Chicken Dum Biryani Recipe: How to make Chicken Dum Biryani Recipe at Home  | Homemade Chicken Dum Biryani Recipe - Times Food

Steps by steps making Chicken Dum Biryani

Chicken Dum Biryani is a majestic culinary delight that originates from the rich and historical cuisine of the Indian subcontinent, particularly popular in regions such as Hyderabad. This dish is much more than just a rice recipe; it’s an experience that brings together the intricate artistry of Mughal cooking techniques with the aromatic spices and flavors of India.

At the heart of Chicken Dum Biryani lies the unique “Dum” cooking method, where food is slow-cooked in a sealed, heavy-bottomed pot (traditionally, a handi) to steam in its own juices. This technique ensures that every layer of the biryani, from the marinated chicken at the bottom to the saffron-infused basmati rice on top, melds together in a harmonious blend of flavors, creating a dish that is both aromatic and intensely flavorful.

The preparation of Chicken Dum Biryani involves marinating chicken pieces in a mixture of yogurt, a rich array of spices including turmeric, chili powder, coriander, and garam masala, as well as fried onions, mint, and cilantro. The marinated chicken is then layered with partially cooked basmati rice, additional herbs, spices, and sometimes, edible rose water or kewra water for an extra fragrant touch. The sealed pot is then placed over a low flame, allowing the ingredients to cook slowly, preserving their natural aromas and flavors.

Chicken Dum Biryani Recipe

Chicken Dum Biryani Recipe: How to make Chicken Dum Biryani Recipe at Home  | Homemade Chicken Dum Biryani Recipe - Times Food

Chicken Dum Biryani

In traditional dum biryani, the rice and chicken are sealed in a pot and cooked over a slow fire. But here, the biryani is cooked in the oven to achieve the same flavor. This layered dum biryani with basmati rice and marinated chicken locks in loads of moisture; fried onions add crunch.
Prep Time 3 hours 30 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 10 minutes
Total Time 4 hours 40 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine Indian
Servings 6 people
Calories 942 kcal


  • 1 small bowl
  • 1 large skillet


  • 2 cups basmati rice rinsed with cool water until the water runs clear
  • 1 3-inch cinnamon stick
  • 5 green cardamom pods
  • 5 whole cloves
  • 1/2 teaspoon peppercorns
  • 1 dried bay leaf
  • Vegetable or corn oil for frying
  • 3 onions sliced
  • 1 whole chicken cut into pieces
  • 1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt
  • 2 teaspoons salt divided
  • 1 teaspoon red chile powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 6 cups water
  • Pinch saffron threads
  • 1 tablespoon boiling water
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro leaves
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh mint


  • Place the rice in a small bowl, cover it with cold water, and let soak for 30 minutes. Drain.
  • Line a plate with paper towels and set aside.
  • While the rice soaks, in a spice grinder or clean coffee grinder, combine the cinnamon, cardamom, cloves, peppercorns, and bay leaf and grind into a fine powder. Set aside.
  • In a large skillet over medium heat, heat 2 inches of oil until nearly shimmering.
  • Working in batches, add the onions and cook for 6 to 8 minutes until crisp and golden brown. Transfer to the paper towel–lined plate to drain. Set aside.
  • In a large bowl, combine the chicken, yogurt, 1 teaspoon of salt, the chile powder, turmeric, and about one-fourth of the fried onions. Add the spice powder and stir well to coat the chicken. Cover the bowl and refrigerate for 3 to 5 hours.
  • In a large pot over high heat, bring the six cups of water to a boil. Season the water with the remaining 1 teaspoon of salt. Pour the drained rice into the boiling water and cook for 5 to 7 minutes until fluffed but still slightly chewy in the middle. Drain in a colander. Set aside.
  • Preheat the oven to 350°F.
  • In a small bowl, crumble the saffron threads into small pieces and add the 1 tablespoon boiling water. Set aside.
  • In a large casserole dish or oven-proof pot, arrange the marinated chicken on the bottom. Sprinkle the cilantro and mint leaves over the chicken. Spread all but 1⁄4 cup of the remaining fried onions over the chicken.
  • Add half the cooked rice on top of the chicken, spreading it evenly across the dish.
  • In a medium bowl, stir together the remaining rice and saffron water. Spread this saffron rice over the plain rice. Top with the remaining 1⁄4 cup of fried onions.
  • Cover the dish tightly with aluminum foil and bake for 40 to 50 minutes, until the chicken’s juices run clear. Let cool for 5 minutes and serve.


Saffron is used in biriyani to give the rice a rich golden hue. If you can’t find it locally (or it doesn’t fit your budget), use about 1⁄2 teaspoon turmeric to color the rice and save a bit on the cost of the saffron in the process.
Keyword Chicken

Cooking Tips about Chicken Dum Biryani

Fail proof Chicken Dum Biryani Recipe - CurryTrail

  • Quality of Ingredients: Start with high-quality, fresh ingredients. Use good quality basmati rice for its long, fragrant grains, and choose chicken pieces with the bone in for more flavor.
  • Proper Rice Preparation: Rinse the basmati rice several times until the water runs clear to remove excess starch. Soak it for about 30 minutes before cooking to achieve the perfect texture. The rice should be parboiled (about 70% cooked) before layering.
  • Marinate the Chicken: For the deepest flavor, marinate the chicken for at least a few hours, preferably overnight. Use a mixture of yogurt, ginger-garlic paste, turmeric, chili powder, coriander, garam masala, and fried onions. The yogurt tenderizes the chicken, and the spices infuse it with flavor.
  • Layering Is Key: Chicken Dum Biryani is all about the layers. Start with a layer of chicken at the bottom of your heavy-bottomed pot (traditionally, a handi). Then add a layer of parboiled rice. Alternate with fried onions, mint, cilantro, saffron-infused milk for color and aroma, and dots of ghee for richness.
  • The Dum Process: ‘Dum’ refers to slow-cooking the biryani in a sealed pot to allow the ingredients to steam in their own juices. Seal the pot tightly with a lid. You can seal the edges with dough to trap the steam effectively. The biryani should cook over a very low flame. Placing the pot on a tava or griddle can help distribute heat more evenly and prevent burning.
  • Patience is Crucial: The dum process cannot be rushed. Allow the biryani to cook slowly to enable the flavors to meld together beautifully. This usually takes about 45 minutes to an hour.
  • Serve with Care: Once cooked, let the biryani sit for a few minutes, then open the lid. Gently mix the layers before serving to avoid breaking the rice grains.
  • Accompaniments: Serve Chicken Dum Biryani with raita (a yogurt-based condiment), mirchi ka salan (a spicy pepper curry), or a simple salad of onion rings and lemon wedges to complement the rich flavors of the biryani.

Serving suggestions about Chicken Dum Biryani

Chicken Dum Biryani -

  • With Raita: A cooling raita, which is a yogurt-based condiment mixed with cucumber, mint, or boondi (fried chickpea flour balls), helps to balance the rich and spicy flavors of the biryani. The coolness of the raita provides a delightful contrast to the heat of the biryani.
  • Mirchi Ka Salan: A Hyderabadi Chicken Dum Biryani often pairs beautifully with Mirchi ka Salan – a spicy and tangy gravy made with long green chilies. This combination enhances the rich taste of the biryani with its unique flavors.
  • Papadums or Papads: These crisp, wafer-thin side dishes made from lentil, rice, or potato flour serve as an excellent crunchy accompaniment to Chicken Dum Biryani, adding texture to the meal.
  • Pickles and Chutneys: A variety of pickles (Achaar) and chutneys can elevate the biryani experience. Lime pickle, mango chutney, or mint chutney offer tangy, sweet, or spicy notes that perfectly match the biryani’s intricate flavors.
  • Boiled Eggs: Boiled eggs, halved or quartered, can be a simple yet satisfying addition to a plate of Chicken Dum Biryani. They complement the protein-rich chicken and add another layer of texture to the dish.
  • Sliced Onions and Lemon Wedges: Raw sliced onions and lemon wedges on the side are not only refreshing but also aid in digestion. A squeeze of lemon juice over the biryani right before eating enhances its flavors.
  • Bagara Baingan: Another classic Hyderabadi dish, Bagara Baingan, consisting of eggplants cooked in a nutty and tangy gravy, makes for an excellent vegetarian side that complements the meaty richness of the biryani.
  • Roasted Nuts and Fried Onions: Sprinkling roasted cashews, almonds, or crispy fried onions over the biryani before serving adds crunch and an extra burst of flavor to each bite.
  • Cold Beverages: Considering the spiciness of Chicken Dum Biryani, cold beverages such as lassi (a yogurt-based drink), mint cooler, or simply chilled water can help soothe the palate.

Top 5 FAQs about Chicken Dum Biryani

Chicken Dum Biryani Hyderabadi Style | Murgh Dum Biryani - Masalakorb

  • What is Chicken Dum Biryani? Chicken Dum Biryani is a celebrated Indian dish known for its fragrant rice and tender marinated chicken pieces, cooked together in a sealed pot using the ‘Dum’ technique of slow cooking. This method allows the ingredients to steam in their own juices, infusing the rice with the spices and marinades, resulting in a harmonious blend of flavors and aromas. It’s especially popular in Hyderabad but enjoys widespread appreciation across the Indian subcontinent and beyond.
  • How does the ‘Dum’ cooking process work? The ‘Dum’ process is a traditional Indian method wherein food is cooked over a low flame in a heavy-bottomed pot, preferably a handi, which is tightly sealed, often with dough, to prevent the steam from escaping. This slow-cooking technique ensures that the meat within the biryani is thoroughly cooked in its own juices, and every layer melds together, creating a complex flavor profile that is aromatic and delightfully rich.
  • What are the key ingredients for Chicken Dum Biryani? High-quality ingredients are essential for making authentic Chicken Dum Biryani. These include good-quality basmati rice, chicken (preferably with bone for extra flavor), a marinade of yogurt and spices (such as turmeric, chili powder, coriander, garam masala), fried onions, mint, cilantro, and saffron-infused milk for color and aroma. Optionally, rose water or kewra water can be added for additional fragrance.
  • Can Chicken Dum Biryani be made less spicy? Yes, the spiciness of Chicken Dum Biryani can be adjusted according to personal preference. Reducing the amount of chili powder and using fewer green chilies in the marinade can help control the heat without significantly impacting the dish’s complex flavor profile. However, the traditional recipe does include a significant spice level that contributes to its distinctive taste.
  • What are some common sides to serve with Chicken Dum Biryani? Chicken Dum Biryani is often served with accompaniments that complement its rich flavors. These include raita (a yogurt-based condiment), mirchi ka salan (a spicy pepper curry), simple salad of onion rings, lemon wedges, papadums for some crunch, and various pickles and chutneys. Such sides help balance the richness of the biryani and introduce contrasting textures and flavors.

Chicken Dum Biryani stands as an emblematic dish of Indian gastronomy, embodying the richness and sophistication of the subcontinent’s culinary practices. More than merely a meal, it represents a tradition that has traversed ages, regions, and cultures, evolving yet retaining its core—a testament to the artistry of Mughal cooking techniques fused with the aromatic splendors of Indian spices.


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