Chicken Dum Biryani

Recipe for Chicken Dum Biryani

Biryani is a rice dish in which rice and meat are cooked together and combined with various spices. It is a complete dish and is usually eaten with Raita ( spiced yoghurt) and Mirchi Ka Salan (spicy gravy).

Biryani is one of India’s most popular dishes; each state has its version of Biryani. Some of the most popular Biryanis are those from Hyderabad, Lucknow, and West Bengal. These Biryanis don’t just differ in taste because of the variation in the use of spices; they also differ in the cooking method.

Traditionally Biryanis have been made with rice and meat. However, due to the vast vegetarian population in India, vegetarian Biryani is also quite popular. Other variations are Mushroom Biryani & Egg Biryani.

The recipe that I am sharing today is Chicken Biryani. It is easy to make and doesn’t take much time.

I am breaking the process into four parts:

PART 1: Marinating the Chicken

PART 2: Preparing the Rice.

PART 3: Preparing the Chicken

PART 4: Assembling the Biryani

With the quantity of ingredients mentioned below, you can make Biryani for 8 people.

PART 1: Marinating the Chicken

Ingredients needed:

  1. Chicken with bones: 1500 gm, cut into chunks
  2. Yoghurt: 500 gm
  3. Ginger-Garlic paste: 4 tablespoons
  4. Turmeric Powder: 2 teaspoons
  5. Kashmiri Red Chili Powder: 4 teaspoons
  6. Garam Masala: 1 teaspoon
  7. Coriander Powder: 2 tablespoons
  8. Biryani Masala: 3 tablespoons
  9. Salt: 2 teaspoons
  10. Fresh Coriander leaves: 2 tablespoons
  11. Juice of 1 lemon

Method to marinate the chicken:

  1. In a bowl, mix all the ingredients mentioned in the list. Give it a good mix.

  2. Cover and rest the mixture in the fridge for 24 hours. If you have not planned ahead and want to make the biryani immediately, try to keep it for at least 1 hour before you start cooking the chicken.

PART 2: Preparing the Rice

Ingredients needed:

  1. Basmati rice: 5 Cups, washed and soaked for at least 30 minutes
  2. Water: About 15 cups
  3. Salt: 1/2 teaspoon
  4. Bay leaves: 2
  5. Black Cardamom: 2-3
  6. Cloves: 4-5


  1. In an open cooking pot, boil water. Then add rice.
  2. Add salt, bay leaves, black cardamom and cloves.

  3. Let the rice cook. Stir gently once or twice.
  4. When the rice is 90% done, strain the water out. Let the rice cool completely.

PART 3: Preparing the chicken

Ingredients needed:

  1. Oil: 6 tablespoons
  2. Onions: 5 medium-sized, chopped
  3. Green Chilies: 2-3
  4. Tomato: 3 medium-sized, chopped
  5. Salt: 1 teaspoon
  6. Marinated Chicken


  1. In a pan, heat the oil.
  2. Add onions and green chillies. Fry them till the onions brown a bit.

  3. Add tomatoes. Add salt. Reduce the heat, cover with a lid and cook till the oil gets released.

  4. Add the marinated chicken and cook till the chicken is 90% cooked.

PART 4: Assembling the Biryani

Ingredients needed:

  1. Cooked rice
  2. Prepared chicken
  3. Ghee: 4 tablespoons for putting between the layers and one teaspoon for greasing the pot.
  4. Around 20 strands of saffron soaked in 1/2 cup of warm milk
  5. Fried onions: Prepared by frying four big onions cut into thin slices

  6. Fresh coriander leaves chopped: 3 tablespoons.
  7. Fresh mint leaves chopped: 6 tablespoons.
  8. Ginger: Cut into thin slices, 10-12 slices
  9. Lemon Juice: from 1 lemon
  10. Salt: 2 pinches to sprinkle between the layers


  1. Take a thick-bottomed cooking pot and grease it from all sides with ghee.

  2. Now divide the prepared chicken into two parts. Put one part in the cooking pot and spread it.

  3. Now divide the cooked rice also into two parts. Put one part above the chicken layer and spread it.

  4. Garnish the rice layer with 1/2 the amount ( mentioned above) of ginger, coriander leaves, mint leaves, fried onions, saffron milk, lemon juice and ghee. Sprinkle one pinch of salt.

  5. Cover this with the rest of the chicken.

  6. Cover the chicken with the rest of the rice. Garnish the rice layer with the same ingredients as mentioned in step 4.

  7. Now cover the pot.
  8. Heat an iron pan. When fully hot, reduce the heat. Place the Biryani pot on the pan and let it slow cook ( cooking in dum) for about 15-20 minutes. Ensure that the heat is low to medium, else the chicken at the bottommost layer will burn.

  9. Remove and serve. While serving, dig down vertically to ensure you get all the layers. You can have the Biryani as is or serve it with Raita and Mirchi Ka Salan.

    Chicken Dum Biryani

Some additional Notes:

  1. The same recipe can be used for making Lamb/Mutton Biryani too.
  2. Basmati rice works best for Biryani. If you are using any other rice, ensure it’s not sticky.
  3. Ensure that that rice is cooled before you start assembling the Biryani.
  4. Use at least 3.5% Fat yoghurt for marination.
  5. Always soak saffron in warm milk for it to release its colour.
  6. The taste of Biryani develops with time. So, if you wish to serve Biryani for lunch, make it in the morning. Before serving, heat the Biryani using the method mentioned in Point 8 of PART 4 of the recipe.

Check out other recipes from my kitchen here.

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