Chicken Dum Biryani

The word biryani is derived from the Persian word beryan, which means roasted and fried. It is usually the mix of rice, few spices and meat or vegetables. Biryani was brought to India by Persian travellers and merchants. This dish is not only popular in India, but also in Iraq, Iran, Pakistan, Srilanka and Mauritius. In every house, the making style and spices used are different. Biryani can be made with prawns, chicken, mutton, vegetables and even fish. I learnt this biryani from my Mom, which I am sharing with you. I am making this biryani with more spicy than my Mom. If you see, I like to add more masalas in my biryani. I do not like it to be blunt and non spicy. I have made a lot of varieties in biryani and now I will like to share it with you.

There are 2 types of biryani one is kacchi biryani(dum biryani) and other is pakki biryani.

Kacchi biryani is prepared with raw meat, meat is marinated and cooked on a slow flame with rice on top. In pakki biryani, meat is pre-cooked first, then rice is layered on top and cooked.

In dum biryani the chicken is marinated with spices and it is cooked in simmer with rice on top for 45 to 50 minutes. The dum biryani is cooked in a lower flame and it is cooked until the meat is cooked well. It is prepared for special occasions or during festival times. You can cook it with mutton, lamb, beef, chicken, fish and even prawns.

You can add your own spices also. It depends on you whether you want to cook it with ghee or oil. You can alter the spices accordiong to your taste. I feel dum biryani is easy but have to be very careful during dum, as there is no need to stir or cook the meat. It is cooked with raw meat, rice on top and cooked on dum. We can have dum biryani with chicken 65 as a side dish, raitha, brinjal curry or any chicken curry.


  • Chicken – 900 gms
  • Marinade

  • Ginger and garlic paste – 3 tbsp
  • Curd – 1 1/2 cup
  • Chilli powder – 2 tsp
  • Turmeric powder – 1 tsp
  • Black cumin seeds – 3/4 tsp
  • Whole spices: Cloves – 7, cinnamon stick – 2(1 inch size), cassia buds – 4, Staranise – 1, black cardamom – 2, green cardamom – 6
  • Biryani masala – 1 tsp
  • Green chillies (chopped or sliced) – 6
  • Mint (roughly chopped) – 1 cup
  • Coriander leaves (roughly chopped) – 1 cup
  • Salt – as required
  • Frying onions

  • Oil or ghee – 1/2 cup
  • Bay leaves – 2 to 3
  • Staranise – 2
  • Onion (sliced) – 5
  • Black cumin seeds – 1/2 tsp
  • Rice

  • Rice – 500 gms or 2 1/2 cups
  • Water – as required
  • Black cumin seeds – 1/2 tsp
  • Green cardamom – 2
  • Cloves – 3
  • Cinamonstick – 1
  • Bayleaves – 2
  • Salt – as required
  • Garnishing

  • Colour – a pinch
  • Mint – 1 cup
  • Coriander leaves – 1/2 cup
  • Biryani masala – 2 tsp
  • Lemon juice – 2 tbsp
  • Fried onions- 1/4 cup


  • First put all the ingredients in a big vessel or any bowl. Add all the ingredients and mix it well. Add chicken pieces and mix well and marinate for 4 hours or overnight in the fridge. In the marinade you can even add the fried onions and mix it. I have not added in the marinade.
  • Take a big utensil add oil, when it gets hot add all whole spices and stir. Add onions and fry until it is soft and brown. It will take 10-12 minutes. You can close the lid and cook it. When it is cooked take 1/4 cup of onions and keep it aside for layering the rice.
  • Simmer and add all the marinated chicken with the marinade and mix well with the onions and add the rice which is only half cooked cooked. Spread evenly on the marinated chicken.
  • Now sprinkle colour on the rice, then add biryani masala, fried onions, mint, coriander leaves and lemon juice. You can add a few drops of ghee on the rice evenly. Close the lid tightly and cook it for about 45 minutes to 1 hour on simmer or until the chicken is cooked.
  • You can keep a tava or flat pan beneath the vessel so that it is not burnt.
  • Serve it with raitha or curry or any brinjal chutney.
  • Rice cooking

  • Boil the rice with the whole spices with required amount of water and salt. When it is half done, strain it and put on the marinated chicken. The grain should be only 50% cooked. The remaining is cooked during dum. When you press the rice it should not be soft, but hard and uncooked. Always soak rice for about 20 minutes and then cook it.


  • You can reduce the chillies if you donot eat spicy food or your chillies are very hot.
  • Rice should be only 50% cooked, the grain might have become longer than its usual size, but when pressed in thumb, you should feel that it is not cooked fully. While cooking the rice you can add a few drops of oil or vinegar. While draining wash it under cold water to keep the rice grains separate. Rice has to be cooked in advance and kept aside.
  • Biryani masala – you can buy ready made or just powder 1 staranise, 2 green cardamoms, 3 cloves and 3 tsp dagad phool (optional). Dagad phool will be like kasoorimeeti – leaves with some small sticks. Instead you can just put some garam masala on top. View my Biryani masala recipe.
  • If you want to reduce the oil, then reduce it – its your wish. But the onion has to be roasted in oil or ghee well.
  • Carefully add salt for the marinade and rice. Divide the salt quantity – it will be easy for you.
  • Whenever I grind 300 gms of ginger and 300 gms of garlic paste, I have ground with whole spices. View my ginger and garlic paste recipe.
  • Mix food colour with 2 tbsp of water or with milk and put on the rice. Saffron can also be used instead of food colour. You can even sprinkle the powder directly onto the biryani.
  • While in dum keep a flat tava beneath the vessel. If the utensil bottom is thick, you can keep it to simmer directly. Sometimes the rice sticks to the bottom, but not very much. End result will be good.
  • Always consider the following proportion for the biryani. Use 500 gms of rice for 1 kg of chicken.

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