Chicken Dum Biryani



There’s biryani and then there’s Dum Biryani!  Biryani is essentially a special dish of rice cooked with spicy, marinated meat.  Your usual biryani is rice and meat cooked separately and then mixed together.  Dum Biryani is cooked in a special way where the raw meat and rice is cooked together.  Sounds intimidating… but trust me, it’s not!


Chicken layer

layered rice

Food Color


Opening seal

This is a recipe I’ve always been afraid to try.  I compare this recipe to baking a decedent dessert, you pretty much assemble all the layers then “set it and forget it”!  There’s no stirring or tasting involved.  And that’s what freaks me out…. I feel so helpless once I shut the lid :/

But once I tried it, I realized how easy it is.  Once you have the concept down, it’s pretty much just layering your ingredients and letting it do it’s magic… undisturbed.


Top Plate




Chicken Marination:

  • 1 Chicken (about 1 1/2 lbs), skinless and cut into 8 pieces (you can definitely use thighs and legs only)
  • 1 cup plain yogurt
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh mint leaves
  • 3-4 chopped green chillies (you can use jalapeños)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon cumin powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon garam masala
  • 1 teaspoon of garlic paste
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon of ginger paste
  • 1/4 cup of store bought fried onions (you can find already fried onions at Indian stores)
  • 2 table spoon of oil (vegetable oil if recommended)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons of salt


  • 1 1/2 cup basmati rice
  • 2 sticks of cinnamon
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 7-8 cardamons (in shell)
  • Lots of salt
  • 1/2 cup fresh chopped cilantro
  • 1/4 cup of fresh chopped mint leaves
  • 1/4 cup of fried onions
  • 1/4 cup of warm milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon of red food color
  • 1 teaspoon of rose water
  • 1 teaspoon of kewra
  • 1 tablespoon of Ghee (clarified butter)
  • 1 cup of plain dough (made with 2 cups of flour and water)


  • Mix everything for the chicken marination, and marinate for 4 hours up to overnight.
  • In a large pot, bring some water to boil.
  • Add lots of salt to the water along with the cinnamon, cardamons and bay leaves (remember this is the only time you can flavor the rice).
  • Add the rice and cook about 70% through (depending on the type of rice, it should take about 6-8 minutes).
  • Drain the rice and set aside.
  • Layer the marinated chicken on the bottom of a heavy pot.
  • Layer half the parboiled rice on top of the chicken.
  • Sprinkle half the chopped cilantro, mint and fried onions.
  • Layer the rest of the parboiled rice on top and repeat with the rest of the herbs and fried onions.
  • Mix the warm milk and food color; pour the over the rice.
  • Add the kewra, rose water and ghee.
  • Put the dough on the inside rim of the lid and press the lid down on the pot to close it shut.
  • Cook on high heat for 5 minutes.
  • Then place the pot over a flat pan/griddle/tawa and lower the heat to minimum and continue to cook undisturbed for 35-40 minutes (try not to cook more than that as your rice will get mushy.  Just trust me, that’s enough time for the chicken to cook through).
  • After 40 minutes, switch off the flame and let the biryani start for 10 minutes.
  • After 10 minutes, break the dough seal with a knife and open the lid.

Serve with some Raita (Yogurt Sauce)


Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *