Hyderabadi chicken biryani

    1 hour 15 min

    My husband's mother taught me this recipe, an authentic Hyderabadi-style biryani that is a trademark of home-cooking in South India. For a more traditional version, substitute curd (homemade south Indian yoghurt) for yoghurt. If you cannot find ginger garlic paste, crush together ginger and garlic in equal portions.

    55 people made this

    Serves: 8 

    • 575g basmati or white rice
    • 4 tablespoons ghee (clarified butter)
    • 20 whole cloves
    • 9 whole cardamom pods
    • 5 bay leaves
    • 1 medium onion, chopped
    • 5 small green chillies
    • 2 tablespoons ginger garlic paste
    • 1 whole chicken, cut into pieces
    • 350g natural yoghurt
    • 1 teaspoon salt
    • 6 fresh curry leaves (optional)
    • 1L water
    • 3 sprigs coriander

    Prep:20min  ›  Cook:55min  ›  Ready in:1hr15min 

    1. Soak rice for 30 minutes in enough water to cover; then drain.
    2. Meanwhile, heat ghee in a large frying pan over medium heat. Stir in cloves, cardamom and bay leaves. Then stir in onion, and cook until soft, 6 to 7 minutes. Stir in chillies and ginger paste. Stir in yoghurt, salt and curry leaves, and then place chicken in pan. Cook for 20 to 25 minutes, stirring occasionally and turning the chicken pieces, until only about 250ml of liquid remains.
    3. Mix in rice, water and coriander. Bring to the boil. Reduce heat to low, cover and cook for 20 minutes. Check rice after about 12 minutes; if it is dry, add 100ml water, and continue cooking.



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    Reviews in English (39)


    Actually, this recipe is incomplete. I hail from Hyderabad. I don't see any instruction to layer the meat and the rice. Although we suggest 1:3 water for rice, this is not standard. You must vary the water according to your rice. And yes, please use a good basmati rice for best results. Using about 2/3rd of the water required to make the rice, cook rice separately till half cooked. Now place a layer of chicken 'curry' then a layer of rice then chicken again and top off with rice. Each layer of rice should be sprinkled with a saffron solution: soak about a teaspoonful of saffron in a cup of milk before you start cooking the chicken. This will be well soaked by now. Sprinkle half of it over each layer of rice. Cover pot tightly. If you do not have a tight fitting lid, make a stiff dough with wheat or all purpose flour and seal the pot. Now place it on a low-medium flame and finish the cooking: about 15 minutes. Try this. A lot of trouble but worth the effort. Hopefully I justified my two star rating.  -  31 Jul 2009  (Review from Allrecipes US | Canada)


    This recipe was excellent! Very different from the mughalai version of biryani. I made a few modifications though because I did not have all the ingredients. I used biryani masala (available at all indian grocery stores) instead of cloves. I also doubled the quantity of chili peppers bcoz I used the tiny red Thai chilis and we like it hot in our house I used boneless skinless chicken breasts and added 2 potatoes too (I love potatoes in biryani). The recipe is definitely a keeper.Thank you for submitting it.  -  05 Sep 2005  (Review from Allrecipes US | Canada)


    I wanted to tell everyone that there is no need to temper the yogurt. It will not ruin the dish if you add it all at once. It may look curdled but it is fine. Lipstickfetish, you didnt need to throw away the dish! Sorry!  -  12 Oct 2005  (Review from Allrecipes US | Canada)