Chicken Dum Biryani- Kolkata style

The rich heritage of Kolkata Biryani started differently “when Awadh’s last Nawab Wajid Ali Shah was exiled in 1856 to the Kolkata suburb of Metiabruz. Shah brought his personal chef with him. The poorer households of Kolkata, which could not afford meat, used potatoes instead, which went on to become a specialty of the Calcutta biryani. Now meat is also served along with it. The Calcutta biryani is much lighter on spices. It primarily uses nutmeg, cinnamon, mace along with cloves and cardamom in the yoghurt based marinade for the meat which is cooked separately from rice. This combination of spices gives it a distinct flavor as compared to other styles of biryani.” text source

Being a typical Kolkatan, I grown up eating, liking and loving this specific style of Biryani. My experience with Biryani went vivid when I moved to North India after my marriage, here I experienced Tawa Biryani, Hyderabadi Biryani and Lucknowi Biryani, but my love affair with Kolkata style Biryani remains same. This recipe is our take on ‘Kolkata style Chicken Biryani’, tried and tasted several times at home, and every time it turned out finger licking good.

Chicken Dum Biryani
Chicken Dum Biryani

Chicken Dum Biryani

Serves: 4-5

Ingredients for chicken

  • Chicken 1 kg with bone cut into 8 pieces
  • Medium sized onions- 3 (thinly sliced)
  • Green chilies 4-5
  • Meetha Attar
  • Mustard oil- 1/4 cup
  • Salt

For marination

  • Kashmiri mirch powder- 1 tsp
  • Cumin powder- 1 tbsp
  • Coriander powder- 1 tbsp
  • Turmeric powder -1/2 tsp
  • Yogurt- 100g (well beaten)
  • Ginger-garlic paste 2 tbsp (hipped)
  • Rose water- few drops
  • Keora water- few drops

For tempering

  • Dry red chilies- 2
  • Green cardamom- 3 (roughly crushed)
  • Whole black peppercorns- 8-9 (roughly crushed)
  • Cinnamon stick- 1″ single piece
  • Cloves- 2-3
  • Bay leaf- 2


Marinate the freshly washed chicken pieces with all the ingredients mentioned ‘for marination’. Keep aside for 3-4 hours. Heat oil in a kadai/deep frying pan, temper with the all the ingredients mentioned ‘ for tempering’ .Add sliced onions, fry on medium flame until light brown in color. Now add the marinated chicken with green chilies. Mix well, cover and cook on low flame. Stir in between. The chicken will cook without water. Add salt when the chicken is half cooked. Mix well and cook until done, add few drops of meetha attar at the end, remove from heat.

Ingredients for rice

  • Basmati or any long grain rice- 750g (wash well and keep aside)
  • Green cardamom- 3 (roughly crushed)
  • Bay leaf- 2
  • Star anise- 2
  • Mace- 2 (grounded)
  • Nutmeg powder- 1/2 tsp
  • Ghee/Clarified butter – 1/2 cup
  • Saffron- 1 fat pinch soaked in 1/2 cup of warm milk
  • Rose water
  • Keora water
  • Meetha Attar
  • Salt
  • Garam masala powder- ¼ tsp


Boil enough water in a deep bottom pan. Add the washed rice along with star anise, bay leaves and green cardamoms. Add salt. Keep cooking uncovered till 80% done. Drain through a colander.

For layering and sealing

  • Potato- 4 medium sized (peel and cut into halves)
  • Boiled egg- 4 (cut into halves lengthwise)
  • Slit green chilies- 5-6 (optional)
  • Whole black peppercorns- ½ tsp (roughly crushed)
  • Wheat dough/ Atta dough- Make dough with wheat flour and water just the way we do for Chapati.


Boil the freshly washed potato pieces, drain and keep aside. Heat 2 tbsp mustard oil in a kadai/deep frying pan, fry the potatoes on medium flame until golden. Remove and keep aside.

Grease a deep bottomed pan with ghee. Add rice in the first layer. Now add a layer of Chicken pieces along with the gravy. Add gravy carefully, in small quantity at a time. Otherwise the biryani will look like ‘Chicken and rice curry’. Place few pieces of potatoes in between. Sprinkle some ghee, along with few drops of rose water, keora water, mace and nutmeg powder, 1-2 green chilies, a pinch of crushed black peppercorn and saffron milk. Repeat this process of layering rice and chicken one more time. Close the layering with a final layer of rice. Place the boiled eggs on top, yolk side down, push them gently in the bed of rice little bit. Sprinkle a generous amount of ghee on top. Garnish with fried onions, few drops of meetha attar and garam masala powder.

Close with a tight fitting lid, seal the edge with atta dough (make a log with the dough, then seal). Turn on the heat. Put a tawa. Now put the biryani vessel on it. Keep the flame as lowest as possible. Put on dum for 45 minutes.

Remove from heat. Your delicious ‘ Chicken Dum Biryani’ is done. Break the seal and serve hot with raita. Enjoy!


Add keora water in small amount, otherwise the biryani will taste bitter.



  1. Badhakopi die macher muro r recipe Jodi post korte khub valo photo.. I am a big fan of all your cook awesome food..

  2. Dum Briyani is good

  3. Not d real taste….potatoes r not just fryed it has to b marinated first dear..

  4. how can i cook this dum biryani in prestige handi cooker… as the edge cant be sealed with atta

  5. Nothing can match the flavour of kolkata biryani. Thank you for sharing the recipe.


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