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Chicken Biryani made in hyderabadi style. I learnt to make this super yummy biryani from master-chef classes being broadcasted in TV. One can make this in handi or without handi, I made this several time in stew pot and once in cooker (without whistle) and finally bought a handi, you just need to ensure it’s well sealed with the dough. Surprise your family this weekend with this super yummy biryani.

For Marination
1 kg chicken (I used only leg pieces)
1/2 cup hung curd
1 cup fried onion (6-7 large sliced and deep fried onions)

1 tsp garam masala
2 tsp coriander powder (dhaniya powder)
1 tsp turmeric powder (haldi powder)
2 tbsp tomato sauce
1 tsp kasuri meethi
2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp grated nutmeg (jaiphal)
red chilli powder as per taste
1/2 cup fried onions
1 tsp ginger-garlic paste
3-4 tbsp leftover oil of fried onions
handful mint and coriander leaves

1 glass Basmati or Biryani Rice
5-6 glasses of water
1/2 tsp cumin seeds (Jeera)
2-3 tej pata
2-3 cloves (laung)
2-3 cardamom (elachi)
2 tsp salt
2-3 tsp leftover oil of onion
dough for sealing the lid

Take a deep bowl or dish, add 4-5 glasses of water, add 2 tsp salt and soak chicken pieces in it and keep in fridge for 8 hours or overnight. This process is called brine, which is optional. It makes chicken super soft.

Make hung curd by hanging curd in muslin cloth and tie it around tap to drain out the excess water.

Take a bowl, add hung curd and mix all the ingredients mentioned under it. Keep in fridge overnight or for 4-5 hours.

For Biryani:

Wash and soak rice for 1-2 hours and keep aside. 

Take stew pot, handi or cooker, set chicken pieces in it, make sure all the pieces should touch the base of pan, and should not over lap. This is very important step.

Take plenty of water (around 5-6 glasses) in deep pan. Add cumin seeds, tej pata,cloves, and cardamom. Add leftover onion oil, salt. Bring water to boil, as soon as it comes to rolling boil, add rice and let it cook. Once rice is 50% cook, turn off the flame. Don’t drain the water. At this stage take taste test of salt.

Without draining water of rice, with the help of strainer, sprinkle layer of rice over chicken pieces. Sprinkle handful of fried onion, mint leaves and coriander leaves, now add another layer of rice and sprinkle some more fried onions, mint leaves and coriander leaves. Add saffron soaked milk, ghee and kewra water over it. Put the lid on it which is lined with sticky dough all around. Press it hard making sure it’s well sealed all over.

Now cook it on medium flame for 10 minutes, then on low flame for 10 minutes  then transfer it over hot tawa/griddle. Cook for another 15 minutes. Turn off the flame and let it rest for 15 minutes.

Cut the dough seal with the help of knife. Serve this aromatic biryani with curd and enjoy!

1. Take a taste test of salt both in marinated chicken and in cooked rice as more salt cannot be added afterwards. Keep salt a little higher in marinated chicken. You can go for the proportion I have mentioned since it was perfect for my family.

2. Try to add hung curd or thick curd for better taste and texture of chicken.

3. Keep the dough seal ready before starting the procedure.

4. Try to add a thick layer of dough seal, as thin layer can lead to release of steam.

5. Don’t overlap chicken pieces on each other and make sure all the pieces should touch the base of pan as this can lead to uncooked chicken.

6. Add rice in water only when it comes to rolling boil.

7. Don’t drain the rice water, transfer it immediately with the help of strainer. Draining water can lead to dry rice.

8. While transferring rice make sure there is not water in it, it should be only moist and not wet.

9. In case steam start releasing due to loose dough, seal it again with dough from that particular place or point.

10. After switching off the flame don’t open the seal immediately, let it rest for 15 minutes.


1. Fry onions.

2. Take hung curd.

3. Add all the ingredients mentioned under it.

4. Mix well.

5. Add 3-4 tbsp of leftover onion oil. Mix well.

6. Drain brine water from chicken, if you have kept it overnight for brining.

6. Coat chicken pieces well in hung curd.

7. Add fried onions and mint coriander leaves. Keep this in fridge overnight.

For Biryani:

1. Set chicken pieces all over the pan, making sure they touch the bottom and don’t overlap.

2. Add generous amount of water in deep pan, add cumin seeds, te pata, cardamom, cloves. Bring it to boil.

3. By the time water is coming to rolling boil, make a roll with dough and stick it around the lid of pan or handi.

4. Once water comes to rolling boil, add soaked rice.

5. When rice is 50% cooked, turn off the flame. with the help of strainer, spread it all over the chicken pieces.

6. Spread handful of mint, coriander leaves and fried onions.

7. Then another layer of generous rice. Finally add some more mint leaves, coriander leaves and fried onions.


8. Add kesar dissolved milk and kewra water.


9. Place dough seal lid. Cook on medium flame for 10 minutes, then on low flame for 10 minutes and finally transfer on hot tawa and cook on low flame for 15 minutes.

10. After 30 mimutes switch off the flame and let it rest for 15 minutes. After 15 minutes break the seal with the help of knife.

11. Serve hot!


12. Closer look!



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