Malabar Chicken Biryani is a popular rice dish that originates from the Malabar region of Kerala, India. Known for its rich and aromatic flavors, this biryani is a delightful combination of tender chicken, fragrant spices, and basmati rice. Malabar cuisine is influenced by the region’s coastal geography and the historical trade connections with Arab, Persian, and European cultures, resulting in a unique culinary tradition.

The key characteristic of Malabar Chicken Biryani is the layering technique used during its preparation. The chicken and rice are cooked separately and then layered together, allowing the flavors to mingle and the rice to absorb the aromatic spices. This layering technique ensures that each bite of the biryani is infused with the essence of the spices and tender chicken.

Malabar Chicken Biryani Recipe

Malabar Chicken Biryani Recipe
| Last Updated: July 10, 2023
Rating: 4.8 out of 5 | 12 Reviews

This Malabar Chicken Biryani Recipe will guide you in making a delicious and fragrant biryani with tender chicken and aromatic spices.

Note: You can adjust the spice level according to your preference.

Suitable for Omnivorous Diet
Recipe Type: Main Course
Serving Size: 4
Calories: 450 | Carbohydrates: 60g | Protein: 25g | Fat: 12g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Fiber: 5g | Sugar: 3g | Sodium: 800mg | Cholesterol: 80mg


  • 500 grams chicken, cut into pieces
  • 2 cups Basmati rice
  • 1/2 cup plain yogurt
  • 2 onions sliced
  • 2 tomatoes chopped
  • 2 tablespoons ginger-garlic paste
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 1 teaspoon red chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon garam masala powder
  • 1/4 cup chopped mint leaves
  • 1/4 cup chopped coriander leaves
  • 1/4 cup fried onions
  • 4 cups water
  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 inch cinnamon stick
  • 3 cardamom pods
  • 3 cloves
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1/2 teaspoon fennel seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon coriander powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin powder
  • Salt to taste


  • Large pot
  • Cooking spoon
  • Pan
  • Strainer


  1. Marinate the chicken
    Step 1:
    In a large bowl, mix the chicken pieces with yogurt, ginger-garlic paste, turmeric powder, red chili powder, and salt. Let it marinate for at least 30 minutes.
  2. Cook the rice
    Step 2:
    Wash the basmati rice thoroughly and soak it in water for 30 minutes. In a large pot, bring water to a boil and add the soaked rice. Cook until the rice is 70% cooked. Drain the water and set aside.
  3. Prepare the chicken masala
    Step 3:
    Heat oil in a pan and add cinnamon stick, cardamom pods, cloves, bay leaf, and fennel seeds. Sauté for a minute. Add sliced onions and cook until golden brown. Add ginger-garlic paste and sauté until fragrant. Add chopped tomatoes and cook until they soften. Then, add marinated chicken pieces and cook until they are no longer pink. Finally, add garam masala powder, coriander powder, cumin powder, chopped mint leaves, and chopped coriander leaves. Mix well and cook for another 5 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside.
  4. Layer the biryani
    Step 4:
    In a large pot, spread a layer of cooked rice at the bottom. Then, add a layer of the chicken masala. Repeat the layers until all the rice and masala are used, ending with a layer of rice on top. Sprinkle fried onions over the rice.
  5. Cook the biryani
    Step 5:
    Cover the pot with a tight-fitting lid and place it on low heat. Allow the biryani to cook for 20-25 minutes or until the rice is fully cooked and flavors are well blended. Once done, remove from heat and let it rest for 5 minutes.
  6. Serve the biryani
    Step 6:
    Gently fluff the biryani with a fork before serving. Transfer it to a serving dish and garnish with additional fried onions, chopped coriander leaves, and mint leaves. Serve hot with raita or salan.
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Keywords: Malabar Chicken Biryani, Biryani Recipe, Indian Cuisine, Spicy Rice Dish

The chicken for Malabar Chicken Biryani is typically marinated with a blend of spices like ginger-garlic paste, turmeric, and red chili powder. It is then cooked until partially tender and browned. The rice, usually basmati rice, is cooked separately until it is partially cooked, known as parboiling. This ensures that the rice grains maintain their shape and don’t become mushy during the final cooking process.

Once the chicken and rice are prepared, they are layered together in a deep pan. Saffron strands soaked in warm milk are added to impart a beautiful yellow color and a subtle fragrance. The biryani is then slow-cooked on low heat, allowing the flavors to meld together and the rice to fully cook. The result is a fragrant and flavorful dish that is often garnished with fresh coriander leaves and served hot.

Malabar Chicken Biryani is a festive and celebratory dish commonly served during special occasions, weddings, and festivals. It is enjoyed as a main course meal and is often accompanied by raita (yogurt sauce), pickles, and papadums. The combination of tender chicken, aromatic rice, and complex spices makes this biryani a true culinary delight.

Malabar Chicken Biryani

Whether you’re a fan of Indian cuisine or simply looking to explore new flavors, Malabar Chicken Biryani is a must-try dish that will transport your taste buds to the exotic flavors of the Malabar region. Experience the richness and depth of this traditional recipe and savor the delightful combination of flavors that make Malabar cuisine truly unique.