Hot Palate: Hyderabadi Chicken Biryani

Well..Every Hyderabadi would know this recipe..What makes it special is the way it brings out the nostalgia about Hyderabad. This recipe is not new..its an age old nawabi dish but revived by me (I did add my style of cooking here and there). My idea was introduce a spicy yet authentic dish to my non-indian co-workers and it did turn out well!!!

Ironically, when I prepared it for the first time for a potluck at work, it was on a Thursday and as I don't eat non-vegetarian on Thursdays as it being my SAI's day, I did not know how it came out. I was really worried that it might spoil everyone's appetite. However all ended well and spicy! :)

I got good feedback from almost everyone who savored it, but this comment from a white co-worker lingers :)
'This is so hot..I almost feel fumes coming out of my ears. But this is so yummy, I can't help but continue to eat this damn thing...' :)

I also remember my friend Annie gulping down ten bottles of water to beat the spice! LOL..

Chicken drumsticks - 14
Basmati rice - 6 cups
Onions - 1 (big size)
Cardamom - 6
Cinnamon - 2 sticks
Cloves - 6
shahjeera - 1 teaspoonful
Thick curd - 1 cup
Chilli powder - add per your spice levels
Turmeric powder - two pinches
Ginger garlic paste - 2 table spoons
A bunch coriander &mint leaves
green chillies - 5
Ghee - 2 tablespoons
oil - 1 cup

Garam Masala Ingredients: (Grind them to powder)
Cardamoms - 6
Cinnamon - 2
Cloves - 6
Shahjeera - 1 spoon

Green Masala: (Grind them to paste)
Green chillies - 10-15
Coriander - 1/2 bunch
Mint - 1/2 bunch


1. Marinate chicken with curd, turmeric powder, ginger garlic paste, Garam masala powder,red chilli powder, green masala paste, juice of one lime & salt.
2. Fry finely sliced onion, till brown & crisp and add to the marinade and let it stand for 4-8 hours.
3. Cook rice separately (1 cup of rice :1 cup of water ratio)
4. In a pan, add oil and when it is hot, add whole garam masala and fry for few seconds. Now add the marinated chicken to the pan and fry till oil starts showing on the sides of the pan and chicken is well cooked. This takes about 20 minutes. Switch off the heat and keep the pan aside
5. In rice cooker, layer the cooked rice and chicken in alternate layers. Ensure that the first and last layer should be rice.
6. Heat 2 or 3 spoons of ghee and pour on top of the layers and cook till the rice cooker turns from cook to Warm (usually takes around 45min)


  1. Thnx a million for the easy - breezy recipe . Had a q? Wht happened to whole garam masala like cardamom , cinnamon in the main ingredients list? Shd these be marinated with chicken?


  2. HI Mrunalini,

    Thanks to you I just now realized i forgot to add a step about whole garam masala. I added it now..Thanks again for bringing it up :)