Wednesday, 3 December 2014

Murgh Dum Biryani - Chicken Biryani

Murgh Dum Biryani - Chicken Biryani

There is nothing quite like the aroma that wafts through the house when one opens a sealed vessel of Dum Biryani. Sigh! After having posted the Beef-Mutton Biryani recipe a few months back, I have received numerous requests for Chicken Biryani. I have been promising friends to put up this recipe for ever so long. I love Mutton Biryani! The only Chicken Biryani I will happily tuck into is the one made by Anu, that is why when Grumpy (read: husband) requested for Chicken Biryani, this November, for his Parsee-Calendar birthday, I was one happy puppy! I immediately decided I would keep my promise to my friends, take pictures of the process and share the recipe. After all, it was long overdue.  I have to admit, cooking this dish is not my cuppa tea. Biryani is Anu’s forte, hence, like the Beef-Mutton Biryani, this Chicken Biryani comes to you, courtesy Anu (my daughter from another mother). Enjoy!

Ingredients for Marination:

1½ kilo chicken, cut into pieces
3 tablespoons ginger-garlic paste
5 tablespoons chili powder
1 teaspoon turmeric powder
1 tablespoon coriander powder
Salt to taste
5 black peppercorns
4 cardamoms
1 inch piece cinnamon
½ kilo yogurt /dahi /curd


  1. Marinate chicken in ginger-garlic paste, chili powder, turmeric powder, coriander powder, salt, black peppercorns, cardamoms and cinnamon for 3 hours, or overnight, in the fridge.
  2. After completion of marinating time, add yogurt to the chicken and marinate for 30 more minutes, at room temperature. 
Ingredients for Rice:

1 kilo rice (I used Daawat Basmati – blue colored packet)
2 bay leaves
2 teaspoon caraway seeds /shahjeera
1½ inch piece cinnamon
12 black peppercorns
5 cloves
4 cardamoms
4 tablespoons oil
Salt to taste


  1. Wash the rice and soak in clean water for ten minutes. Drain.
  2. Boil a large quantity of water in a large vessel.

  3. Add bay leaves, caraway seeds, cinnamon, black peppercorns, cloves, cardamoms, salt and oil.
  4. When the water comes to a boil, add the drained rice.

  5. Parboil the rice till it is 50% cooked and immediately drain the water from the rice in a colander.

Extra Ingredients:

7 large potatoes, parboil to 70%, peel and each potato cut into 2
½ bunch coriander leaves, roughly chopped
½ small bunch mint leaves, roughly chopped
3 tomatoes, sliced into rounds
6 green chilies, slit
7 onions, sliced, fried to crisp golden brown
3 large pinches saffron
6 tablespoons butter
6 tablespoons oil
8 tablespoons clarified butter

Ingredients to seal the vessel:

2 cups wheat flour
Water to bind the dough


  1. Knead the dough with the water to make semi-stiff dough.
  2. Cover and leave aside. 
Layering the Biryani:

  1. Soak saffron threads in 125 mils hot water. Cover and allow to steep for 30 minutes.

  2. In a large thick bottomed vessel, add the marinated chicken.
  3. Over the chicken add roundels of tomatoes, coriander leaves, mint leaves, slit chilies and ¾ quantities of the crisp, fried onions.

  4. Carefully, but quickly, layer the hot parboiled rice over the layered greens. (IMPORTANT: Please layer the chicken, tomatoes and greens, in advance, while the rice is boiling as you need to layer the drained parboiled rice quickly, while it is hot).

  5. Quickly spoon the saffron and the saffron water over the rice.

  6. Spoon the oil over the rice.
  7. Add blobs of butter and clarified butter all over the layer of rice.

  8. Sprinkle the remaining crisp, fried onions.

  9. Cover the vessel with a lid and seal the edges of the vessel and lid with the kneaded dough.
  10. Put a griddle on the stove and heat the griddle.
  11. Once the griddle is hot, put the sealed vessel on the griddle.
  12. Keep on medium-high flame for 15-20 minutes, then lower heat to minimum flame. Allow it to cook on low heat till the chicken and rice are cooked through. This should take approximately an hour.
  13. Turn off the stove. Once you turn off the stove, leave the Biryani to rest on the stove for ten minutes.
  14. Carefully break open the sealed dough and serve with onion rings or Dahi Kachumber and lemon wedges.

Dahi Kachumber: An Indian Salad…

A salad comprising of chopped onions, chopped tomatoes, chopped green chilies, chopped coriander leaves, mixed with smoothened yogurt, seasoned with salt and black pepper powder.

Chef Notes: 

  1. The first most IMPORTANT point I’d like to make is… When I mentioned 1½ kilo chicken, please note I do NOT use a big bird. I ALWAYS use a 1 kilo bird and then use half of another bird weighing 1 kilo thus totaling the weight of the bird used to 1½ kilo.
  2. A big bird is sometimes tough to cook plus I believe, from experience, that a 1 kilo bird is ideal for tender chicken meat Unfortunately, I cannot say the same for large sized birds, hence always opt for 1 kilo birds..
  3. Only the photos and photo set-up for this recipe is done by me. This recipe is courtesy, Anita (Anu). My daughter, for the last 23 years, from another mother. <3
  4. Depending on the chicken you use the time taken to cook the chicken may vary by 5-10 minutes. A fresh-cut bird will cook faster, while a frozen broiler may take a bit longer to cook.
  5. You may steep the saffron in hot milk instead of water; Anu usually does that but this chose to use water.
  6. You may share the direct blog-link of the recipe/s but do NOT publish my recipes and my photographs on any blog-site or website without my explicit consent or attempt to pass off my recipe/s as your own. You will be held accountable for plagiarism.


  1. Lovely and Delicious Biryani Kainaaz!
    Its 12:30pm here and iam soooo hungry....

    1. Farheen, thank you so much! <3 I usually work on the blog at night so that people wake up to a pleasant food visual in the morning. But for people like you (and me) who are awake at 12.30, it does get to be torture. Ab raat ke 12.30 baje kaun kya bana ke dega hume? I quietly munch on soup sticks and pretend im eating tangdi kabab. :D

  2. ROFL!!
    Thats really cool idea... :P

    Ok next time I will keep my snacks ready!! :D

    1. Farheen, with the amount of food pics and recipes i go through every day at blogs and at FB, there is no other option ;) :D

  3. Replies
    1. Thank you Monu Teena! Im so glad you liked it! :)

  4. Dear Kainaz I am an avid follower of your recipes .Your enthusiasm and love for food is infectious and your sense of humor is refreshing.The amount of effort and research that goes into any recipie is very obvious in the meticulous detailing in your posts.You are generous in posting these lovely recipes. Thank you:)May God bless you for all your efforts in creating happiness in my kitchen.Rgds Gayathri

    1. Dear Gayathri. Thank you ever so much for writing in. It truly pleases me to know you follow the blog and enjoy the recipes. As for sharing them with you all, it is totally my pleasure. Just knowing that the food you cook from my blog spreads smiles at your dining table, warms the cockles of my heart. Thank you ever so much for the kind appreciation. God bless your home and hearth! Warm regards.

  5. Hi Kainaaz! Thank you so much for this recipe. Had been waiting for a Chicken Biryani one for long. Looks Divine :) Just one question : Although I personally love spicy food & chillies, still wondering - Isn't 5 tablespoons of chilli powder a lot for people? (Even if Deghi Mirch is used?) Which one do you use?

    1. Hi Preeti! I'm so glad you liked the recipe. Do give it a try and let me know how it turns out. I'd love to hear feedback from you. Yes 5 tablespoons of Deghi Mirch powder is right because the chicken layer has to be a tad spicy to keep up with the rice which has no spice factor added to it. I use MDH Deghi Mirch but feel free to use any deghi mirch; even Kashmiri Chili powder will work just as well. I hope this helps. :)