Clams (Kakka Irachi) Biriyani / Elambakka Biriyani


1 kg clams, cleaned

For Marination:

1 tsp chilli powder
1/4 tsp turmeric powder
salt to taste
oil, for frying

For Clams Masala:

5 onions, thinly sliced
7-8 green chillies
8-10 garlic cloves
2 ” piece ginger
3 tomatoes, chopped
1 tsp chilli powder
1/4 tsp turmeric powder
1 sprig curry leaves
1/2 cup coriander leaves
1 1/2 tbsp lemon juice
3/4-1 tsp garam masala
salt to taste
2 tbsp oil

For Rice:

1 cup onion, sliced
1/4 cup oil, for frying onion
3 tbsp ghee
2 cup basmati rice/ jeerakasala rice
3 1/2 cup water
3 cloves
3 cardamoms
2 piece cinnamon
salt to taste


For  Rice:

  1. Wash and drain the rice. Boil the water and keep it aside.
  2. Heat 1/4 cup oil and 3 tbsp ghee in a thick bottomed pan and fry 1 cup sliced onion until it turns golden and keep it aside.
  3. To prepare the rice, in the same pan ( used for frying onion) add cardamom, cinnamon and cloves and fry.
  4. Add drained rice to this and saute for 4-5 minutes on medium flame. Add boiled water and salt, cover and cook on low flame till rice is done.
For Clams Masala:
  1. Clean the clams and marinate it with 1 tsp chilli powder, 1/4 tsp turmeric powder and salt and keep it aside for 10-15 minutes.
  2. Heat oil in a pan and shallow fry the clams until golden in colour and keep it aside.
  3. Crush ginger, garlic and green chillies together and keep it aside.
  4. Heat a pressure cooker and add little oil and add thinly sliced onions, turmeric powder and chilli powder and saute well till onion turns transparent.
  5. Add ginger-garlic-green chilli paste to the onions and saute well till the raw smell disappears.
  6. Add chopped tomatoes and saute well till it turns soft.
  7. Add little water, curry leaves and enough salt to this and pressure cook for 2-3 whistles.
  8. Once the pressure releases, open the cooker and add fried clams, lemon juice, 1/4 cup chopped coriander leaves and half of the fried onions, mix well and cook for few minutes in low flame.
  9. Then layer the cooked rice over the prepared clams masala.
  10. Add the remaining fried onions , 1/4 cup coriander leaves and 3/4 tsp garam masala over the rice as the top layer and sprinkle saffron milk/ little yellow food color mixed with 1 1/2 tbsp milk.
  11. Cover with an aluminium foil and close with a tight lid. Then cook on low flame for 10-15 minutes.
  12. Remove from flame and serve with raita, pickle and pappadum….


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