Dum biriyani is never a small batch affair, but this delicious and fragrant dish serves just two! Dum or "dum pukht" is an ancient Persian cooking technique that involved cooking rice, meat, and vegetables in a sealed container for several hours over very low heat. Hot coals are often added to the top for even cooking on the top as the fire cooks the bottom, and the vessel is sealed shut with dough. While you are free to do that, this makeshift method cooks the food in a sealed container sans hot coals with the same effect. This flavorful biryani for two is tossed with marinated vegetables like cauliflower and peas, then mixed with fried onions and orange-infused milk.
Vegetable Dum Biryani For Two [Vegan, Gluten-Free]
For the Vegetable Marinade:
- 8.8 ounces mixed vegetables (carrots, peas, cauliflower, and potatoes)
- 1 teaspoon ginger garlic paste
- 1/2 teaspoon red chili powder
- A pinch of turmeric powder
- 2 green chilis, chopped
- 1/4 teaspoon garam masala
- A pinch of kaala jeera (black cumin)
- 1 tablespoon vegan yogurt
- Juice from 1/4 lemon (or 1/2 lime)
- 1 sprig of mint
- 1/4 cup fresh coriander, chopped
- 1/4 cup fried onions
For the Rice:
- 1 cup Basmati rice
- 7 cups water
- 1/4 cinnamon stick
- 2 cloves
- 1 star anise
- 1 green cardamom pod
- A pinch of kaala jeera (Black cumin)
- 1 small bay leaf
- 1/2 teaspoon coconut oil
- Salt, to taste
- 2 tablespoons non-dairy milk
- A pinch of orange food coloring
- 1/4 cup fried onion
- Juice from 1 lemon
- 1/2 cup fresh coriander, chopped
- Salt, to taste
- 1 teaspoon coconut oil
- Vegan raita, for serving
To Marinate the Vegetables:
- Par-cook cauliflower and carrots until partially cooked. This step is optional.
- Combine all the ingredients in a medium bowl, cover and let sit for an hour.
To Make the Rice:
- Soak Basmati rice in 2 cups of water for an hour.
- Bring the remaining 5 cups of water to a rolling boil and add the whole spices and coconut oil. Add salt (the water must be slightly saltier than you want the rice to be).
- Add the soaked rice and water and boil until the rice is partially cooked. You'll know it's ready when the grains start to curve slightly.
- Drain over a colander fitted with a muslin cloth. Spread on a large plate and let cool.
- Combine milk and orange food color. Ready the fried onions, lemon juice, and chopped coriander.
- In a heavy bottomed pan, drizzle some coconut oil and spread most of the marinated vegetables. If you have par-cooked the heavy vegetables, you can reserve some for a second layer. If you skipped the pre-cooking step, add all vegetables to the bottom layer.
- Top with half the rice, then drizzle some of the orange milk, some fried onions, and coriander.
- Then do a second layer of remaining vegetables (if any), remaining rice, more fried onions, orange milk, and chopped coriander.
For the Makeshift Dum Process:
- Cover the pan with a moist kitchen towel, close with a tight-fitting lid and wrap the towel over the lid.
- Place on high heat for 2-3 minutes
- Reduce heat to medium, and cook for 5 minutes
- Reduce heat further to the lowest setting and cook for 30 minutes.
- Remove from heat, stirring the layers carefully, and serve hot with vegan raita and sliced onion rings.