Back to Basics - Putting Biriyani on Dum

I had just asked on the blog's FB page as to who would love to see a step-by-step post on how to put dum for biriyani, and thanks to the positive response, here I am! I am sure that in the history of this blog, this is the fastest post that has ever happened, within a day! ;)

It is no secret that I have a biriyani crazy family. That definitely includes me. It is very well known with the variety of rice dishes that I have already featured on the blog, and InShaAllah will continue to share all those that I try and succeed. One query I keep getting on my emails is the way to put dum for the biriyani. For most of the biriyanis, putting on dum is one of the most important procedure that helps in the overall taste of the biriyani. By putting it on dum, you are basically using vapour to pass through the masala layer into the rice layer so that the flavor would permeate throughout the rice. Sounds simple?

I do not want to go into history, because I am not good at it. This post is simply to explain how I have learned to do it. Back home, when biriyani was made in clay ovens, heated wooden peices would be kept at the bottom and at the top of the biriyani for doing the dum. Now we all work on gas stoves, but still I have seen my relatives put heated wood on top of the dum pot. I normally don't do it, but what I follow has given good results, Alhamdulillah...

Going off to the way it is done...

First of all, heat a chapathi tawa till hot, and then keep it on low flame till the layering of the biriyani is done.

 Keep all the dum ingredients ready along with the pan (the biriyani in question is Malai Chicken Biriyani).

Put the masala layer first and sprinkle half the dum ingredients. Note that some biriyanis require some rice to be layered at the bottom before putting the masala, just like in the Thalassery Chicken Biriyani. It is better to follow as per the recipe.

Layer the whole rice on top of the masala. You may read in some recipes to layer masala, then rice, and then masala and done with the rice on the top. You may do this for a large quantity of biriyani. But doing a single layer is more than enough for a biriyani just made for home people!

Sprinkle the remaining dum ingredients on the top. Cover tightly with an aluminium foil on the top.

Close tightly with the lid.

Keep on the hot tawa on the low flame for an average of 30 minutes. Switch off and allow it to cool as is.

As you can notice, when the dum is done and you open the foil, the mint and coriander would have changed color.

Mix well with a long handled ladle for the masala and rice and serve hot with raita and pickle!!! Enjoy your biriyani!

There are a few variations some people do use. Umma never used foil to cover, she would just close the lid. I have seen a cousin's wife close with a flat lid and keep a small pan of boiled water on top. I have just explained the way I usually do. I sincerely hope that this helps many of you who would love to try their hands at making biriyani... :)

Any questions, you are always welcome! I will only be glad to answer them in my capacity of knowledge. And any suggestions, tips and criticism is also welcome - I am always open to learning from all of you... Seriously, after doing this post, I am in awe with fellow bloggers who take step by step for their cooking. I just don't have the patience for the same! Hehe...

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