Hyderabadi chicken biryani

This is not the authentic Hyderabadi, but just my interpretation. It was on my to-do list for a long time now. Finally last Sunday, when I wanted to get out of my busy office work and relax a bit, I decided to make a delicious lunch for us. I decided to make something elaborate, so that by the time it was done, I would have had a nice break from computers and laptops :).

I am dedicating this post to my dad. My parents are celebrating their 35th wedding anniversary on 30th of this month. Today while talking to them, dad mentioned chicken. He loves chicken dishes, but it is rarely prepared at home as they can’t finish it all themselves, also, we don’t get chicken in small quantities at my native. You have to buy a whole chicken. When my bro or I visit, aayi makes her signature chicken gravy – which is like out of this world. So here is this recipe for dad, I will cook this for him, during my next visit to them (I at least ‘wish’ to cook, it is another story that I don’t enter kitchen when aayi is around).

Now, coming back to this recipe. I followed an elaborate method. I made it dum style, with the dough and all. It is cooked on a very low flame. The final result was just amazing. It was one of the best chicken biryanis I cooked so far.

1 cup sliced onion (fried in oil till crisp)
1/2 lb chicken

Chicken marination:
3 tbl spn chopped coriander leaves
2 tbl spn chopped mint leaves
1/2 tea spn ginger paste
1/2 tea spn garlic paste
3 green chillies
1/2 tea spn red chilli powder
4 cloves powdered
1″ cinnamon powderd
1/2 tea spn cumin powder
1/2 tea spn coriander powder
1/2 cup thick yogurt

Add all the marinade ingredients and 1/4 cup fried onion to chicken pieces and leave it aside for about 1hr (in refrigerator).

For rice:
1 and 1/2 cups basmati rice
1/4 cup onion
2 and 1/2 cups water (a little less than required to cook rice completely)
2 cloves
1″ cinnamon
2 cardamom
2 bay leaves
1/2 tea spn ginger paste
1/2 tea spn garlic paste
1/2 tea spn green chilli paste
1/4 tea spn turmeric

Heat ghee and add cloves, cinnamon, cardamom, bay leaves, ginger-garlic paste, green chilli paste, turmeric, onion and fry for a few minutes. Now add the rice and fry for 2-3 minutes. Then add salt water and let it cook.

Putting everything together
Heat ghee in a thick bottomed pan and add marinated chicken. Fry for about 2mins. If chicken leaves some water, that is fine.
Spread half the quantity of rice, followed by 1/2 the quantity of fried onion. You can add 1/4 cup water just to make sure the rice is completely cooked.
Spread remaining rice and then onion.
Cover the lid and seal the edges with dough. Cook on a medium low flame for about 30-45mins.

Serves : 2-3
Preparation time: 1 and 1/2 hrs

– I add very less chicken as we don’t eat a lot of chicken. You can possibly increase the amount to 1 lb(0.45kg).
– Usually saffron is used for the biryani, which gives a beautiful color. I didn’t have it on hand, so I used turmeric for the yellow color. If using saffron, soak it in little warm milk and add it to rice while layering rice and onions.
– The dough is made by mixing 1 cup flour with water (I used wheat flour). I keep the pan on a tava to give it two layers of thickness. I have an old worn out tava which is used for just this.
– I add 1 and 1/2 cup water for 1 cup rice while cooking rice instead of adding more water and draining it as done traditioanlly. Adding less water and cooking till water is absorbed, avoids overcooking of rice and also, since water is not drained out, all the spices/ghee used remains with the rice.














83 thoughts on “Hyderabadi chicken biryani”

  1. Hey Shilpa, I have been visiting your site daily for last couple of months now !! I admire what you are doing and really appreciate your efforts. You are so genuine and I just love your site. I did not enjoy cooking until I found your site but now I love cooking, thanks to you, you have inspired me to cook good healthy meals for my family. Thank you and all my best wishes t9o you and your family. Chicken biryani seems so tempting !!!! I will try it soon.

  2. just one question – dont we have to add double water to cook rice ?

    Shilpa: If 2 cups of water is added, the rice gets cooked completely, which we don’t want. The extra 1/4 cup water added to chicken and the water left by the chicken is enough for cooking the rice completely. Traditionally, the rice is cooked till it is half done by adding more water and then water is drained off. But by this, you need to to know when to stop cooking. A little bit more cooking can make the rice mushy, not suitable for biryanis. So I use only 1 and 1/2 cups water(per 1 cup rice) which is not enough to cook it completely.

  3. Hi Shilpa,

    Very nice reciepe. One question tough… What is the significance of the atta (dough) that you have wrapped, while cooking ?

    Thanks in advance…

    Shilpa: It seals all the flavors inside the biryani, as the ends of the vessel are sealed with atta, the fumes do not escape from the vessel. Alternatively, you can just keep a heavy stone on top of the closed vessel

  4. Dum does infuse a lot of Dum to the taste 😉
    Love biryanis of all sort, and my mom used tomake Mutton(Goat meat) biryanis in such elaborate way, and many times we use to say some mutton chops from curry to pester mom to cook this with leftovers
    Feeling hungry….it has been ages since i last tasted this flavorful biryani…. lovely looking biryani here….

  5. hi shilpa,

    Greetings.i used to try your recipes. could you please send Hyderabadi vegetable biriyani recipe ? or any alterations to this recipe? thanks

  6. shaikhmohammed

    in few words, if i have say some thing then it is-divine- out of the world. we cook the biryani this way only. thanks.

  7. Hi Shilpa,

    I tried this yesterday for dinner and it turned out perfect. I literally had no share left for myself ! My family enjoyed it. Thanks once again for such awesome mouthwatering recipes and the step by step photos.

  8. dear shilpa,
    Is it enough to fry chicken for 2-3 mins ? or at this point you
    have to cook it till is done completely ? then spread over rice afterwards ? and your procedure with dough to follow

    pl clarify , thanks

    Shilpa: Yes, the chicken gets cooked after u layer with rice and cook it.

  9. Poornima Prabhu

    Hi Shilpa
    As always u’r recipes and pics have left me drooling.Best wishes to u’r parents on their anniversary.As u said when mom is around v hardly enter the kitchen.
    Why don’t u give up u’r job and start u’r own authentic restaurant?? v will b only too happy to frequent it if u open it here in B’lore:)

  10. The Biryani looks really delicious. I visit your website regularly to check if you have posted anything new and I make sure that I try it. Everytime I tried your recipe, it has always come out great!! Will try the biryani tonight. Thank you!!!

  11. Wow Shilpa this one looks yum. I have been looking for a good chicken recipe, sure will try this soon.

    My wishes to your parents.

  12. radhika kamath

    i was in hyderabad1 they serve this dum biriyani with a nice gravy. can u please tell me how to prepare that.

    Shilpa: I don’t have the recipe as of now, I will post it if I get one.

  13. I tried out the Hyderabadi Biryani yesterday and it was really fun to see my family enjoying it so much.

    I have been following your blog for a year now and I must say that every dish i tried out from your blog has turned out to be great. Thanks 🙂

  14. Ashwini Shenoy

    Hi Shilpa
    I tried out this recipe last night … Did it exactly the way you described and it came out fantastic ! Thank you so much for such a great biryani and pictures too … They remind me of the way RR and other Andhra restaurants present their biryani.

  15. Hi Shilpa,
    I always use pudinah leaves along with fried onions which is called birishta to season any biryani.. it gives a tasty flavor to the dish.. instead of saffron, i use green edible color mixed in lemon juice and sprinkle over every layer of rice.. the dough dum or keeping weight on lid serves good tip.. will try this.. i always steam the rice with lots of water and make sure it doesn’t overcook.. add the color and oil(tari) of chicken/mutton gravy and then make layers.. and lemony tastes enhances it all..
    the photos are very demonstrative.. hats off for your efforts..

  16. While frying the chicken, do you also add the remaining yogurt marinade ?

    I especially liked this recipe bcos it does not involve grinding the marinade ingredients – so simple, yet captures all the flavours of a biryani !!!

    Did you use boneless chicken or with bones?

    Hubby loves Biryani, generally mutton biryani, but have got to try this out on him !!!

    Thanks for a wonderful, yet simple recipe !!!

    Shilpa: Yes, you have to add chicken along with all marinade. I used boneless, but chicken with bones can also be used.

  17. Hi! Very nicely taken and displayed pictures. Will try the veg version surely. Do visit my newly made blog. Awaiting your comments.

  18. Hi,

    Is parboiled basmathi rice is normal basmati rice?i am having par boiled one 🙁 Can i make this with parboiled basmathi rice?

    Shilpa: Sorry, I don’t know. I haven’t used parboiled basmati rice any time.

  19. Hi Shilpa,

    Gr8 recipes. I am a konkani too. And this site has helped me cook all those dishes my nanna used to. Just love amchi food. Specially the vali ambat. Thanks a lot for this site.

  20. Hello

    Thanks for this wonderful smackalicious recipe!

    I tried it and it was AWESOME! All in my family loved it.
    I am so proud of myself to get a biryani so wonderfully yum! 😀
    (Maybe m rambling way tooo much, but yea, it was THAT good! )
    Keep posting such delicious recipes…

  21. Dear Shilpa,

    You have first said 1&1/2 cups rice : 1&1/2 cups water equal qty.
    Last you have said 1 cup rice : 1/2 cup water. Can you please clarify this for me.

    Also, how can we mutton Biryani in the same way? Mutton needs time to cook. Will 35-45 medium low flame “dum” is enough to cook the mutton. Please advise…….Very keen in making Mutton Biryani, as chicken doesnt suit this weather.

    Thanks and Regards,


    Shilpa: Nirmala, thanks for the correction. It is 1 and 1/2 cups water per 1 cup rice. I have updated it now. I have no clue about mutton as I don’t cook it at home.

  22. Hey Shilpa,

    Thanx for the wonderful recipe… hd prepared it last saturday n was absolute hit …. served it with cucumber-tomato-onion dahi raita n hubs absolutely lvd it …. was really simple to follow the steps u mentioned … thanx again 🙂


  23. Hi Shilpa,

    Thanks once again for a wonderful Hyedrabadi Biryani.. I tried this recipe out yesterday and it was an absolute hit in the family.. Although u say that its not authentic, it was flaovoured and tasted exactly like the Hyderbadi biryani my andhrite friend prepares.. and she follows her mother’s recipe to the T.
    I cut up a whole chicken and marinated for more than an hour in the fridge. I then divided the chicken into 2 portions and fried them separately (I did not have too much liquid when the chicken was frying). One batch was frying in a dutch oven and the other in a pan. I just transferred 1/2 the rice over the chicken in the dutch oven and then the fried chicken from the frying pan, and topped it with remaining rice and fried onions. I then transferred the DO into the oven and cooked at 300F for about 45 minutes. The result was simply amazing!! a little crispy on the sides and bottom (next time I will add a little chicken broth and lower oven the temp) and very moist and juicy otherwise. Real Hyderbadi Dum Biryani!!
    Thanks again!!

  24. hi shilpa,
    am new to ur site,was just goin through, this recipe seemed interesting, thought ‘ll write it down, noticed that qnty. of onion for rice is not mentioned,thougt ‘ll let u knw, any way going to cook it, ‘ll come bak nd let u knw hw did it go.

    Shilpa: Thanks. Updated.

  25. Hello Shilpa,

    Of all the things, the pictures you have put up to describe the “algorithm” for a biryani recipe is amazing!! Compliments to you for this!!

    I must say, you have done an awesome job in compiling and presenting this wonderful recipe.

    Way to go.

    thanks for sharing.

    best wishes

  26. Hi Shilpa,

    Just made it today, to serve 6, so I doubled all the ingredients apart from coriander (can’t abide the tase of it) nor can my family/friends.
    What would you suggest as an alternative to coriander?

    I seal the pot with aluminium foil and then place the pot lid on top, has the same desired effect as your dough seal.

    Got confused with your step by step recipe, wasn’t too sure about the rice part, do I cook the rice first then add the condiments or do I add the condiments in water and then cook together with the rice? Anyway cut a long story short it turned out appetising and succesful. Many thanks for sharing your recipe.

    Shilpa: I don’t see any replacements for coriander leaves. It is the ingredient that gives the characteristic taste/aroma to this recipe.
    As mentioned in the recipe, you have to add condiments in oil/ghee and then add rice(uncooked). Add water and salt and let it cook.

  27. We tried couple of times to get right combination. After going to this site, our biryani came excellent. thanks for the receipe….. I am regular viewer of the site and shared to many of my friends especially north canara friends…..

    Thanks again!

  28. hello madam,

    I’m kiran and a great lover of Chicken biryani. You have explained the preparation of Chicken Biryani in a way that even a bachelor like me followed and and got 100% result and satisfaction. Thank You very much

  29. Being a great fan of Hyderabadi Briyani have been trying out since long, Today got lucky as I hit your site and had the privilege of making Briyani.
    It came out really nice.

    Thank you very much!

  30. tried this recipe and it was wonderful… would also like to compliment u on providing us with these delicious recipes, and providing a pictorial representation that assists newbies like us….

  31. Hi Shilpa
    First of all Thanks to give this receipy with picture.
    I have one question
    Is it compulsory to seal the edges with dough.
    Will I prepare Hyderabadi chicken biryani in normal pressure cocker

    1. Dough is not necessary, it is optional. Yes, you can make in pressure cooker, but biryanis usually come out good when you slow cook them on stove instead of normal pressure cooker

  32. You have the most amazing collection of recipes. I tried this recipe 3 times and every single time, my friends have relished this dish! Thanks!

  33. This is a fantastic recipe. I have tried several recipes on the net and yours was perfect. I added a little lemon juice into the chicken marinade to soften the meat a little more. But other than I obeyed your recipe completely.

    Thank you for this! You made my Sunday!

  34. Hi Shilpa,

    Your website is so amazing! I’ve tried so many dishes on your blog it’s not even funny. Big thanks to you for making cooking entertaining each day!!!
    This biryani looks so delicious..i shall be trying this tomorrow for certain 🙂

  35. Hi Shilpa,
    Great recipe… plan to try it soon.. one query though.. You’ve mentioned 2 layers of rice, is this only separated by the fried onions? And all the chicken mixture is at the bottom of the pan? Or do we layer in some chicken in the middle of the rice as well?
    Thanks a ton..

  36. I have cooked Biryani many times but today i tried your recipe and to my surprise it came out good for the first time( as I expected)and my friends appreciated me a lot. It took less time compared to my earlier preparations. Thanks for such an easy and excellent recipe.Keep posting!!!!

  37. Hi, thanks to your awesome recipe my in-laws are now great fan to my biryani 😉 Prepared just the way you said and it came out so beautifully that I really cannot thank you enough! 🙂

  38. Hello!
    I think u made my problem solved as some people are coming to my home tomorrow.I wanted to try something different.I got this site and soon will let u know want happened.

  39. Hello,
    Tried out your recipe. tasted very good.Except I heated the biryani for about 45 mins on medium -low (electric stove) and ended up burning the chicken.

    Q – Should i just heat it for lesser time or should i place the chicken in between layers of rice and cook for 45 mins or do i cook the chicken separately and layer it with rice. Please help here.

    I ended up making the gravy (like you mentioned in the other biryani recipe) which tasted very good with this biryani.

    Thanks again for a wonderful recipe as always..

  40. Hello Shilpa,
    Could you please write a recipe on Mutton Biryani?
    I used to go through your website always whenever I think of to try something new…
    Please write mutton biryani recipe…
    Because I am very much fond of mutton….

  41. Hi,
    Shilpa thanks we tried out your recipe it came out well but small concern, is that i had put 2 glass of water per glass of rice but finally biriyani became pongal with chicken pieces . can you please guide us how much of water should me pour for 6 glass rice. Can we prepare this with normal rice as well.

  42. Thanks for the wonderful receipe… Seems easy and different too…shall try at home… One question how long shld we boil the rice, is it on low flame till water dries up..in most other recipes they say rice shld be 3/4th cook to let the rest being cooked with chicken..plz advise

    1. Yes, cook till water is done. Traditionally more water is added and when it is 3/4th cooked, you remove the water. I always mess up at this stage. So I prefer to add less water and cook till water is done – here rice is 3/4th cooked because less water is used. It gets completely cooked later with chicken.

  43. Amazing recipe! We also fried big size potatoes and put in the layer along with the fried onions. It was simply delicious. Thank you for the recipe.

  44. Chef Gowtham Karingi

    lovely recipe.

    When you are sealing with atta, make sure you knead the dough little tight and you should seal by placing the dough on the rim, so that the lid can sit on the dough perfectly.
    First wet the rim of the vessel and then lay the stretched dough around on the rim, and gently press the lid and leave a weight on top. Use a weight to press the lid well, A container filled with hot water will also work as a weight.

  45. Tried this biryani today.. its wonderful. Thanks a lot for sharing the steps.
    We just made two change to the procedure though,
    1.Soaked basmati rice for about half an hour before preparation.
    2.Replaced green chilly paste with red chilly powder for cooking rice

  46. If anyone here is a fan of rice then I recommend trying this delicious Afghani Rice Recipe . The outstanding post that you do are of high quality. I don’t post comment more often, but I want to share my view to let you know you people have done it right by making this site.

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