Ustad Hotel Malabar Biryani Recipe

Being part Malayalee, I’ve cherished my stays in Kerala, especially during my childhood. Our ancestral house was in Pullurampara, a quaint village in Kozhikode. Along with my cousins, we spent our days building rudimentary swings and taking a dip in the stream behind our ancestral house. We were a mischievous lot, and as we grew up, we would sneak out to our car, a rickety Maruti 800 and drive to Kozhikode city to eat the famed biryani and catch a late-night movie. Malayalam films often have a powerful storyline and excellent actors, and are often remade into Bollywood (I’m looking at you Priyadarshan).

Memories Of Ustad Hotel

One of these excursions was to watch Ustad Hotel- a drama about a young man (Dulquer Salman) who goes against his family’s wishes and becomes a chef running a hotel along with his aged grandfather. The movie was delightful and had stellar performances by Dulquer and the late Thilakan. And as the title of the film suggests, food plays a major role in it.

To list the various dishes in the film would take age; we’ll progressively cover all of them. For now, we cast a spotlight to the Malabari biryani – the flagship dish at Ustad Hotel.

Serve this biryani as a dish for lunch with a side of raita.

Print Recipe
Biryani From Malabar
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Votes: 1
Rating: 5
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  1. Soak the rice in lukewarm water.
  2. Sauté the onions until golden brown in the ghee.
  3. Stir in the tomatoes and sauté until they soften.
  4. Stir in the ginger garlic paste, curd, biryani masala, turmeric powder and coriander powder.
  5. Stir in the chicken and cook for ten minutes.
  6. Take off the stove.
  7. Sauté the whole spices, onion, mint, coriander leaves, cashew nuts and bay leaves in a little ghee until brown.
  8. Pour in the milk and water and bring to a boil.
  9. Lower the heat, drain the rice and add it to the milk and water mixture
  10. Cook for 15 minutes until the liquid reduces.
  11. Remove half the rice into another container.
  12. Place pieces of the chicken on top of the lower bed of rice and then top with the removed rice.
  13. Allow the rice to cook for a further 4-5 minutes and take of the stove.
  14. Serve.


  • Karthik Venugopal
    December 18, 2016 1:42 pm

    How much water is to be added?

    • December 19, 2016 11:05 am

      Hi Karthik,

      You can add a litre of water.




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