Chicken Dum Biryani / Festive Special Chicken Biryani

When it comes to a special meal with rice, Dum Biryani is everyone’s the first choice in Kerala. If you have never tasted this spicy dish, you are missing out one of the unique and delicious dish. A combination of spices with rice and chicken makes a mouth-watering aroma which is hard to resist.

I don’t have enough words to express how my home smells like heaven when I open my dum biryani vessel. The process of making chicken biriyani includes many steps.

  • Marinate the chicken
  • Make Chicken gravy
  • Cook the rice
  • Mix rice and chicken gravy and cook again

These are the basic steps of making dum biryani. The original process involves sealing the pot with a dough made with maida (all purpose flour). This helps to retain all the flavor and aroma inside the biriyani vessel. But I am avoiding that step to make it a little simple. A special powdered spice mix is also added in the original dum biryani. But in this recipe I am using the chicken masala powder  to make the process easy. Also this is not the original way of making the dish but the easy way to make it for a small group of guest. But it tastes too good as the original one.

The recipe may seem a little big, but the process is not a big deal. So do have a try.

Chicken Dum Biryani

Dum Biryani

Words can't express the taste of dum biryani. One should definitely experience this spicy rice and chicken combo to know how palatable this chicken biriyani is.
Prep Time30 minutes
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Indian
Servings: 5 people
Author: Ammu


For Rice

  • ½ kg Jeera Rice or Basmati Rice
  • 8 cups of Water
  • 2 tsp Fennel seed
  • 8 Cloves
  • 5 Cardamom, crushed
  • 2 Star Anise
  • 1 inch Cinnamon stick
  • Salt to taste

For Marinating Chicken

  • ½ kg Chicken pieces, cleaned and washed
  • 3 tbsp Ginger-Garlic paste
  • 2 tsp Chili Powder
  • 2 tsp Chicken Masala powder
  • ½ tsp Dry Mango powder (or lemon juice)
  • 3 sprigs Curry leaves, finely chopped
  • 2 tsp Onion powder (optional)
  • Salt to taste

Chicken Curry

  • Oil to fry the chicken
  • 2 tbsp Ginger-Garlic paste
  • 2 Onion, sliced lengthwise
  • 1 tsp Turmeric powder
  • 1 tsp Chicken masala
  • 2 Tomatoes, sliced lenthwise
  • 2 sprigs Curry leaves
  • 3 Green Chili, sliced lengthwise
  • Salt to taste

For Dum Biriyani

  • Cooked Rice
  • Chicken Gravy
  • 4 tbsp Ghee (or Oil in which chicken is fried)
  • 1 Onion, thinly sliced lengthwise
  • 2 tbsp Raisin
  • 2 tbsp cashew


Preparation of Rice

  • Wash the rice 2-3 times in cold water. Pour the water into a large vessel.  Add salt to taste. Add rice and spices into the vessel. Cook on medium-high heat and bring to a boil. Now reduce the flame and cook until the rice is almost cooked, but not fully cooked.
  • Remove from heat. Strain the rice and spread in a large pan. Let it cool.

Chicken Gravy

  • First marinate the chicken. Bring together all ingredients except chicken in a vessel. Mix well. Add the chicken pieces and mix to coat. Marinate for 2-3 hours or (overnight in the refrigerator).
  • Deep fry the chicken pieces in oil until just cooked. Do not over fry. Keep aside.
  • Add 4 tbsp of this fried oil in a pan. Add ginger-garlic paste and cook for a few seconds. Saute onion until just golden brown.
  • Add turmeric powder and chicken masala and cook for a few seconds. Add tomato and salt. Stir-cook until oil starts separating from the gravy.
  • Now add the fried chicken pieces. Cover and cook for 10 minutes on medium-low heat.
  • Finally add curry leaves and green chili. Stir well and cover with a lid. Remove from heat. Let it sit for 10-15 minutes.

Mixing Dum Biryani

  • Heat ghee or oil in a large pan. Fry the onion until just golden brown. Strain from oil. Also fry the cashew and raisin. Strain it  from oil.
  • Now add a layer of chicken gravy into the pan. Layer half of the rice on top of chicken gravy. Add a little fried onion, cashew and raisin. Again layer the curry, remaining rice, fried onion, cashew and raisins.
  • Cover with a lid. Cook on medium-low heat for 15-20 minutes. Remove from heat and let it sit for 10 minutes.
  • Mix gently before serving. Do not over mix.
  • The delicious dum biriyani is ready. Serve with raitha, salad and pickle.


The festive season is coming up. Try chicken dum biryani this Easter. Enjoy.

Happy Easter.

Happy Cooking

author @ my eating space

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