Chicken Dishes/ Non Vegetarian/ Recipes/ Rice Dishes

Hyderabadi Dum Biryani

I have always loved rice dishes from a young age.  My dad used to get chicken biryanis for us from restaurants in Bangalore and Hyderabad.  I love Andhra biryani as well as the Hyderabadi biryani.  I’ve tried several biryani recipes which varied in complexity.  Recently, my sister, Anu showed me a video on YouTube which showed the preparation of Dum Biryani at a restaurant.  The recipe looked authentic and seemed easy to make.  The video is in Telugu and portions are approximate, so Rajesh and I tried this biryani at home and we noted our proportions.  The end result was a superb biryani, authentic in taste and very easy to make.  The term “Dum” refers to slow cooking and is probably Persian in origin.  This biryani is the “Kacchi” or raw version since the rice is cooked with raw meat.


  • Chicken, whole - 2 lbs, skinned, cleaned and cut into pieces
  • Basmati Rice - 2 cups
  • Marinade
  • Ginger garlic paste - 2 tsp
  • Cilantro - 1 small bunch
  • Mint leaves - 15
  • Green chillies - 10
  • Garam Masala powder - 1 tsp
  • Chilli powder - 3 tsp
  • Ajinomoto - 1/2 tsp (optional)
  • Cloves - 5
  • Cinnamon stick - 1 " piece
  • Green cardamom - 2
  • Black cardamom - 1
  • Caraway seeds/black cumin/shahjeera - 1 tsp
  • Oil - 3 tbsp
  • Yogurt - 1 cup
  • Fried onions - 1 1/2 cups, divided
  • Salt to taste
  • Saffron - few threads (optional)
  • Milk - 3 tbsp (optional)
  • Cilantro for garnish (optional)



Clean whole chicken, cut into pieces and set aside.


Finely mince the green chillies, cilantro and mint leaves.


Roughly pound the whole spices in a mortar and pestle so to release their aroma (do not powder).


Mix the minced green chilli mixture with the rest of the ingredients for the marinade and pour over the cleaned chicken pieces.  Add 1 cup of fried onions.  Mix well and set aside to marinate for a couple of hours.


Wash and rinse rice and soak in water for about 30 minutes.


In a stock pot, bring water to boil and add salt.  Drain the soaked rice and add the rice to the boiling water.


Heat a heavy bottomed vessel on medium heat and add the marinated chicken.  Stir the chicken.  Add a cup of boiling water from the rice.


When the rice is 1/4 done (not fully cooked), using a slotted spoon, transfer the rice to the vessel containing the chicken.  Spread it gently, so it covers the chicken.


When the rice has been transferred, add 1/2 cup of boiling water from the rice.


Mix the saffron with luke warm milk and spread it over the rice.


Top the rice with the remaining fried onions.


Cover the vessel with a tight fitting lid and cook on medium heat for 20 minutes.


Remove from heat and set aside for another 10 minutes.


Since the meat is at the bottom, take care to serve from the bottom so each portion receives the rice and spicy chicken mixture.  You can also mix the white rice with the chicken mixture.


Garnish with chopped cilantro.


Serve hot with onion raitha and enjoy!




  • You can fry the onions at home, it is fairly time consuming so we buy fried onions from our local grocery store.
  • If you are using chicken that takes longer to cook, then start cooking the chicken first before cooking the rice.
  • If you like the biryani to be milder, go easy on the green chillies and chilli powder.
  • I used my food processor to mince the green chillies, cilantro and mint leaves.
  • In case you don’t have ginger-garlic paste, you can also mince ginger and garlic along with the green chilli mixture in the food processor.
  • Traditionally Dum biryanis are cooked in a handi with a tight fitting lid that is sealed with a dough made out of wheat flour.  This is done to keep the cooking process air tight so the steam does not escape.  It is hence important to use a tight fitting, heavy lid.


Here is a link to the original recipe.  The video is in Telugu, but you can get an idea as to how the biryani is prepared.



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  • Reply
    April 27, 2013 at 8:59 pm

    Awesome recipe, isn’t it??? Like I said, turns out super, does it not? Actually you made the recipe easier by using store bought fried onions!!! I actually had spent the longest time frying them! Except for that one thing, the rest of the recipe had seemed super easy.

  • Reply
    anoo pai
    May 19, 2013 at 6:56 pm

    looks yum, will definitely try this one 🙂

  • Reply
    August 20, 2013 at 6:07 am

    Anu, A small tip about the onions, slice them fine and sprinkle salt on the sliced onions, then put the sliced onions in the microwave for about 6 minutes , drain the water and then for another 5 (this is for 1 kilo) Will save you heaps of time 🙂

  • Reply
    September 3, 2013 at 5:04 pm

    Hi Bab, Thanks so much for that time saving tip!! Will definitely give it a shot since no substitute to real onions, fried to a crisp, came close flavor-wise!


    • Reply
      K Bab
      December 18, 2013 at 6:31 am

      Made some this weekend, again the crispy onions ,make it spectacular!

  • Reply
    January 19, 2014 at 1:31 am

    Hi, its a very good recipe. Thank you. One question, why ajinomoto is used?

  • Reply
    January 19, 2014 at 2:34 pm

    Hi Sandeep:
    Great question! Ajinomoto is apparently used as a taste enhancer. It is completely optional in this recipe, we used it the first couple of times and then stopped using it and did not find any difference. I guess ajinomoto has something to do with the umami taste sense in Japanese cooking. It has got a bad rap of late.

  • Reply
    May 9, 2016 at 5:59 am

    Hey raj, we need some south east asian cuisine on this site, I think I will send you my me goreng attempt, with photu of course 😉

    • Reply
      May 12, 2016 at 10:33 pm

      Sure, send us the recipe and we will be happy to post it with your name on it! We will give it shot too!


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