Want a taste of Persian, Arabic and some Turkish, Hyderabad is the place to be. Hyderabad has a very
modern in lifestyle yet is rooted to its Nizami heritage through food. Well, as the saying goes, “want to
be friends with any, nurture the tummy with great food” (Ok, it’s my saying). Hyderabadi Dum biryani is
one dish which is close to the heart of every hyderabadi. Weddings or functions or even small gatherings
are incomplete if there is no Hyderabadi Dum biryani.
The process of making the Hyderabadi Dum biryani is very simple but the process of thorough cooking it
is quite laborious. No good thing comes easy. There is a great deal of difference between the regular
mutton biryani and mutton dum biryani. The difference of recipe comes in prepping the mutton. In the
Hyderabadi dum biryani, the mutton is cooked on low steam with the half-cooked rice and in the regular
biryani the rice and mutton are cooked separately. This cooking might not appear to make much
difference but leave it to a true hyderabadi to figure it out.
Many cooks use a meat tenderizer like raw papaya to soften the meat. Tenderizers like the raw papaya
or even milk tend to soften the meat faster. A debate always presents itself over the taste of the
hyderabadi dum biryani when these short cuts are used. Frankly, I find no harm in using tenderizers.
Marination is essential for the excellent taste of hyderabadi dum biryani. A good blend or spices and
yogurt gets absorbed into the meat and the tasty is heaven. Ok, it’s getting mouthwatering so let’s get
down to business.
Read on below the best Hyderabadi Dum biryani recipe with Mutton as main ingredient.
Prep the Marination:
Washed and cleaned 1 kg mutton with bone.
Salt according to taste
1 tbsp red chilli powder-you can add more if you like spicy food but authentic hyderabadi dum
biryani is not hot.
½ tsp turmeric powder
2 tbsp freshly grated ginger garlic paste
1 to 2 cinnamon stick
3 to 4 green cardamoms
4to 5 black pepper corns
2 to 3 cloves
1/2 tsp nutmeg powder
½ tsp mace powder
2 tbsp green chillies paste paste made by adding a pinch of salt and ½ tsp oil
1 bunch of freshly chopped coriander leaves
1 bunch of freshly chopped mint leaves. Stale leave don’t let out much aroma
1 tsp raw papaya paste freshly grated
1 tsp garam masala powder
1 cup of deep fried large onions
2 cups of yogurt (Acidity is important for marinade so don’t use sweet yogurt)
1 tbsp lemon freshly extracted juice
Oil for frying onions (deep frying) and 2 tbsp for the marination
For The Rice:
5 cups of basmati rice 600-700 gms approx…
1 cinnamon stick
2 tsp caraway seeds
3 to 4 black pepper corns
1 to2 cloves
salt according to taste
1 tsp oil
1 tsp lemon juice
water for boiling rice
Other ingredients (Seasoning the Hyderabadi Dum Biryani):
1 tbsp desi ghee
1 tbsp oil
1/4 cup saffron flavored milk saffron mixed with the milk
1 tbsp chopped coriander leaves for garnishing
1 tbsp chopped mint leaves for garnishing
1 to 2 tbsp of deep fried onions for garnishing
1. Firstly, in a large vessel add the washed mutton pieces, salt, red chilli powder, turmeric powder,
ginger garlic paste. Also add the cinnamon stick, cloves, cardamoms, nutmeg and mace powder,
black pepper corns and mix well. Add the green chilli paste, mint leaves and coriander leaves as
2. Deep fry the onions. Do not char them. While removing from the vessel drain the oil well and
scatter on a plate under the fan. They should turn slightly crispy. Crush them and add to the
3. Add raw papaya paste, add oil and mix it well.
4. Rest this marinade aside for about 1 hour.
5. Beat the yogurt and add it to the marination. Add the garam masala powder, and lemon juice
and mix well.
Note: never add the yogurt and lemon at the start of procedure. If done so, you will get dried out meat
as the sauces will never enter the mutton.
For The Rice:
1. Wash and soak the basmati rice for approximately 40 minutes.
2. In a large cooking vessel, add generous amounts of water (12 to 15 cups). Add salt, one
cinnamon stick, some cardamoms and clove. Add some oil as well. (Oil will make sure that the
rice does not stick to each other).
3. Add salt as well and mix well.
4. When the water gets to boil, add the soaked rice into the boiling water.
5. Now the tricky part is to cook the rice only up to 60% tender. It should be fully cooked nor fully
6. Strain the rice carefully and place aside.
For The Dum Procedure:
1. Take a large cooking pot in which the hyderabadi dum biryani is to be cooked.
2. Oil coat the inner bottom of the vessel.
3. Spread the marinated mutton evenly on the oil coated vessel.
4. Place the rice over the marinating layer.
5. Pour half a cup of saffron milk to give color.
6. Drizzle the lemon juice.
7. Spread the crushed onions all over the rice.
8. Top it with some asli ghee.
9. Seal the lid with dough and place a heavy weight over the lid. This ensures that the steam
10. ON the flame and place a flat iron skillet over it. Place the Hyderabadi dum biryani vessel over
the skillet. The skillet is used to ensure that the flame doesn’t come in direct contact with
heating pot. This step is to avoid burning of the lower layer of the marination.
11. Cook up to 15 mins on high flame. Then lower the flame.
12. Make sure to start digging in the biryani from the sides and make your way inwards.
13. Serve with yogurt raita prepared at room temperature.