Hyderabadi Chicken Biryani

Updated: February 26, 2022, By Swasthi

Hyderabadi biryani recipe – Making a good Hyderabadi biryani is very simple and this recipe is perfect for a home preparation. This is the easiest biryani since it needs no sautéing of spices or meat. Just marinate the meat with the spices & other ingredients. Layer partially cooked basmati rice over it. Cook on a slow dum process, trapping the steam to retain the aroma.

Hyderabadi biryani with chicken

To get an authentic flavor and taste of Biryani, do use all the mentioned ingredients and if desired you can substitute ghee for oil.

This is one of the best hyderabadi biryani recipe I have made for years and has been a favorite among the readers of this blog. It is very easy and even a beginner can try without any troubles.

This is a kacchi hyderabadi biryani, meaning partially cooked rice is layered over the marinated raw meat.

To make the best out of this recipe, chicken needs a proper marination which mainly helps to tenderize it, resulting in juicy, flavorful, soft and tender chicken.

It can be marinated the previous night and refrigerated to make the best flavorful biryani.

You can serve hyderabadi biryani with any of these raitas I have shared earlier. Even lassi goes well in the meal.

You can also check
Chicken biryani in cooker
Chicken dum biryani

Lamb biryani
Vegetable biryani

Hyderabadi biryani recipe with chicken

Photo Guide

How to Make Hyderabadi Biryani (Stepwise Photos)


1. To a mixing bowl, add 2/3 cup (165 ml) yogurt, ¾ teaspoon salt, 1 to 1½ teaspoon red chili powder, 1 to 1½ teaspoon biryani masala, ¼ teaspoon turmeric, 2 slit green chilies, 1¼ tablespoons ginger garlic paste and ½ teaspoon cardamom powder. Do not use sour curd here.

2. Add 1 tablespoon lemon juice. If your curd is even slightly sour, then just skip lemon juice.

adding spices & yogurt to a bowl for hyderabadi biryani

3. Mix all of them and taste the marinade. Add more salt if needed. I had to add another half tsp.

checking salt & spice in marinade for hyderabadi biryani recipe

4. Add the chicken and marinate. Cover the bowl and allow it to sit overnight in the fridge or for at least 2 hours.

5. Keeping overnight makes the chicken very soft & succulent once the biriyani is cooked. If you are marinating it just for 2 hours, I suggest keeping the pieces to small to medium and not very large.

marinating chicken to make hyderabadi biryani recipe

Fry Onions

6. Skip this step if using store bought fried onions. This can be done the previous night or just before you begin to make the biryani. Slice 1 large onion uniformly and thin. Separate the layers. Heat ¼ cup ghee in the same pot you intend to make the biryani.

When the ghee turns hot, add the onions and spread them well. Fry them uniformly until golden, crisp and aromatic. Keep stirring uniformly to fry them evenly without burning. When they brown, remove them and set aside. Do not over fry as they turn bitter quickly.

7. Soak a large pinch of saffron in 3 tablespoons hot milk. Do this just before you soak the rice.

soaking saffron in milk to make hyderabadi biryani

8. Wash rice at least thrice. Do note that biryani turns out good only with aged premium quality basmati rice.

soaking basmati rice in pot to make hyderabadi biryani

Cook Rice for Hyderabadi Biryani

9. Pour fresh water and soak for 30 to 40 mins. Refer to the rice pack for soaking time.

10. Drain after 30 to 40 mins. Set this aside.

11. Add all the whole spices and 1½ teaspoon salt to a large pot of boiling water. Also pour 1 tsp oil. Stir and check the salt, the water has to taste salty. If not add more salt to your liking.

You can add the whole spices to a muslin cloth and make a knot if you don’t like to get a bite of the spices. Allow the water to simmer for 5 mins. Then bring it to a rapid boil.

boiling water, salt to cook rice for biryani rice

12. Add soaked drained basmati rice.

cooking basmati rice to make hyderabadi biryani

13. Cook on a medium high flame till rice is ¾ th cooked.

14. The rice must be grainy and you must get a bite into it, meaning it has to be slightly under cooked. If you are a beginner, please take a look at this detailed post on how to cook basmati rice for biryani.

checking rice before draining to make hyderabadi biryani

15. Drain the rice to a colander.

draining basmati rice to colander for  hyderabadi biryani recipe

Make Hyderabadi Biryani

16. While the water for rice boils, add the chicken marinade to the heavy bottom pot you used to fry the onions. I used my 6½ ltrs heavy bottom pressure cooker pan. Sprinkle half of the fried onions, 2 tablespoons coriander leaves and two tablespoons mint leaves. Add the ghee or oil (4 tbsps we used for frying onions).

17. Mix all of them and level the chicken to spread to a single uniform layer.

adding herbs fried onions & laering marinade to make hyderabadi biryani

18. Layer half of the cooked rice over the chicken. The rice must be moist and not with dripping water. It should not be dry either. Add a few more fried onions retaining some more for later. Sprinkle 1 tablespoon mint and 1 tablespoon coriander leaves retaining a few more for later. Sprinkle little more biryani masala (about 2 to 4 pinches).

layering spice powder to make hyderabadi biryani

19. Layer the rest of the rice again.

layering rice once more over the marinade

20. Sprinkle the rest of the fried onions, mint and coriander leaves and biryani masala. Pour the saffron milk.

21. To finish off, pour 2 tablespoons ghee. Please don’t use oil here, you won’t get the real flavor.

layering onions herbs spices ghee saffron milk for hyderabadi biryani

Dum Cook

22. Method 1 – You can use either moist cloth or foil to seal the rim of the biryani pot. The cloth has to be thick and moist. Spread it over the rim. Place a heavy lid and bring the edges of the cloth to the center. (refer video for details)

23. Method 2 – Use a foil to seal the rim completely. Or make dough and stick to the rim of the pot. Place a heavy lid.

sealing the pot to cook hyderabadi biryani

24. Place a old tawa or griddle on the stove. The flame has to be medium high. Do not use a non stick pan or a dosa tawa. I used my lodge cast iron pan which doesn’t work for making dosa. The flame has to reach across the diameter of the pan.

heating a griddle to dum cook hyderabadi biryani

25. Place the biryani pot on the tawa. Cook on a medium high flame for 15 to 20 mins. Then Lower the flame to very low and cook for another 15 minutes. Switch off the stove and let it rest for atleast 20 mins.

placing pot over tawa to make hyderabadi biryani

26. When done, there should be no excess moisture left in the hyderabadi biryani. If you see too much moisture, then cover back and cook until it is done. Fluff up the rice gently.

Serve hyderabadi biryani in layers with shorba or raita.

steaming hot hyderabadi biryani after dum cooking

you can find raita recipes here
you can also find easy biryani gravy recipes. Hope you will like this hyderabadi biryani as much as we do.

hyderabadi biryani recipe

Related Recipes

Recipe Card

Hyderabadi biryani with chicken

Hyderabadi Biryani

4.97 from 601 votes
Easy hyderabadi biryani recipe made with basmati rice & chicken marinated in spices. This hyderabadi biryani recipe will give you the best biriyani that’s flavorful & delicious. 
Print Recipe Pin Recipe

For best results follow the step-by-step photos above the recipe card

Prep Time30 minutes
Cook Time1 hour
Marination2 hours
Total Time3 hours
Servings4 people

Ingredients (US cup = 240ml )

  • 1 ½ cups basmati rice (aged)
  • ½ kg chicken (preferably thighs & drumsticks)
  • ¼ to ½ teaspoon biryani masala (garam masala for layering)
  • 1 large onions or ⅓ cup fried onions store bought
  • 4 tablespoons coriander leaves (cilantro ,finely chopped, 2 tbsps + 1 tbsp + 1 tbsp divided)
  • 4 tablespoons mint leaves (pudina, finely chopped, 2 tbsps + 1 tbsp + 1 tbsp divided)
  • 4 tablespoons oil (or ghee)
  • 2 tablespoons ghee (clarified butter)
  • ¼ teaspoon saffron strands (kesar, soaked in 3 tbsps hot milk)


  • tablespoons ginger garlic paste
  • ¼ teaspoon turmeric
  • 1 to 2 green chilies slit
  • cup yogurt (fresh curd) (or 165 ml or ½ cup + 3 tbsp)
  • 1 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 to 1 ½ teaspoon red chili powder (paprika, adjust to taste)
  • 1 to 1 ½ teaspoon biryani masala powder (or garam masala)
  • ¼ to ½ teaspoon green cardamom powder (or elaichi powder)
  • ¾ teaspoon salt (I used 1 ¼ tsp pink salt)

Whole spices for rice

  • 7 cups water
  • 1 to 1¼ teaspoon salt (I used 1 ½ tsp pink salt)
  • 1 teaspoon oil
  • 1 bay leaf (tej patta)
  • 3 inch cinnamon piece (dalchini)
  • 6 cloves (laung)
  • 4 green cardamom (elaichi)
  • 1 star anise ( biryani flower)
  • 1 black cardamom (optional)
  • 2 strands mace (javitri) (optional)
  • ½ tsp caraway seeds (shahi jeera) (optional)


Make fried onions for Hyderabadi biryani

  • Slice onion thinly, separate the layers and set aside.
  • Heat 4 tbsps oil or ghee in a deep pan.
  • Fry the onions stirring often until deep golden to brown.
  • Do not burn else they turn bitter. Remove them from oil & set aside.
  • Cool & pour this oil to the marinade later.


  • Add yogurt, salt, turmeric, chili powder, biryani or garam masala powder, cardamom powder, green chilli, ginger garlic paste & lemon juice to a mixing bowl.
  • Mix well & taste this. If needed add more salt or spice.
  • Next add in chicken & marinate for 2 hours to overnight for best results. 
  • Overnight marination in fridge yields best soft succulent chicken.

Cooking rice

  • Wash rice till the water runs clear. Soak for 30 minutes. Drain & set aside.
  • Heat 6 to 7 cups water in a pot.  Add 1 tsp oil, whole spices & salt.
  • Taste this. The water has to be slightly salty.
  • Boil water rapidly for 5 mins to release the aroma of spices.
  • Add rice & cook till it is ¾ or 75% done.
  • The center of the rice must be still slightly uncooked.
  • Do not make the rice mushy. Drain off to a colander.

How to make Hyderabadi Chicken Biryani

  • While the rice cooks, transfer marinated chicken to a heavy bottom casserole or non-stick pan.
  • Add oil, ½ of the fried onions, mint & coriander leaves. Mix & spread chicken in a single even layer.
  • Layer the cooked rice evenly, sprinkle fried onions, mint & coriander leaves over the chicken.
  • Sprinkle ¼ tsp masala powder. Pour the saffron milk all over & then ghee.
  • Cover the pot with a foil to trap the steam or dum. Then cover with a tight & heavy lid.

To bake Biryani in Oven

  • Bake for 30 to 40 mins at 390F or 200C in a preheated oven. The timings will slightly vary depending on the depth of the casserole/pot used. Once done, if the chicken is too moist then bake for another 10 mins. 

To dum cook on stovetop

  • Place this over a thick hot griddle or tawa. Set the flame to medium high such that the flame reaches all over the diameter of the casserole. Cook this way for exactly 20 mins. 
  • Reduce the flame to lowest. Cook for exactly 15 mins. Off the flame. Rest for 20 to 30 mins.
  • Garnish hyderabadi biryani with fresh chopped coriander leaves & serve with raita.


  • If you do not like to bite in the spices, then tie up all the whole spices for rice in a muslin cloth. Add this to the rice pot.
  • Do not use sour curd or flavored yogurt.
  • To Brown the chicken – The last 5 mins cook the biryani on a medium high flame. This gives browned chicken. To prevent charring you can check the chicken at the bottom before you do this.
  • If you do not like to use a cloth for trapping the steam or dum, you can use dough to seal the lid of the utensil. But cleaning up the mess is difficult. An aluminium foil too works.


NUTRITION INFO (estimation only)

Nutrition Facts
Hyderabadi Biryani
Amount Per Serving
Calories 809 Calories from Fat 396
% Daily Value*
Fat 44g68%
Saturated Fat 12g75%
Cholesterol 118mg39%
Sodium 969mg42%
Potassium 616mg18%
Carbohydrates 69g23%
Fiber 4g17%
Sugar 5g6%
Protein 31g62%
Vitamin A 745IU15%
Vitamin C 24.2mg29%
Calcium 162mg16%
Iron 4.3mg24%
* 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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5 stars
I have been making this Biryani recipe for years, even for my Indian friends from Hyderabad, and it is awesome. Highly recommend. I think chicken with the skin adds much more flavor so would recommend thighs and/or breasts. I have to buy breast with the skin and bone, and then de-bone and cut to size.

How much chicken for this recipe please

5 stars
The recipes are delicious and the videos help.

5 stars
Thank you for this is an amazing recipe!!!

Great flavour, off the bone tender chicken, perfectly cooked rice!

Just follow the recipe step by step! You won’t regret it.

5 stars
Tasty biryani recipe

5 stars
I am new to preparing Indian cuisine and am finding your collection of well prepared recipes fantastic! I especially appreciate you inclusion of the different names of individual ingredients. I made this recipe this weekend and loved it! More hot than my Canadian taste buds are used to but your cucumber raita tempered that nicely. Still could enjoy the flavors. I will definitely be making this again!! I look forward to cooking my way through, and learning from, your website. Thank you so much for sharing your recipes!!

5 stars
Tried this recipe with slight personal alterations, it came out extremely well and perfectly like the ones i had back in hyderabad. Thank you!

5 stars
I followed this recipe to the letter and was rewarded with the best biryani I’ve had, since visiting Hyderabad. The rice was fragrant and perfectly cooked and the chicken tasty & tender. Thank you!!

5 stars
How to adjust cooking times and other measurements for 2x recipe? And 3x?

5 stars
I wanted to have biryani today so I googled hyderabadi biryani recipe and this was the first recipe that popped up. I was too lazy to scroll through and clicked on this recipe. So glad I did.. I made it. Followed it to a T except for the caraway seeds in the boiling water. Didn’t have any and not a fan of it too… Used the cast iron heavy duty pan coz I had that. The biryani came out perfect. My folks said it was the best biryani they have had. Yeay.!!!! This is an amazing recipe.

This recipe has so many different spices it surely will be tasty…. however why cook 11/2 cups of rice in 6-7 cups of water instead of 21/2 cups of water?

This recipe has so many different spices it’s going to be so yummy…
The only thing that is scary is cooking 11/2 cups of rice in 6 -7 cups of water?
Why not 11/2 cups rice in 21/2 cups water?

5 stars
Thank you for publishing. I have made it several times and it is definitely our favorite Biriyani.

5 stars
Hi Swasthi,

Tried out this recipe twice and it was fabulous both times. Used turmeric mixed in milk once instead of saffron. There was no noticeable difference. Thank you.

Hi maam…i am looking forward to start my biryani outlet…can you please suggest me more about biryani recipe’s keypoints that you think i should know…i have mentioned my mail id….Thank you..

5 stars
Hyderabadi biryani is one of my favorite biryani. I tried this recipe today. Such an easy & simple recipe. Explained in detail.

I think the recipe is missing a step. Or maybe I did it wrong.
The chicken came out semi-raw when I baked it in the oven.
I baked it for 50 mins at 200.
Were you supposed to cook the chicken partially before throwing the rice on top?

Hi Swasthi,

I am planning to make biryani 3x – what is the quantity of fried onions I should use? Thanks.

5 stars
I love your recipe, I made this few times by oven. You had instruction for cooking by oven. I could not find it today. Only I remember temperature 180c and cooking time 45 minutes. I do not have a tawa to cook on stove. Can I cook it in oven too. Did you remove the instruction for oven. Is there any reason to remove it. I only made Biryani with your recipe. It came very good with oven. Is it okay to try with oven again. I used my cast iron dutch oven for it. Please advice me.

5 stars
I made this today and it was absolutely divine … thank you for the sub on the biryani spice mix I now have enough for many batches to come… always will be a favourite in this house

How can you put uncooked chicken like that with almost cooked rice? We used frozen chicken n if we cook like this, it will be a mush…lot of water will come out of the chicken!!

I made it with frozen chicken 1st u want to keep chicken for loosing under running warm water for 15 min after that marinate it for 20 min and then cook it till chicken get soft like 70 percent cooked and then follow her steps it will be great