Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Vegetable Dum Biryani..

Dum Biryani is an exotic gourmet style one pot meal and is usually served in weddings and restaurants.

This dish is no humongous task to make at home and with a little patience and perseverance, you can put forth a simply sensational dum biryani for your loved ones.

I came across umpteen recipes on the internet for this dish, but this particular recipe from Usha's myspicykitchen was very interesting and quite simple too which tempted me to try this dish out right away. And yes, the best part was that it turned out perfectly yumm, though the pictures don't seem to be doing enough justice!

The word 'dum' in literal translation means 'breath' or rather 'steam' in this context. The dum biryani is cooked by locking up the full pressure inside the pot. In other words, the steam is strangled inside and not let to escape.
The vegetables are marinated in a spiced yogurt base and the cooked along with the rice and of course the main and exquisite ingredient being saffron which imparts the beautiful color and lovely aroma to the dish!
Though the list of ingredients may look scarily long, trust me friends, its not what it looks and is pretty simple to go about.
Here goes the recipe:
Ingredients for the Marinade:

Potato- 1 large diced into long pieces

Green beans- about 15 pieces cut into long strips

Carrots- 1 peeled and cut into long pieces

Lima beans- 1/2 Cup (optional)

Tomatoes- 2 small chopped or puree- 1/3 cup

Green chillies- 6-8 slit vertically

Mint leaves- 1/4 Cup chopped

Cilantro leaves- 1/2 Cup

Fresh Ginger- 1/2 inch piece crushed or grated

Garlic- 2 cloves minced or ginger garlic paste- 2 Tsp

Coriander powder- 1 Tsp

Red chilly powder- 1 Tsp

Garam Masala- 1/2 Tsp

Turmeric powder- 1/4 Tsp

Yogurt-  1/4 cup

Salt to taste

For the Rice:

Basmati Rice- 2 Cups

Cloves- 4 nos.

Cardamoms- 4 nos.

Bay leaves-3 nos.

Fennel seeds- 1/2 tsp

Aniseed- 1 flower

Salt - 1 to 2 Tbsp

For the Garnish:

Onion- 1 small sliced

Other Ingredients:

Saffron- 1/4 Tsp or a few strands

Milk-1/2 Cup

Oil- 1/2 Cup


1.Wash the basmati rice and soak it for half an hour or so depending on the quality of rice. Soak the saffron in the milk and let sit.

2.Prepare the marinade by mixing the spice powders in the yogurt and adding all the veggies listed under it. Mix well and set it aside. I prefer to cover and refrigerate it till it is ready to be used.

3.Heat very little oil in a pan and fry the sliced onions until golden brown. remove and set aside.

4.To cook the rice, bring water to boil in a 2 quart pot (roughly abt 2 lts). When the water starts to boil, add all the ingredients for the rice except rice. Give it a good stir and then add the rice draining completely the water in which it was soaked.

5. Let it boil until the rice starts to roll over.After one good boil of about 3 minutes, switch off the heat and drain the rice. Reserve half cup of boiled water for later use.

6.In the same 2 qt pot( preferably non stick or a heavy bottomed pot to avoid sticking), heat some oil and arrange the marinated veggies at the bottom.  Layer half of the cooked rice on top of the veggies and sprinkle half of the oil and half of the saffron milk.

7. Layer the remaining rice and top it off with the remaining oil, saffron milk and the half cup of boiled water.

8. Cover the pot well with 2 or more sheets of aluminum foil or a cloth and then close it with the lid. Fold the foil and seal it carefully  around the lid in a such a way that the steam doesn't escape while cooking. Place some heavy object or weight on top of the lid to lock the steam inside.

9.Cook for 10 minutes or so on high heat and then for 25 minutes on low heat. Switch off the heat and let sit for 10 minutes.

10. Open the lid and carefully mix the rice and the veggies so that they do not break. If you feel that the rice and veggies are under cooked, cover and cook for some more time. But take care not to make the rice mushy.

11. Garnish with the fried onions and serve hot with any curry or raitha of your choice.

Note: The whole secret of success lies in cooking the rice to the best of its perfection. Under cooking or over cooking- both will result in the failure of the dish.
Be careful in choosing the right pot or vessel for cooking as it has to withstand the heat as well as not burn the rice.
You can also add a pinch of saffron food color to the milk along with saffron to get the orange color though I just kept myself to the saffron alone.

Sending this for Aipi's Bookmarked Recipes event.


  1. Love how each grain of rice stands nicely separated..so very important for Biryani!
    Thanks a lot for linking to bookmarked event :)
    US Masala

  2. Thanx a ton Aipi.. I really appreciate your promptness!!

  3. Wat a flavourful and wonderful looking one pot meal,simply inviting..

  4. Really each grain seems to be so fluffy and separate....the biryani is really inviting...would be great to dig in with a chilled bowl of raita.

  5. perfect and mouthwatering biryani...

  6. Thanx so much Priya and Raji..

  7. Thank you Deeksha for stopping by and leaving your valuable comment..

  8. Perfect Biriyani and it goes by the name of the dish - Breath taking biriyani

  9. Thank you so much for your lovely comment Kavitha!

  10. I love this classic dish...Flavourful and mouthwatering biryani!

  11. Thanx so much Nandini for you r words and time!

  12. i alwsy order this when i go out to eat. u made it very well and thanks for sharing the recipe

  13. Love your version of Veg Biriyani....looks mouthwatering...

    Vidya, I was not able to view your post of rasakalan...just check if everything is ok..

  14. Thank you Jeyashri for stopping by and leaving a comment.

  15. Thanx Kaveri and I'm yet to post the rasakaalan recipe.

  16. Hey! Thanks for dropping by and leaving a comment. RIce looks perfectly cooked!!

  17. Thanks for trying the recipe. Glad it came out perfect. I do not know how I missed this post.