Hyderabadi biryani with chicken

Hyderabadi Chicken Biryani

By Swasthi on February 26, 2022, Comments, Jump to Recipe

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

How to Make Hyderabadi Biryani (Stepwise Photos)

Preparation

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

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. 
Pin Recipe Print 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
AuthorSwasthi

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)

Marinade

  • 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)

Instructions

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.

Marination

  • 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 200 C 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.

Notes

  • 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.

Alternative quantities provided in the recipe card are for 1x only, original recipe.

For best results follow my detailed step-by-step photo instructions and tips above the recipe card.

Video

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

Hyderabadi Chicken Biryani

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.

Follow Swasthi’s Recipes

Recipe Rating




634 Comments
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

5 stars
Insanely good! And I feel it will only get better as I perfect the technique. Your super specific instructions are very helpful

Curious if you would ever add sultanas and/or cashews? Is that regional? I am in love with biryani, and your recipe looks amazing.

5 stars
Thanks for the recipe. I am a vegetarian but did this recipe for my family for the first time and everyone liked very much.

5 stars
Best one I’ve done so far! We have it now every week hahahaha! Thanks so much !

This was a fabulous recipr.i followef every step and every body loved it.👍

5 stars
This turned out great! So tasty. Best biryani I have ever made

Hey… how would you substitute yoghurt and milk to make this dairy free?

Bhavin, you can consider using coconut yoghurt, I suppose?

1 star
First I want to say I love your website, I’ve been preparing so many meals from is. The recipes are usually perfect! But this one: I don’t understand how this works.. the rice is 75% cooked but still has to steam for 20 minutes? Isn’t that too long? And too short for the chicken? For me the rice was way overcooked and the chicken still raw..

Hi, i do not understand cooking on a Tawa. 15-20 minutes directly on a radiant stove seem too hot. Would cooking in the stove be ok?

5 stars
Hi thanks for the recipe. I noticed that the yogurt curdled slightly. Is there a way to avoid this please? The taste was great.

Thanks for the fast response. My grocery only sells Greek yogurt. Can you provide an example? I live in the uk

Can I use normal rice if I don’t have basmati?

5 stars
Hello Ma’am! You’re my guru when it comes to getting any recipe done authentically! I have tried your pakki dum Biryani recipe a couple of times before and they’ve always turned out perfect and amazing. I’m trying the kachhi style for the first time and I had a doubt as of how much should the cooking time vary if I’m doubling the quantity to serve like 16 people?

5 stars
I used the big biryani utensil in my house and it took just almost the same amount of time, and it turned even more amazing than the pakki biryani!! Now this is going to be my quick fix for biryanis as this recipe saves much more time!
Thank you so much ma’am for your brilliant recipes!

Hi Swasthi. Nice feedbacks on your recipe. I will definitely try this but I am quite stressed re: the safron milk. I cannot find safron in my local grocery. Can I skip this ingredient? Will this greatly affect the flavor of the dish?

5 stars
Thank you Swasthi. I read that Turmeric will also work in place of saffron. I will try it as well to get that yellow tint on the biryani.

5 stars
Hi! Can I substitute caraway seeds with fennel? Thank you!

5 stars
I tried this chicken biriyani recipe and it came very well. I marinated chicken bbreast peices night before and they very soft in biriyani dish. I used cast oven dutch oven to make my final cooking for 40 minutes. Everything came very well and thanks for the good recipe .

5 stars
Thank you thank you so much., I started cooking recently and wanted to try out the most delicious dish of all that is dum biryani., I came across your recipe which is absolutely perfect amazing awesome. and just the simplicity and accurate instructions with tips helped me cook the best biryani I’ve ever tasted so far ,. Writing this review is the first thing I did after I finished eating this biryani ., you are awesome ! 🙏🏽💯

Hi, Want to try this recipe, can i make it directly on an induction stove top if i don’t have a cast iron pan? will timings change if i need to do that?

5 stars
Swasthi, this is he best Chicken Biryani recipe I have ever used, I followed your instructions religiously and was very, very happy. Thank so much, my family and I loved it, loved it, loved it. Thanks

hi.
this recipe is so tasty but ii tried to measured the rice and water ratio. 11/2 cup rice with 6 0r 7 cups of rice doesnt add up. it turned my rice to be overcooked and this is after i used my fingertip to measure rice as asian way. and remove water contents as mentioned in recipe. could you tell me if thats the right measurement? thanks

In this recipe , you are to cook rice half done and doesn’t matter how many cups of water you cook it in because you cook the rice and strain off the water .

I think Maya wanted to cook rice where all water is absorbed by the rice . Don’t do that unless you are a bit of an expert in cooking rice .

While Cooking in large amount of water , you can check frequently to ensure rice is cooked 50percent ie half done . It is important to check saltiness of the water else the rice may taste bland in the final biriyani. And adding salt at that time is a spoil .

5 stars
My wife gave this a 10 star rating….one of the best she ever had…beats the restaurants she says…..My dear your recipe is excellent….tho I added a few pinches of garam masala too in addition to the biryaini masala….i think the strands of mace u suggested made a good exquisite flavour…..and i got from a friend some very nice mountain grown safron from Iran……We had it with my wife signature dhall and raita…..thank you for sharing this wonderful gourmet recipe

5 stars
Hi mam, I want to do the Hyderabadi Britani for 10 people so can we just double the recipe ingrrdients

Thank u so much