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How to Make Clay Pot Chicken Dum Biryani | Air fried Chicken | Instant Pot Ghee Rice | Best Indian Recipe

Chicken biryani dum cooked in a clay pot…

For Eid, I made this exciting chicken biryani that was dum cooked in a clay pot. I enjoy clay pot cooking, it’s a traditional & popular way of cooking in South India & Srilanka. The food cooked in the clay pot has a unique flavor & aroma & is healthy cooking style. I tweaked my biryani recipe by air frying the chicken instead of deep-frying, it’s a healthy alternative. Also, made ghee rice in the Instant Pot. Everything was layered in a clay pot & dum cooked over low heat for 15 minutes.

While cooking in the clay pot flame burner has to be used, don’t place the clay pot over the ceramic flat cooking range it might crack. Luckily, I have a flame burner on my outdoor grill and I used that for dum cooking the biryani.

I wish I had banana leaf or vazhayila, biryani wrapped in banana leaf & dum cooked in the clay pot will taste incredibly delicious & aromatic.

Do make this biryani, it’s a unique way of presenting the biryani in the clay pot.

Cooking Video

How to Make Clay Pot Chicken Dum Biryani | Air fried Chicken | Instant Pot Ghee Rice | Best Indian Recipe
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Recipe type: Main
Cuisine: Indian
Serves: 5 People
For Making the Marinade
  • Kashmiri chili powder- 2 tsp
  • Regular chili powder- 2 tsp
  • Turmeric powder- ½ tsp
  • Coriander powder- 1 tbsp
  • Cumin powder- 1 tsp
  • Garam Masala- 2 tsp
  • Salt- 2 tsp
  • Ginger-Garlic paste- 2 tbsp
  • Yogurt- 3 tbsp
  • Chopped cilantro- 2 tbsp
  • Chopped mint- 1 tbsp
  • Lemon juice- 2 tbsp
  • Chicken legs or bone-in pieces- 10 to 12
For Making Ghee Rice
  • Basmati Rice- 2 cups
  • Ghee- 3 tbsp
  • Onion, sliced thin- 1
  • Whole cinnamon- 2-inch slice
  • Water- 2¼ cups (to cook in the Instant Pot, in saucepan 4 cups water required)
  • Salt- 1½ tsp
  • To Grind
  • Garlic cloves- 4
  • Ginger- 1-inch slice
  • Green chilies- 2
For Making Chicken Masala
  • Oil- ¼ cup
  • Dried bay leaves- 2
  • Onions, sliced thin- 6
  • Salt- 1½ tsp
  • Tomatoes, chopped- 4
  • Chopped cilantro- ¼ cup
  • Chopped mint- 2 tbsp
  • To grind
  • Garlic cloves- 4
  • Ginger- 1-inch slice
  • Green chilies- 3
  • Whole cardamoms- 4
  • Whole cloves- 3
  • Whole cinnamon- 2-inch slice
For Layering Biryani
  • Fried onions- 2 onions fried in oil
  • Saffron water- 3 pinches saffron soaked in 2 tbsp water
  • Chopped cilantro- ¼ cup
  • Chopped mint leaves- ¼ cup
  • Fried Cashew nuts- ¼ cup
  1. In a bowl, combine all the spices mentioned 'for making the marinade'. This can be made ahead of time & stored in the refrigerator for a few days.
  2. I've taken chicken legs, any bone-in chicken pieces can be used.
  3. Spread the marinade all over the chicken pieces.
  4. Let marinate overnight in the refrigerator or for 2 hours.
  5. I've air-fried the chicken instead of deep-frying.
  6. Place the marinated chicken on an air fryer basket, set time to 30 minutes & air fry.
  7. Save the leftover marinade in the bowl, will add this while cooking chicken masala.
  8. After 30 minutes, the chicken will turn crispy outside & still juicy inside. Keep aside.
  9. If you don't have an air fryer, bake in a preheated oven at 400 F or 200 C for 40 to 45 minutes.
  10. Or grill the chicken.
Making Ghee Rice
  1. Into a bowl, add 2 cups basmati rice, add water & let soak for 15 minutes.
  2. After 15 minutes, drain the water & rinse well taken in a strainer.
  3. I've used my Instant Pot to cook the ghee rice.
  4. If you don't have an Instant Pot, cook in a saucepan over stovetop for 15 to 20 minutes.
  5. Coarsely grind- garlic, ginger & green chilies.
  6. Turn on the Instant Pot.
  7. Select Saute setting.
  8. Add 3 tbsp ghee.
  9. Add onions, season with salt.
  10. Saute for 2 minutes.
  11. Add the coarsely ground garlic-ginger-chilies.
  12. Add whole cinnamon.
  13. Saute for 2 minutes.
  14. Please ensure the stainless steel pot hasn't turned brown, don't have to saute onions till golden brown.
  15. Add soaked basmati rice, combine well.
  16. Add water, combine well.
  17. Close with the lid.
  18. Select Pressure Cook setting.
  19. Set time to 6 minutes at high pressure.
  20. After 6 minutes of pressure cooking, let pressure release naturally for 5 minutes followed by quick pressure release.
  21. Open the lid, inhale the fragrance of the ghee rice.
  22. You'll have the perfectly cooked fluffy ghee rice, keep it covered.
Making Chicken Masala
  1. Coarsely grind garlic, ginger, green chilies, cardamom, cloves & cinnamon; keep aside.
  2. Place a large wok or wide pan over medium heat.
  3. Add oil & dried bay leaves.
  4. Add sliced onions, season with salt.
  5. Cook for 15 minutes till onions turn translucent.
  6. Add the coarsely ground ginger-garlic-green chilies mixture.
  7. Cook for 10 minutes till onions turn golden.
  8. Add chopped tomatoes, combine well.
  9. Cook covered for 10 minutes till tomatoes are mashed up.
  10. Add the reserved marinade, combine well.
  11. Add the air-fried chicken, combine well.
  12. Saute over HIGH HEAT, let all the moisture dry off and the onions start to turn slightly brown.
  13. Add chopped cilantro & mint leaves.
  14. Cook for 2 minutes.
  15. Cover the wok with the lid, remove it from the heat & keep aside.
Layering the Biryani
  1. Fry 2 sliced onions in oil till golden brown.
  2. Soak saffron in water for 5 minutes.
  3. Fry cashew nuts in oil.
  4. Use a clean clay pot. You have to use 2 medium sized clay pots.
  5. Layer with the chicken masala as the bottom layer.
  6. Spread cooked ghee rice over the chicken masala.
  7. Add ½ tbsp saffron water.
  8. Add chopped cilantro & mint leaves.
  9. Add fried onions.
  10. Repeat these layers.
  11. On the very top, add fried cashew nuts.
  12. Close tightly with an aluminum foil.
  13. If you have banana leaf or vazhayila, close the clay pot with that.
  14. Place the clay pot over flame burner.
  15. Do not place it over ceramic flat cooking range.
  16. Dum cook over LOW HEAT for 15 minutes.
  17. After 15 minutes, remove the clay pot from the heat.
  18. Keep covered for 15 minutes.
  19. Open the aluminum foil. You'll be seen enjying the mesmerizing aroma of the biryani.
  20. Gently, combine chicken masala & rice; serve on plates.
  21. Enjoy with pappad, raita & pickle.



Thas is the author of Cooking with Thas, a popular food blog with recipes from Indian, American and Fusion Cuisines. She has been blogging since 2009 and been featured in several magazines. Read more...