Dindigul Thalapakatti Style -Biryani
Updated: Jul 28
Biryani is definitely my bae!! if it comes to one dish that I would have to pick from our Indian cuisine.
There are so many variations to this particular rice & meat combo, basis region and some are true fanatics when it comes to how this gets cooked.
If you are driving down the highways leading to Chennai, you will notice a lot of restaurants, hotels, mess or quick meal dining spots serving Biryani.
This biryani version is Green in colour unlike its sibling up north and does not use Basmati rice but Jeera or Seeraga Samba Rice, which are small fragrant grains.
During my Corporate stint, there was a fair amount of travel which took me to most of the metropolitan cities in India. When I chanced upon an overnight stay in Chennai, I had to go try the famous Murugan Idli and non-veg fare at Thalapakatti near the beach. Although they have opened a new branch at Bangalore (erstwhile Kids Kemp store), I've heard mixed reviews about this place or that it does not match to the food standards served in Chennai.
So when we had a decent amount of chicken at home and did not want to make another gravy. I scrolled through some of my active Facebook foodie groups and stumbled upon this Biryani recipe.
This recipe is by Niladri Halder and I have tweaked the quantities and marination style a wee bit to suit my preference. and let me tell you it turned out perfect!!
Though personally I enjoy the mutton variant of Biryani's any given day and you can also try this very same recipe with a good quality Lamb meat. Needless to say, Chicken Dindigul Thalapakatti biryani was yummy and is already on our repeat list of new recipes.
Remember not to soak the rice for more than 20mins, overly stir it while cooking and pre-marination of chicken meat leads to super-soft, fall of the bone texture :)
Here's what you need to make Thalapakatti Chicken Biryani :
For marination :
500g - Chicken with bone
1/2 cup - Curd
1/4 tsp - Salt
1/2 tsp - Turmeric powder
1 tbsp - Coriander powder
1 tbsp - Chilli powder
1/2 juice of Lemon
Dry spice blend, finely ground :
2 tsp -Coriander seeds
1/2 tsp - Black peppercorns
1/2 tsp - Fennel seeds
1 tsp - Cumin seeds
2 - Bay leaf
10 - Cloves
1 - Star Anise
1 - Marathi Muggu
1 - Stone flower
5 - Cashew nuts
Wet masala base :
200gms - Shallots (small sambar onions)
10 - Garlic cloves
2 inch - Ginger
1/2 cup - Coriander leaves
1/2 cup - Mint leaves
5 - Green Chilli (adjust basis spice preference)
3 cups - Jeera Samba Rice
5 tbsp - Ghee
2tbsp - Oil
Salt to taste.
Garnish: Mint & Coriander leaves.
Mix all ingredients mentioned under "Marinade" and set aside for a min of 1hour.
Wash the Jeera rice 2 times and let this soak for 20mins.
Blend all ingredients listed under "Dry spice blend" in a mixer grinder. set aside for further use.
Blend all ingredients listed under " wet masala base" by using little water and set aside for further use.
Heat oil +ghee in a handi or a big pot, to this, add the marinated chicken and let this cook on a high flame for 7-8mins. We do this to avoid the eccentric chicken meat smell which tends to come if the meat does not get cooked or coated with masala appropriately.
Next, add the dry spice blend and stir to coat the chicken meat and continue to cook on medium simmer with intermittent stirring, by now the chicken would have started to ooze out its water content. If it's too dry, add in 1/4th cup of water.
Increase the flame to high and add the wet masala base, salt to taste and cook till the meat is 3/4th done with a closed lid on.
Add sufficient amount of water (about 3 cups) and bring it to a boil. Check for salt /spice levels, adjust basis preference. Add soaked rice and gently stir.
Cover the vessel with a lid and let the rice cook completely, which should take about 15mins or so, on a low flame.
Drizzle 1 tbsp ghee and give one gentle stir to the cooked rice mixture, garnish with chopped coriander and mint leaves. Put on the lid, place a heavy weighing object for a "dum" effect and continue to cook the biryani for 10mins on a low flame.
Once all the steps are completed, let the biryani sit for a min of 15-20mins with the lid on & flame off prior to serving.
Serve hot with Onion & tomato raita.