Paneer Dum Biryani

Biryani is a medley of rice, vegetables (or meat) & spices popular in India, Srilanka, Pakistan, Afghanistan, and other countries in south Asia & central Asia. Traditionally biryani is cooked over hot coal in a sealed cooking pot allowing the aroma of spices permeated into the vegetables (or meat) & rice. This method of cooking in low heat is known as “Dum” process. Now I have prepared Paneer Dum biryani in this process over stove top, nowadays dum biryani is also prepared using slow cooker, or baked in the oven.

img_0302 Paneer Dum Biryani
Paneer Dum Biryani

Although I like both the pressure-cooked biryani & dum biryani equally, it is so exhilarating to find each & every grain of Basmati rice nicely puffed out during dum process. I never miss to include paneer (cottage cheese) in dum biryani as paneer can be enjoyed at its best when cooked in dum process in terms of texture, flavor & aroma. Now let’s look into the paneer dum biryani recipe:

img_0314 Paneer Dum Biryani
Paneer biryani with raitha

Paneer Dum Biryani Recipe:

Serves: 3

Ingredients:

  1. Basmati rice – 1½ cups
  2. Paneer – 100 g
  3. Any neutral oil – 1/3 cup
  4. Bay leaf – 1 No.
  5. Star Aniseed – 1 No.
  6. Red chilli powder – 1 tsp
  7. Turmeric powder – ½ tsp
  8. Curd – ½ cup
  9. Saffron (soaked in a tbsp of warm milk) – few strands
  10. Salt – 1½ tsp

Vegetables:

  1. Onion (minced ) – 2 Nos.
  2. Ripe tomatoes – 2 Nos.
  3. Carrot (large) – 1 No.
  4. Beans – 10 Nos.
  5. Fresh peas – ¾ cup
  6. Potato (medium sized) – 1 No.
  7. Mint leaves – a handful

For masala:

  1. Onion – 1 No.
  2. Green chillies – 4 Nos.
  3. Ginger – 2″ piece
  4. Garlic – 8 Nos.
  5. Cloves – 9 Nos.
  6. Cardamom – 2 Nos.
  7. Cinnamon – 2 Nos. (each 1″)
biryani-ingdt Paneer Dum Biryani
Biryani ingredients

Paneer Dum Biryani Cooking Procedure:

Preparing vegetables & spice mix: (Time taken-10 min) 

Wash vegetables and chop them as shown below and grind spices into a smooth paste without adding water.

masala Paneer Dum Biryani

Cooking Basmati rice: (Time taken-10 min)

Wash & cook rice as shown below after adding half a teaspoon of salt and keep aside.

rice Paneer Dum Biryani
Cooking Basmati rice

Biryani Masala: (Time taken-10 min)

  • Heat a heavy bottom cooking pot with oil in medium flame.
  • Fry bay leaves & star aniseed for few seconds.
  • Add minced onions & paneer cubes and saute until onions are caramelized.
  • Add all chopped vegetables, red chilli powder & turmeric powder and stir fry for 30 seconds.
  • Add half a teaspoon of salt and mix well.
  • Add chopped tomatoes & spice-mix and saute until amalgamated.
  • Add mint leaves, curd & half a teaspoon of salt and cook in low flame for a minute.
  • Remove from heat and keep aside.
veg Paneer Dum Biryani

Dum Process: (Time taken-15 min)

  • Heat a cast-iron dosa tawa and place the same cooking pot on top of it enabling biryani cooked in low heat.
  • First we start with a layer of vegetables followed by rice and again another layer of vegetables & rice.
  • Finally pour saffron milk and close the pot with a lid.
  • Seal the pot using wheat flour (or plain flour) dough to prevent the steam escape.
  • Place a heavy object over the lid to keep it in its place.
  • Simmer for 15 minutes and remove from heat.
  • Open the pot after scraping the hard dough.
  • Gently mix rice & vegetables with a wooden spatula.
  • Serve hot paneer biryani with raita of your choice.
dum1 Paneer Dum Biryani
Dum process over stove top

Tips & Tweaks:

  • We can also use vegetables like baby potatoes, cauliflower, broccoli, etc. that taste delicious when cooked under dum process.
  • Authentic dum biryani recipe uses thinly sliced onion than minced onion. But I prefer to use minced onion as it requires less oil to caramelize them.
  • Since dum process does not require much oil we can even reduce further to ¼ cup.
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