Thalapakattu Style Chicken Biryani

Thalapakattu style chicken biryani is very famous in TamilNadu and is liked by almost all for it’s unique taste and flavor. But, I guess irrespective of the style, if the name has ‘biryani’ and ‘chicken’ in it then that is enough to be liked by most of us.

I was not a big fan of chicken biryani before my marriage. I became fond of it only after I started to cook. I tried this recipe because my husband wanted “something different.” And it was a super hit! All credit goes to my husband.

The main ingredient apart from the chicken is the type of rice that is used. For authentic thalapakattu style biryani seeraga samba rice is used. This gives that distinct taste. Believe me, because, once I even tried it with basmati rice and although we prepare the recipe in the same way, it wasn’t as flavorful as the one prepared using this rice. So if you want to enjoy the real flavor, then please do use seeraga samba rice only.

Biryani is usually served with raita or even dalcha. Dalcha is a quite popular side dish for biryani and I will soon post the recipe for it. It can also be had with any chicken or egg fry recipes and what not. Biryani is a very versatile dish that it almost goes with anything I guess. Are you also a fan of biryani? Let me know in the comments!

My version of the thalapakattu  biryani turned out really good and gave a similar taste as the original. We enjoyed eating it. So, do try the recipe and let me know how it turned out for you. Enjoy cooking and eating!

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Thalapakattu Style Chicken Biryani

Abhipriya Raghav
Thalapakattu style chicken biryani is a popular dish in TamilNadu and is made by cooking marinated chicken along with other spices and seeraga samba rice.
Prep Time 1 hour
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine Indian
Servings 2 people


For the masala paste

  • 10 shallots
  • 4-5 cloves garlic
  • 4 pieces ginger
  • 3 green chillies, or as per taste
  • 4 cloves
  • 2-4 pieces cinnamon
  • 1 strand of javithri
  • 2 green cardamom
  • 1/4 tsp fennel seeds
  • 3-4 whole pepper corns
  • 2 petals of star anise

For chicken marination

  • 3 tbsp curd
  • 1/4 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1/4 tsp salt

For the biryani

  • 1/2 kg boned chicken
  • 1 cup seeraga samba rice
  • 2 pieces cinnamon, 1 inch each
  • 5-6 cloves
  • 2 whole star anises
  • 2-3 bay leaves
  • 1 medium sized onion, thinly sliced
  • prepared masala paste
  • 1/4 tsp red chiili powder
  • 1/2 tsp coriander powder
  • 1/4 tsp garam masala powder
  • few mint leaves, chopped
  • few coriander leaves, chopped
  • salt, as per taste
  • 2 tbsp oil, for cooking
  • 2 tbsp ghee, for cooking


To prepare the masala paste

  • Assemble all the required ingredients and grind it into a paste with little water using a mixie.


  • Wash and soak the rice in 2 cups water.
  • Slice the onions thinly and assemble all other ingredients required for the biryani.
  • Add all the marination ingredients to the chicken and massage it onto the chicken for 3-5 minutes.
  • Marinate the chicken for 1 hour.

For the biryani

  • Add oil and ghee to a heavy bottomed vessel or a pressure cooker.
  • After it becomes hot, add the cloves, cinnamon, bay leaves, star anise and the onions to the oil. Fry till the onions become golden brown in color.
  • Next, add the marinated chicken along with it's juices to the sauteed onions and stir it along with the other contents and cook till the outer layer is cooked. Do not cover it with a lid and cook.
  • After the chicken is partially cooked, add the ground masala paste, red chilli powder and coriander powder to the chicken and mix it thoroughly.
  • After the spices are cooked, add garam masala powder and mix it.
  • Next add the chopped mint and coriander leaves and mix it.
  • Now, take the soaked rice, discard the water and add it to the chicken. Mix it gently without breaking the rice grains.
  • Add 1.75-2 cups water and check for salt and spiciness.
  • Close the lid of the pressure cooker and cook it for 2 whistles on high and 2 whistles on low flame.
  • Let the pressure release on its own. Serve thalapakattu style chicken biryani with onion raita or dalcha and an egg.


  • Soaking the rice is important. Do not skip it.
  • Adding curd and lemon juice to the chicken helps to tenderize the meat, If you do not have fresh lemon juice, then add white vinegar. Any other vinegar may alter the taste of the recipe.
  • You can reduce or skip the lemon juice if the curd you are using is sour.
  • Massaging the chicken helps it to absorb the marination ingredients well.
  • Marinate the chicken for atleast 30 minutes if not for an hour.
  • Do not soak the rice for more than 30 minutes as the biryani turns mushy otherwise.
  • Do not add lots of water while grinding the masala paste.
  • If you do not have shallots then use normal onions for the masala paste.
  • Increase or decrease the amount of green chilli for the masala paste according to your level of spiciness.
  • Alter the quantity of oil and ghee used for the biryani. But, addition of ghee is very important as that makes the biryani flavorful.
  • You can skip the red chilli powder in the biryani. I added for the extra spiciness.
  • I’ve added homemade garam masala to the biryani for the taste. You can add even store bought or you can also skip adding.
  • Add water to the biryani according to the water released from the chicken. The ratio of water to seeraga samba rice is 2:1.
  • I’ve served it with a fried egg. You can also serve it with normal boiled egg.
Keyword biryani, chicken, thalapakattu