Monday, June 16, 2014

Vegetable Dum Biryani - Layered Vegetable Biryani

Always there are a number of ways of cooking Biryani. This depends on the ingredients, the cooking methodology and the available time. Vegetable Dum Biryani is unique in its own way. You need to prepare this when you have lots of time in hand. This cannot be a choice if you are in a hurry to cook mood :-) Making this delicacy needs some time. But it is worth the effort that you put in. This cooking on dum gives the biryani its uniqueness and originality. Believe me, it tastes heavenly.

What does dum mean? Dum cooking is a technique of cooking in steam by not allowing the steam to pass. The food is kept in a sealed container – usually earthenware pots (also known as handi in India) which are sealed tightly with wheat flour dough. This does not allow the steam to pass. The food gets cooked in its own steam and juices on a slow fire infusing the flavors and aroma of its own herbs and spices in the food. Nutrients are not lost in this process and thus the food is nutritious too.



Basmati rice – 1 & 1/2 cup
Onion – 2, chopped lengthwise
Green chilli - 2 (adjust as per taste)
Ginger - garlic paste - 2  tsp
Mixed Vegetables - 2 cups (carrot, beans, cauliflower, fresh peas, potatoes etc)
Mint / pudina leaves – 2 tbsp, chopped
Coriander leaves – 2 tbsp, chopped
Curd - 1/4 cup
Milk - 1 tbsp
Saffron - few strands
Turmeric powder – a pinch
Red chilli powder -1 tsp
Coriander powder – 2 tsp
Biriyani masala – 2 tbsp
Salt as required

To Temper 

Oil - 2 tbsp
Ghee - 2 tsp
Bay leaf - 1
Cloves - 2
Cinnamon stick - 1
Elaichi - 2
Star anise - 1


Cooking the rice:

  • Wash the rice well in running water and soak the rice in water for atleast 30 mins. Drain and set aside
  • In a wide pan or a pressure cooker boil water. Add a tsp of oil, whole garam masala and salt. Boil until roaring boil. Add the soaked rice. In about 5-6 minutes in high flame rice will be 70% done. Test by eating some if it has a bite but its tastes like cooked or press between ur fingers. If breaks into 2 parts its ready. Strain it and spread on a big plate.
Preparing the Vegetables :
  • Soak saffron in warm milk and set aside.
  • Heat oil in a wide pan add the onions and fry them until they turn golden brown. Once they turn golden brown, take them out of the oil and set aside.
  • In the same pan, add ghee along with the remaining oil and add the whole garam masala (mentioned under "To Temper")  and fry them until they crackle.
  • Add ginger-garlic paste saute for a minute and then add the green chillies and the cut vegetables. Saute in medium high-flame for a minute or so, turning the vegetables frequently. Saute until they are slightly cooked. Reduce the flame a bit and then add all the spice powders, salt and gradually add yogurt stirring well to prevent curdling of curd.
  • Mix well and fry for 5-6 minutes or until the masalas coats the vegetables. Sprinkle some water if it gets too dry. Veggies should not be cooked completely as we will dum it later on. It should 70% cooked. 
For Dum:
  • Take a pressure cooker or a heavy bottomed pan. Spread a layer of vegetables, add a handful of mint and coriander leaves, a tsp of saffron mixture and turn on the heat. Top it off with a layer of rice and some fried onions.
  • Repeat the same process by adding the remaining vegetables and some mint-coriander leaves. Then add the remaining rice and add some fried onions and sprinkle some saffron mixture.You can make as many layers as you want. Just make sure the final layer is always the rice, mint-coriander leaves, fried onions and the saffron mixture
  • Now sprinkle ¼ cup of water over it, Cover and cook for 20-25 minutes in lowest flame. Place the weight valve without fail if using a pressure cooker
  • In case if you are worried if the dum might get burnt, place the cooker in a big pot with some water. And place that big pot on direct flame. Or you can also place your pressure cooker over a dosa pan and keep the dosa pan on direct flame.
  • Mix well and Enjoy hot!!!

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