety called Jeerakasala. I had to do with basmati rice. But I promise if I am able to find this type of rice then will try to prepare this biryani again.






Garam Masala - 

  • 3-4 green cardamoms
  • 5-6 cloves
  • 1" cinnamon stick
  • 1 star anise
  • 3-4 whole dry chilies
  • 1 mace
  • a very small piece of nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp. cumin seeds
  • 1/2 tsp. shahjeera
  • 1 tsp. fennel seeds
  • 1 tbsp. coriander seeds
  • 1 tsp. peppercorns

Mutton Curry - 

  • 500-600 gms. mutton with bones, cut into desired size
  • 1 tsp. turmeric powder 
  • salt to taste
  • 2 tbsp. oil
  • 1 tbsp. ghee
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 tbsp. ginger-garlic paste
  • 1 tomato, chopped
  • 2 green chilies, chopped
  • handful of coriander & mint leaves, chopped

Rice Preparation - 

  • 1 1 /2 cups small grain rice (preferably jeerakasala variety), soaked for 30 minutes
  • 1 tsp. ghee
  • 1" cinnamon,
  • 2 green cardamoms
  • 4 cloves
  • 1-2 bay leaves
  • 1 tsp. cumin seeds

Garnish - 

  • pinch of saffron soaked in 2 tbsp. milk 
  • 1 tbsp. lime juice
  • 1 tbsp. ghee
  • 2-3 tbsp. coriander & mint leaves, chopped
  • 2 tbsp. fried onions
  • 10-12 fried cashews





          Dry roast all the ingredients for the garam masala for 1-2 minutes or till you get a nice aroma. Keep aside to cool down and then grind to a fine powder.

          Marinate the mutton with 2 tbsp. of the prepared garam masala, turmeric powder and salt overnight or for 2-3 hours.

          To prepare the rice - Heat 1 tsp. ghee and temper with cinnamon, cardamoms, cloves, bay leaves and cumin seeds.

          Saute for a few seconds and then add the drained rice. Stir fry for 2 minutes. Add 2 cups water and 1/2 tsp. salt. Pressure cook for 2 whistles.

          To prepare the mutton curry - Heat oil in a pan and fry the onions till light brown. Add the ginger-garlic paste and fry till the raw smell is gone. Add in the tomatoes and continue to fry till it is slightly mashed.

          Add the marinated mutton, green chilies, coriander leaves and mint leaves. Mix everything well. Cover and simmer till dry.

          Add 1 cup water and cook, covered on a low flame till the mutton turns soft. Add more water if required. Alternatively you can pressure cook too.

          Once the gravy is reduced and the mutton is cooked, spread the drained rice over it. Garnish with the fried onions, coriander & mint leaves, saffron milk, lime juice, ghee and fried cashews.

          Cover with a tight lid or with a foil. Keep it on a hot tawa / griddle and cook on a very low flame for 10-12 minutes. Switch off the flame and let it remain covered for 20-25 minutes. 

          Remove the foil and fluff it up with a fork. Serve with raita, sliced onions, fresh red / green chilies and lime wedges.




Note: If you are able to get the special variety of rice called jeerakasala rice, used to prepare this Biryani, that would be excellent. I had to do with basmati rice as I did not have the same.






                 Marinate the mutton with 2 tbsp. of the prepared garam masala, turmeric
                 powder and salt overnight or for 2-3 hours.



                   Heat oil in a pan and fry the onions till light brown. Add the ginger-garlic paste
                   and fry till the raw smell is gone. 




                             Add in the tomatoes and continue to fry till it is slightly mashed.




                               Add the marinated mutton, green chilies, 



                   coriander & mint leaves. Mix everything well. Cover and simmer till dry.



                   Add 1 cup water and cook, covered on a low flame till the mutton turns soft.
                   Add more water if required. Alternatively you can pressure cook too.



                  To prepare the rice - Heat 1 tsp. ghee & temper with cinnamon, cardamoms,
                  cloves, bay leaves and cumin seeds.



                    Saute for a few seconds & then add the drained rice. Stir fry for 2 minutes. 



                            Add 2 cups water and 1/2 tsp. salt. Pressure cook for 2 whistles.




                               Once the gravy is reduced and the mutton is cooked, 




                                spread the drained rice over it.




                    Garnish with the fried onions, coriander & mint leaves, saffron milk, lime 
                    juice, ghee and fried cashews.



                    Cover with a tight lid or with a foil. Keep it on a hot tawa / griddle and cook
                    on a very low flame for 10-12 minutes. Switch off the flame and let it remain
                    covered for 20-25 minutes. 




                                Remove the foil and fluff it up with a fork. 








                     Serve with raita, sliced onions, fresh red / green chilies & lime wedges.













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