Dum Biryani is a very exotic Rice dish , wonderfully spiced, delicately cooked and enjoyed heartily.
This 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 earliest documented recipe can be found in Ain-I-Akbar
Handi is a round spherical shaped clay pot. The bottom is thick. The top has a wide-mouth opening about 85% of the middle of the pot. The opening is supported by a very narrow neck that flares out to form broad rim. There is no handle so the pot is lifted by grabbing the rim. A clay saucer is used as a lid and placed on the top. The lid is sealed with hard paste made of flour and water. The Handi is left on the charcoal for several hours, till the food is to be served. The heat creates the steam, it condenses and rolls down the curved walls. 'Dum' means warm breath signifying the steam. The 'Pukht' means choking. 'Dum Pukht' means choking the steam and prevent it from escaping. .
Handiya is a smaller version of Handi
For Dum cooking:Par-cooked food is kept in Handi with minimal amount of water. The lid is placed and sealed with a paste of flour and water. The flames are put out, leaving a bed of hot coals. The heat creates the steam, the steam condenses and rolls down the curved walls. In other words, the steam is choked before it can escape, leading to the term 'Dum Pukht'.
For some of the dishes, the coals may also be placed on the lid to distribute heat evenly (Source: Here)
There are many versions of Biryanis, ranging from Meat to chicken and ofcourse the vegetable Biryani.The trick lies in cooking the rice just perfect and handling it with care while mixing with cooked vegetables, the flavors are then allowed to mix , as all the ingredients are kept in a handi for slow cooking.The result? A perfectly cooked biryani, with awesome flavors and amazing aroma, that will teleport you straight in the Mughal era, as you relish The Mighty Biryani.
Today's recipe is highly inspired by Sanjeev kapoor's Mushroom Dum Biryani, with ofcourse some changes here and there.
Recipe: Vegetable Dum Biryani (Slow cooked Rice with vegetables, herbs and Indian Spices)
Prep Time:20 minutes
Cooking Time:30-45 minutes
Shelf Life:Taste best when ate straight away from handi (Ok...not actually, but do consume right away)
Recipe Inspiration/Source:Sanjeev Kapoor
Spice Level: High
Button mushrooms, quartered 15-20 medium (I used 10)
Basmati rice, soaked 1 1/2 cups
Bay leaf 1
Green cardamoms 2
Black cardamoms 2
Cinnamon 1 inch piece
Mace 1 blade
Salt to taste
Oil 2 teaspoons
Onions, thinly sliced 2 medium
Ginger paste 2 teaspoons
Garlic paste 2 teaspoons
Red chilli powder 2 teaspoons
Coriander powder 1 tablespoon
Black peppercorns, crushed 1/2 tablespoon
Cumin powder 1/2 teaspoon
Turmeric powder 1/2 teaspoon
Tomatoes, pureed 2 medium
Skimmed milk yogurt, whisked 1/2 cup
Garam masala powder 1/2 teaspoon
Fresh coriander leaves, finely chopped 1/4 cup
Fresh mint leaves, torn 1/4 cup
Kewra water 4-5 drops (I skipped this)
Saffron (kesar) a pinch (I skipped this)
Skimmed milk 1/4 cup (I skipped this)
French Beans 3
Baby corns 3-4
Shelled peas (As many as you like)
A pinch of Kasuri methi
You can use the commercial Biryani pulav masala(1/4 tsp ) instead of Whole Garam masala if you wish to make it less spicy.
Handi or Bean pot or Crock pot
Verbatim Of Sanjeev Kapoor's Mushroom Dum Biryani (Check the notes given below to read the changes I made)
- Bring four cups of water to a boil in a thick-bottomed vessel. Add bay leaf, cloves, green cardamoms, black cardamoms, cinnamon, mace and one teaspoon salt.
- When the water starts boiling rapidly, drain the soaked basmati rice and add.
- Cook for eight to ten minutes, stirring frequently or until the rice is three fourths done.
- Drain in a colander.
- Heat oil in a non-stick pan, add sliced onions and stir-fry over high heat for two to three minutes or until the onion turns translucent.
- Add ginger paste, garlic paste and sauté briefly.
- Add red chilli powder, coriander powder, crushed peppercorns, cumin powder and turmeric powder. Stir-fry briefly and add the pureed tomatoes.
- Continue cooking over high heat for another two to three minutes, stirring continuously or until masala is fairly thick.
- Add the whisked skimmed milk yogurt, garam masala powder and half the quantity of chopped fresh coriander and mint leaves.
- Stir well and cook for two minutes more.
- Add the quartered button mushrooms and salt to taste.(At this step I added chopped and boiled Vegetables like carrots, beans, peas, babycorns etc)
- Stir-fry over high heat for two to three minutes and remove from heat.
- Arrange the cooked rice and mushroom masala (with vegetables in my case) in alternate layers in an oven proof dish (or Biryani handi), sprinkling the remaining chopped fresh coriander and torn mint leaves, kewra water and saffron dissolved in skimmed milk after each layer.
- Ensure that the top most layer is of rice.
- Cover the assembled biryani with a tight fitting lid and seal the edges with kneaded atta dough (if required).
- Keep the sealed dish on a medium hot tawa and leave for ten to fifteen minutes. You can also place a few burning charcoals on the lid.
- Alternatively, leave the sealed dish in a preheated oven at 200 degree C for ten to fifteen minutes.
- Break the seal and open the biryani, just before serving.
- Instead of just mushrooms, I boiled some chopped vegetables and mixed with mushrooms to have a more filling Biryani
- Instead of sealing with dough, I used aluminum foil to wrap around the lid.It worked well for me.
- For Dum, I placed the handi over a griddle , which in turn was kept over the gas burner and the flame was kept on lowest mark and the mixture was dum cooked for nearly 13 minutes or so.
- I skipped, kewra, saffron and milk, since I generally do not like to mix milk and yogurt in a single dish.But go ahead with these ingredients, these give a lovely flavor to the wholesome Biryani.