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Hyderabadi Chicken Biryani

DSC 0246 e1368935961437 Hyderabadi Chicken Biryani

Hyderabadi Biriyani

Hyderabadi Chicken Biryani

A much sought after recipe.  The Hyderabadi Chicken Biryani has Mughal and Andhra influences. A truly flavorsome creation. Cooking the rice to a perfect  al-dente and adding the exact amount of salt to the chicken mariande are keys to the success of this dish.

Read about How Biriyani came to be.

 Hyderabadi Chicken Biryani


For the rice:

  • 4 cups Basmati Rice-washed thoroughly and drained(some recipes call for soaking the rice – I prefer not to)
  • Tie up the following whole spices in a square piece of muslin cloth , to make a spice  sachet often termed ‘Bouquet garni’-{6 cloves, 6 blk pepper corns, 6 Green cardamoms, 3 Black cardamoms, 2 Bay leaves, 1″ stick cinamon stick}
  • 1 tsp carraway seeds

For the chicken marinade:

  • 1 whole chicken cut into 8 – 10 pcschpdingredients2 300x199 Hyderabadi Chicken Biryani
  • 1 cup yoghurt
  • 2 Tbsp Ginger Garlic Paste
  • 2 green chillys (small variety), sliced
  • 2 Tbsp each of coriander and mint leaves
  • 1 Tbsp red chilly powder
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 1 tsp garam masala
  • 1 tsp powdered cardamom
  • 1 ½- 2 tsp salt (taste-test the marinade)
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • 4 Tbsp Ghee
  • 4 red onions, sliced finely (to fry)


  • Garnish: fried sultanas, fried cashews ,chopped min and coriander leaves
  • ¼ tsp saffron soaked in ¼cup milk
  • Garam masala powder and cardamom powder for seasoning
  • Plain flour to make the dough for the ‘dum'(sealed cooking)


  • Fry the onions in sufficient oil or ghee to a lovely golden brown. Drain. (Reserve 3 Tbsp fried onion for the garnish)
  • Apply the ginger garlic paste and salt to the chicken and rub well to marinate.→Set aside 15 minutes .(Make sure you  add sufficient salt (abt 2 tsp). There is no way to add seasoning once you’ve layered the rice)
  • Now add all the remaining ingredients for the marinade  to the chicken in a pot suitable for cooking the biriyani→  15-30  minutes.

The rice:

  • Bring another large pot with 10-12 cups of water to a boil. To this add our ‘Bouquet garni’- bundle of spices as well as carraway seeds and a fair amount of salt to season our boiling water(taste-test  the water:Remember that it needs to be quite salty for the ¾ done rice to absorb some of the salt).
  • Add the drained rice and allow to cook to al-dente (¾ cooked). Cook uncovered,Stir occasionally and check for doneness. Note:This doesnt take very long if added to boiling water. Keep and eye on it
  • It is important that you don’t cook the rice  all the way at this stage or the biriyani will end up mushy.
  • When the rice is ¾ cooked it will look cooked, there will be a bite left and it will crumble easily.
  • Now with a slotted spoon, layer the rice over the marinated chicken allowing a little of the rice stock to be added as well as you spoon over the rice( this will help to keep the biriyani moist). Add ¾ the rice. Drain the remaining rice and set aside .
  • Sprinkle 2 Tbsp of the remaining fried onion, 1 tsp Cardamom powder, ¼tsp Garam masala, 2 Tbsp each of mint and coriander leaves over the layered rice.
  • Layer the remaining strained rice over this. Sprinkle  the remainder of fried onion,¼ tsp garam masala,the saffron milk solution.

The Dum ( the sealed cooking method):

  • Mix the flour with enough water  and knead to a smooth pliable dough. Roll into a piping and cover the rim of the Biriyani pot all the way around. Press lightly with fingers.
  • Now place the lid  atop this dough rimming.
  • Cook on medium for about 15 minutes, till a steady steam shoots through any small opening in this ‘dough rim’
  • Then lower the heat and cook for another 5-8 minutes.(you may place a heated grill pan below the biriyani pot at this stage to ensure that the bottom layer does not burn)
  • Lift off the top and carefully scoop the rice from the bottom on one side to check doneness!! Do not be tempted to overcook the dish! – the chicken will be tender cooked. Leave undisturbed for 5 minutes. If you feel the rice is well cooked, you can transfer the top half to another baking tray or pan so that the dish doesnt over cook in its own steam.
  • Serve.

 Hyderabadi Chicken Biryani

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Fried Onion

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Marinade Ingredients

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Marinated Chicken

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Boiled Rice

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Layer of Chicken

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Layer of Rice

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The “Dum”- Sealed Cooking Method

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Move to Indirect Heat



















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You may also like:

 Malabar Chicken Biriyani  ,  Kachi Biriyani  Biriyani Wiki

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