Easy Chicken Dum Biryani | Fail-Proof Chicken Biryani Recipe

The flagship Chicken dum biryani of Indian cuisine is well-loved for obvious reasons and you can’t escape from being mesmerized in its out-of-the-world aroma which is indescribable in words!

Chicken Dum BiryaniAfter a classic Italian recipe – shrimp scampi – I decided to get back to my roots! Here I present the ubiquitous chicken dum biryani from my kitchen to yours! Stay on if you wanna know the easiest way to make an extremely flavorful chicken dum biryani without much of a fuss! Trust me, it is actually not as difficult as it may sound. My love for chicken dum biryani is so deep rooted that I may eventually get lost in my thoughts while taking you through this aromatic experience. If that happens, I am sure you will forgive me! But I promise you, making and devouring this quintessential chicken dum biryani will definitely be an unforgettable experience of your lifetime!

I have made this chicken dum biryani uncountable time by now but haven’t shared it yet here. There could be two possible reasons behind this – one, I might be too possessive about it or second – I wanted my chicken dum biryani to look perfect, just 10 on 10! It could be possible that sometimes the biryani does not turn out as fluffy as it looks in any popular Indian cookbook or when you order it at your favorite Indian restaurant. But nothing to worry, your chicken dum biryani will still taste as good. And to make the rice look perfect, here is my fail-proof recipe which will take all the guess work out and present you with the most amazing looking chicken dum biryani you ever had!

Chicken Dum BiryaniChicken Dum BiryaniYou might have already scrolled down below and sighed at the length of the chicken dum biryani recipe. Ok, I agree it looks long. But trust me, it does not involve as much effort as you have started to assume. I have called it easy chicken dum biryani especially for the simplicity of this recipe. If you cook Indian food regularly then chances are you may already have all the spices listed under the ingredients. If you are an Indian, then you shouldn’t even worry a bit because my chicken dum biryani recipe doesn’t call for any exotic stuff. All I have used are our regular whole spices. If you are not familiar with the ‘dum’ part of this chicken dum biryani, then let me provide some quick context. ‘Dum’ is nothing but a cooking technique in which the raw meat is cooked with the spices within the steam along with the half-cooked rice. So, it is essential not to let any steam escape from the chicken dum biryani pot after assembling the chicken and rice during the whole cooking time.

That is exactly why we seal any gap between the pot and the lid with a flour dough and let the biryani cook undisturbed so that the chicken is completely cooked and becomes tender and the rice is also fully done. This process creates the most amazingly juicy and tasty chicken I ever had mainly because we trap all the flavors inside the chicken pieces and nothing could escape. So, you see my blind love for chicken dum biryani is not for nothing! The only important point to which I want to draw your attention to is the quality of rice you are using. Try to get the best Basmati rice possible as Basmati rice is very low in starch content which means the cooked rice will be fluffy and separated from each other. Plus, the rice grains will be longer with a wonderful aroma which makes your chicken dum biryani extremely flavorful. Just try to stick to the recipe as I have described below and follow the steps accordingly. I bet you won’t fail to create the most amazing chicken dum biryani in your own kitchen. Your weekend will be special as your loved ones won’t stop thanking you! Enjoy!

Chicken Dum BiryaniChicken Dum Biryani

Easy Chicken Dum Biryani
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Recipe type: Main
Cuisine: Indian
Serves: 4 servings
  • Basmati rice – 2 cups
  • Bay leaf – 2
  • Black peppercorn – 6 to 8
  • Ghee (clarified butter) – 2 tbsp
  • Saffron – 1 fat pinch
  • Milk – ¼ cup
  • Screwpine (Kewra) water – 2 tbsp
  • Rose water – 2 tvsp
  • Wheat flour dough – 1 cup
  • Salt – 2 tsp

For chicken:
  • Skinless bone-in chicken pieces – 8, cut 1 chicken of about 1 kg into 8 large pieces
  • Yogurt – ½ cup
  • Green cardamom – 6 to 8
  • Black cardamom – 3
  • Cinnamon – 4 inch stick
  • Cloves – 6 to 8
  • Mace – 4 to 6 threads
  • Black peppercorn – 6 to 8
  • Star anise – 3
  • Shahi jeera (Caraway seeds) – 1 tsp
  • Red chilli powder – 2 tsp
  • Cumin powder – 1 tsp
  • Coriander powder – 1 tbsp
  • Turmeric powder – ¼ tsp
  • Onion – 4, large, thinly sliced and fried till golden brown and crisp
  • Ginger-garlic paste – 1 tbsp
  • Fresh coriander leaves – 1 cup, tightly packed
  • Fresh mint leaves – 1 cup, tightly packed
  • Green chilli – 4
  • Vegetable oil – ½ cup + 2 tsp
  • Lemon juice – 2 tsp
  • Salt to taste
  1. Put all the whole spices in a spice-grinder and grind to make a powdered spice blend.
  2. Take a large bowl and mix together the following ingredients – yogurt, the spice blend you made earlier, ginger-garlic paste, chilli powder, turmeric powder, cumin powder, coriander powder, salt, half of the chopped coriander leaves, half of the chopped mint leaves, half of the fried onions, lemon juice, green chilli and oil. Mix everything well to make a homogeneous marinade for chicken.
  3. Now add the washed chicken pieces into the marinade and massage the marinade well into the chicken pieces to coat every piece well. Cover with a cling film and refrigerate overnight.
  4. While you are ready to make the biryani next day, first wash and soak the Basmati rice for at least one hour.
  5. While the rice is soaking, make all the other preparation as it will take less than 5 minutes to cook the rice after you soak it for 1 hour.
  6. Take a deep non-stick pot (Use a pot which comes with a snugly fitting lid) and lay the chicken pieces in single layer at the bottom of the pot. Sprinkle some of the remaining coriander and mint leaves but not all. Set it aside.
  7. Warm the milk in a small bowl and add the saffron to it. Saffron will start leaving its color into the milk. Set aside.
  8. Keep the ghee, kewra and rose water handy before assembling the biryani.
  9. Now to cook the rice, bring a large pot of water to boil and add oil, salt, bay leaves and black peppercorn to it. Add the soaked rice to the boiling water and cook till the rice is 70% cooked which will take not more than 4 minutes. Remove the rice from fire and drain it. Do not overcook the rice at this point.
  10. Layer the drained rice over the arranged chicken so that all the chicken pieces are covered. Now sprinkle the remaining fried onion over the rice and dot the rice all over with ghee or clarified butter.
  11. Sprinkle the remaining coriander and mint leaves and finally drizzle the kewra water, rose water and the saffron infused milk all over the rice.
  12. Now take the dough and make a thin lace from it. Set the lid of the pot upside down and paste the dough lace around the rim of the lid. Now flip the lid and put it over the pot to cover making sure the dough tightly seals any gap between the pot and the lid. If there is any gap, seal it with some additional dough. If there is any vent at the top of the lid, seal it too. The aim is to not let the steam escape so that the chicken is cooked in the steam.
  13. You can also place some heavy weight like a stone mortar on top of the lid but that’s optional.
  14. Now put the biryani pot on high heat for 4 to 5 minutes. Then place the pot over a flat pan/griddle/tawa and lower the heat to minimum and continue to cook undisturbed for 40 to 45 minutes. Since the griddle will be on direct heat with the pot on top of it, it will prevent the biryani from burning but cooking the chicken to utmost perfection.
  15. After 45 minutes, switch off the flame and let the biryani start for 10 minutes.
  16. After 10 minutes, break the dough seal with a knife and open the lid to get the most amazing aroma of food one could ever get and awaken your senses!
  17. Enjoy the perfectly made chicken dum biryani with raita and salan.




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