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+ servings

Chicken Hyderabadi Biryani

A classic recipe from Hyderabad made simple. This aromatic and flavourful combination of rice and chicken with some spices can be your next party dish
Course Main Course
Cuisine Hyderabadi, Indian
Keyword Biryani, Chicken, Gluten Free
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Marinating time 30 minutes
Total Time 2 hours
Servings 6 people
Calories 787kcal


To be marinated:

  • 1 kg chicken on the bone
  • 2 tablespoons plain red chilli powder * adjust to taste
  • 1 teaspoon garam masala powder
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 1 teaspoon cardamom powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon kitchen king masala optional
  • 1/4 cup mint leaves chopped
  • 1/4 cup coriander leaves chopped
  • 3 tablespoons ginger garlic paste
  • 1 cup browned fried onions * see notes
  • 1 tablespoon lime juice
  • 1 cup thick yogurt curds
  • 4 tablespoons melted ghee
  • Salt to taste approx 1-1/2 or 2 level tsp

To make the rice:

  • 3 cups (600gms) basmati rice
  • 2-3 teaspoons salt to taste
  • 12 cups of water

Ingredients to be wrapped in a muslin cloth potli:

  • 1 teaspoon black cumin kala jeera
  • 3 black cardamoms badi elaichi
  • 6 cardamoms
  • 6 cloves
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 inch stick of cassia bark or cinnamon

For layering (to be divided between two layers)

  • 4 tablespoons chopped mint
  • 4 tablespoons chopped coriander
  • 1 teaspoon cardamom powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon garam masala powder
  • A pinch of saffron powdered and soaked in 2 tablespoons milk
  • 4 tablespoons melted ghee
  • 4 tablespoons fried onions


  • Clean and cut the chicken into medium big pieces (biryani cuts). Wash and drain or pat dry with a kitchen tissue.
  • In a wok/kadhai heat some oil or ghee and fry the sliced onions till golden brown. Remove onto an absorbent kitchen tissue and divide portions as required for the marination, layering and garnish. Fry the raisins and cashew nuts in the same oil or ghee and remove.
  • In the pan in which you will make the biryani (make sure it is sufficiently big as the chicken and the rice will be cooked in the same pot - I used a large kadhai) marinate the chicken with all the ingredients mentioned under 'to be marinated' for a minimum of 30min.
  • Wash and soak the rice in plenty of water for 15-20 mins then drain and keep aside. In another large pan bring about 12 cups of water to a rolling boil and drop the muslin cloth potli and the washed rice and cook till the rice is al dente (about 80% done) - this could take about 10mins so keep an eye on it. Remove the pan from heat.
  • Using a slotted spoon remove half the rice and layer it over the chicken. While you are doing so if some of the liquid (in which the rice was cooked) comes along with the rice it is ok - it will provide the required moisture to cook the rice but don't add too much.
  • Layer half the ingredients mentioned under 'for the layering' and then cover with the remaining rice and sprinkle the remaining half of the ingredients meant for layering
  • Randomly poke deep holes into the biryani and pour any remaining ghee into it (or some extra if you wish). Cover the pan tighly with chapathi dough or foil and then place a well fitting lid over it so that no steam can escape.
  • Place the pan over a medium heat and cook for 8-10 minutes and then reduce the heat to a sim and continue to cook for 5 minutes. Once done, carefully open the pan and lift a small section of the foil and dig into the biryani to see if the meat is cooked. The chicken would be tender by now and the rice fluffy and aromatic. Remove from heat
  • Gently remove into a serving dish and serve hot with raitha of your choice


1. Depending on the spice level of the chilli powder you are using please adjust the quantity. Also, increase or decrease the quantity if you are going to cook more than 1kg of chicken. It is best to taste the marination before adding more.
2. To make the fried onions take 3 medium-big onions and finely slice them and fry till golden browl. For this recipe you need a total of 3 onions - they will yield approx enough onions for marinating, layering and garnishing. Instead of shallow frying the onions and to speed up your work you can deep fry them in a large deep frying pan/kadhai that has been only half filled with oil. Remember that onions contain moisture and when you drop them in the hot oil the oil will come to the surface. If your kadhai is full, the oil may spill out and cause a terrible kitchen disaster so please be extra careful. You can store the deep fried onions in a freezer safe, airtight box to be used whenever you wish.
3. If you are making this for a party it is best to marinate the chicken a day in advance so that it pulls in all the flavours very well. The next day your job becomes really easy as all you have to do is cook and layer the rice before placing the pot on dum.
4. You can use any marination for your biryani and proceed with the same techqniue of cooking it. 


Calories: 787kcal | Carbohydrates: 89g | Protein: 25g | Fat: 36g | Saturated Fat: 18g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 4g | Monounsaturated Fat: 11g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 117mg | Sodium: 955mg | Potassium: 563mg | Fiber: 5g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 1231IU | Vitamin C: 8mg | Calcium: 143mg | Iron: 3mg