Thursday, February 18, 2016

Hyderabadi Vegetable Dum Biryani | How to make Hyderabadi Vegetable Dum Biryani at home | Stepwise Pictures | One Pot Meal | Weekend Special Lunch Recipe

Hi Supermoms,

“Today night I am having my dinner at Paradise”..well this is not a line from a fairy tale or a fable. This is my husband reporting to me gleefully from Hyderabad, when he is on a business trip there,  having planned his meal at the famous Biryani Restaurant. 

Hyderabad is famous for many things, but the most famous is for its BP i.e Biryani and Pearls. Well I am not going to teach you how to shine a pearl, but more interestingly, how to make the famous Hyderabadi Biryani.

There are hundreds  of Biryani recipes across India, but the Hyderabadi Biryani is famous across the globe. The Nizami recipe is originally made with goat meat or chicken, but the vegetarian and the egg versions are equally popular. The  vegetables are marinated in spiced yoghurt for long hours, preferably overnight. They are then half cooked in a pan and then sandwiched along with layers of basmati rice in a large 'Handi' or Vessel, sealed with dough and further slow cooked using 'Dum' (steaming over coals) cooking technique.

Cooking the Biryani right requires a lot of patience and practice, but the results are too rewarding. Hyderabadi Biryani is an exquisite main dish that can delight your friends and family on weekends or special days. Mirch ka salan, sherva  or a simple onion raita compliments the biryani as sides.

Hyderabadi Dum Biryani:

Preparation time : 8-10 hours
Cooking time : 2 hours
Serves : 6 
1 cup = 250 ml cup

Ingredients :

2 cups uncooked Basmati rice ( long grain variety)
3 tablespoons ghee/clarified butter
1 onion ( thinly sliced)
2 tomatoes (finely chopped)
4 green chillies ( slit into half, lengthwise)
4 garlic pods ( grated)
1/2 " fresh ginger (grated)
2 bay leaves
1 clove
1 green cardamom
1 black cardamom/badi elaichi
1 star anise
1/2 " cinnamon 
salt to taste

For the ground spice powder:

1 teaspoon fennel seeds
1/2 teaspoon coriander seeds
1/4 teaspoon cumin seeds
2 cloves
2 bay leaves (small)
1 maze
1/2 " cinnamon piece
1/2 teaspoon peppercorns
2 dry red chilli ( guntur chilli)
small piece of nutmeg
2 green cardamom

For the (overnight )marination :

1 cup thick yoghurt ( whipped)
1 teaspoon red chilli powder
1/2 teaspoon coriander powder ( freshly ground )
1/4 teaspoon turmeric powder
1 teaspoon ginger garlic paste
1/2 teaspoon pepper ( coarsely crushed)
1/2 teaspoon All Spice Powder OR Biryani Masala
1 large potato ( peeled and cubed)
1 cauliflower ( cut into florets)
2 small carrots
1/2 cup peas
salt to taste


For Caramelised onions:

2 large red onions  ( sliced thinly)
1 tablespoon oil
1 teaspoon sugar
pinch of salt

For fried cottage cheese:

100 gms cottage cheese/paneer
 1 teaspoon oil

For the crispy bread cubes:

4 slices of bread ( cut into cubes)
2 teaspoons of ghee/clarified butter

Flavouring :

1/4 cup warm milk
6-7 strands of saffron
8-10 ghee roasted cashewnuts
small bunch of mint leaves ( finely chopped)
small bunch of cilantro( finely chopped)

For Sealing the handi:

1 cup whole wheat flour/atta
water( adjust)
pinch of salt
2 tablespoons oil


In a large bowl, add all the spice powders and salt to the whipped curd/yoghurt and marinate all the vegetables given under 'marination' for 8 hours or overnight. 

Cover and refrigerate.
Soak saffron strands  in milk and refrigerate overnight.

Soak Basmati rice for 30 minutes in water , add little salt and cook the rice till they are just done .

Take a large wide heavy bottom pan and heat a tablespoon of oil .
Add the onions given under 'caramelisation' .
Add the sugar and salt and let the onions caramelise over low flame. Set it aside.

In the same pan, toast the bread cubes with ghee till they are crispy. Set it aside.

Now add oil to pan fry the cottage cheese/paneer. Add the cubed paneer and fry till they are golden on the outside. Set it aside.

In the same pan, heat 3 tablespoons of ghee, add all the whole spices .
When they sizzle, add the ginger garlic paste .
Add the sliced onions, pinch of salt and cook for half a minute in high flame, stirring continuously.

Reduce the flame and add the tomatoes and mix well. 
Cover and cook for 1 minute over low flame.

Add the marinated vegetables along with the curd.
Add the ground spice powder, adjust salt and let the vegetables cook over low flame.
 Keep stirring occasionally and add water if the mixture becomes too dry. We are looking for a wet mixture.
Once the vegetables are fork tender, switch off.
Layering the Biryani :

Take a medium size Handi/earthern pot or heavy bottom vessel that has a lid and grease the vessel with ghee or oil.
Spoon one portion of the vegetable mixture into the handi.
Now add one portion of rice and gently press the rice so that they are tightly packed.
Now, drizzle the saffron milk , add few pieces of caramelised onions, panner cubes, roasted cashews and bread cubes.
Sprinkle few chopped mint leaves and cilantro. 

Repeat the process ending with the top layer of rice topped with all the mentioned garnish.
Leave atleast 2 " gap for the biryani to cook.
Prepare a sticky dough by mixing the whole wheat flour along with water and oil .
Seal the mouth of the handi using the rolled out sticky dough.

Baking/Cooking the Biryani :

If your vessel is oven friendly, bake your biryani in a pre-heated oven at 160 degrees for 45 minutes.
If you are using a gas top, then place the handi on top of a well greased skillet/tawa for 30-35 minutes. (You can refer my Bombay Dum Biryani recipe for steps )
You will see the dough changing colour and also puff up due to the built up steam.

Switch off and let the handi remain inside the oven, with the oven lid open, for another 10-15 minutes.
You can apply a little water on the rim of the handi to help ease and cut open the dough lid.

Your Hyderabadi Dum Biryani is now ready to be served !!! Serve them proudly with freshly  sliced onions,tangy and spicy Tomato Sherva or with any raita.

Dum Biryani

Chef Tips:

  1. Adjust the heat of the biryani according to your taste preference.
  2. If you are cooking the biryani on your stove top, you can cover the vessel using an aluminium foil and then tightly closing it with a lid OR you can cover the vessel with a moist, clean kitchen towel and then closing the lid. 
  3. Use long grain rice variety for making this biryani.
  4. Longer marination helps in absorbing the masala better.
Some Special tips from readers:

1. Use 'hung curd' for marination.
2. Add few drops of rose water while layering the biryani for more authentic Hyderabadi  flavour.

If you are looking for more such delicious one-pot dishes, check out these recipes.
Happy Cooking !

With love,


Vegetable Biryani


  1. That looks super duper delicious and healthy as well!

  2. love the step wise instructions and excellent recipe to try

  3. This looks incredibly yummy ♥

  4. I love this biryani a lot.... All time favorite

  5. I love dum biryani Uma! Yours looks fantastic! now pass me a spoon please!!

  6. Uma! Very well explained. I loved reading the pot inch by inch. I am a Biriyani person. Sadly, no takers here. I feel like asking you could you please serve some than the usual I ll try this recipe. Biriyani saapta maathiriye irunthathu. Loved the post.

  7. Goodness! This biryani is truly tempting. I love rice, I love biryani and I am absolutely loving your version with great flavours.


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