Homemade Hyderabadi Dum Biryani

Eid Mubarak! 

Food is our religion and kitchen is our place of worship! Food devotees like us are always looking for a reason to attempt something that we love but haven't made in our kitchen yet. So, we decided to celebrate Id this year by cooking the must-know-how-to-make Hyderabadi dum biryani. 

After gorging on delicious biryani from Paradise in Hyderbad, biryani from the finest places in Delhi has never been able to impress us. The quality of rice use in Hyderabadi biryani is better, the flavours are just subtle and not overpowering. The chicken is succulent and the aroma is completely intoxicating. Maybe the way its made in Delhi is closer to how its done in Lucknow, but whatever the reason, we keep craving the version we started to adore during our stay in Hyderabad

For a long time, we were itching to cook the Hyderabad style biryani at home and we finally did it after some (a lot!) research and brainstorming. We found a way to give a smoky flavour to the chicken and also a way to introduce the minced chicken effect which the north Indian versions lack so much.

A separate level of energy is required to cook this really involved recipe but if done right, the effort is truly worth it. So do try it on a free weekend when the focus is taste vs. rest.

This recipe serves around 4

Day - 1

For Marination:

1 whole chicken (with bones) (900 gms)
200 gms minced chicken - The thing that makes it truly Hyderabadi
2/3rd cup Yogurt
1/3 tsp Red chilli powder
1 tsp Green chilli paste (3-4 chillies)
2 ½ tsp Salt
½ tsp Turmeric
2 Tomato, medium sized, pureed
Fresh Garlic paste - 15 big cloves minced
½ Cup Freshly squeezed Lemon Juice
1 ½ tsp Garam Masala
8 Green Cardamom (powdered)
1 tsp Dry roasted Cumin seed powder
1 tsp Dry roasted Coriander seed powder
2 tbsp Fresh Coriander - roughly chopped
2 tbsp Fresh Mint - roughly chopped

1. In a large bowl marinate whole chicken and minced chicken with all the ingredients. Make sure all the pieces of chicken are coated in the marinade.
2. Cover and leave in the fridge overnight.
Day - 2

Adding fried onions to marinated chicken:

½ kg Onions - thinly sliced - roughly 10 medium sized onions
2 tbsp Ghee / Olive oil

1. Remove chicken from fridge to bring it to room temperature.
2. In a deep pan, add oil and fry onions till golden brown.
3. Add ½ of the fried onions to marinating chicken and save remaining half for the layers
4. Add ½ the oil used to fry onions to marinating chicken and ½ for garnishing.

For giving smoky flavor to chicken:

1  - 2 inch sized piece of coal
1 tsp Ghee

1. Cover a small steel bowl with foil and place it in the centre of marinating chicken after making a well. With the help of tongs, carefully put the burning charcoal into the foil covered bowl.
2. Pour about a teaspoon of ghee onto the charcoal. Dense fumes will start forming.
3. Immediately cover the bowl with a lid, so that the fumes do not escape. Keep it aside until you prepare the rice.

For preparing rice:

2 ½ cups of basmati rice
Salt - 3 tsp
2 Bay leaf/Tej Patta
3 Cloves
4  Green cardamom
¾ inch stick Cinnamon stick
1 tsp Jeera
7 cups Water

1. Wash the rice and soak it in surplus water for about 30 minutes.
2. In a large cooking pot pour in water along with cloves, bay leaf, cardamom, cinnamon, Jeera and salt. Give it a stir, cover and let it come to a boil.
3. Once boiling add the rice and mix gently, let the rice cook until it is half done, 2-3 minutes. Drain the rice and keep aside.

For arranging layers:

Marinating Chicken
½ cup Mint leaves – roughly chopped
½ cup Coriander leaves – roughly chopped
Half cooked rice prepared earlier
2 tsp Ghee 
10 Saffron strands soaked in 1/4 cup warm milk
4 Green Cardamom - powdered 
Dough to seal the edges of the cooking dish

1. Remove charcoal from chicken carefully.
2. In a heavy bottomed cooking dish, pour some ghee at the bottom and arrange the marinating chicken along with all its juices in a single layer. Do not crowd it. Save some marinated minced chicken. Add half of the coriander leaves on top.
 3. Spread the chopped mint leaves and coriander
4. Now add half of the drained warm half cooked rice prepared earlier and spread it nicely to cover the chicken all over.
5. Next, spread the reserved fried onions, cardamom powder and pour ghee and the saffron soaked in milk all over the rice.
6. Now this step is important and what makes this recipe unique. Add the remaining minced chicken and coriander leaves.
7. Add remaining half cooked rice and spread as the top most layer to cover evenly.
8. Now pour the reserved oil in which the onions were fried evenly all over the rice
9. Cover the dish and seal the edges with a dough so that no steam escapes.

1. Take a flat Dosa Tawa or a griddle pan and put it on the stove at high heat. As it gets warm, put the casserole dish on the tawa and let it cook for about 5 minutes on high heat.
2. Later, lower the heat to slow and let it cook for about another 30 minutes.
3. Once done, let the dish rest for 30 minutes.
4. Open the lid and let a heavenly aroma fill your house inviting all your house members.
5. Carefully dig your spoon deep into the cooking dish until it touches the bottom, and gently mix the rice with the chicken until it is all completely mixed.

Serve it hot with Mirchi ka Salan or Yakhani Raita. We will soon add the recipe for Yakhani Raita as well.

With inspirations from:


  1. Thank you for the mouth-watering, delicious recipes.

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About the Authors

This blog is from the kitchen of Neha Gupta and Mridul Karkara. We go about our days pretending to be HR Managers and Business Consultants respectively, though in reality, just thinking about our next big meal! This food blog is a representation of our experiments in the kitchen and for the simple joy of cooking and sharing!

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