Malabar Style Beef Biriyani

Malabar Beef Biriyani

Ingredients (Serves 5 – 6)

Malabar Beef Biriyani / Thalassery Beef Biriyani Recipe

1. Beef (beef with bones or boneless) – 1 kg, cubed

Turmeric powder – 1/2 tsp

Ginger-garlic paste – 2 – 3 tsp

Garam masala powder – 3/4 tsp (Recipe below)

Salt – As required

Water – 1/2 cup

2. Oil – 3 tbsp + 1 tbsp ghee

3. Ginger – 1 inch

Garlic – 7  cloves

Green chilies – 5 – 7

4. Onion – 2 cups or 1 large, thinly sliced

5. Turmeric powder – 1/2 tsp

Pepper powder – 1/4 tsp

6.  Tomato – 1 medium or 2 small, thinly sliced or chopped

7. Curd – 3 – 4 tbsp

8. Garam masala powder – 1.5 tsp or to taste(Recipe below)

9. Mint leaves – 3 tbsp, chopped

Cilantro – 3 tbsp, chopped

10. Salt – To taste

For the rice

11. Jeerakashala rice / kaima rice – 3.5 cups

Ghee – 3 – 4 tbsp

Whole spices – Fennel seeds – 1 pinch, Cardamom – 5 – 6, cinnamon stick – 1 inch, cloves – 8, whole black pepper corns – 1/4 tsp, star anise – 1 small

Hot water – 7 cups (For 1 cup rice, use 2 cups of water. Some varieties of biriyani/ kaima rice may need only 1.5 cup water)

Salt – To taste

To garnish

12. Fried onion – 1/2 – 3/4 cup

Fried cashews – 1/4 cup

Fried raisins – 1/4 cup

Mint leaves – 1/4 cup, chopped

Cilantro – 1/4 cup, chopped

Ghee – 1 – 2 tbsp

For the garam masala powder

Fennel seeds – 1.5 – 2 tsp

Cloves – 5

Green Cardamom – 5

Whole black pepper corn – 1/4 tsp

Cinnamon stick – 1/2 inch

Star anise – 1 small

Kus kus – 1 tsp (optional)

Grind all the above ingredients to a fine powder.


1. Marinate the beef pieces with turmeric powder, garam masala powder, ginger-garlic paste and salt for at least 30 minutes or overnight in the refrigerator. Transfer it to a pressure cooker. Add 1/2 cup water and pressure cook for 4 – 5 whistles until soft. Reserve 1/2 – 1 cup of the beef stock (you can use this while cooking rice, it gives a nice color and a little extra flavor to the rice).

2.  Coarsely grind ginger, garlic and green chilies in the small jar of a mixie.

3. Heat 3 tbsp oil + 1 tbsp ghee in a heavy-bottomed vessel. Add ground ginger-garlic-green chilly mixture. Saute 1 minute and then add thinly sliced onion and 1/4 tsp salt. Saute for 8 – 10 minutes until the onion begins to change color. Add turmeric powder, pepper powder and cook for a few seconds. Add tomatoes and mix well. Cook covered for a few minutes until they turn mushy and oil separates. Add 1/4 cup yoghurt and cook for a few minutes. Add 1.5 tsp garam masala powder, 1/4 cup chopped cilantro and mint. Mix well. Add salt, to taste. Next add the cooked beef pieces, the remaining gravy (reserve 1 cup gravy for cooking rice) and mix well. Cover and cook for about 8 – 10 minutes until thick. Taste-check and add more salt and garam masala powder, if required. Mix well. Switch off the flame and set aside.

3. To cook biriyani rice – Rinse and soak rice in enough water for 30 minutes. Drain well. Heat 3 tbsp ghee in a heavy-bottomed pan or a large pressure cooker. Add the whole spices and stir until fragrant. Add drained rice and fry for a minute. Add 6 cups of hot water and 1 cup beef stock/gravy. Bring to a boil and taste-check for salt. The water should be slightly salty. Cover with lid and cook until steam starts coming out profusely (if you are using a cooker). Put the cooker weight and cook for 2 – 3 minutes at low heat. Switch off. Open the lid after 10 – 15 minutes. The rice will be perfectly done. Fluff the rice gently using a fork.

4. To layer –  In a heavy-bottomed vessel, spread half of the  cooked beef masala at the bottom. Top it with 1/4 cup chopped mint and cilantro. Top it with half of the cooked ghee rice. Sprinkle fried onion, cashews, raisins, chopped mint, cilantro, a pinch of garam masala powder and a tsp of ghee. Spread the remaining beef masala on top followed by remaining ghee rice. Sprinkle fried onion, a pinch of garam masala powder or biriyani masala powder, fried cashews, raisins, chopped mint, cilantro and 2-3 tsp melted ghee. Cover tightly with an aluminium foil. Bake at 400 F for 15 – 20 minutes. OR Heat a large tawa at medium heat. Once hot, bring down the heat to low. Place the biriyani pot on top of the tawa and cook for 10 – 15 minutes. Switch off. Let it rest unopened for another 10 – 15 minutes in the biriyani pot. Serve hot with raita, biriyani chammanthi, pappadam and lemon pickle.


Malabar Beef Biriyani

Maya Akhil

Wife, Mother, Blogger and above all, an ardent lover of good food. I cook, serve, and eat with almost the same passion. The divine aroma that fills the kitchen when I cook or bake is simply what keeps me going!

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About Maya

Maya Akhil

Wife, Mother, Blogger and above all, an ardent lover of good food. I cook, serve, and eat with almost the same passion. The divine aroma that fills the kitchen when I cook or bake is simply what keeps me going!

Every Recipe Since 2010