Chicken Dum Biryani

Updated: August 6, 2022, By Swasthi

Chicken dum biryani recipe with step by step pictures. Dum biryani, a classic dish of the Mughal Nizams is an eye-catching aromatic rice loved by all. We all love biryani, but when it comes to preparing them most of us, step back because of the tedious process. But trust me, once you learn the right process, it is such an easy breezy way of making restaurant style chicken dum biryani. You will adore it.

chicken dum biryani

Chicken dum biryani recipe can be prepared in two ways, kacha (kachi) Method and Pakki Method. In the Kachi method of making biriyani, the raw ingredients are just marinated and placed at the bottom of a utensil and layered with partially cooked rice, saffron etc. Sealed & cooked on a slow dum process, trapping the steam inside for even cooking.

You can find one such Kachi hyderabadi biryani  here that I shared earlier.

Pakki is the other method where the meat and rice are cooked separately and then the rice, saffron etc are layered, sealed and cooked on a dum process for a shorter time. In this post I am sharing the second method of making i.e the pakki chicken dum biryani recipe made in hyderabadi style. This recipe yields very aromatic biryani rice with delicious, soft tender & succulent chicken with bursting flavors.

Serving suggestion : Chicken biryani is served with a raita and shorba. You can find raita recipes here and shorva or biryani gravy recipes here.

You can also check this Quick Chicken biryani in cooker.

Photo Guide

How to make Chicken Dum Biryani (Stepwise Photos)


1. Wash rice few times till the water runs clear. Soak in ample amount of water for 30 mins. Drain and set aside.

2. Bring 2 to 2 ½ liters water to a boil in a pot or a cooker. Add bay leaf and shahi jeera. You can also use cinnamon, cloves and cardamoms. If you do not like to get a bite of the spices in the rice, you can also tie these in a muslin cloth and add to the pot.

cooking biryani rice 01

3. Meanwhile, Heat 3 tbsp. oil in a biryani pot , handi or pan. Add sliced onions and fry evenly until golden.

fried onions for biriyani recipe 01

4. These onions lend a unique and authentic flavor, so do not skip these.

5. When they turn dark brown, set aside  ¼ portion of these fried onions.

6. When the water comes to a boil, add salt and drained rice and cook until al dente or 90 % done.

cooking biriyani rice with spices

Make Gravy

7. While the rice cooks, let us make the chicken ready. To the rest of the onions, add 1 small bay leaf, star anise, ½ tsp shahi jeera, 3 cardamoms, 4 cloves. Saute just for a min without burning.

sauteing spices for chicken biryani recipe

8. Add 1 tbsp. ginger garlic paste.

addition of ginger galric for chicken biryani recipe

9. Saute on a medium flame until the raw smell of ginger garlic goes off.

sauteing ginger garlic for chicken biryani recipe

10. Add chicken.

addition of meat for chicken biryani recipe

11.  Saute for 2 to 3 mins until the chicken turns white in color. Sprinkle salt.

sauteing meat

12. Add biryani masala, red chili powder, turmeric and green chilies. I use this homemade biryani masala. Just a reminder about the rice, do check it.

spice powders , salt for chicken biryani recipe

13. Mix everything well and fry for 3 mins. After that cover and cook on a low flame for 3 to 4 mins for the chicken to release the moisture.

cooking covered for chicken dum biryani recipe

14. Add 1 cup thick curd / yogurt.

addition of curd in chicken dum biryani recipe

15. Stir, cover and cook on a medium flame until chicken is soft and tender.

cooking yogurt gravy for chicken dum biryani recipe

16. While the chicken cooks, check the rice. Drain off the rice to a colander when cooked to al dente. The rice must be 90 % cooked meaning you must feel the bite when you bite through a rice grain. Rice should be firm and grainy but not mushy.

17. When the chicken is cooked completely, a thick gravy is left in the pot with oil separated. Check the salt now and add more if needed. Stir well and sprinkle chopped coriander and pudina leaves.

Layer Chicken Dum Biryani

18. Layer the rice over the chicken gravy. Sprinkle fried onions, pudina and coriander leaves. You can also add the optional ingredients – pour the saffron soaked milk, ghee and kewra water evenly. For multilayer check the recipe card below.

19. Cover the pot with a foil or a thick clean moist cloth.

20. Cover with a air tight lid to trap the steam or dum. If you do not have a tight lid then you can place a heavy pot over the lid. You can mix 1 ½ cups atta with water and make a dough. Stick the dough to the rim of the lid. Press it off on to the pot, for a air tight seal. Place this pot on a hot tawa and cook for about 12 to 15 mins on a medium heat. Once done switch off and allow to rest for at least 20 mins.

21. Aromatic hyderanbadi chicken dum biriyani is ready.

Serve hot or warm with raita and shorva.

chicken dum biryani recipe

Related Recipes

Chicken Dum Biryani Recipe

4.97 from 193 votes
This chicken dum biryani recipe is a no fail recipe and will give an awesome dum biryani each time.
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For best results follow the step-by-step photos above the recipe card

Prep Time15 minutes
Cook Time45 minutes
Total Time1 hour

Ingredients (US cup = 240ml )

For rice

  • 2 cups basmati rice preferably aged rice
  • 2 to 2 ½ litres water
  • 1 tsp shahi jeera
  • 1 bay leaf , small
  • 2 inch cinnamon thin
  • 3 green cardamoms
  • 4 cloves , optional

For gravy

  • 3 tbsp oil
  • 2 onions medium , sliced thinly
  • 1 star anise / chakri phool
  • 3 green cardamoms / choti elaichi
  • 1 black cardamom (optional) / badi elaichi
  • 4 cloves / lavang
  • 1 inch cinnamon stick / dalchini
  • ½ tsp shahi jeera / caraway seeds
  • 1 bay leaf / tej patta
  • 1 tbsp ginger garlic paste
  • ½ kg chicken (500 to 600 grams) (or 1 lb)
  • Salt as needed
  • 1/8 to ¼ tsp turmeric / haldi
  • 1 ½ to 2 tsp biryani masala (or chickn masala)
  • ¾ to 1 tsp red chili powder / lal mirch powder
  • 2 green chilies slit (adjust as needed)
  • 1 cup curd / dahi / yogurt (do not use sour curd) thick fresh
  • 1 Handful mint finely chopped, / pudina
  • 1 Handful coriander leaves finely chopped

Optional ingredients

  • 1 pinch saffron
  • 2 tbsp milk hot, soaked with pinch of saffron
  • 1 tsp kewra water
  • 1 tbsp ghee / clarified butter


Cooking biriyani rice

  • Wash rice few times until the water runs clear. Soak for 30 mins. Drain the water.
  • Bring 8 to 10 cups of water to a boil in a large pot. Add bay leaf and shahi jeera. You can also add cinnamon stick, cardamoms and cloves. You can also tie these spices in a muslin cloth and add to the pot. It can be discarded later
  • When the water comes to a boil, add salt and drained rice.
  • Cook until it is done al dente. Rice should be firm, grainy and you must feel the bite into the grain when you bite it. Drain it off to a colander.

Making chicken dum biryani gravy

  • While the rice cooks, Saute onions in hot oil to make fried onions. When they are golden and evenly done, set aside 1/4 of them aside on a kitchen towel.
  • Lower the flame and saute bay leaf, star anise, shahi jeera, cloves, cardamom.
  • Add ginger garlic paste and fry until the raw smell has gone completely.
  • Add chicken and fry on a medium heat until it turns pale or white.
  • Sprinkle salt, biriyani masala, red chili powder, slit green chilies and turmeric. Mix well and fry for 3 mins.
  • Cover and cook on a low to medium flame for 3 to 4 mins to let the moisture out from the meat.
  • Pour yogurt and mix well. Cover and cook on a medium heat until the meat is completely cooked and the gravy thickens. At this stage a thick gravy is left for the dum process. Taste and adjust salt as needed.
  • Lower the flame, sprinkle some mint and coriander leaves. Stir well.
  • Layer the rice evenly. Sprinkle fried onions, mint, coriander leaves, saffron soaked milk, kewra water & ghee. You can also skip using saffron, ghee and kewra water but these give an authentic touch.
  • Cover the pot with a foil or a moist kitchen cloth. Place a tight lid to trap the steam or dum. If the lid is not tight then you can place a heavy pot on top of the lid.

To make multilayer chicken dum biryani:

  • Use a small pot . Just before layering the rice, set aside half of the chicken curry. Layer half the rice. Then layer the rest of the curry. Repeat layering rice then ghee, kewra , mint coriander and fried onions.

Dum process on stove top

  • Heat a old tawa or a pan, place this biryani pot and dum cook for 12 to 15 mins on a medium heat. If using a induction stovetop, you can directly place the pot at 3 No for 15 to 20 mins.

For oven method

  • Grease an oven safe bowl, Add the cooked chickn mixture, Layer the rice, sprinkle mint, coriander, saffron milk and seal it with a foil, dum in the preheated oven at 180 c for 15 to 25 minutes.
  • Serve chicken dum biryani with salan and raita

NUTRITION INFO (estimation only)

Nutrition Facts
Chicken Dum Biryani Recipe
Amount Per Serving
Calories 825 Calories from Fat 315
% Daily Value*
Fat 35g54%
Saturated Fat 9g56%
Cholesterol 106mg35%
Sodium 214mg9%
Potassium 561mg16%
Carbohydrates 87g29%
Fiber 5g21%
Sugar 5g6%
Protein 36g72%
Vitamin A 430IU9%
Vitamin C 11.1mg13%
Calcium 134mg13%
Iron 3mg17%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Tried this recipe?Mention @SwasthisRecipes or tag #swasthisrecipes!

© Swasthi’s Recipes

About Swasthi

I’m Swasthi Shreekanth, the recipe developer, food photographer & food writer behind Swasthi’s Recipes. My aim is to help you cook great Indian food with my time-tested recipes. After 2 decades of experience in practical Indian cooking I started this blog to help people cook better & more often at home. Whether you are a novice or an experienced cook I am sure Swasthi’s Recipes will assist you to enhance your cooking skills. More about me

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This recipe is super thanks 🙏

5 stars
This recipe is amazing, the only problem is Homemade curd not so good so I am preparing with expensive thick yoghurt from mkt . Receipe came out very well. You are amazing dear

5 stars
Thank so much. I did as per your recipe and I made my first ever biryani and my family said it was good. ?

5 stars
Dear Swasthi,
Me & family is in love with all your recipes. Every single one is fool proof.
No matter, how many new recipes I save in YouTube, when I actually make the dish ,I always refer to yours.
You truly are talented & gifted with culinary arts.
Thankyou so much for your help.
Biriyani was simply superb .
God bless you abundantly

Hi Swasthi, if i double the chicken, do i double all the spice quanties? Thought the same amount of rice might still will work with 1kg chicken. Thanks in advance.

Thank you. I assume you double everything including fried onions. Thanks for thoughts on garlic/ginger and rice. Thanks Swasthi again.

5 stars
I’m a flavorless 28y/o man from Alabama. My wife made me try out a local Indian restaurant a year ago and I randomly picked chicken biryani off of the menu. I could not stand the spice heat after 3 bites, however an hour later I craved it. The aroma and taste is like nothing I had ever had before and since that moment, it has been my favorite food. Eating at restaurants is expensive these days and Indian food is definitely no exception, without Swasthi’s recipe I would surely be penniless because I must eat this several times a week. It Is simply that delicious. Thank you!

5 stars
Hi Swasthi,
I prepared it for half kilo chicken and it turned out tasty. What are the measurements for 1kg chicken?

5 stars
Thank you so much Swasthi

5 stars
Hi Swasthi,

I don’t have a tawa. Is it possible to simply cook the pot on the stove directly?

5 stars
Thank you! Your recipes are a real keeper! 🙂

5 stars
Tried it turned out great..nice recipe

5 stars
This proportion is so accurate. I like all ur recipes swasthi.

5 stars
Swasthi your recipes always turn out to be amazing… aroma, texture as well as taste. Thank you very much for all recipes and this one in particular.
I want to especially mention about your point no.12 in the recipe where you remind the reader to check on the rice. It shows how detailed your guidance is … almost like you are present in your readers kitchen. Great work! !!

5 stars
If I double the recipe what must I NOT double please

Hi swasthi..tried this biryani ..but came out dry.should I increase yogurt content or water in the gravy?

5 stars
My first time making biryani, this was so delicious even with a few ingredients missing.

I also made the shorba sauce from Swasthi’s website as a side which was so tasty.

Thanks for sharing the recipe. Instructions were well detailed and the photos on the card made it convenient to follow. My biryani turned out super and everyone loved it. Thanks

Thank you very much for the recipe my biryani turned out to be ultimate this is the first time my preparation of biryani taste so good thank you once again

5 stars
Made this for my first attempt at biryani today and it turned out great! Thank you!

5 stars
My husband loved the Biryani so much that he says he wont be eating it in restaurants now 🙂
I follow the recipe n everytime it’s super yummy..thanks for sharing with so much details and reference pic’s..

5 stars
I had tried biryani recipe it had been awesome in taste . Thanks for this recipe.

Amazing ?

5 stars
This is the best ever dum biryani recipe! My family loves it and I’ve recommended it to my friends too.. just loooooovvveee it! Thank you so much Swasti!