Hyderabadi Chicken Dum Biryani: A Sumptuous Dish You Must Try
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No matter what comes and goes, when you talk about a spoiling and lavish rice and chicken meal, it's always going to be Biryani. And on top of it, is Hyderabadi Chicken Dum Biryani whose mere sight leaves one drooling. This Biryani is a legacy in itself, surfeit with gripping aroma and flavours of whole spices at every step of the preparation starting from marinating chicken to preparing rice. This Biryani is also known for being cooked by the dum-pukht technique where chicken pieces are richly marinated with whole spices, powdered spices, fried onions, herbs, oil and curd. Some care and attention go into layering the rice on top of the chicken as it's layered in order of being cooked least to the most from the bottom-most layer.

The sumptuous and eclectic mix of beautiful spices enriched Hyderabadi Biryani or Kacchi Biryani has cultural elements of both Mughal cuisine of the 1630s and Nizam’s cuisine which ruled from the 18th-20th century. According to one legend, the chef of Nizam-ul-Mulk, Asaf Jah I, is said to have created the Hyderabadi biryani. 

This Biryani is traditionally prepared with raw meat or kachi gosht of lamb or chicken, and is marinated with spices overnight and then soaked in curd (dahi) before cooking. The meat is layered at the bottom-most of the vessel with several layers of aromatic basmati rice. Then this Biryani is cooked ‘in dum’ on slow heat after tightly covering the vessel with dough. 

Preparation time: 2½ hrs 

Cooking time: 1 hour 

Servings: 3 to 4


For rice:

  • ½ kg basmati rice
  • 1 bay leaf
  • A handful of mint leaves
  • 10-12 peppercorns
  • 1 tsp shahi jeera
  • 3 cardamoms
  • 2 small pieces of cinnamon
  • 1-star anise
  • 1 black cardamom
  • 1 maze
  • ½ cup ghee
  • Salt, to taste

For marinating the chicken:

  • ½ kg chicken
  • ½ tsp turmeric powder
  • 2 tsp red chilli powder
  • 1 tsp garam masala powder
  • 3 tsp chopped coriander
  • 4-5 green chillies
  • 2 tbsp ginger garlic paste
  • Barista or crisply fried biryani made of 4 large onions
  • 1½ cup curd
  • Juice half a lemon
  • 2 small pieces of cinnamon
  • 4 cardamom
  • 1 tsp shahi jeera
  • 5 cloves
  • ½ cup oil
  • Mint leaves


  • Transfer the washed chicken to the vessel, in which the chicken needs to be cooked.
  • Start marinating it by pouring lemon juice into it.
  • Then add turmeric powder, chilli powder, garam masala powder, salt, ¾ of the barista and ginger-garlic paste.
  • Then add shahi jeera, whole green chillies, chopped coriander leaves, chopped mint leaves and curd to it and mix everything well so that all the spices combine well with the chicken pieces. 
  • To this add ½ cup oil to it and combine with other ingredients. Marinate it for 20 minutes.
  • In another pot, boil water, and add all the whole spices and salt.
  • Once the water boils, add the soaked rice to it and cook until the rice is 75% cooked.
  • Meanwhile, add a handful of chopped coriander and mint leaves over the chicken marinade in the pot.
  • Add the rice in three layers over the chicken marinade while it's still boiling in the water.
  • Add the first layer and let the rest of the rice cook for 2 minutes, then add the second layer and let the remaining rice cook for another 2-3 minutes.
  • Add ghee between each layer.
  • After 3 minutes add the last layer of the leftover rice.
  • After adding 3 layers of rice add the leftover ghee and orange food colour over the rice.
  • Then add the leftover Barista over it.
  • Add ½ cup over it and wrap the vessel with aluminium foil and then cover the vessel with a lid to seal it perfectly.
  • Cook it for 10 minutes on medium flame and cook for another 30-35 minutes on low flame.

Open the lid after 45 minutes, and serve hot.