Monday, July 5, 2010

Vegetable Dum Biriyani

Hyderabadi dum biriyani is extremely famous for its unique method of cooking and the orchestra of flavors blended in it.
"Dum" is a slow-cooking method dating back to early sixteenth century Dum cooking was introduced to India by Mughal. Handi is the cookware used for Dum cooking. Dumpukht is derived from Persian meaning 'air-cooked' or 'baked'.

The mughals traditionally made it with lamb, but as always there is a vegeterian method available.

I don't have any of those fancy equipment mentioned there, but do have an oven.

The list and the method may seem exhaustive, but let me tell you the results are well worth it.
It is exotic and you may win anybody's heart in a jiffy with this flavorful dish.

This is what you need:

For the Rice:

1 cup basmati rice
1 3/4 cup water

For the vegetable sauce:

1 1/2 cup chopped vegetables (I used beans, carrots, cauliflowers, potatoes, and peas)
1/2 cup plain yogurt
1 tsp. cumin powder
1 tsp. coriander powder
1 tsp. chili powder
1 tsp. garam masala
Salt to taste

To Grind:

1 tsp. cashews
1/4 tsp. khus khus (soak cashews and khus khus in a little water for 20 mins.)
1 garlic pod
1/2 cup chopped tomatoes
1 green chilli

For the Gravy:

2 cardomom pods
1 star anise
1 bay leaf
1/4 tsp. cinnamon powder
1 tsp. cumin seeds
3 tbsp. oil and salt to taste.

For layering:

1 cup chopped cilantro and mint
Fried onions
Sliced almonds
1 pinch saffron strands soaked in 3 tsp. warm milk

Now let's get cookin'!!!

Wash and soak the rice in little water.
Soak the cashews and khus khus in a little water and keep aside.
Soak the saffron in warm milk and keep aside.
In a bowl, add the chopped vegetables.
Add the yogurt, coriander, cumin, chilli powder, garam masala, and a pinch of salt and toss in with the veggies.
Let it marinate and soak up the flavors for 20 mins.
Cook the rice and set aside.
Grind cashew, khus khus, 1 garlic pod, chilli, and tomatoes to a fine paste.
In a pan, add oil. When it's hot, add the cumin seeds and let it crackle.
Add the cardomom, star anise, bay leaf, and cinnamon powder and fry for a few secs.
Add the ground paste from Step 8.
Let it simmer till the raw smell goes and the oil separates.
Add the marinated veggies.
Add salt according to taste.
Check for heat and if you need more kick, add more spices of your choice.
Cover the pan and let the veggies cook. Add a little bit of water and cook. Remember not to overcook the veggies!
Once the veggies are done, turn off the heat.
Now comes the fun part!!!

Preheat the oven at 375°F.
Grease a baking dish.
Put a layer of rice at the bottom.
Sprinkle the saffron and milk on top of the rice.
Next layer, add the chopped cilantro and mint.
Next layer, add the vegetable sauce.
Repeat the layers with rice till your dish is full.
For the topmost layer, spread fried onions and sliced almonds.
For a royal touch, add a few spoons of ghee on the topmost layer.
Cover with foil and bake for 20-25 mins.

OMG, the whole house smells so wonderful when you make this biriyani! We all couldn't wait to dig in. It was hard to wait, take pics before we eat!

For my fellow biriyani lovers, please try this dish and see the smile on your face and your loved ones face.

Serve with raita or any of your side!


  1. Wow, it looks soooooooooooooooooooo nice dear, I mean the pic itself is sooooo tempting. Will surely try it sometime :)

  2. Thanks a Lot priya! It tastes out of the world!

  3. dum biriyani looks so delicious n tempting ....very well explained priya....i love to try this

  4. Looks so delicious and beautiful click too...

  5. Very nice and delicious looking veg dum biryani.Nice pics.

  6. lovely delicious and mouth watering have a nice blog with lovely can visit my blog and give ur comments.


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