Hyderabadi Dum Biryani is a traditional and unique way of preparing biryani in a style where uncooked meat marinated with spices, slow cooked with parboiled rice and aromatics in an airtight vessel known as dum cooking.
Hyderabadi Dum Biryani is a delicacy from Hyderabad and originates from the kitchen of Nizam of Hyderabad which is a blend of Mughlai and Iranian Cuisine.
I do not claim that this is an authentic recipe as the real secrets for this delicacy are still in hands of the khansamah. According to Chef Ajoy from thoughtsfromajoy, there are only 6 Khansamas, the royal chefs alive who possess the skill of making this classical delicacy. And much more in his post where he beautifully describes the art of making a perfect dum biryani with clear step-by-step pictures.
I know many of us are intimidated by the very thought of making Hyderabadi Dum Biryani. The first question comes to our mind ‘Will the meat get cooked? Or ‘What if the meat is still raw?’
This is what even I had in my mind before attempting this dish. I was hesitant for a long time but finally tried my hands on it and my first attempt was with chicken, thinking that it will not betray me as much as the meat would.
You can look up a very old post of mine published on 2 March 2016 where I first tried making this kind of Hyderabadi Dum Biryani with chicken just to gain some confidence. There was no looking back once I got the knack. I then started preparing with mutton and the results were amazing with perfectly cooked meat and fluffed and flavored the rice with every attempt.
Regarding the Dum Biryani Ka Garam Masala, in my previous post, I have used the garam masala in a powdered form wherein you just gather all the whole spices, crush it or use a grinder to make it into a fine powder. There is no need for roasting the spices. And in this recipe of mutton dum biryani, I have used the garam masala without grinding. I personally prefer grinding the whole spices which give extra flavor to the biryani.
So the moral of this biryani story is that you need some good knowledge of techniques, lots of patience, and love for cooking, that’s all it takes to make a perfect biryani.
What is the difference between Regular Biryani and Kachche Gosht Ki Biryani or Hyderabadi Dum Biryani?
In a regular biryani also known as ‘Pakki Biryani,’ the meat is marinated and cooked before cooking in dum with rice. Here, both the rice as well as the meat are precooked and dum cooking process is for a short duration as much as 10 to 15 minutes on medium heat.
Whereas Kachche Gosht Ki Biryani is where the rice is almost half cooked, and meat is just marinated which then gets cooked in dum along with the rice on low flame for as long as 1 hour to 1 hour 30 minutes.
This type of biryani has an edge over regular biryani as the rice is flavorful and aromatic and the meat has that ‘fall off the bone texture’. The spices used are also slightly different as you will not find any tomatoes and some spices used in regular biryani.
What are the basic steps involved in making Hyderabadi Dum Biryani?
- Preparing fried onion.
- Marinating the meat which should be for at least 4 to 5 hours or overnight.
- Cooking rice which is al dente (70% cooked).
- Assembling meat and rice along with all the aromatics.
- Dum cooking in an airtight vessel preferably sealed with wheat dough.
These are the main steps involved in making a typical dum biryani where we start by frying the onions or you can even say caramelizing the onions followed by marinating the meat and leaving it overnight for tenderization.
The essential part of the biryani is the preparation of rice which should not be over-cooked at any cost. As you can imagine that the rice will be cooked again in dum for another 45 to 50 minutes. Finally, comes the step where you assemble everything together and make the vessel airtight. The secret of a perfect dum biryani is to make sure no steam escapes while the biryani is being cooked.
The meat will not get cooked well if you find a lot of steam leaking from the air-tight saucepan. If this happens, just turn off the flame and open the lid and seal the lid with fresh dough. It is very important to keep a close eye on the biryani while it is getting cooked.
KACHCHE GOSHT KI DUM BIRYANI ~ MUTTON DUM BIRYANI ~ HYDERABADI DUM BIRYANI
- 15 cm deep and 24 cm wide saucepan
- 1 kilogram mutton cut in medium pieces
For dum cooking:
- ¼ cup melted butter or ghee
- ¼ cup warm milk with a pinch of saffron and 1 teaspoon rose water
- 1 teaspoon shahi jeera
- ½ cup chopped coriander and mint leaves combined
- 2 cups wheat flour make a dough for sealing the pot
For fried onion: (makes 3 cups of fried onion)
- 5 large onion
- Cooking oil for deep frying
- ½ cup yogurt
- 2 cups fried onion
- 2 tablespoon ginger & garlic paste combined
- 2 tablespoon red chili powder
- 3 tablespoon lemon juice
- 1 cup chopped coriander leaves
- ¾ cup mint leaves
- ¼ cup saffron soaked warm milk pinch of saffron
- 4 green chilies with a slit or paste
- 3 teaspoon salt as per taste
- 3 cinnamon stick 1 inch each
- 5 green cardamom
- 7 cloves
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 teaspoon shahi jeera (caraway seeds)
- 4 tablespoon ghee/cooking oil
For rice preparation:
- 4 cups good quality basmati rice
- 2 sticks of cinnamon 1 inch each
- 1 pieces star anise
- 3 bay leaves
- 4 tablespoons cooking oil
- 4 tablespoon salt
- 6 litres water
- Peel and slice the onions evenly and deep fry till light golden.
- Take 1-kilogram of mutton in a large bowl and marinate with all the marinating ingredients for a minimum of 4 hours or overnight.
- Wash and soak the rice for 30 minutes.
- In a large saucepan (15 cm deep and 24 cm wide) heat enough water which is at least ¾ full. Once the water starts to boil, add all the whole spices (2 inches stick of cinnamon, 1-star anise, 4 cardamoms, 3 bay leaves), salt (4 tablespoons), 4 tablespoons of cooking oil, and cook for 5 more minutes.
- Now add soaked rice and cook until the rice is 70 percent or ¾ done. The rice should be cooked but hard in texture.
- Strain the rice from the boiling water and set it aside.
For Biryani Dum Cooking:
- In a large thick bottom saucepan (you can use the same vessel used for boiling rice), add marinated mutton evenly as the first layer followed by half of the cooked rice as the second layer. Watch the video on my youtube channel to see the steps.
- To this rice layer, drizzle half of saffron rose water flavored milk, a handful of chopped coriander and mint leaves, and a handful of fried onion evenly.
- Now spread remaining rice as the third layer followed by saffron rose water flavored milk, a handful of chopped coriander and mint leaves, a handful of fried onion, and also 1 teaspoon of shahi jeera over the final layer.
- Finally, drizzle a generous amount of melted butter or ghee over the biryani to make it more aromatic.
- Roll out the wheat flour dough into a rope shape and seal the biryani vessel and the lid in such a way that no steam escapes or leaks. And also place a heavy object on the lid after sealing.
- Place the saucepan on a flat thin pan or a biryani dum pan and slow cook the biryani for 75 minutes.
- Turn off the gas and let it cool for 10 minutes before opening the sealed lid.
- Serve the biryani hot with raita.
If you have any queries regarding the recipe, do mention it in the comments section and I shall get back to you.
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