This slimming friendly healthy Hyderabadi dum biryani is going to change your perception about biryani, coz it is the healthiest version of restaurant-style dum biryani without losing the flavours. Layers of basmati rice and vegetables slow-cooked to perfection in dum.
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If there is any food that won’t bore me or I cannot skip eating for any reasons, it will be a good Hyderabadi Vegetable Dum Biryani. Biryani is everyone’s favourite across any state in India and is the most ordered dish in Indian restaurants across the UK too here.
I simply love the amalgamation of perfectly cooked jewel-like basmati rice along with mild spices and marinated vegetables. They say biryani is the best when cooked with meat or chicken but for me, Egg Biryani tops the list and then this Andhra style authentic Hyderabadi vegetable dum biryani. Any kind of pulaos or pilafs only comes next.
What is Dum Biryani?
While biryani is just rice cooked along with vegetables or meat, dum biryani is a unique special preparation where the layers of rice and marinated vegetables are slow-cooked in a sealed container, the vapour inside helps cook the dum biryani.
The process of layering rice, marinated vegetables and slow-cooked with vapour is often called dum. this dum process gives unique flavour to the biryani.
How this vegetable dum biryani recipe is healthy?
Dum biryanis often served in restaurants are loaded with full of fats, frequent consumption of such restaurant biryanis can easily cause you gain weight. If you master this healthy vegetable biryani recipe, you can still enjoy eating biryani without trading your weight loss efforts,
this healthy vegetable dum biryani is
✅prepared in oven to avoid using more oil.
✅prepared with controlled portions of minimal amount of ghee.
✅calls for controlled amount of fried onions.
✅no frying of vegetables or onions involved.
✅suitable for weight loss and calorie counting diets, enjoy guilt-free.
✅prepared in oven to avoid using more oil.
✅prepared in oven to avoid the need of additional oil.
Ingredients for Vegetable Dum Biryani
Basmati rice – a good quality basmati rice decides the flavour and taste of dum biryani. Choose aged and extra long grain basmati rice. I often use Tilda extra long basmati in the UK. you can also use Kohinoor which always give me nice fluffy grains.
Vegetables – Use plenty like carrots, cauliflower, beans, green peas, mushrooms, paneer, potatoes. I use fewer potatoes as the biryani is already a carb-rich dish.
Green Chilli – optional and can skip if you cant tolerate much spice.
Yogurt/curd– this is used for marinating vegetables, I use low-fat greek yogurt.
Ginger garlic paste – use fresh or bottled but is a must for good flavored biryani.
Whole spices like cloves, green and black cardamom, black cumin seeds, peppercorns, bay leaf add a nice aroma to biryani even if biryani masala is used.
Spice powders – red chilli powder,coriander, cumin powders, garam masala adds nice kick to the masala.
Biryani Masala – you can either use freshly made or ready-made, my trusted brand is Shan Biryani Masala.
Lime Juice – which helps in keeping the spicy flavors balanced.
Fried Onions – I experimented so much with baked onions but am sticking to store-bought fried onions. You can also fry them on your own but I felt its too much effort.
Saffron Milk – is a must for any good biryani that imparts natural colour and flavour to the rice grains. I used food colouring as I dropped down a few left over saffron strands in a hurry.
Rose Water or Kewra water – again this imparts a nice flavor to the biryani.
Salt – we need copious amounts to cook the rice and vegetable gravy.
Step by step Recipe for Dum Biryani
Preparing half-boiled rice
this step is crucial for making a good dum biryani, so follow the instructions as it is.
1 -Wash basmati rice well in cold water well until you remove all the white starch. Soak long grain basmati rice in clean water for at least 30 minutes.
2- In a heavy bottomed pot, bring water to a rolling boil. Add 2 tbsp salt(or to taste),1 bay leaf, mint leaves, chopped coriander leaves,3 green cardamom pods, 3 cloves, 1 tsp of black cumin seeds.
3- Add soaked basmati rice and let the rice cook until the grain is 70% cooked. the grain should break easily but still be firm. This should take 7- 8 minutes roughly.
4- Immediately drain the rice using a strainer and if required pour cold water to stop further cooking of rice.
Marination of Vegetables
5- While the rice water is boiling, add the cut vegetables in another pot of boiling water along with a pinch of salt and turmeric. Boil for 5 min until the veggies are tender but not too soft.
6- Strain the water from vegetables and pour cold water to stop further cooking.
7 – In a oven proof dish, spread the vegetables and allow them to cool done for few minutes.
8- Add in all spice powders, whole spices, mint leaves, coriander leaves, salt, ginger garlic paste, paneer, mushrooms and mix well.
Layering or preparing dum for biryani
9- Add in low-fat greek yogurt and mix well.
10- As an optional step let the marinated vegetables rest for 30 minutes, you can also do this ahead of time.
11 – Layer half-boiled basmati rice, fried onions, saffron milk, coriander leaves mint leaves , melted ghee and repeat the process until the rice is over.
12- Sprinkle rose water or kewra water on the top. If you think rice is undercooked, you can sprinkle some hot water at this stage.
Cooking Dum Biryani
13- Close the dish with a kitchen silver foil(not wrapping foil) and seal the edges well.
14- Place the sealed dum biryani i the middle rack of the oven and bake in a pre-heated oven at 180 C for 40 minutes by checking in between.
15- Once it is done, do not open the foil for at least 10 minutes. then open and fluff it up with a fork making sure the grains are not breaking.
16- Serve hot with onion raitha and a salad like cucumber and carrots.
Tips to make Hyderabadi Dum Biryani
- Using good quality basmati is my #1 tip. Choose an extra long-grain variety carefully.
- Cooking half-boiled rice perfectly decides the texture of a good dum biryani. I have a tutorial for it in my other blog here. It is better to undercook the rice than to overcook as undercooked rice can be repaired easily. Never go away while the rice is getting cooked. The rice grain should break but still be firm. almost 70% cooked is the mantra.
- Cut the vegetables evenly so they get cooked well. also for dum biryani, the vegetables should not be cut very small else they may get mashed.
- Marinate the vegetables at least for 30 minutes if possible.
How to serve vegetable dum biryani
Taste best with onion raitha(simply chop onions finely, add salt,a pinch of pepper powder, green chilli and some beaten yogurt, mix well and sprinkle loads of coriander).
You can also serve with mirchi ka salan traditionally but I normally don’t make it often due to the high calorie ingredients like peanuts, sesame seeds.
Always add loads of salad like tomatoes cucumber , carrots to make the meal filling.
Dum biryani tastes the best at least for 3-4 days when kept in the fridge. You can simply reheat whenever you want to eat. Freezing is also a good option and stays perfect for a month at least. Simply thaw it on the kitchen counter for a few hours when ready to eat and reheat.
Dum Biryani in Oven vs Stove Top
Making dum biryani is a breeze both in oven and stove top. Lately, am favoring the oven method for its easy cleaning and also to avoid burning the bottom as I use very less fat.
It is not possible to make biryani on stove top without using more quantities of oil/ghee.
How to make on Stove Top?
Use the same method throughout. Instead of baking tray, season a heavy bottomed wide pot with some ghee and place thickly sliced potatoes and layer the rice and marinated vegetables.
Seal it with silver foil and close the lid, cook on high flame for 5 minutes, then reduce the flame to low nd cook for 45 minutes further.
If you don’t have a silver foil, use any dough to seal the lid. It is very important to seal the lid so not any vapor is escaping out so the biryani has perfect dum to get cooked.
Can I make this vegan?
You can absolutely make it vegan, but i can’t promise the taste.
Replace ghee with any vegetable oil and use plant based milk for soaking saffron. Skip paneer and replace with more vegetables.Print
Hyderabadi Vegetable Dum Biryani Recipe
- Prep Time: 30
- Cook Time: 45
- Total Time: 1 hour 15 minutes
- Yield: 4 1x
- Diet: Vegetarian
A fragrant and tasty Hyderabadi Vegetable Dum Biryani made with layers of marinated vegetables and half-boiled basmati rice studded with whole spices cooked under a special dum. This is a healthy version that is suitable for weight loss and calorie counting diets.
Preparing half-boiled rice
- 2 cups long grain basmati rice
- ½ tablespoon ginger-garlic paste
- 1 teaspoon back cumin seeds
- 3 green cardamom pods
- 4 cloves
- 1 bay leaf
- 2 tablespoon salt
- few drops of vegetable oil
- 3 tablespoon mint and coriander leaves
- 2–3 litres water
- ½ cup low-fat Greek yoghurt
- ½ tablespoon ginger garlic paste
- 2 teaspoons ghee
- ¼ cup fried onions
- 2 tablespoons kewra water
- ½ lemon juice extracted
- ¼ cup paneer cubes
- 2 carrots cut into slices
- 10 green beans cut diagonally
- 1 large potato cut into chunks
- 10 cauliflower florets medium-sized
- ¼ cup frozen green peas
- 5 mushrooms cut into halves
- 2 green chilli slit
- ⅓ bunch of coriander leaves chopped
- 2 tablespoon mint leaves
- 1 teaspoon black cumin seeds
- 4 cloves
- 3 green cardamom pods
- 1-inch cinnamon stick cut into 2 halves
- 1 big bay leaves
- 1-star anise
- 1 black cardamom
- 1 teaspoon black cumin seeds
- ¼ teaspoon turmeric powder
- ½ teaspoon red chilli powder
- ½ teaspoon coriander powder
- ½ teaspoon cumin powder
- ½ teaspoon garam masala
- 1 tablespoon biryani masala powder
- 1 teaspoon salt(or to taste)
Making Dum for Biryani
- 2 tablespoons warm milk
- a pinch of saffron or orange food colouring
- 1 tablespoon kewra water
- 3 teaspoons melted butter or ghee
- chopped coriander and mint leaves
- ¼ cup fried onions
- Cooking Half Boiled Rice
- 1 -Wash basmati rice well in cold water well until you remove all the white starch. Soak long grain basmati rice in clean water for at least 30 minutes.
- 2- In a heavy-bottomed pot, bring water to a rolling boil. Add 2 tbsp salt(or to taste), few drops of oil,1 bay leaf, mint leaves, chopped coriander leaves,3 green cardamom pods, 3 cloves, 1 tsp of black cumin seeds.
- 3- add soaked basmati rice and let the rice cook until the grain is 70% cooked. the grain should break easily but still be firm. This should take 7- 8 minutes roughly.
- 4- Immediately drain the rice using a strainer and if required pour cold water to stop further cooking of rice.
- Marination of Vegetables
- 5- While the rice water is boiling, add the cut vegetables in another pot of boiling water along with a pinch of salt and turmeric. Boil for 5 min until the veggies are tender but not too soft.
- 6- Strain the water from vegetables and pour cold water to stop further cooking.
- 7 – In an ovenproof dish, spread the vegetables and allow them to cool done for a few minutes.
- 8- Add in all spice powders, whole spices, mint leaves, coriander leaves, salt, ginger garlic paste, paneer, mushrooms and mix well.
- Layering or preparing dum for biryani
- 9- Add in low-fat Greek yoghurt and mix well.
- 10- As an optional step let the marinated vegetable rest for 30 minutes, you can also do this ahead of time.
- 11 – Layer half-boiled basmati rice, fried onions, saffron milk, coriander leaves mint leaves, melted ghee and repeat the process until the rice is over.
- 12- Sprinkle rose water or kewra water on the top. If you think rice is undercooked, you can sprinkle some hot water at this stage.
- Cooking Dum Biryani
- 13- Close the dish with a kitchen silver foil(not wrapping foil) and seal the edges well.
- 14- Place the sealed dum biryani in the middle rack of the oven and bake in a pre-heated oven at 180 C for 40 minutes by checking in between.
- 15- Once it is done, do not open the foil for at least 10 minutes. then open and fluff it up with a fork making sure the grains are not breaking.
- 16- Serve hot with onion raitha and a salad like a cucumber and carrots.
- Pick long grain basmati rice, soaking them for at least 30 min help to get long fluffy grains. You can substitute with normal rice but it won’t be fragrant.
- Parboiled rice is very imp step, so undercooked is also ok but don’t let it overcook as it cannot be repaired.
- You need to add enough quantities of salt while boiling the rice, ideally more as most of it will be discarded when you drain the rice.
- Biryani masala you will get in Indian stores, use any biryani masala.
- Garam Masala and Biryani masala are close to each other, you can use either one of them if needed, just adust the quantities.
- You can also fry onions on your own but for easy use, I buy fried onions in my grocery shopping.
- If you don’t have ghee, use melted butter instead. Stick to the portions to keep the calories low.
- Use thick or plain or greek yoghurt preferably low-fat but make sure it is not very thin as excess water content can spoil the texture of biryani.
- Saffron imparts great fragrance to the rice if you don’t have, use orange or yellow food colouring.
- rose water or kewra water again gives fragrance to biryani, skip it if you don’t have.
- Substitute veggies with any meat of your choice, it’s the same procedure almost.
- Whole spices to be left in the biryani, they soften when cooked and impart nice taste, you can discard them while eating the rice.
- Making this on the stovetop is also easy, Use the same method throughout. Instead of the baking tray, season a heavy-bottomed wide pot with some ghee and place thickly sliced potatoes and layer the rice and marinated vegetables. check the post above for detailed steps.
- If you don’t have mints leaves fine but chopped coriander is a must!
- Leftovers will be very tasty, just re-heat and enjoy with raitha, you may notice the rice gets harder but should be fine when reheated, serve with plain yoghurt also.
- you can even cook the rice ahead of the time and marinate the vegetables to store in the fridge for a day, just layer the biryani when ready.
- The calorie information is an estimate only, the calculation doesn’t include any spices/spice powders but only the main ingredients like rice, yoghurt, fried onions, ghee etc.
- Category: Mains
- Method: Oven
- Cuisine: Indian
Keywords: biryani, indian, rice, healthy, dum biryani
did you make this biryani recipe, it tastes absolutely divine and you don’t need to compromise eating tasty food for losing weight! Tell me what you think and I would be happy if you post a photo tagging me on instagram and share feedback too.
Hi, what size dish have you used here?
I Tried this recipe with a slight variation of cooking the spice powder in oil prior to adding to vegetables as my family cannot handle spice levels! To my surprise the biriyani Tasted perfect and it got over in few minutes! Will stick to this version as it’s easy, less messy and tastes amazing 🙂
thanks, Uthra, I am glad this worked out for you and really appreciate the feedback.