lucknowi chicken biryani served in a white plate with salad & raita.

Lucknowi chicken biryani (Dum style) | Awadhi chicken biryani recipe with step by step photos & a recipe video. “Lucknowi biryani” is also known as “Awadhi Biryani”.

Earlier, Lucknow was the capital of the Awadh region, controlled by the Delhi Sultanate, and later the Mughal Empire & Nawabs of Awadh.

Lucknowi cuisine or Awadhi cuisine is an amalgamation of both Mughlai & Nawabi cuisine.

What is Lucknowi Biryani?

Lucknowi biryani is a popular North Indian biryani from the “land of Nawabs” ( Lucknow). Lucknow is the capital city of the Indian state of Uttar Pradesh.

Lucknowi biryani is made with mild aromatic spices, meat, and long grain basmati rice. It has subtle flavors and a sweet aroma.

Awadhi biryani or Lucknowi biryani is mildly spicy with perfectly cooked meat & rice.

Making Lucknowi biryani is easy. In a Handi (special Biryani pot), layer the cooked meat & rice. This is then mixed with aromatic spices and sweet flavors. Finally, the biryani is cooked using the dum pukht method.

What is Dum pukht?

Traditional Lucknowi biryani is always made by the dum pukht method. Dum means to ‘breathe in’ and pukht means to ‘cook’.

In this method, cooked rice and meat are layered in a handi (or pot). The lid of the handi is sealed with dough & placed over a low flame for slow cooking.

With this Dum Pukht technique, the chicken, rice, aromatic spices, and sweet flavors mingle together. It results in the moist, aromatic and flavorful Lucknowi biryani.

Is Lucknowi biryani spicy?

Biryani is a spicy dish but when you are talking about Lucknowi biryani or Awadhi biryani the flavors are delicate.

Lucknowi biryani is soft, aromatic and less spicy. It has a sweet aroma coming from the kewra water, rose water, mace powder, cardamom powder & meetha attar.

Difference between Lucknowi Biryani & Hyderabadi Biryani

  • Hyderabadi Biryani is spicy. Lucknowi biryani has subtle flavors (less spicy) and a sweet aroma. It gives a cooling effect on the body.
  • Traditionally, to make Lucknowi biryani mint & coriander leaves are not used. But mint & coriander leaves are definitely used to make Hyderabadi biryani.
  • Yellow chili powder & meetha attar are the unique ingredients of Lucknowi biryani. Meetha attar gives a sweet aroma to Lucknowi biryani. Both are not used to make Hyderabadi biryani.

Both biryani whether it is Lucknowi Biryani and Hyderabadi biryani tastes amazing.

In this recipe, I have not used meetha attar & yellow chili powder both as it is not easily available everywhere.

You can easily skip yellow chili powder and use normal red chili powder.

Do not use Kashmiri red chili powder as the color of Lucknowi Biryani should not be bright red.

Other popular biryani recipes from this website:

  1. Hyderabadi pakki biryani
  2. Egg biryani in a pressure cooker
  3. Easy mutton biryani recipe
  4. Hyderabadi kacchi chicken biryani
  5. Chicken biryani in a pressure cooker

How to make Lucknowi Chicken Biryani with step by step photos:

Preparations to be done

  1. Wash & soak the basmati rice in water for 30 minutes.
  2. Make birista (fried onions). Heat oil in a deep bottomed pan. Fry some sliced onions until golden. Stir continuously so that the onions are evenly brown.
  3. Take it out and spread on a kitchen tissue. You can skip this step if you are using a store-bought birista.

Making the chicken gravy for Lucknowi Biryani

  1. Heat 1 tbsp ghee (clarified butter) & 2 tbsp refined oil on medium flame.
  2. Add the whole spices & sauté it for a minute.
  3. Next, add the sliced onions & sauté until onions are golden.step by step collage for sauteing the sliced onions for making the Lucknowi biryani
  4. Add the chicken pieces and cook until chicken changes its color from pink to white.
  5. Now add ginger garlic paste & salt. Cook for 2-3 minutes until raw smell from ginger and garlic leaves.step y step coolage of frying the chicken pieces & addition of ginger garlic paste
  6. Add curd & mix it well. Cook until the mixture comes to a boil.
  7. Cover and let it cook until oil starts to leave from the sides. On medium flame, it will take around 15 minutes.
  8. Add red chili powder, cardamom powder, mace powder & green chilies. Mix it well. Cover and cook until oil separates from the gravy.step by step collage for addition of curd and the spice powders for cooking the lucknowi chicken biryani
  9. Add 1 and 1/2 cup water & mix it well. Lower the flame and cook for 20 minutes. step by step collage of adding water & cooking the chicken on low flame for making awadhi chicken biryani

Cooking the biryani rice:

  1. On another burner, heat 5 cups of water in a vessel on high flame. Add ghee/clarified butter, Kewra water, Rosewater, whole spices & salt.
  2. Let the water comes to a boil.
  3. Drain the soaked basmati rice & keep it aside.
  4. Next, add the basmati rice. Stir it gently.step by step collage for cooking the biryani rice
  5. Let the water comes to a boil. Press the rice grains. It will be soft but it will split when you press it with your fingers.
  6.  Switch off the flame & drain the rice. Keep it aside.step by step collage for cooking the biryani rice for making lucknowi chicken biryani

Layering the chicken and rice for making Lucknowi biryani

  1. Before we start the layering make sure the chicken is cooked. Switch off the flame.
  2. I have used the same pot to layer the biryani.
  3. Remove the chicken pieces. You can see the oil in the base. This oil has all the flavors. Remove half of the oil from it.step by step collage of removing the chicken gravy & start layering the cooked rice for making chicken biryani
  4. Next, start layering. Make sure there is some oil at the base of the pan/pot.
  5. First layer half of the cooked rice.
  6. Next, layer the cooked chicken.
  7. Sprinkle some fried onions, mace powder, cardamom powder, kewra water, rose essence & ghee/clarified butter.step by step collage for layering the cooked chicken, fried onions, mace powder, cardamom powder, kewra water, rose essence & ghee/clarified butter.
  8. Layer the rest of the rice & spread it evenly.
  9. Sprinkle some cardamom powder, mace powder, kewra water, rose essence, mint leaves(optional), fried onions, saffron milk, orange food color, oil from the cooked chicken, & ghee/clarified butter. step by step collage for layering the cooked rice & other ingredients for making Lucknowi biryani recipe

Cooking the Lucknowi chicken biryani on Dum

  1. Close the lid & seal with wheat flour dough.
  2. Place an old iron tawa on the burner & keep the biryani pot over it. step by step collage for placing the sealed biryani pot over an old iron tawa for cooking the Lucknowi biryani on dum
  3. Cook on high flame for 5 minutes.
  4.  Lower the flame and cook on the lowest flame for 10 minutes.
  5. Switch off the flame and keep it aside for 5 minutes.
  6. Open the seal. Carefully open the seal as it is hot. Always remove the seal when you are ready to serve the biryani.
  7. Serve biryani hot with raita, salad, and a  lemon wedge.step by step collage of opening the seal of Lucknowi biryani & serving it
Lucknowi chicken biryani served with raita & salad

Lucknowi chicken biryani (Dum style) | Awadhi chicken biryani recipe

Lucknowi biryani is made with mild aromatic spices, meat, and long grain basmati rice. Lucknowi biryani has subtle flavors and a sweet aroma.
Course Main
Cuisine Indian
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Servings 4 people
Calories 760kcal
Author Preeti Nayak

Ingredients

  • 2 cup Basmati rice
  • 2 cup Chicken pieces ,cut into cubes
  • 2 onions sliced, to make birista (fried onions)
  • 3 medium-size onions sliced
  • 2 green chilies
  • For making the chicken gravy:
  • 3 onions sliced
  • 2 tsp ginger garlic paste
  • Salt to taste
  • 3/4 cup curd
  • 1 tsp red chili powder
  • 1/4 tsp cardamom powder
  • 1/4 tsp mace powder
  • 2 green chilies
  • Whole spices to cook the chicken:
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1- inch cinnamon
  • 4 green cardamoms
  • 5 cloves
  • To cook rice:
  • 1 tbsp Ghee/clarified butter
  • 1/2 tsp Kewra water
  • 1/2 tsp Rose water
  • Salt to taste
  • Whole spices to cook the biryani rice:
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1- inch cinnamon
  • 5 cloves
  • 3 green cardamoms
  • For layering
  • Saffron milk to prepare – add a pinch of saffron in 1/2 cup of warm milk
  • 1 tsp mace powder
  • 1 tsp cardamom powder
  • 2-3 drops kewra water
  • 2-3 drops rose essence
  • 2 tsp ghee/clarified butter

Instructions

  • Preparations to be done
  • Wash & soak the basmati rice in water for 30 minutes.
  • Make barista (fried onions). Heat oil in a deep bottomed pan. Fry some sliced onions until golden. Stir continuously so that the onions are evenly brown.
  • Take it out and spread on a kitchen tissue. You can skip this step if you are using a store-bought birista.
  • Making the chicken gravy for Lucknowi Biryani
  • Heat 1 tbsp ghee (clarified butter) & 2 tbsp refined oil on medium flame.
  • Add the whole spices & sauté it for a minute.
  • Next, add the sliced onions & sauté until onions are golden.
  • Add the chicken pieces and cook until chicken changes its color from pink to white.
  • Now add ginger garlic paste & salt. Cook for 2-3 minutes until raw smell from ginger and garlic leaves.
  • Add curd & mix it well. Cook until the mixture comes to a boil.
  • Cover and let it cook until oil starts to leave from the sides. On medium flame, it will take around 15 minutes.
  • Add red chili powder, cardamom powder, mace powder & green chilies. Mix it well. Cover and cook until oil separates from the gravy.
  • Add 1 and 1/2 cup water & mix it well. Lower the flame and cook for 20 minutes.
  • Making the biryani rice:
  • On another burner, heat 5 cups of water in a vessel on high flame. Add ghee/clarified butter, Kewra water, Rose water, whole spices & salt.
  • Let the water comes to a boil.
  • Drain the soaked basmati rice & keep it aside.
  • Next, add the basmati rice. Stir it gently.
  • Let the water comes to a boil. Press the rice grains. It will be soft but it will split when you press it with your fingers.
  • Switch off the flame & drain the rice. Keep it aside.
  • Layering the chicken and rice for making Lucknowi biryani:
  • Check whether the chicken is cooked or not. Chicken should be completely cooked before we start layering. Switch off the flame.
  • I have used the same pot to layer the biryani.
  • Remove the chicken pieces. You can see the oil in the base. This oil has all the flavors. Remove half of the oil from it.
  • Let’s start the layering. Make sure there is oil at the base before you start layering the biryani.
  • First layer half of the cooked rice.
  • Next, layer the cooked chicken.
  • Sprinkle some fried onions, mace powder, cardamom powder, kewra water, rose essence & ghee/clarified butter.
  • Layer the rest of the rice & spread it evenly.
  • Sprinkle some cardamom powder, mace powder, kewra water, rose essence, mint leaves(optional), fried onions, saffron milk, orange food color, oil from the cooked chicken, & ghee/clarified butter
  • Cooking the Lucknowi biryani on Dum
  • Close the lid & seal with wheat flour dough.
  • Place an old iron tawa on the burner & keep the biryani pot over it.
  • Cook on high flame for 5 minutes.
  • Lower the flame and cook on the lowest flame for 10 minutes.
  • Switch off the flame and keep it aside for 5 minutes.
  • Open the seal. Always remove the seal when you are ready to serve the biryani.
  • Serve biryani hot with raita, salad, and a lemon wedge

Video

Notes

  • Always soak basmati rice for 30 minutes before making biryani.
  • Cook the chicken on low flame and make sure it is completely cooked before you start layering the biryani.
  • Always make sure that the biryani rice should be 90% cooked and rest 10% will be cooked on dum.
  • While cooking biryani on dum make sure you are using a heavy bottom pan.
  • Also, cook the biryani on the lowest flame for dum cooking.
  • If you do not want to seal with dough you can cover the pot with aluminium foil and cook on dum.
  • You can also place a heavy fitting lid & then cook it on dum.
  • You can skip adding mint leaves as it is not added in Lucknowi biryani. I like to have some mint leaves in my biryani.

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lucknowi chicken biryani served with raita & salad

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