Awadhi Chicken Biryani

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What is the ingredient that brings the floral taste (flower-like taste) to the Awadhi Biryani?

This biryani is moderately spicy due to its controlled usage of spice and chili. The unique taste of the Awadhi Biryani is from the whole spices, saffron rose and Kewra water which gives it a floral scent and flavor. Most of the flavor of the biryani is acquired from these aromatic ingredients. Awadhi cuisine is famous for using aromatic spices and saffron along with other ingredients to give it a rich and special savor. Even without the addition of well-known spices like green chili and coriander leaves that are commonly used for many cuisines, the Awadhi Biryani pulls off as an absolute masterpiece when it comes to taste.

Recipe Facts



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Awadhi Chicken Biryani: The History

Awadhi biryani holds a special position in the Awadhi and Mughlai family of cuisines. Being mildly spicy with its subtle flavors, this Biryani is quite popular in the North Indian region and has spread across the world in recent times.

The aroma and flavors of the Awadhi Chicken Biryani distinguish it from the rest of the Biryanis from India. This cuisine originates from Awadh and Lucknow and dates back to the Mughal era where it was served for the royal dinings held by the Nawabs and Mughals.

Straining of the Chicken Curry – for preparing the Awadhi Chicken Biryani

After the preparation of the chicken curry for the biryani, we strain out all the onion and whole spices from it. This is done to absorb all the flavor into the rice rather than the spices themselves. Awadhi biryani or Lucknowi biryani does not contain a lot of spices or whole spices because all their flavors and aroma are extracted into the rice or chicken curry during preparation. This leaves a simple yet flavourful biryani for us to dig into.

What is the DUM PUKHT METHOD used to cook this biryani and also some famous biryanis in the Indian subcontinent?

This biryani is cooked using the dum or dum pukht method, where the food is cooked in steam with low heat for long durations. This is a slow cooking process where the food is sealed properly inside a cooking pot placed on low heat. Each layer of chicken and rice absorbs the aroma of the rose, kewra water, and saffron. The lid is tightly closed with wheat dough to prevent steam from escaping from within the cooking pot. The aroma and flavors of all the ingredients will get absorbed by the rice and turn out delicious.

Usually, the lid is sealed tightly to the pot using wheat dough, although you may use any other dough as long as it does not allow air to escape. At some places dum pukht method is followed by using a thick cloth instead to close the lid, this often involves the usage of a heavy object placed on top of the lid to keep it tightly shut. The dum pukht or dum method is famously used for non-vegetarian as well as vegetarian dishes.

The Biryani looks similar to Hyderabadi Chicken Biryani! Is it almost the same or is there any difference?

There is a huge difference between both Awadhi and Hyderabadi biryani. Hyderabadi biryani is cooked in lots of whole spices, chili, and coriander with various types of masala powder. On the other hand, although the Awadhi Biryani has less game when it comes to spices, their flavourful and delicious aroma brings it on par with any spicy biryani.

Also, Hyderabadi biryani is prepared as ‘KACCHI’ biryani which basically means that raw meat is used as well for its preparation, while Awadhi biryani is prepared with cooked meat only. The amount of ingredients used in Awadhi Biryani is also comparatively lesser than Hyderabadi biryani.

Recipe Card

Awadhi Chicken Biryani

Recipe by Main CourseCuisine: IndianDifficulty: Hard


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This recipe is also known as Lucknowi Biryani as it originates from Lucknow Awadh. A mildly flavored with floral aroma in it gives a royal taste to this Biryani.


  • To prepare the Rice
  • 7 cups Water

  • 4 pods Green Cardamom

  • 1 pc Cinnamon stick

  • 2 tbsp salt

  • 1 pc Bay leaf

  • 500 gm Rice Soaked in water for 1 hour

  • To Prepare Chicken Curry
  • 2 tbsp Cooking oil

  • 2 tbsp butter

  • 1 pc bay leaf

  • 6 pc Black peppercorn

  • 4 pc clove

  • 1 pc Cinnamon stick

  • 2 pc Green Cardamom

  • 1 pc Black cardamom

  • 1/2 pc Nutmeg

  • 2 pc Onion Sliced

  • 700 gm Chicken

  • 1 tsp Salt or to taste

  • 2 tsp Kashmiri Red Chili powder

  • 1/2 tsp Cardamom powder

  • 1/3 tsp Mace powder

  • 1/2 cup Curd

  • 1 tsp Rosewater

  • 1 tsp Kewra water

  • 1 tbsp Saffron & Milk

  • 3/4 cup Milk

  • To prepare the Biryani layer
  • 1 tbsp Saffron & Milk

  • 1 tsp Kewra water

  • 1 tsp Rosewater

  • 2 tsp Red food colour

  • 2 tbsp Butter

  • 3 tbsp mint chopped


  • Preparing the rice
  • In a pot, warm up & cups water – add cinnamon stick 1 pc, green cardamom 4 pods, bay leaf 1 pc, Salt 2 tbsp, pre-soaked(an hour) rice 500 gms and boil it for 7-8 minutes on high heat and cook the rice only 3/4th done.
  • Strain out the rice and keep it aside for later use.
  • Preparing the chicken
  • Into a heating pot, add cooking oil 2 tbsp, butter 2 tbsp, bay leaf 1 pc, black peppercorns 6 pcs, cloves 4 pcs, green cardamom 2 pcs, cinnamon stick 1 pc, nutmeg 1/2 pc, black cardamom 1 pc, sliced onion 2 pcs – fry the onions till it becomes golden brown on high heat.
  • Add boneless chicken 700gm and let it fry for about 4-5 minutes on medium to high heat.
  • Add salt 1 tsp, Kashmiri red chili powder 2 tsp, cardamom powder 1/2 tsp, mace powder 1/3 tsp – cook the spices for about 2-3 minutes on medium heat.
  • Add curd 1/2 cup – stir – let it cook for about 3-4 minutes on medium heat.
  • Turn the heat to a low level.
  • Add rose water 1 tsp, Kewra water 1 tsp, Saffron 1 pinch in 1 tbsp of water or milk, warm – boiled milk 3/4 cup. Stir the mixture well.
  • Separate the chicken from the liquid mixture with the help of a mesh and keep it aside.
  • Drain the liquid mixture through the mesh and squeeze out all solid masalas and spices (so we get the liquid alone) – so now we have chicken pieces and liquid stock.
  • Pour liquid stock and chicken pieces into the pot and give it a quick boil.
  • Spread the prepared rice as a layer on top of the chicken pieces and stock liquid.
  • Add rose water 1 tsp, kewra water 1 tsp, Saffron 1 pinch in 1 tbsp of water or milk, butter 2 tbsp, red food color 2 tsp, chopped mint 3 tbsp.
  • Cover to seal the steam from escaping – Use the wheat dough to cover the edge of the cooking pot and lid tightly shut. The aim is to completely shut off the steam from escaping, Known as the DUM process.
  • Now, let the biryani cook for about 20 minutes on low heat (DUM the biryani for 20 minutes on low heat)
  • Open the lid and give it a lite mix with a rice spoon and enjoy the delicious Awadhi Chicken Biryani

Recipe Video


  • You can prepare the recipe with both boneless or boned chicken.
  • Close-seal all the openings of the pot during the DUM process so the steam doesn’t escape.

Nutrition Facts

Nutrition Facts

5 servings per container


  • Amount Per Serving% Daily Value *
  • Total Fat 21.9g 34%
    • Saturated Fat 9.3g 47%
  • Cholesterol 160mg 54%
  • Sodium 288mg 12%
  • Amount Per Serving% Daily Value *
  • Potassium 478mg 14%
  • Total Carbohydrate 9g 3%
    • Dietary Fiber 2.2g 9%
    • Sugars 3.7g
  • Protein 53.5g 107%
  • Calcium 9%
  • Iron 14%
  • Vitamin D 33%

* The % Daily Value tells you how much a nutrient in a serving of food contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.

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