Kallai Kadavathe Kanava (Koonthal) Biryani / Kerala Style Squid Biryani

A great & unique one pot seafood meal that is full of appetizing & aromatic flavors from the whole spices, garam masala, & the flavorful basmati rice that one can to gorge on guilt free! 


Squid rings / koonthal / kanava- 1/2 kg
Onion- 4 large, thinly sliced
Tomatoes- 2, finely chopped
Green chilies- 3, finely chopped
Ginger-garlic paste – 2 tsp
Turmeric powder- 1/2 tsp
Chili powder- 1 tsp
Garam masala powder- 2 tsp
Coriander powder- 2 tsp
Peppercorns- 4
Yogurt- 3 tbsp
Basmati rice- 2 cups
Cardamom- 4
Cloves- 4
Cinnamon- 2 pieces
Stay anise- 2
Bay leaves- 2
Lemon juice- 2 tsp
Ghee- 2 tbsp
Oil- As needed
Salt- To taste

Method: Wash and soak rice for 15-20 minutes. Drain the rice and keep it aside. In a large vessel, boil water and add cardamom, cloves, cinnamon, bay leaves, peppercorns, 1 tsp of ghee, lemon juice, and salt. When the water start to boil, add the drained rice and cook until it is about 80% done. Drain and keep it aside.

Clean and wash the squid rings. Marinate it with chili powder, turmeric powder, garam masala powder, and salt for at least 25-30 mins. Pressure cook the marinated squid for 2 whistles and keep it aside. Heat oil in a pan. Add sliced onions and green chilies and saute until translucent. Add ginger- garlic paste and saute until the raw smell goes away. Add chopped tomatoes and saute until soft and mushy. Add turmeric powder, chili powder, garam masala, coriander powder, and salt. Fry until the oil starts to separate. Add the cooked squid and mix well. Cover with a lid and cook on medium flame for 5-8 mins, stirring occasionally. Add the yogurt and mix well. Cook for another 2-3 mins until the gravy is thick. Remove from flame and keep this aside.

In a biryani pot, apply melted ghee. Add a layer of the cooked rice. Spread the squid masala and ghee. Spread the remaining rice as the top layer. Cover with a tight lid and cook on low the flame for 10-20 mins. Remove from flame and keep it aside for 10 mins. Yummy squid biriyani is ready to serve.


*Make sure not to overcook the squid or else it will become rubbery.

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