Mopla Kozhi Biriyani ~ Mappila Chicken Biriyani

Already a look at my recipe index and you will get an idea of how biriyani crazy my family is. It is not that we like our rice - in fact, umma always wonders how we hold ourselves without eating rice in the afternoon. HD has his share of rice everyday, but when it comes to me and my B, we both are not very keen on eating rice in the afternoon. Our main excuse is usually - "it makes us sleepy!". And actually it does!!! The only days I have rice is on the weekends when I know I can go a bit overboard with my rice eating and sleep peacefully for a couple of hours without any hassles!!!

As usual, my quest for trying our different biriyanis made me try this one, which featured in the local Friday magazine as a part of the biriyani series during last Eid ul Adha. Somehow, the recipe sounded to me like a crossover between the Thalassery Chicken Biriyani and Malabar Chicken Biriyani, both of which have already featured on this blog. While having a casual chat with my colleagues, one of them informed me that he had tasted this biriyani during one of the local weddings at his place. As per the description given for this biriyani, it did mention that this biriyani is featured during the Mopla (meaning Muslim) weddings in the north of Kerala. Actually speaking, this is one of the easiest biriyani I have made, and tasted really good as well. There is no "dum" involved in it, it's a cook and mix kind of a biriyani. Off to the way that I made it...

Mopla Kozhi Biriyani ~ Mappila Chicken Biriyani
Serves 4
Recipe courtesy: Friday magazine


For the masala:
500 gm chicken
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
1 tsp red chilli powder (increase for spiciness!)
2 tbsp coconut oil
2 medium onions, sliced thinly
1 large tomato, chopped
1 green chilli, chopped (increase for spiciness!)
1 tsp garlic paste
1 tsp ginger paste
2 tbsp coriander leaves, chopped
2 tbsp mint leaves, chopped
Salt to taste

For the rice:
2 cups basmati rice, washed and drained
1 tbsp ghee
1 tsp whole spices
800 ml hot water

For garnish:
1 small onion, sliced and fried
5-6 cashews and 10 raisins, fried


Marinate the chicken in turmeric and red chilli, along with salt for around 15 minutes. Heat oil in a saucepan and add the chicken. Fry till both sides become browned, but not necessarily cooked. Drain and set aside.

In the same oil, add the ingredients from onion to mint leaves and cook on low flame till the tomatoes are all mashed up. Add the fried chicken and continue cooking till the chicken is well done.

In another saucepan, add the ghee. Fry the whole spices for a minute. Add the drained rice and roast till crisp, around 5 minutes. Add in the hot water, adjust salt. Keep on high flame till the water boils. Reduce the flame and cook on closed lid till the rice is done.

Fluff up the cooked rice with a fork, and add on top of the chicken masala. Mix well to incorporate. Serve with the garnishings, along with raita, pickle and whatever you want!


1. You may use ghee instead of oil for doing the chicken masala.
2. Kaima rice - which is a small variety of rice used for biriyanis in Northern Kerala - is recommended for this biriyani, however my family, including myself, are not very fond of this rice, so used basmati rice.
3. I fried the onions, cashews and raisins for the garnishing and used the same ghee for doing the rice.
4. You can serve with an egg as well. I boiled the eggs and forgot it at the time of serving as well as clicking the pics! ;)

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