Video recipe: Lamb Dum Biriyani - How to make Mutton Biriyani

 Dum Biriyani recipe

Dum Biriyani, just the name gets my mouth watering.  Dum means cooking the biriyani in its own steam and aroma. This dish is rich, bursting with flavor and yum on its own. It does not require any additional dishes on the side to complete it. I hope you enj0y making this dish as much as I do. 

You must really love this biriyani, to want to make it. It requires patience, practice and whole lot of love :-)

Here I have made lamb biriyani. You can also swap this with chicken. Make sure the pieces are three inches. Big pieces stay intact through slow cooking. Smaller pieces tend to fall of the bone and disintegrate. 

Serves 6

Prep and cook time: 60 minutes


1 kg/ 2lb/5 cups  lamb, cut into 3-4 inch pieces

1 cup vegetable oil

4 tsp ginger and garlic paste

4 cups onion, chopped

3 cups tomato, chopped

2 cups fresh coriander, chopped

1 cup fresh mint, chopped

1/4 cup fresh lime juice

8-10 Thai hot green chilies , lesser if your prefer

2 tsp Kashmiri chili powder

2 tsp garam masala powder

1/2 tsp turmeric powder

1/2 tsp cumin powder (optional)

1/2 tsp coriander powder (optional)

Salt to taste

1 cup yogurt (optional)

To prep the rice:

A large pot of water, about 4 liters or more. 

2-3 tsp water

1 tsp vinegar (optional)

1 tsp cumin seeds

Whole spices (2-3 cardamoms, 4-6 cloves, 1 cinnamon stick, 4-6 black pepper seeds, 2 bay leaves)

1 kg/2lb/5 cups brown basmati rice, or any other rice you prefer

To add color and flavor:

1/2 tsp saffron soaked in 1/2 cup warm milk or orange food color

For garnish:

1/2 cup ghee

Some chopped tomatoes, coriander, mint, onion and caramelized onions

For the caramelized onions:

2 cups onion

1/2 cup oil


You will need two large, heavy bottom pots, one to cook the rice, and another for biriyani. You will also need a griddle to rest your biriyani pot on, and slow cook. 

Prepping the rice:

Pour the raw basmati rice in a bowl and rinse it well until the water runs clear. Do not crush the rice grains when washing them. Handle them gently. Set it in water and let it soak for 20-30 minutes. Set aside. 

In a large pot, add about 4 liters of water and bring it to a boil on high heat. Add whole spices, cumin, vinegar and salt. Drain the soaked rice and add it to this boiling water. 

This step is crucial, do not overcook the rice. You will know the rice is half cooked when you take a grain of rice and press it between your fingers. The tips will be cooked while the center of the rice will be raw. Once half cooked, drain it and set aside. 

Dum biriyani recipe

Prepping the biriyani:

In a large heavy bottom pot on medium high heat, add oil. When it begins to smoke, add all the chopped onions. Sauté to a light caramel. Add slit green chilies, and ginger garlic paste. Sauté for a few minutes, until the mixture is aromatic. 

Add meat and cook for 5 minutes. Throw in the diced tomatoes, and chopped coriander and mint leaves. Stir fry until the tomatoes are soft. 

Add the powders: salt, garam masala, chili powder, turmeric, cumin, and coriander. Stir fry until aromatic and oil starts to separate. At this point, add 2 cups water. You may also add a cup of yogurt. Check for taste and add more salt if needed. Cover and let cook until the meat is half cooked. 

Add lime juice, give it a stir. 

Add the drained, half cooked rice over this. Do not stir. On this, add some chopped tomatoes, onions and chopped greens for garnish. 

Soak saffron or orange food color in warm milk for a few minutes. pour this over the rice. Add a dollop of ghee . Place the biriyani pot over a heated griddle. Cover this pot with a thick napkin and seal it well. Place the heat on low and cook for 20 minutes. 

Turn off the heat and let the biriyani rest for 15 minutes and then uncover. Gently stir to mix the masala at the bottom with the rice overlaying it.  Garnish it with caramelized onions.

For this, add a few spoons of oil in a pan on high heat. Add the onions and fry them to a caramel burn. 

Sprinkle over the biriyani and  serve hot with raitha, or another light meat curry on the side.