Nov 6, 2020

Talapakattu Chicken Biryani

Talapakattu Style Biryani is a Chennai (Tamilnadu) based regional Biryani that was popular from Dindigul region (Restaurant) in Tamilnadu from early 1900s.  This biryani is from a chain of restaurant with the same name. It is called "Thalappakatti", which literally means the turban, the person who was founder wore a turban and that's how the biryani gets its name. The biryani is highly flavorful and it is different because of the spice mix that is used to make this biryani. And also this Biryani varies a lot from your typical Dum Biryani style and made with short grain rice (samba rice) that usually won't have any flavor, so that rice get infused with spices and meat flavors well when cooked on slow flame. 

First time i have tried this style Biryani in Chennai Cafe restaurant in DFW, loved the flavors and determined to try this recipe one day. Later i have tried this style Biryani at Talapakattu Restaurant itself in Chennai during my recent India trip, and the flavors are even better authentic there. With those memories of flavors, today I am set to make this Biryani and it turned out superb and delicious. 

Authentic Style of this Biryani is usually made with Lamb/Goat, as my family is not fond of mutton, i have varied this recipe with Chicken and it turned out excellent and soooo flavorful. Here is my version of Talapakattu Biryain, Njoy!


Chicken (Whole Cut) - 2 lb (1 kg)

Rice - 4  cups ( Samba Rice or Sona Masoori or any short grain rice)

Water - 5 cups

Onion - 1 large

Tomato - 1

Green Chili - 5 (whole)

Ginger Garlic Paste - 1 Tbsp

Mint  leaves - 1/4 cup

Coriander Leaves - 1/2 cup

Oil - 2 Tbsp

Ghee - 1 Tbsp

Salt - 2 tsp ( according to taste)

Turmeric Powder - 1 tsp ( optional)

Red Chili Powder - 2 tsp ( adjust as needed)

Coriander Powder - 1 tsp

Thick Curd - 1 cup

Ghee - 1 Tbsp ( for final garnish and optional)

Biryani Masala:

Cumin Seeds - 1 tsp

Fennel Seeds - 2 tsp

Cardamom - 2

Clove - 3

Star Anice - 2 (whole)

Cinnamon - 1 inch stick

Jaji kaya /Nutmeg - 1/2  Whole (or 1/2 tsp if using powder)


  • Wash and clean the chicken thoroughly
  • Grind the ingredients under Biryani Masala section into fine powder
  • Soak rice for 30 min; wash and drain in colander and keep it aside
  • Chop onion and tomatoes into small pieces and keep them separate
  • Slit the Green chilis and keep them whole


  1. In a pressure cooker add Oil and 1 Tbsp Ghee, add chicken and saute chicken pieces gently until they get browned, take those out from pan and put them in a wide plate. 
  2. To the pan add chopped onion, followed by ginger garlic paste and saute onion very well.  Add 1 tsp salt (and turmeric powder if using) and mix well with onions. Add ground biryani masala and saute with onions for at least 5 min (this is critical step to get the biryani masala flavors sink in, so be patient)
  3. Now Add chopped tomato and mix it well cook for 2 min. Add coriander leaves and mint leaves. Add red chili powder, coriander powder and mix well.  Add curd to the pan and mix well until everything is combined well.
  4. Add chicken to the pan and cook for 5 min, until chicken is coated with masalas.
  5. Add 5 cups water to the pan, add remaining salt, let it simmer for 2 min. Add drained rice to the pan and mix well. Taste the water and adjust any salt or spice. Add whole chilies to the water. 
  6. Close the pressure cooker with a wide lid and keep some weight on it and cook for 15 min on medium to slow flame. 
  7. After 15min rice will be cooked fully and will come to top, gently fluff up the rice, taste and adjust any more salt. Finally add 1 Tbsp of Ghee to garnish and to get the shiny coating to rice.
  8. Transfer Biryani to a wide platter and serve hot immediately with cooling raita like Cucumber Raita or Onion Raita. 

Pictorial Steps:


  • If you don't have Samba rice you can use sona masoori rice or any short grain rice variety. But DONOT use any flavored rice like Basmati or Jasmine Rice for this recipe
  • In this recipe you don't need to marinate the chicken, as chicken gets cooked under slow flame with spices, flavor gets infused in the cooking process.
  • If you don't have time to cook on slow flame or not comfortable cooking rice directly, alternatively you can keep pressure cooker lid and cook for just 1 whistle and let the pressure release naturally. That would do it.
  • In this recipe, chicken, tomato, curd etc adds some amount of moist, you don't need to add your typical 1:2 measure water. You need to add same amount of water as many cups rice + 1cup extra water. So if you are using 4 cups rice, add 5 cups of water, if you are suing 3 cups of rice add 4 cups of water. 
  • Sauteing chicken pieces in the beginning gives a nice brown effects for chicken and it conceals the chicken moist inside keeps the pieces intact with out withering much when slow cooked

Checkout Other Biryani Recipes:

Hope you have enjoyed this flavorful regional Biryani for today,

will be back with another regional recipe soon, Until then take care!

Keep Smiling and Spread the Joy!



  1. Replies
    1. Thank you Suja! It has great flavors, not very spicy but comforting!



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