Eid special Thalassery fish biryani


The Thalassery biryani is a special food especially for Muslims in north Kerala, though it traces its aroma to Mughlai cuisine. Thalassery has integrated into its repertoire of dishes, the best of world cuisine, probably because of its legacy as a maritime trading point and the exposure to people and cultures from far. Thalassery food has the distinctive influence of Arab, British, Dutch, Portuguese, Jewish, and French cuisine on it. Today, it’s an eclectic mix of the west, the orient and the native.

Of particular culinary interest is the Thalassery biryani, special to the place. This is perhaps one of the very few places where the kaima rice takes pride of place in biryani over the usual long and thin basmati.

Perhaps, this Thalassery special fish biryani recipe would give us some clues as to why the place is touted as a foodie paradise.  


750 gm kaima rice

750 gm fish

Garam masala (not powdered)

500 gm onions

4 tomatoes

4 green chillies

2 tbsp red chilli powder

2 tbsp turmeric powder

1 tsp pepper powder

3 tsp ginger-garlic paste

1 tsp garam masala

1 tbsp coriander powder

1 tbsp ghee

6 lemons

Coriander leaves

mint leaves

Cashew nuts





Cook the kaima rice in boiling water to which garam masala and oil has been added.

Boil till rice is half cooked.

Fry fish marinated in red chilli powder, turmeric powder, pepper powder, ginger-garlic paste, salt and lemon extract.

Saute onions, ginger-garlic paste, green chillies, tomato, red chilli powder, turmeric powder, coriander powder, garam masala, pepper powder, lemon extract and salt.

Add the fried fish to this mix along with mint leaves.

Now arrange the biryani.

Heat oil in a pan and add the rice

Arrange the rice and fish in alternate layers.

Add coriander and mint leaves.

Throw in ghee-fried cashew nuts and sultanas between layers of rice.

Pat the rice in shape.

Decorate with nuts, sultanas and tomato rings.

Cover and cook the biryani.

Click here to read this recipe in Malayalam

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