Preparing dum biryani at home may sound quite overwhelming. It is definitely more time taking than your regular pulao and other kinds of rice, but it is totally worth the time you spend making it. If made with the right balance of ingredients and spices, your biryani will taste amazing, bursting with flavors.
I had asked a friend of mine to bring Kabsa Spice Mix from Saudi Arabia. It is commonly used in Middle Eastern cuisine. The spice mix mainly consists of cardamom, black pepper, cumin, cloves and coriander powder. It can easily be made at home too. I didn’t have to add any other spices to my biryani. The spice mix was more than enough. It just made the whole process so much more easier for a lazy person like me. You can add various other vegetables, dried fruits, etc to your biryani. I chose to keep it simple as I was making it for the first time.
Ingredients (Serves 4)
1 1/2 Cup Long Grain Basmati Rice (washed pre-soaked for 15-20 minutes)
200 gms cottage cheese cut in cubes
3 medium sized onions (one cut in julienne and two finely chopped)
3 medium sized tomatoes finely chopped
A handful of French/green beans
2 roughly diced carrots
5-6 cloves of garlic finely chopped
3 green chillies
2 tsp finely chopped ginger
1/4 tsp red chili powder
1 tsp turmeric powder
Kabsa Spice Mix (use whole spices if not available)
½ tsp red chili garlic paste
Few sprigs of finely chopped coriander
1 tsp cumin seeds
1 pinch asafetida
2-3 tbsp curd
Salt to taste
Wheat flour dough for sealing the lid (dum)
- Boil pre-soaked basmati rice. Add 2-3 whole peppercorns, 1-2 cloves and salt (optional) to it. Keep aside.
- Heat oil in a non-stick pan and fry onions that we cut in julienne. Sprinkle salt in the oil to release moisture from the onions. Keep aside
- In the same oil fry cottage cheese cubes until golden brown (optional). In a separate bowl, add curd, cottage cheese cubes, chili garlic paste, salt. Keep aside
- In the same pan, add cumin seeds and asafetida to the leftover oil
- Next, add garlic, ginger and green chilies. Saute for two minutes until it releases its flavor
- Add chopped onions and saute until translucent
- Add chopped tomatoes, turmeric powder, red chili powder, 1 tsp kabsa masala. Mix well and let it cook for 5-7 minutes.
- Add carrots and green beans. Cover with a lid and simmer for 5 minutes.
- In the end add cottage cheese and mix well. Add 1/4 cup water if required. Cover and cook until oil comes to the surface. It will take not more than 5 minutes. Add little coriander and mix well.
- Next, for the layering; spread one portion of paneer and vegetables, then boiled rice. Sprinkle few crispy fried onions and kabsa spice mix. At this point you can even add saffron and milk or dried fruits at this time.
- Add another layer the same way. It is up to you as to how many times you would like to layer it. I did it twice. It also depends on the pot you’re using.
- In the end, cover the pan with a lid and seal it with dough. Put is on a low flame for 15-20 minutes and serve hot. Alternatively, you can layer it in an oven proof pot and place it in the oven for 20 minutes at 180 degrees celsius. The dough becomes hard. That’s when you know your biryani is ready.
Serve it with nice chilled raita or plain curd.