Biryani Chicken Indian Main Dish

Hyderabadi-Mughlai Chicken Dum Biryani Recipe

This chicken dum biryani boasts an enchanting aroma and flavor, making it a culinary delight.

I’ve shared numerous biryani recipes, but each time I embark on this culinary journey, I either experiment with a new recipe or tweak my favorite one.

India’s diverse culinary landscape offers a plethora of biryani variations, with each region adding its own unique twist. Among the most renowned is the Hyderabadi biryani, a fusion of Hyderabadi and Mughlai flavors, which I’ve had the pleasure of preparing on several occasions.

At the heart of this biryani lies the homemade biryani masala, comprising a medley of roasted and ground whole spices that infuse the dish with an irresistible aroma. To impart a Mughlai essence, I incorporate ground almonds and poppy seeds into the chicken masala.

In contrast to traditional South Indian biryani recipes, this biryani excludes tomatoes and green chilies. Instead, it features layers of succulent chicken masala, fragrant biryani rice, threads of saffron, fried onions, fresh cilantro and mint, roasted almonds, and raisins, all meticulously assembled and dum-cooked for 10 minutes.

The result? A biryani that tantalizes the senses with its captivating aroma and leaves a lasting impression with its divine taste.

Other Yummy Biryani Recipes, Click Here

Hyderabadi-Mughlai Chicken Dum Biryani Recipe
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Recipe type: Main
Cuisine: Indian
Serves: 5 people
Making biryani masala
  • Whole cardamom- 4
  • Whole cloves- 2
  • Whole cinnamon- 2-inch slice
  • Whole Mace- 1
  • Whole Star Anise- 1
  • Dried bay leaf- 1
  • Whole peppercorns- 1 tsp
  • Coriander seeds- 1 tbsp
  • Fennel seeds- ½ tbsp
To grind
  • Whole almonds or cashew nuts- 12
  • Poppy seeds- ½ tbsp
Making chicken masala
  • Chicken, bone-in pieces- 8 large pieces
  • Ghee- 3 tbsp
  • Onions, sliced- 5 (I used yellow onions)
  • Ginger-garlic paste- 1 tbsp
  • Salt- ½ tsp
  • Almonds or cashew nuts/poppy seeds paste
  • Fried onions- 1 cup
  • Yogurt- 3 tbsp
  • Saffron strands- 10 strands
  • Ground black pepper- 1 tsp
  • Cilantro, chopped- ¼ cup
  • Mint leaves, chopped- 1 tbsp
For cooking rice
  • Ghee- 3 tbsp
  • Dried bay leaves- 2
  • Whole cardamom- 3
  • Whole cinnamon- 1-inch slice
  • Mace- 1
  • Kaima or Basmati rice- 2 cups, soaked & rinsed
  • Warm water- 3½ cups
  • Salt- 1¼ tsp (add enough salt while cooking rice)
Layering ingredients
  • Ghee- 1 tbsp
  • Saffron- 10 strands soaked in 2 tbsp milk or water
  • Fried onions- 1 cup
  • Cilantro, chopped
  • Mint leaves, chopped
  • Roasted cashew nuts or almonds
  • Roasted raisins
  1. First step is to make the homemade biryani masala.
  2. Place a pan over medium heat, add all the whole spices & roast for a few minutes till aromatic.
  3. Let cool down & grind to a fine powder. This can be made well in advance & stored in an air-tight container for a few weeks.
  4. Soak almonds or cashew nuts & poppy seeds in 3 tbsp water for 15 minutes & then grind to a smooth paste. Keep it aside.
  5. Basmati or kaima-jeerakasala rice has to be soaked in water for 15 minutes.
  6. I've taken leg & thigh pieces.
  7. Add 1 tbsp prepared biryani masala & 1 tsp salt to the chicken, mix well & let marinate for 30 minutes.
  8. Place a large sauce pan over medium heat. Add ghee.
  9. Add sliced onions, season with ½ tsp salt.
  10. Cook till onions turns translucent.
  11. Add the marinated chicken combine well.
  12. Add the ground almonds-poppy seeds, combine well.
  13. Cook covered for a few minutes.
  14. If it's getting dry add ¼ cup warm water & cook covered.
  15. Add fried onions, don't skip this; fried onions will enhance the taste of the chicken masala.
  16. Add yogurt, saffron strands & ground black pepper, combine well & cook covered till the chicken has cooked well.
  17. Garnish with cilantro & mint leaves.
  18. Ensure the chicken masala is not watery, it has to be dry.
  19. After soaking the rice, strain the rice in a strainer & rinse under running water till the water turns clear.
  20. Place a saucepan over medium heat.
  21. Add 3 tbsp ghee.
  22. Add dried bay leaves & the whole spices, saute for a few seconds.
  23. Add the soaked & rinsed rice: 2 cups, roast for 2 minutes.
  24. Add 3½ cups warm water, combine well.
  25. Add salt, the rice has to be salted well otherwise the biryani will taste bland.
  26. Cook covered for 10 minutes till the rice has cooked 90%.
  27. Don't over cook the rice & let it turn mushy.
  28. Use a medium-sized saucepan for layering.
  29. In a bowl, soak saffron strands in milk or water for 3 minutes.
  30. Add 1 tbsp ghee to the pan.
  31. Layer half of the chicken masala, spread half of the cooked rice.
  32. Drizzle half of the saffron water over the rice.
  33. Spread ½ cup fried onions, chopped cilantro & mint leaves.
  34. Again layer with the remaining chicken masala, rice, saffron, fried onions, cilantro & mint leaves.
  35. As the top layer garnish with roasted cashew nuts or almonds & roasted raisins.
  36. Cover the pot with an aluminum foil & close with the lid.
  37. Place the saucepan over low heat & dum cook the biryani for 10 minutes.
  38. After 10 minutes, take the pan off the heat & let rest for a few minutes.
  39. Open the lid & aluminum foil, inhale the mesmerizing aroma from this biryani.
  40. Gently combine the chicken & rice.
  41. Serve on a plate & enjoy with raita, pappad & pickle.
  42. Enjoy!




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...