Ingredients – best recipe to make the world famous Hyderabadi Chicken Dum Biryani

Making spice powder-To roast and grind

  • Coriander seeds- 3 tsp
  • Fennel seeds- 1 tsp
  • Whole black peppercorns- 2 tsp
  • Whole cloves- 8
  • Whole cardamom- 15
  • Nutmeg powder- ½ tsp (or add 1 small whole nutmeg)
  • Dried bay leaves- 2
  • Mace powder- ½ tsp (or add 1 small whole mace)
  • Star Anise- 2
  • Whole black cardamom- 2
  • Whole cinnamon sticks, 1 inch slice- 10 slices

For marinating chicken

  • Chicken, bone-in pieces or legs- 14
  • Ginger-Garlic paste- 2 tbsp
  • Green chilies, crushed- 2
  • Prepared Spice powder- 1 tbsp
  • Cardamom powder- ½ tsp
  • Red Chili powder- 1 tsp
  • Turmeric powder- ½ tsp
  • Fried Onion- 2 fried onion (fry 2 onions sliced thin in oil) (Must add)
  • Mint leaves, chopped- 10 leaves
  • Cilantro or Coriander leaves, chopped- ¼ cup
  • Yogurt- 1½ cups
  • Lemon juice- 1 tbsp
  • Salt- 1½ tsp

For cooking Basmati Rice

  • Basmati Rice- 3 cups (soaked in water for 30 minutes)
  • Whole cloves- 2
  • Whole cardamom- 3
  • Whole cinnamon- 3 inch stick
  • Dried bay leaves- 2
  • Ghee- 1 tbsp
  • Salt- ¾ tsp
  • Water- 6 cups

Other ingredients while layering chicken masala and rice

  • Fried onion- 3 onions fried in oil (sliced thin)
  • Saffron strands- 2 pinches soaked in 3 tbsp milk for 5 minutes
  • Roasted cashew nuts- ¼ cup
  • Cilantro, chopped- ¼ cup
  • Mint leaves, chopped- 3 tbsp
  • Prepared spice powder- ¼ tsp/layer
  • Ghee- ½ tbsp/layer


  1. First, let’s roast the whole spices and grind them into a fine powder.
  2. Place a pan over medium heat, add all the whole spices mentioned ‘to roast and grind’ (if using ground nutmeg and mace, add that after roasting the whole spices, else they will burn) let roast for a few minutes till they turn aromatic. Be careful to not to brown the whole spices.
  3. Let cool down for a few minutes, grind to a fine powder. Keep aside.
  4. This recipe will yield around 3 to 4 tbsp spice powder- store the remaining spice powder in an air tight container- can be used for making chicken/mutton or beef curries.
  5. I highly recommend using homemade fried onion for better taste and flavor. Don’t skip adding fried onions.
  6. Fry 5 onions sliced thin in oil. Use 2 of the fried onion for marinating the chicken. Remaining 3 fried onions while layering.
  7. Save the oil used for frying onions.
  8. Soak basmati rice in water for 30 minutes.
  9. Into a large bowl, add all the ingredients mentioned ‘for marinating chicken’. Combine well and marinate for 2 hours.
  10. Place a large non-stick pan over medium heat, add 5 tbsp of oil used for frying onions- this oil has a lot of flavor.
  11. Add the marinated chicken mix, combine well and cook for a few minutes. After that, close the pan with its lid and cook covered till chicken has almost done- about 90% cooked. Do not over cook the chicken.
  12. Drain the soaked basmati rice taken in a sieve and rinse under running water.
  13. Add the soaked rice to a large saucepan.
  14. Add all the above mentioned spices for cooking rice along with 6 cups water.
  15. Cook for 15 minutes till the rice has cooked 90%, do not over cook the rice.
  16. Drain the water and keep the cooked rice aside.

Layering chicken masala and rice and dum cooking biryani

  1. I used the same wide pan used for cooking the chicken- transfer the cooked chicken masala to a large bowl and clean the pan well.
  2. Spread 1 tbsp of melted ghee on the pan.
  3. Layer the cooked rice as the first layer.
  4. Second layer: Chicken masala
  5. Third layer: spread fried onions, cashew nuts, cilantro, mint and drizzle some saffron milk. Spread ¼ tsp spice powder over the rice. Drizzle ½ tbsp melted ghee.
  6. Again layer with rice, chicken masala and toppings. Repeat this one more time.
  7. There will be 3 layers each for rice, chicken masala and toppings.
  8. Cover the pan with an aluminum foil and then close with its lid.
  9. Place the pan over low heat and cook or keep in dum for 20 minutes.
  10. After 20 minutes, remove the pan from the heat, and let rest covered for another 15 to 20 minutes.
  11. Open the lid and aluminum foil. You will be seen inhaling the amazing aroma that’s spreading from this biryani.
  12. While serving, combine the rice and chicken masala and serve on plates.
  13. This biryani can be served with raita, pappad, pickle etc.

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