Thursday, May 1, 2008


Biryani…The name conjures up when it comes to having a heavy lunch .Or I would rather put it is as the non veg version of sadhya…I often do have biryani at several Indian restaurants out here, but most of em don’t do justice to it and end up like chicken curry mixed in rice…And I was getting bored of the ready made masala mix which simply doesn’t taste like the original...My version of Biryani could be called a semi-quick version…Unlike Hyderabadi biryani which you get in the famous “Paradise” the preparation of which might have started even the day before, mine is a 2 hour fix!.

Back in Trivandrum we would often have it from the restaurants near college after we skipped the morning classes. It was followed by skipping the post lunch classes for allowing the complete digestion of the just consumed Biriyani…The local term is CB for chicken biryani…”So it was always...chetta….oru CB…or chetta oru BB”...It was only until I started working in a software firm the BB became a Bulletin Board.

And the recipe I would say was handed over to my mom from her sister who as far as I know makes the best Biriyani of all my relatives…And I wanted the authentic homemade biriyani taste which is actually a bit different from the ones you get in restaurants.. So I make a call home yesterday from office…

Me: “Amma..nammal veetil ondakkunnu chicken biriyaniyude method paranju thaa”(Mom..Explain how do we make biryani back home)

Amma: ”oh..ok..korachu karayambu….korachu ingi….korachu ellakka...korachu karuvapetta..”(A little bit. X..A little bit Y..A little bit Z..)

Me :”OMG!!..WAIT….for godsake in ml’s and grams

Amma..”ok...ekedesham oru kaal finger ingi..oru 3 cups rice..rando..moonoo..naalo veluthulli..uppu taste anserichu

My dad who was on the other end of the line could understand my frustration…We were tailor made to comprehend only actual figures and he gave me the translation of approximate quantities in laboratory terms.

Me:”Oh..thanks…Amma good that you don’t teach maths..oru korachu addition..oru korachu subtraction…korachu fraction…hahaha..”

After a 10 minutes call where I frequently interjected the conversation with terms like configuration of the kozhi…and delivery time for the masala’s…bugs in the kashuvandi just for the comfort sake of people in office who had absolutely no clue what I was really talking about..

Anyways what matters is how we make it…

Cut 1 kilo of chicken into smaller piece and marinate them with lemon juice.
Meanwhile create a masala paste of 2.5 teaspoon chilli powder, 2.5 teaspoon coriander powder, half teaspoon pepper powder, half teaspoon turmeric, 1 teaspoon salt, 1 teaspoon garam masala.
Mix the masala paste, marinated chicken and 3 tablespoon curd and keep it aside.

Keep ready 3 cups (probably 200 ml each) of rice washed and drained.
Fry in ghee cashew nuts and dry grapes and keep em aside.
Add more ghee if required and fry thin sliced onion (about one big onion) and keep aside.
The above two are sprinklers.

In the remaining ghee fry (6 cardamoms, 5 pieces of 1 inch each Cinnamon sticks broken into smaller pieces, 5-6 cloves, 2-3 bay leaves ) for a minute.
Add the rice to this mix and keep stirring until the ghee is evenly coated and the rice is pretty much dry. Be careful that the rice doesn’t stick to the bottom.

Since we use a microwave oven to cook rice, transfer the content to the bowl and add 6 cups of water to it.
Now here comes the innovation from my family. Instead of adding the expensive saffron for the color we add a pinch of turmeric to fake it…I think that was a good trick there..
Set it to 20 minutes or till the rice is cooked.

Meanwhile in a Mixie/blender make a fine paste of the following

4 big onions, 3 tomatoes, 7 green chillies(add more to make it super spicy), 5-6 karuvepella, few pudina leaves, 1 inch ginger piece, 4-5 garlic pieces, 3 teaspoon grated coconut.

Heat oil in a pan and add this paste. Keep stirring until the raw smell goes from the mix.
Now add the marinated chicken and mix the entire content with sufficient salt.
Don’t add water and allow it to cook. Keep stirring occasionally.

Meanwhile in a big vessel coat the inside with ghee..

Once the chicken is ready, Place the big vessel mentioned above on top of a chapatti pan which is being heated mildly.
Layer a bed of rice inside it followed by chicken mix. Do it intermittently until the last layer of rice is placed.
Sprinkle on top with fried onion/cashews/dry grapes.

Cover the vessel and allow the aroma to spread for 15 -20 minutes in the low heat.

Make a quick salad and enjoy the swaadishthu chicken biryani!!

P.S We had some appetizer bordeaux wine before the dinner, So it wasnt hard for 3 people to finish this biriyani in one go!!! ;-D


Mishmash ! said...

Njan aadyam onnu thozhuthotte !!! Dare u call urself a rookie from here onwards :) urs was the first food post i saw today and even though I had just woke up, I could almost smell it...I m not kidding.....biryani oru weakness aane...;)

And all moms have this "korachu" way of sharing recipes......i used to have trouble too....

"oru korachu addition..oru korachu subtraction…korachu fraction…hahaha..”" that was classic mathai style :D

Dhanya said...

aha so lent season is over n it shows :P

silverine said...

Mathew: The photography doesn't do justice to the Biryani! :)

@Dhanya: Kindly explain to the Chef what Lent means. I don't think he knows :p

mathew said...

I must say it was quite a no frills but decent biriyani...could be called air deccan version of the biryani that serves the purpose..;-P

and its a honour to hear it from someone like you..

LOl!..I have used onions..;-P

Not enough patience at 10 pm in the night;-D
and yeah...i obviously know what lent in "lent" your car to someone..;-D

docnash said...

Stumbled on ur blog few days back...neat stuff (wetspark)...and interesting recipes too!!..Keep up the good work....Looking forward for more!!!


Caro said...

i love food n its a pleasure to read ur blog...very detailed..

Dhanya said...


@ Big chef : Eggsatly !!!

@ Anju : ithu pookku case aanu.. nannaavilla :P

Philip said...

Reminds me of the time I used to call mom to ask how to make everything from cabbage thoran to fish fry. Another point of confusion is when they tell you how much time you have to cook..'oru pathu-pathinanju minute vevikkanam'..

Nice looking biryani, even though it's a no-frills one. The biryani in Paradise is WAY overrated. Kerala biryani is the best.

Nanditha Prabhu said...

OMG...I think you should seriously consider catering as a side business...
All moms have this "korachu" style...
Enjoyed reading it as always!

mathew said...

Thank you…and thanks a lot for dropping by..
And as always warning for new are lethal and fatal as always!!;-D

Thanks a lot for dropping by..


That’s why I rely on net and other flood blogs where I get exact quantities…but when there are urges to replicate home taste food, I call up home..
Paradise is good..But I would say Sagar is equally good..Kerala Biriyani is more spicy and that’s why it rocks!:-D

Oh a kid I always fancied being a restaurant owner..more coz it meant I could eat without paying up…
And thanks a lot for reading it..inspite of being a vegetarian…!;-)

Saira said...

Wow,I Really Admire Men In AproN..Gud Goin!!

Macadamia The Nut said...

GULP! :| Am I destined to indulge my masochistic tendencies by reading scintillating recipe blogs at odd times of the day?

Sigh! :D

The pictures look YUM! Reminds me of a hotel in Trissur called Saffire :|

This weekend its deifnitely your biryani and mishmash's mutton for me! So there!

*trots off obediently to raid the fridge*

Deepti said...

All moms have korachu and ekadesham recipies, and u need to keep asking them what its actually ... nice recipie will try out and let you u know!!!

Shikha said...

I can smell it too! Its 11 p.m. and I thought I was full up with dinner, but one read of your amazing recipe and I'm hungry again!..for biriyani!

And I thought my hubby was a strange case. He asks me recipes all the time, and I tell him "salt to taste, oru ara teaspoon, and 4 to 5 whistles"; he gets all puzzled and tells me "4 OR 5", what is "to taste" and how the hell am I supposed to measure "ara"? Hehe. And I tell him, its all common sense!! Atleast now I figure out that he's genetically endowed like that!! :D

david santos said...

Excellen... my friend, excellent...
good luck

ursjina said...

wow..ur really good man!!..somehow i missed this blog of urs..enjoyed each one of the posts..
mm..r u married? thinking of cancelling somehing..;)u know wat..hehe

mathew said...

hehe..thanks..and thanks for visiting this space..

Lol!!..i have the same feeling when i see some of the real food blogs..:-)

I know..I have been hearing it for years..but I enjoy fussing about it!!;-P

@ Shikha
I full empathise with him..Men are general wired to comprehend whole figures..and if he is an engineer no chance!!;-P

@ david santos
thank you..

hahhaa..that should be one of the best complements I have ever recieved!!;-P
Anyways am sure you will frequent all the actual food blogs around!!have fun.. :-)

Macadamia The Nut said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Macadamia The Nut said...

It was AWE freakin SOME!!

Macadamia The Nut said...

Dunno why the dumb link's not working.. anyway.. it's in my food blog

Arunima said...

I will try this out. I normally cook the chicken and rice together.

Sig said...

Loved the baking on top of the chapatti pan trick, my oven is broken so this will come handy... Awesome biryani btw... :)

Arunima said...

and I deleted your comment by mistake. eeks!

Jans said...

Nice blog Mathew, love ur innovative captions ...."savolaa..gri..giri....." LOL. Biryani like a lotta Indians is one of my favs n im gonna try this one soon.
I guess our moms r famous for the "korachu...korachu" measures, i'v kinda made my own estimates of her "korachu...korachu.....hahaha

Jyothsna said...

Next time, oru parcel ivide azhakku... thaan oru hit chef aanallo!

Rachel said...

CET' skip morning classes..then you skip noon you guyz ever attend classes...

Placing the vessel on the tawa is a nice tip....

Emaan said...

looks extremely swaadishto too..
will tell mommy to make it 4 me

K.C. said...

You are so talented! This looks so good! What a great blog... KC

mathew said...

@Macadamia The Nut
Join the league of "still alive people" ;-D

That would make chicken curry rice..;-P

@ Sig
thank you..Feels great to have a expert like you gracing this blog..:-)

thanks for dropping here..
I am going to ask Amma this time around to actually measure in teaspoons before she put the "korachu" amounts..;-D

I always follow a "hit" and kill approach..;-P

We Skip classes because we study at home!!..*straight face* ;-D

thankd for dropping here.. :-)

The comment ofcoz startled me at first..but your blog was a plesant surprise..:-)

thank you..

VIDYA said...


*Stares at monitor and curses herself for visting this blog when hungry*

Sree said...

Sounds n looks delicious.The 'BB' stands proof to how life changes from simple to more complex. :p
good to come across this blog.

Mallugirl said...

how did i miss this!! ur biryani looks awesome..just the right amount of nuts too!!:)
amma must be so proud of you. hey are u from cet?me too.

mathew said...

@VIDYA are good at cooking..try it out!!;-P

@ Sree
exactly..i often wish life was simple like before..I dont think the price we pay for getting across the other side of life is worth it...btw thanks a lot for dropping by..

thanks a lot and glad to know you are a cetian too..yours and Mishmash are instant reference for my food supplies!!;-P

and yeah am a cetian too...passed out in 04'..i mean from the college..;-D

indronil said...

dash it, I had to read your darned blog at 11:45 at night! do all the good things have to happen at odd hours? and boy, can you write! consider food journalism as a career option.

Jac said...


Pulu adikkalle mone !!!

nyways I am passing this over to the Nepali Cook in the diner. Lets see what he makes out of it.

mirage said...

yummy seem a professional:)

Are they all your own creations?

Seena said...

am a biryani fan, and you created it from amma's words, definitely it would be tasty.. :)
All moms are like this, nowadays I watch mom whenever she makes something, asking her is just as you said..kurachu athu, kurachu ithu.. :)

Shella said...

your mom must be so proud to have a son like you, who calls her for recipes!!! anyway the biriyani looks super gorgeous...and am damn sure it tasted so too...

veenajan said...

Hi ..
First time to ur blog .. Nice work mathew...Will be back to see ur other recipes too..