Kitchen by TILAH

Hyderabad Dum Chicken (Ayam Dum Hyderabad)

A Hyderabad Chicken Curry cooked by way of steam in a pot. Simply delicious!

My little one is now so cheery and chirpy and I am now a happy mummy!  Naturally, when there is nothing bogging me down, my mood for cooking came back full blast!  Plus, it won't be a chop-chop dish.  I have been wanting to try out this recipe in my archive which I don't know where I had gotten it from.  It was saved on a microsoft word document in the year 1997.  Go figure!  I totally have no idea.  Hyderabad Dum Chicken.  After googling, I realised that there are so many ways of cooking this dish but the one thing that is so common is the use of quite an amount of yogurt in its preparation.  Good to work all those toxic off the stomachs.

When I was small, I always heard my mother saying dum biryani and I used to wonder what is "dum".  What is so special about this "dum" thing.  Sound so dumb but it is for sure not "dumb-dumb" or "stupid" or anything like that.  When I became an adult, I finally bothered to find out what "dum" means.  It means to cook using steam over low or medium fire.  A cloth or dough is used to cover the rims of the lid covered pot so that hot air is trapped inside the pot and it will cook whatever is in the pot whilst retaining its aroma and juices.  Hmmm...nice!

Once I had my mind set on the dish that I wanted to cook, I called my beloved kitchen-ing assistant from the office ;) to get my chicken pieces cleaned and ready before I start my massage session on them when I got home.  As always, I had my two lover boys waiting to get all on top of me and my husband is out for his part time night lessons.  I had no scapegoat!  I am now the victim and I am now the goat! Heeellllp! (bleating mode)  Like it or not, I had to cook and manage my sweethearts in the kitchen diligently. 

Of course, I get to pass my little one, Suhaym, to my kitchen-ing assistant and get her to babysit whilst I manage my elder one Sayf, who kept following behind me around the kitchen like a stalker and kept questioning every little thing I do like an investigative officer and throwing his tantrums at his whims and fancies whenever I said the word "no".  Maybe I should just fart right into his face to scare him off ya?!!  Yup, maybe, that's a good idea! 

Sometimes, yes sometimes, and yes, I love him very much to every little bit and pieces but yes, just sometimes, if I could only just lock him up in a safe box when I am cooking the way I lock away my jewelleries, you know what I mean?  Priceless but you don't want it on you especially when you are cooking that kind of thing.  I want to be spending my cooking time in peace but I guess this is the only time that I have to treasure these moments before he is all grown and would rather spend his time watching television than to even just stand in the kitchen with the old and fat me!

Cooking is the way I de-stress myself after work and like I said, even though I am not a professional photographer, I would love to take "I am in the mood" pictures.  When Sayf is bugging me, it makes my time out more of a frustration than relaxation.  But kids being kids, all they want is attention on demand.

Ok, enough of my ramblings.  Let's just get to the ingredients, shall we?


1 whole chicken or about 10-15 pieces of chicken parts
350 grams of yogurt (ok, I am lazy to do all this measuring with my stalker around, so I just used an estimated amount which is about 3/4 tub of the 475 grams Nestle brand yogurt)
3 pieces of star anise
1 cinnamon stick (about 2 to 3 cm)
4 pieces cloves
4 pieces cardamoms
1 small packet of fried shallots
3/4 spoon of cumin
1 teaspoon turmeric powder
1 spoon chilli powder
a small bunch of mint leaves - chopped
a small bunch of coriander leaves - chopped
1 whole lemon - extract the juice
1 small bowl water - optional (I added this cos I like more gravy)
1 spoon sugar
1 spoon salt

(*items to be blended)
6 stalks green chillies*
2 large onions*
6 garlics*
3 cm ginger*

(**items to be grounded with a little bit of water into a paste)
15 pieces of almonds**
15 pieces of cashew nuts**


1.  Add chicken pieces into a mixing bowl.

2.  Add in yogurt.

3.  Add in almond and cashew paste.

4.  Add in salt.

5.  Add in half a packet of the fried shallots.

6.  Using your hands, massage and fold the ingredients into the chicken or fold the chicken into the ingredients, hehe.. ;p whichever way you want to do it so long as they are thoroughly mixed like the picture above .  Set aside for about half to an hour.

7.  Heat oil in pot (Oh yes! Do make sure that your chicken pieces will only occupy about 1/3 or just near half of the height of your pot.  This is to allow enough steam to circulate and cook the chicken properly). Add the cinnamon, cloves, cardamoms and star anise and saute for a minute.

8.  Add in the cumin and saute for a few seconds.

9.  Add in the blended ingredients and saute for a minute or two.

10.  Add in the chilli powder and turmeric powder and continue to saute.

11.  Saute until the mix is fragrant and oil separates.  This process will take quite a while, say, twenty minutes.  So meanwhile, inhale all that aroma!

12.  After about twenty minutes or so, do the ladle slide test and once your sauteing mix is quite dried and you see oil collecting at the gaps of your sauteing mix, oil has separated.  Now, add in sugar and stir.

13.  Add in the marinated chicken pieces.  This is also when I add in my small bowl of water.

14.  Fold into the sauteing mix.

15.  Cover the pot with its lid.  No dough or cloth needed to seal the rim of the pot for me!  I took my pounder and place it on the lid.  A good weight to keep the lid sealed tightly! ;) 

16. Bring fire to medium and let the chicken cook slowly for about 45 minutes.

17.  After 45 minutes, take off the lid.  Add the lemon extract and add the chopped mint and coriander leaves and stir them in.  Do a taste check and see if you need more salt or maybe just a little bit more sugar to balance the taste just right for your taste buds.

18.  Add the remaining fried shallots and stir them in.  Off fire and serve.

Eat it with naan, white rice, chapathi, prata or bread and enjoy!  Happy Kitchen-ing!!


Karen said…
I like your posts. Not too long and not too short and you are funny. The pictures help a great deal for an amateur cook like me. Your dishes are yummy too. I have tried a few. Thanks for sharing so sincerely.
Tilah Maricar said…
Hi Karen,

Thank you for your kind words and the compliments. I am happy that you enjoy your time on my blog and thank you too for trying the recipes. I am glad you like them. :)

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