Hyderabadi Dum Pukth (Pakki) Murgh Biryani

Mazadaar!! (meaning ‘yummy’ in English) is what everyone in my house say when they have just had thier first niwaala/morsel of my Dum Pukth Murgh Biryani.

Chicken Biryani is an exotic one-dish meal, served usually at large get-togethers, occasions and parties like weddings, ceremonies and festivals in the city of Hyderabad, India. The method of cooking involves a layering process of half cooked rice with the cooked till done spiced chicken mixture. Hyderabadi people have a great fondness for Biryanis and it is seen at almost every restaurant in the menu cards as the speciality item.

Saffron strands

Basically, there are two kinds of Biryani: Pakki Biryani, and Kachchi Biryani.

Pakki Biryani: where are half Basmati cooked rice is layered along with completely cooked chicken or lamb meat and then cooked till done on slow heat on dum.
1. Pakki Gosht ki Biryani
2. Pakki Murgh Biryani

Kachchi Biryaniwhich is the true Hyderabadi Biryani – where are half cooked Basmati rice is layered along with raw marinated meat and then finished on slow heat till done on dum.
1. Kachchey Gosht ki Biryani
2. Kachche Aqni ki Dum Murgh Biryani

The following is the procedure how I prepare Pakki Murgh biryani in my house on a regular basis. In this recipe you can use a whole chicken with bones, cut into pieces; but I usually prefer to use boneless Chicken, as my family prefers boneless breast pieces of Chicken, which has minimal fat in it, hence a healthier option. Check out my Instant Light Chicken Biryani, which is light on stomach, and gets prepared in less than 30 minutes.

The caraway seeds, garam masala powder, saffron strands, and all other spices used in this recipe can be easily found in most Indian grocery stores which sell spices. My family prefers to have Biryani a bit hot and lemony with a little bit of an acetous flavor, so I’ve added red and green chilli and lemon juice according to our tastes. You can alter those according to your tastes.

Do not worry if you have never prepared Biryani till now by yourselves. I have tried here to explain each step in as simpler method as possible. Do write to me if you have any doubts regarding the procedure. Go ahead and prepare this for your family, Enjoy.

Hyderabadi Dum (Pakki) Murgh Biryani – Fragrant Rice-Chicken Casserole with Spices
Serves: 8


Ginger-Garlic Paste – 2 tbsp
Garam Masala – 1 1/2 tsp
Yogurt -1 1/2 cup
Tomatoes – 2, large and ripe, pureed into a smooth paste (or) Canned tomato paste – 5 tbsp (optional)
Turmeric – 1/4 tsp
Red chilli powder – 2 tsp
Lemon juice – 6 tbsp
Salt – to taste
Almonds – 1/2 cup, slivered
Cashew nuts – 1/2 cup
Yellow Onions – 5, large, sliced
Chicken – 900 gms, Boneless, skinless breast pieces, cut into 2 cms cubes
Basmati, Long Grained Rice – 5 cups
Water – 8 cups
Canola Oil -9 tbsp
Caraway seeds/ShahZeera – 1 tbsp
Warm Milk – 1/2 cup
Saffron strands – one big pinch
Bay leaves – 1
Green cardamom – 3
Green Chillies – 5, small sized, slit lengthwise
Home-made Ghee – 3 tbsp
Fresh Mint leaves/Pudina – 2 tbsp, wahsed, chopped finely
Fresh Cilantro/Kothmir – 2 tbsp, washed, chopped finely

Hyderabadi Dum Pukth Murgh Biryani


1. Marinate the chicken with the first 8 ingredient for about 6-8 hours maximum or one hour minimum covered in the refrigerator.
2. Start by pouring 1 tbsp oil into a large heavy bottomed non-stick frying pan and fry the almonds and cashewnuts till they are golden brown and remove them into a bowl.
3. In the same pan add 8 tbsp oil and add the sliced onions. Fry them till the onions are brown and crisp. Make sure not to burn them. Remove from heat. Remove about a cup of the fried onions with a slotted spoon onto a paper towel in a platter.
4. Take out the chicken from the refrigerator, bring it to room temperature. In the pan with oil and fried onions, dump the whole bowl consisting of the marinating chicken and all its juices into it and put the pan on medium high heat. Let it cook uncovered until the gravy is dry and dense and the chicken is done. Keep stirring it occasionally. This might take about 20-30 minutes. Remove from heat and keep aside.
5. Meanwhile take half a cup of warm milk, and add a few strands of saffron. Let them soak  for an hour.
6. Wash and soak the rice in water for preferably half an hour. Later, drain the rice and keep it in the sieve. Boil 8 cups of water and add cinnamon sticks and caraway seeds/shah zeera, bay leaves, green cardamom and salt (I use the proportion:1 tsp salt for 1 cup rice). Once the water is boiling add the strained rice, give it a stir and let the rice soften up a bit. Once the rice is half done, strain the rice and throw away the water. Discard the bay leaves and the cinnamon stick.
7. Arrange half the amount of rice as the bottom layer layer in a large dish. Next, add the chicken mixture prepared earlier in a layer. Now add the remaining rice above the chicken layer, covering it completely.
8. Garnish with mint, cilantro, fried onions, slit green chillies, and fried nuts from step 2. Now pour evenly the milk with saffron strands and two tablespoons of ghee over the layered and garnished rice. Cover the dish with a lid or aluminium foil.
9. Preheat the oven to 350°F and put the dish in the oven for 10-12 minutes, till a nice steam has formed inside the dish, and the rice has been done. Serve hot for a delicious meal.

Tip: Adding salt to the water in which you cook rice is essential, or else the whole taste of Biryani turns upside down. One tip if you have forgotten to add salt to the water while boiling rice is – stir the required amount of salt in a little quantity of hot water, about half cup or a few tablespoons, and pour this on the biryani evenly. Warm the biryani in microwave and serve immediately.

Suggested Accompaniments: Biryani goes very well along with Mirchi Ka Salan or Baghare Baingan, or Tamatar Ki Chutney and Dahi Ki Chutney.


22 thoughts on “Hyderabadi Dum Pukth (Pakki) Murgh Biryani

  1. I never write a review… But this time i couldn’t help but write once,since the recipe you posted was so good..
    I made it yesterday and it came out excellent.. I couldn’t believe that I made it.. After relentlessly trying to make good Biryani for months I almost gave up until I stumbled upon your website.. Lo and behold I discovered the best recipe online..thank you so much!!!

  2. Dear Mona,

    I cooked Biryani for 60 people using your recipe a couple days ago. The results were very good. Thank you for detailing the procedure.

    The one question I have is why not put salt in both the rice and the marinade? I did add salt to the onions for a couple of hours and squeezed out the moisture in order to boson the onions quickly.

    I did modify a bit I felt the proportions of onions is misleading. “Large onions” could mean different things for different people. Its best to use measurements in either metric or imperial.

    Thanks again for sharing your wonderful family recipes.

    The Vindaloo

    Vindaloo, you can add salt according to taste to the chicken while it is cooking as well.

  3. Assalamo Alaykum Mona,

    I am away from home and living in dubai.. having outside is really costly affair here, hence trying to make food from myself(doing since 4 months) but it has never been a heart touching taste.. Last Thursday i was browsing to get some hydi dishes. Here it comes Zaiqa.

    I opted as a first dish from you was khichdi… I did copy paste from here it was awesome… I was surprised that i making the stuff how my mom’s make…

    AS a second dish i tried chiken biryani, I know i am keeping 10 steps forward. It took 2 hours + few ups and downs. Finally the result is awesome.. It was awesome….
    I can rate my biryani better than hotels here. My rating now will be 7/10.

    Thanks GOD for showing your site.. You are amazing cook….

    Jazak Allah Khair!!!!

    Allah Hafiz

  4. hi mona,
    I have come here to thank you. I always loved biryani and till date its my favourite food. I had never made biryani on my own and my mom tried her best to teach me, and the first time i made the biryani it was your recipe that I used. Now I have tried all the four types of biryani and I am so proud to say that no one in my family makes it like I do.
    Well no one tasted it but my husband and he loves it.
    (I too love the biryani made me only and of course the wedding biryanis) Especially smoking the chicken Biryani with live charcoals, that completely transforms it.
    Apart from that, many other recipes that I tried from your blog, they are always a hit.:)
    Thanks soo much.
    take care.

  5. Hey Mona,

    I am a newlywed and I have been trying out many of your recipes and this recipe is what I’m making for dinner tonight. Your recipes turn out just like my mom’s food at home. I was joking with my husband that you are my NEW mom in the kitchen! You are a lifesaver, thanks!

    NeeshQ, thanks for letting me know. Glad you like my blog.

  6. Mona, Thanks for recipe. I tried this recipe and turned out great. Definitely a confidence boost for me, coz other than the regular chicken/mutton curries, I’m not too confident when trying new stuff w/ non-veg for some reason. Next time I’ll try skipping tomato and see how it turns out as I felt tomato is somehow adding lil bit of blandness.

  7. Mona,

    You did not mention what to do with fried almonds and cashews. Are they for garnish or make a paste and cook it along with chicken?


    Sunil, I have updated the post. Sorry for the typo.

  8. i tried your biryani recipe last weekend and it came out really well.. i am vegetarian but my husband and friends enjoyed it throughly… thank u so much for this wonderful recipe

  9. This recipe i tried last Eid day and every our guests asked me the recipe.Thanks alot for this deicious biriyani recipe!! from me as well as my friends.

    My pleasure! ~Mona

  10. Hi Mona, I tried your chicken briyani and it was great. It is totally different from the Tamilian version of the chicken briyani I make. The rice was even better the next day. Thanks for your tips on frying onions too.


  11. All ur ingr for our hyderabadi dum biryani are correct and excellent but one small correction we do not use tomato in our biryani we use it in our raita and mirchi ka salan.

    Dr.Ram, I am a pure Hyderabadi at heart. All the recipes that I am publishing here at my culinary weblog are ‘pakka hyderabadi’, the way I was taught by my elders. I love to throw in a few chopped tomatoes for that extra flavor in my Biryani. Do try it for yourselves. I am sure you will like it too, and if you dont you can always cut out that ingredient. ~Mona

  12. Hi Mona,
    I have tried you recipe for chicken biryani and I don’t hesitate to say that it is simply superb and mind blowing. I have been hunting for an authentic tasting recipe and I am glad I found it here. Thank you very much for sahring you recipe.

  13. Assalamualaikum wa rahmatullah Mona.

    Your blog just came to my rescue. I am a non-hyderabadi married to a pukka Hyderabadi and live in the US. My husband is a food-lover but, i cant cook like his MOM he says. I have been looking or hyderabadi recipes online, whilch donot look quite “Hyderabadi” Your’s with pics look great masha Allah. Insha Allah i will start using your recipes to get into my husbahnds heart through his stomach…. LOL…..Publish your cookcook soon…..lotza love Um Yusuf.

  14. hi mona,

    i found your blog just last week. congrats on your move to a new site. i tried out chicken dum biryani first from your blog. your measurements (even oil) was precise and it came out well. i’ll be making it many times again. thank you.i’ll also be visiting your page often. hyderabadi food- now who can resist that???

  15. Salam Mona,
    I was on vacation when you visited my blog, just now found the link and came.lovely blog you have with nice recipes and pics…thanks for visitng simple and delicious!

  16. I LOVE chicken biryani!!!! I’ll have to try making it now. Do you have a photo of finished dish? I”m such a visual person.

    Jaden, do try it out, its simple, and u will love it to no end. I will be uploading pictures very soon. ~Mona

  17. thanks for stopping by, mona. it’s great to discover your blog. have added you to our blogroll.

    Bee, welcome to my blog! Keep dropping by. ~Mona

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