Hyderabadi Chicken Biryani is a classic dish from Hyderabad, India, made with juicy chicken, flavorful rice, herbs, spices, and vegetables. Traditionally cooked in a ‘handi’ (a deep pot), dum pukht (meaning slow-cooked in its own steam) style, it tends to have a richer, more complex flavor than other types of chicken biryani. The process involves cooking the chicken and rice separately in spiced water, infusing it with herbs and spices, and later combining it with the masala to get a tantalizing flavor. A true Hyderabadi Chicken Biryani should have layers of flavor combined with subtle yet tantalizing spices that will make you come back for more.
The Perfect Grill for Hyderabadi Chicken Biryani
The key to making the perfect Hyderabadi Chicken Biryani is to find the right mix of spices and ingredients that will blend together to bring out the most flavor. The masala paste plays an important role in bringing out the rich and seductive flavors of the dish. This is why it is important to get the perfect combination of spices. Commonly used ingredients in a masala paste include ginger and garlic paste, green chillies, cinnamon, cardamom, cloves, cashew nuts, poppy seeds, almond paste, coriander powder, red chili powder, garam masala, turmeric, and lemon juice.
Step-by-Step Guide to Cooking Hyderabadi Chicken Biryani
Now that you have all the ingredients and spices ready, it’s time to start cooking your own Hyderabadi Chicken Biryani. Here is a step-by-step guide to help you cook the perfect biryani.
Step 1: Marinate the Chicken
Before you start cooking the biryani, it is important to marinate the chicken. This step helps to infuse the chicken with flavor and also helps to retain the juiciness of the meat. Use your favorite marinade or monk paste and tenderize the chicken. Then marinate the chicken for at least an hour.
Step 2: Brown the Onion and Prep the Rice
Now it is time to cook the onions. Brown the onions until they turn golden-brown, and then use the same pan to prep the rice. Add the rice to the pan and toss it with some oil and lemon juice (preferably freshly squeezed).
Step 3: Cook the Rice
Once the rice is prepped, it’s time to cook it. Add enough hot water to cover the rice. Add the marinated chicken, a few sprigs of fresh cilantro, and some salt to taste. Gently mix everything together, bring the water to a boil, and then reduce the heat and cover the pan. Cook the rice for 10-12 minutes or until the water has been completely absorbed.
Step 4: Add the Masala and Cook
Once the rice is cooked, add the masala paste to the pan and then add the fried onions. Gently mix everything together, cover the pan, and cook for another 5 minutes or until all the flavors have blended together.
Step 5: Kitchen Alchemy
Now it’s time to bring your alchemy into the kitchen. Slowly and carefully, layer the cooked rice, chicken, and masala in a deep pot. Start with a thin layer of rice and end with a layer of masala. Cover the pot and cook on low heat for at least 10 minutes or until the flavors have blended together.
The Perfect Garnish for Hyderabadi Chicken Biryani
After the Hyderabadi Chicken Biryani has cooked, it is time to add the perfect garnish. Sprinkle some fried onions, cilantro, mint leaves, and roasted cashew nuts. Serve the biryani with a spicy mint raita and some freshly cooked naan.
Serving & Storage Suggestions
Hyderabadi Chicken Biryani can be served hot or cold. If you are serving the biryani cold, make sure you make it ahead of time and let it rest in the fridge for a few hours before serving. You can store any remaining biryani in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.Print
500g chicken, cut into pieces
2 onions, thinly sliced
1/2 cup yogurt
1/2 teaspoon garam masala
1/2 teaspoon red chili powder
1/2 teaspoon cumin powder
1/2 teaspoon coriander powder
1 teaspoon garam masala powder
1 teaspoon turmeric powder
1 inch cinnamon stick
2–3 cardamom pods
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 tablespoons ghee
Biryani masala for garnish (optional)
Salt to taste
1 cup basmati rice, soaked for 30 minutes and drained
In a large bowl, marinate the chicken with yogurt, half a teaspoon of garam masala, red chili powder, cumin powder, coriander powder, turmeric powder, and a pinch of salt. Let it sit for at least 30 minutes.
Heat oil and ghee in a large pot over medium heat. Add cinnamon stick, cloves, cardamom, and peppercorns. Sauté the spices until fragrant.
Add chopped onions and fry them until golden brown.
Add the marinated chicken and cook until it changes color.
Stir in the soaked and drained rice and cook for a few minutes.
Add 2 cups of water and salt to taste. Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce heat, cover, and simmer for 20 minutes, or until the chicken is cooked through and the rice is tender.
Garnish with biryani masala and/or coriander leaves and serve hot with a side of raita.
For extra heat, add more red chili powder or cayenne pepper according to your taste preference.
You can substitute yogurt with cream for a richer biryani.
- Prep Time: 20 minutes
- Cook Time: 30 minutes
- Category: Main Course
- Method: Stovetop
- Cuisine: Indian
- Diet: Halal
- Serving Size: 1 serving
- Calories: 420 kcal
- Sugar: 5g
- Sodium: 1000mg
- Fat: 25g
- Saturated Fat: 4g
- Unsaturated Fat: 14g
- Trans Fat: 0g
- Carbohydrates: 25g
- Fiber: 3g
- Protein: 35g
- Cholesterol: 90mg
Keywords: Hyderabadi Chicken Biryani, Indian Cuisine, Spicy Biryani, , , ,
Frequently Asked Questions
Q. How spicy is Hyderabadi Chicken Biryani?
A. The spiciness level of Hyderabadi Chicken Biryani depends on the amount of spices you add. If you want to make the biryani more spicy, then add some extra red chili powder or green chilies to the masala paste.
Q. Does the finished biryani have any vegetables?
A. Yes, you should add some vegetables to the biryani. Commonly used vegetables include potatoes, carrots, peas, and green beans.
Q. How long should I cook the chicken biryani?
A. The cooking time will depend on the size of the pan you are using. Generally, you should cook the biryani for at least 10-12 minutes or until the flavors have blended together.
Q. Is it better to cook the rice and chicken separately?
A. Yes, it is better to cook the rice and chicken separately. This helps to retain the flavor and juiciness of the chicken and ensures that the rice cooks properly.
Q. What can I serve with Hyderabadi Chicken Biryani?
A. Hyderabadi Chicken Biryani is usually served with spicy mint raita and fresh naan bread.