Paneer Dum Biryani

Biryani is a medley of rice, vegetables (or meat) & spices and is popular among Indians & other south Asians. Traditionally biryani is cooked over hot coal in a sealed cooking pot allowing the aroma of spices permeated into the vegetables & rice (this method of cooking in low heat is known as “Dum” process). But nowadays we can cook biryani using slow cooker or as shown in this post.

IMG_0302Although I like both pressure-cooked biryani & dum biryani equally, I am so exhilarated to find every grain of Basmati rice nicely puffed out during dum process. I never miss to add paneer (cottage cheese) in dum biryani as paneer can be enjoyed at its best form in terms of texture, flavor & taste.

Now the recipe for paneer dum biryani is as below:

Serves: 3


  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


  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 grinding:

  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″)


Cooking Method:

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

Biryani rice: (Time taken: 10 min) Wash & cook rice as shown below after adding half a teaspoon of salt and keep aside.


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.


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.


Tips & Tweaks:

  • It is preferred to use long grains of Basmati rice for Dum process.
  • You can also add vegetables like baby potatoes, cauliflower, broccoli and butter beans (pea beans) that taste extremely delicious in dum biryani.
  • 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 you may reduce it to ¼ cup; oil is required here only to speed up the caramelizing process of onion.



111 Comments Add yours

  1. I am huge fan of Biryani and being a vegeterian have option of only veg biryani and paneer biryani and I absolutely loved your recipe..Will definitely make with recipe next time..This is looking scrumptious !!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Megala says:

      Glad to hear this, thank you !

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Biryani is my favourite! So glad to stumble on to your site so helpful in learning how to make these dishes authentically. 🙂👌

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Megala says:

      Thanks for your feedback, it really means a lot !


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