The Quintessential “Biryani”

So my first post is about “Biryani”. Being a hyderabadi foodie that should be a no-brainer. Hyderabadi biryani is one of the most popular dishes of all time. The basic recipe of biryani is constant throughout the city, but every household has their own little tweaks in the recipe. Some states in india have their own version of biryani but the true authentic recipe comes from hyderabad.

Before i got married, I never really made biryani on my own even though I saw and helped my mom make it a thousand times before. So after i got married the first thing i did was collect all of my mum’s recipes especially biryani in detail down to the number of cloves i had to use.

For the first time after marriage, my husband made biryani for me and he cooked it in the oven and I was shocked like who cooks biryani in THE OVEN??!! But I realized that true authentic taste of biryani comes only when you cook on a fire stove top, better still on a wood burning stove which my grandmother still does.

So this is my mum’s recipe of hyderabadi chicken dum biryani. This is also called as “kacchi  yakhni ki biryani” as we do not cook the marinade before adding the rice. For the best results, try to use fresh ingredients as much as possible.



(serves four)

for the marinade:

two whole chicken

2 tbspn gingergarlic paste

half cup each of finely chopped fresh coriander and mint leaves

3-4 green chillies finely chopped

3 tbspn garam masala powder

2 cups of fried onions

1 tbspn red chilli powder

1 tspn coriander powder

juice of one whole lemon

2 cups of yoghurt

3 tbspn sal

1 tspn cumin powder

3 tbsp ghee or oil

step1: wash your chicken throughly and remove all the excess water



step 2: Mix  all the ingredients mentioned above to marinade the chicken. ideally you have to leave the marinade for about 6 -12 hours



ingredients for the rice layer:

4 cups basmati rice

4-5 whole cloves

4-5 whole cardamoms

one cinnamon stick

2-3 bay leaves

2-3 star anise

one tspn caraway seeds

2tbsp salt

3-4 sprigs of saffron

half cup milk

a pinch of orange food color

chopped coriander and mint leaves for garnish

little bit of fried onions for garnish

step3: In a separate vessel fill the vessel with water and put all the ingredients mentioned above. It doesn’t matter how much water you put because we will be straining it anyways, but make sure all of the rice soaks in .Once the water starts boiling put in the rice.

step4: Leave it on high flame for about 8 mins or until the rice grain breaks apart when you squeeze it..Warning: Do not let the rice go soft or else it will get too mushy after its cooked.

step5: Strain the rice and layer it over the chicken marinade. Even it out. Mix the saffron in milk and pour it all over the rice. spread the fried onions, coriander and mint leaves on top and add a pinch of orange food color all over the rice.

step6: Cover the lid tightly so that the steam does not get out. You can put something heavy on top like a rice bag..or go all professional and cover the lid and vessel with kneaded dough. leave it on high flame for 10 mins and simmer it to as low as possible for another 35-45 mins.

AND JUST LIKE THAT your biryani is ready!! i know its alot of steps but its all worth it i promise! enjoy it with yoghurt.


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