Thalassery Mutton Biriyani


Thalassery Mutton Biriyani is a unique and distinct traditional styled authentic dish served for festive occasions and other functions in Thalassery, along the Malabar region of Kerala. Thalassery is a small commercial hamlet in Kannur. Their famous Thalassery biriyanis are a culinary treat. No festive celebration is ever complete without a biriyani dish. Its a must for all occasions. Thalassery Mutton Biriyani is one such flavorful biriyani dish that is specially prepared with aromatic herbs and spices. Of all biriyani dishes Thalassery Mutton Biriyani is my favorite that I can never get enough of. My allegiance to this fragrant and aromatic, mutton and rice preparation is ever the same. I will be loyal throughout, I pledge. We have many varieties of biriyani dishes available in Indian Cuisine. I love them all and the basic theory and premise remains the same. Rice, meat, seafood, spices, all are brought together for a satisfying one pot comfort meal. Enjoying a wholesome biriyani is a celebration of love, life and all things available in our good Earth.

When my spirits are down, a good biriyani will lift me up and Thalassery Mutton Biriyani is one such dish. Cooked rice and spicy mutton masala is layered in an oven safe thick vessel with a generous sprinkling of ghee and cooked in ‘dum’ style of preparation. Fragrant mutton and rice cooked in spices are married together by slowly cooking in layers and absorbing each other’s aromatic flavors. One another specialty of Thalassery Mutton Biriyani is that, mutton is cooked well, soft and succulent. Flavorful and home made garam masala is again sprinkled over the layered dish before cooking in ‘dum’. Mutton is nutritious, rich in protein and other vital nutrients required for body. Thalassery Mutton Biriyani is a very tasty mutton delicacy that can be easily prepared at home. Explore the recipe here.


Thalassery Mutton Biriyani

Prep Time 45 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Cuisine Kerala
Servings 5 people


Ingredients for masala:

  • 2 1/2 lbs Mutton 1 kg, goat
  • 13 cloves Garlic crushed, medium
  • 1 big piece Ginger crushed
  • 4 nos Tomatoes chopped
  • 13 nos Green chillies
  • 3 nos Onions thinly sliced
  • 2 tsp Fresh pepper powder
  • 1 tbsp Lime juice
  • 2 tbsp Curd
  • 1/2 tsp Garam masala preferably home made with jathi pathri
  • 1 big Coriander leaves chopped
  • 1 handful Mint leaves chopped
  • Salt As required
  • Oil As required
  • To prepare rice:(make the rice after the biryani masala is ready)
  • 3 1/2 cups Basmati rice/Biryani rice
  • 5 cups Water
  • 1 cup Onion sliced, medium
  • 1 tsp Cumin seeds Jeera
  • 5 nos Cardamom cloves Elakka
  • 7 nos Cloves Grambu
  • 5 small Cinnamon sticks
  • 2 nos. Bay leaves
  • Ghee As reqd
  • Salt As reqd

To garnish the Biryani:

  • 2 nos Onions thinly sliced
  • 12 pieces Cashew nuts
  • 12 nos Raisin Unakka munthiri
  • Ghee and oil to fry the onions


  • Prepare Biryani masala first: Wash mutton well and cut into big pieces. For biryani, mutton pieces must be little bit big. Not too big.
  • Grind ginger, garlic and green chillies. No need to make it like a paste.
  • Heat pressure cooker and add oil. Saute ginger mixture and onions along with salt until the onions become translucent. Salt will make the onions become translucent fast.
  • Add tomatoes and saute it until it softens.
  • Then add mutton pieces, pepper powder and turmeric powder. Mix well and cook for 15 minutes.
  • Mutton will take long time to cook. After 15 minutes, you can pressure cook for 3 more whistles. There will be enough water coming from mutton/tomato/onions.
  • Once the mutton is cooked, wait until the pressure cooker cools down or until all the pressure releases from the cooker.
  • If the gravy is lot, boil them again to reduce the gravy. (If you are preparing for more rice make sure you have enough gravy).
  • Add lime juice, chopped coriander and chopped mint leaves.
  • If the mutton is not cooked well, boil it for some more time. After 5 minutes and if the meat is cooked well, add curd and stir well. Once the curd is mixed do not boil it. Add home made garam masala and close the pressure cooker with a lid and switch it off.
  • Make garnishing: Fry the cashew nuts in ghee and oil. Keep it aside when the color of the cashew starts changing.
  • Fry the raisins and keep it aside. Make sure you don`t burn it.
  • Now, fry the onion until it becomes golden color. Once it is fried, place it on a paper towel to absorb excess oil.
  • Home made garam masala must be prepared before you are done with the rice.
  • To prepare rice: Wash rice well and pour enough water to immerse the rice and keep it for 15 minutes.
  • Heat a vessel and put the ghee. When the ghee is hot enough, put the onions and saute well until onion starts changing the color.
  • Add cardamom, cloves, cinnamon, cumin seeds and bay leaves until the nice aroma of spices comes out. Pour 5 to 6 glasses of water into the vessel. Make sure you don`t put more water than needed. If the water is not enough you can add water at a later stage.
  • Now add the needed amount of salt to this.
  • Now strain the rice and put it into the vessel. Cook the rice in high flame with lid open. When the water is almost gone, close the lid and cook the rice for around 8 minutes. Make sure the rice doesn`t over cook. Also make sure you cook the rice enough. You can keep checking it by pressing the rice. Once the rice is cooked, just mix the rice without messing the rice up. You can just shake the vessel also to mix it.
  • Make dum for biryani: Take a oven safe thick vessel and apply ghee in the vessel.
  • Divide the rice into 3 portions and Biriyani masala into 2 portions.
  • Now, sprinkle garam masala on top of the rice. Put enough garam masala around little less than half teaspoon.
  • Now put the first portion of rice into the vessel and spread it nicely and put the 1st portion of biryani masala with mutton and spread it. Now put the 2nd portion of rice and spread nicely. Sprinkle the garam masala as mentioned above.
  • Now put the remaining portion of masala with mutton and spread it nicely.
  • Spread the 3rd portion of rice on top of the biryani masala and sprinkle the garam masala as mentioned above.
  • Take a long spoon and just push into the bottom and move a little. It is just to do a small mix of rice and mutton. Do it in 2 or 3 places. Don`t mix it too much.
  • Now spread the cashew, raisins and onions on top of the rice.
  • Cover the vessel with aluminium foil and put the lid on top of it.
  • Preheat oven around 300 degrees on bake mode and put the vessel in the oven and bake for 25 to 30 minutes. If you don`t have oven, put on the gas and in a low flame. Keep it for 20 minutes.
  • Take out the vessel and open the foil and mix the thalassery biryani well with masala and the onions.
  • 🙂 Enjoy the thalassery biriyani/biryani with curd salad and pappadam.


You can visit this link Malabar Mutton Biriyani. You can also visit this link Mutton Biriyani.
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

Response (1)
  1. R
    Raj June 1, 2010

    Tried this thalassery biryani twice, it is excellent. What a biryani!.. Loved it.. Yummy.

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