Kothamally special Kerala Beef Biryani

Filed under Beef, Non-Vegetarian, Rice
3.5, 2 reviews

Advance Vishu and Easter wishes...

Recipe Details  
3.5, 2 reviews

Posted by
Posted on 8, Mar 2017
Serving 6-10 people
Ready in 2 Hrs - 45 minutes
Post Views 1.5 K views
Post Rating 3.50 out of 5 , from 2 reviews
Click here to view the recipe in Malayalam - Opens new tab.
  • Beef – 1 Kg, cut into medium pieces
  • Coconut oil – 4 Tablespoon

For Marination :

  • Pepper Powder - ¾ Teaspoon
  • Salt - 1 Teaspoon

For Beef Masala:

  • Onion, medium sized – 4 Nos, finely sliced
  • Garlic – 15 cloves, chopped
  • Ginger – 2 inch piece, chopped
  • Green chili – 6-8 Nos, slit
  • Tomato, large sized - 2 Nos, chopped
  • Turmeric powder – ½ Teaspoon
  • Black Pepper powder – 2 Teaspoon
  • Garam masala – 2 Teaspoon
  • Lemon juice – 1 Tablespoon
  • Salt as required
  • Water as required

For the rice :

  • Jeerakasala / Basmathi rice – 3 cups
  • Cardamom – 10 Nos
  • Cloves - 6 Nos
  • Cinnamon – 3 medium size pieces
  • Lemon Juice – 2 Tablespoon
  • Ghee – 1 Tablespoon
  • Salt as required
  • Water as required

For garnishing & Layering :

  • Fried onion - ½ cup(refer notes)
  • Garam masala - ½ Teaspoon + ½ Teaspoon
  • Cashew nuts - 15 Nos
  • Raisins - 15 Nos
  • Chopped coriander leaves - 4 Tablespoon
  • Rose water - 1 Tablespoon
  • Ghee - 2-3 Tablespoon

For dough :

  • All-purpose flour : 2 cup + Water as required ( Mix together and make a smooth dough; make it as chappathi dough like consistency.)

Initial Preparation :

  1. Clean and wash the beef pieces. Drain the water completely.
  2. Marinate beef pieces with the ingredients mentioned under 'For marination' and set aside for 15-20 minutes.
  3. Heat 1 tablespoon ghee in a pan, fry the cashew nuts, raisins(mentioned under 'For garnishing') to a golden brown. Remove from pan and set aside.

Beef Masala Preparation :

  1. Heat 4 tablespoon of coconut oil in a heavy bottomed deep pan.
  2. Add in the marinated beef pieces and sear until the water content evaporates completely and the meat is completely browned on low-medium heat.
  3. Transfer to a bowl and set aside.
  4. Add onions in the same pan and sauté till it becomes golden brown in color on medium heat. Add more oil, if needed.
  5. Add in the chopped ginger, garlic, green chilli and sauté till the raw smell disappears.
  6. Then add in the chopped tomatoes and saute till the tomatoes are nicely mashed.
  7. Add in the garam masala, turmeric powder, black pepper powder, and fry for 2-3 minutes on low heat.
  8. Remove from heat and let it cool. Then grind it into a fine paste.
  9. Add the prepared masala into the same pan, add in the seared beef pieces, lemon juice, salt and enough water(approx 1 ½ - 2 cups) to cook the beef pieces.
  10. Mix well and cook till the beef is cooked well and the gravy is thick, for about 1 hour on low-medium heat.
  11. Remove from heat and set aside.

Rice Preparation & Layering :

  1. Wash and soak the rice for 30 minutes. Drain the water completely; Set aside.
  2. In a cooking pot, heat one tablespoon of ghee. Add all whole spices mentioned under 'For rice' and fry for few seconds.
  3. Pour enough water, lemon juice and salt into the pot and bring to boil. When it starts boiling, add the soaked rice and continue cooking.
  4. In a biriyani pot/oven proof dish, layer half of the prepared beef masala, and spread it evenly.
  5. When the rice is ¾ done(refer notes), layer half of the rice over the beef masala layer.
  6. Spread ½ teaspoon of garam masala and half of the toppings (fried onions, cashew nuts, raisins, chopped coriander leaves) on top of the rice layer.
  7. Layer the remaining beef masala on top, spread the rest of the rice on top of it. Spread the remaining toppings and ½ teaspoon of garam masala.
  8. Finally, pour 2 tablespoon of melted ghee and the rose water on top.

Dum Preparation :

Cooking in Oven :

  1. Close the oven-safe dish with a tight fitting oven-safe lid - OR - Cover it with an aluminium foil. Seal the edges by crimping the foil.
  2. Preheat oven to 180°C/350°F. Place the sealed oven proof dish in the oven and bake it for 20 mins.
  3. When it is done, remove and keep the dish covered until serving.

Cooking over Stove top :

  1. Close the biriyani pot with a lid, seal the edges of the lid with the prepared dough without even the slightest opening.
  2. Place the sealed biriyani pot in the stove. Cook till the steam comes out from the dough seal or for about 20-25 minutes on very low heat.
  3. Once the steam comes out from the dough seal or after 20-25 minutes, switch off the flame and keep the biriyani pot unopened for 10 minutes.
  4. Then open the dum, just mix the rice and beef pieces from the bottom of the pan using a long spoon.
  5. Enjoy the biriyani, serve hot with Raita, Pickle and Pappadam on the side!


  • The right consistency of the rice matters for a good biriyani. So don't overcook the rice.
  • How to check the right consistency of the rice?
    • Just take out a grain of rice from the boiling water, and press it in between your thumb and forefinger. If the grain breaks into 3 parts, that's the right consistency.
  • How to make Fried Onion? ( makes about ½ cup of fried onion(approx:) )
    • Take 1 ½ cup thinly sliced onion.
    • In a large frying pan, heat required amount of oil for deep frying.
    • Fry with a pinch of salt till the onions are golden brown and crisp.
    • Transfer to a paper towel to remove excess oil.
3.5, 2 reviews

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