Chicken Biriyani – Trivandrum Style

Ingredients (Serves 6)

Trivandrum Style Chicken Biriyani Recipe

Adapted from my instagram friend, @kailas_sivaraj‘s mom’s chicken biriyani recipe. Thank you Kailas!

  1. Chicken – 1 – 1.25 kg, cut into medium pieces

Turmeric powder – 1/2 tsp

pepper powder – 1/4 tsp

Salt – As required

2. Oil – 4 tbsp + 1 tbsp ghee

3. Ginger–garlic paste – 2 tbsp

Green chilies – 10 – 12, coarsely ground

Onion – 1.5 cups or 1 medium , thinly sliced

Shallots – 10 – 15, crushed

4. Turmeric powder – 1/2 tsp

Coriander powder – 1.5 tsp

Garam masala powder – 1 tsp (Recipe below)

5.  Tomato – 2.5 small, chopped

6. Yoghurt – 1/2 cup

7. Garam masala powder – 1/2 – 1 tsp or to taste

8. Mint leaves – 2 tbsp, chopped

Cilantro – 2 tbsp, chopped

Green chiies – 3, slit

10. Salt – To taste

For the rice

11. Jeerakashala rice / kaima rice – 3.5 cups

Ghee – 4 – 5 tbsp

Whole spices – Green cardamom – 5 – 6, cinnamon stick – 1 inch, cloves – 8, whole black pepper corns – 1/4 tsp, star anise – 1 small, bay leaves – 2

Onion – 1/3 cup, thinly sliced

Ginger – 1.5 tsp, crushed

Garlic – 3 small cloves, crushed

Green chilies – 2, slit

Hot water – 7 cups (For 1 cup rice, use 2 cups of water)

Salt – To taste

To garnish

Pineapple, chopped – 1/2 cup

Mint leaves – 1/3 cup, chopped

Cilantro – 1/3 cup, chopped

Ghee – 1  tbsp

Garam masala powder – 1/2 tsp or to sprinkle

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 chicken pieces with turmeric powder, pepper powder and salt for at least 30 minutes or overnight in the refrigerator.

2. Heat 4 tbsp oil + 1 tbsp ghee in a heavy-bottomed vessel. Add ginger-garlic paste, green chilli paste and  thinly sliced onion. Add little salt and saute for 8 – 10 minutes until the onion turns soft and begins to change color. Add turmeric powder, coriander  powder and garam masala powder. Cook for a minute over low heat until their raw smell disappears.  Add tomatoes and mix well. Cook for a few minutes until they turn mushy. Add 1/2 cup yoghurt and cook for 4 – 5 minutes. Add 1/2 tsp garam masala powder and mix well. Add salt, to taste. Next add the chicken pieces and mix well. Cook for 4 – 5 minutes. Add 1/4 cup hot water and mix well. Cover and cook for about 25 minutes until chicken is cooked through, stirring once or twice in between. Taste-check and add more salt and a pinch of garam masala powder, if required. Add 2 tbsp chopped mint leaves, cilantro and 3 slit green chilies. Mix well. Switch off the flame and set aside.

3. To cook biriyani rice – Heat 7 cups of hot water adding salt, to taste. Rinse rice and drain well. Heat 4 tbsp ghee in a heavy-bottomed pan or a large pressure cooker. Add the whole spices numbered and stir until fragrant.  Add 1/4 cup sliced onion, crushed ginger and garlic and 2 green chilies. Cook until onion turns soft. Add drained rice and fry for 1 – 2 minutes. Add 7 cups of hot water. 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 over low heat. Switch off. Open the lid after 10 minutes. The rice will be perfectly done. Fluff the rice gently using a fork and use immediately to layer.

4. To layer –  In a heavy-bottomed vessel, smear ghee and spread the gravy and few pieces (chicken drumsticks and larger pieces).  Top it with half of the cooked ghee rice. Sprinkle 1/4 cup chopped pineapple,  little  chopped mint, cilantro, a pinch of garam masala powder and a tsp of ghee. Spread the remaining chicken pieces and gravy if any, on top followed by the remaining ghee rice. Sprinkle the remaining pineapple cubes, chopped mint, cilantro and 2-3 tsp melted ghee. Cover tightly with an aluminium foil. Bake at 400 F for 10 minutes. OR Heat a large tawa over medium-high heat. Once hot, bring down the heat to low. Place the biriyani pot on top of the tawa and cook for 2 minutes over medium heat and 5 minutes over the lowest heat setting. Switch off. Let it rest unopened for another 10 – 15 minutes in the biriyani pot. Open the pot and fluff gently. Serve hot with raita,boiled egg, pappadam and lemon pickle.

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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!

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