30 Minute



Sabz Dum Biryani – Delicious & Aromatic.

Sabz Dum Biryani – Delicious & Aromatic.

I have just three words to describe this vegetable dum biryani – flavourful, aromatic, and delicious. This is the creation of love, time, and a lot of patience. This is similar to marriage. Right? Well, good things happen when these three things combine.


Jatin loves dum biryani. It is one of his favorite recipes. He is not a big fan of rice but he can have dum biryani every week. He loves eating and cooking but there are a few things that are so close to his heart that he tries to replicate the same restaurant-style taste at home. One of those recipes is this vegetable dum biryani. Other recipes are – ghewar, masala dosa, and Pindi chole.

He tried to make vegetable dum biryani at home but sometimes the spices were not balanced, sometimes the rice didn’t have that nice flavor. After a few attempts, he lost the battle. Then, entered his wife. I tried to replicate the taste which he likes – Reddy’s Dum Biryani. He enjoyed the biryani which I made for him. No complaints. But it was not like Reddy’s Dum Biryani. I tried more. And one day, he loved it so much and in the end, he said – It is like Reddy’s Biryani. Ahhhhhh…MISSION ACCOMPLISHED!

It makes me wonder, do I live to impress him with food? Hmmmm…

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Marination is not just coating the vegetables with some spices and curd mixture and use it in the recipe. It needs time to develop more flavors. Resting time is important. We add some acidic ingredients to the marination (like curd) because it helps the flavors to seep into the cut vegetables. And this process takes some time. That is why, whenever you marinate, be it vegetables in dum biryani or paneer in paneer tikka masala, always let it rest for at least 30 minutes. No Shortcut!

Paneer tikka masala
Paneer Tikka Masala
2 – RICE

Cooking the right perfectly is as important as choosing the right kind of rice for dum biryani. If you can manage to get long grain biryani rice, use that. Otherwise, you can use any long grain basmati rice for this recipe. But while cooking, make sure they don’t break or become mushy. DO NOT stir continuously. Wash the rice gently. Otherwise, the grains will break.

How to make flavourful rice for biryani?

You need to partially cook the rice, till they are 80% cooked. Rest cooking happens in dum. But the excitement of eating biryani vanishes if the rice is not flavourful enough. For that, make sure the water in which you are boiling the rice is salted enough. It should taste like seawater. Otherwise, the rice grains in biryani feel bland in taste. Also, add some whole spices to the boiling water. That way, the rice grains get all the flavors and aroma which makes the biryani even more delicious.

How do we make sure that rice is non-sticky when cooked?

There are two things that you need to do. First, while adding rice to the boiling water, add some lemon juice too. Lemon juice prevents the rice grains from sticking to each other. Also, once they are 80% cooked, drain off the water and transfer the rice to a large plate, and spread evenly. This cools down the rice fast resulting in non-sticky rice grains.


I say this a lot and I am saying it again – PATIENCE is the key. Yes. To get the most flavourful biryani, you need to let it slow cook for a long time. There is no room for hurriedness. Otherwise, you will end up with a spicy vegetable pulao and not a delicious dum biryani.

Other recipes that need slow cooking are – Dhaba style dal makhani, Pindi Chole. Patience is the key to get the most of these recipes. So, take a deep breath and then start cooking.

Pindi Chole
Pindi Chole

We had the best biryani of our life in a hotel. I don’t remember the name of the hotel but they had some Afghani festival going on and they were serving some delicious food at that time. We ordered vegetable biryani there and when the waiter got our order, the aroma was something which we still remember. The fragrance of rose water was so good and so distinct. I tried to replicate the same aroma at home using pure rose water or by adding a lot of rose water to the biryani. It doesn’t work.

What worked is this trick – add rose water once the biryani is done. Yes. You read it right. There is no point in adding rose water while biryani is cooking. When you cook the biryani for such a long time, the aroma of rose water just fades away. The fragrance of all the spices becomes more dominant. That is why always finish off the cooked biryani with some rose water. It leaves a nice, distinct aroma in your home-cooked biryani.


There are various methods of cooking dum biryani at home.

  1. Cooking Stove – If you are making biryani on a gas stove or induction stove, use a heavy bottom, deep pan or cooker. Follow the recipe as given and after layering the biryani, cover the pan and seal it completely. There should not be any hole or any space from where the steam can escape. If you are using a pressure cooker, cover it using a heavy plate and not the pressure cooker lid. Seal the edges using the dough. Then, I prefer to put the pan on a heavy bottom flat pan or tawa and slow cook for 1 to 2 hours. This ensures slow cooking without burning the bottom.
  2. Instant Pot – I make biryani in Instant Pot. After layering, I simply choose the slow cook mode and cook it for 1.5 hours. This is easy and since it is so perfectly locked and no steam escapes, it retains the flavour and aroma well.
  3. Oven – You can also make biryani in oven too. Just cook everying on the stove and then layer on an oven safe dish. Cover with the aluminium foil and then cook on a low temperature. I never tried it so I can not give the exact details. But, this is totally doable.
veg dum biryani

Biryani tastes amazing with some thinly sliced onions on the side and some cucumbers too. Although, cucumber makes the flavor a little less spicy. I like it but Jatin prefers just some onions with biryani. We also enjoy this sabz dum biryani with some boondi raita or curd. It tastes so amazing. I am drooling. I am going to make it tomorrow.


  1. Punjabi Rajma Masala
  2. Dum Aloo
  3. Hara Bhara Kebab

Now you are all ready to make this delicious vegetable dum biryani at home. It is perfect for lunch or brunch over the weekend. So, grab all the ingredients because you are ready to make a happy meal for yourself.

If you like the recipe, please share the photo on Instagram and tag us too @marriedfriends. We love to see your recreation of our recipes.

Happy Cooking 🙂

Love from us

Richa & Jatin

Sabz Dum Biryani – Delicious & Aromatic.

Delicious. Aromatic. Flavourful.

There is no shortcut to making dum biryani. It needs love and a lot of your time. Without patience, you can't get it right. So, this weekend, take some time out and make it at home. You will love it & love me for this :)




15 min

Prep Time

2 hr

Cook Time

2 hr 15 min

Total Time





Boiled Rice




  1. Cut all the vegetables into bigger pieces otherwise, they will become mushy on cooking.
  2. Put them in a bowl along with chopped mint leaves. Add biryani masala, salt and curd.
  3. Mix and coat all the veggies well with the marination.
  4. Cover and put the bowl in the refrigerator. Let them rest for at least 30 minutes. The resting time develops more flavor. 
Boiled Rice
  1. Take some water in a pan. Add salt to it. Add a lot of salt so that the water tastes like seawater. 
  2. Add whole spices - bay leaves, cloves, cinnamon, star anise, black cardamom, black pepper. Let the water boil.
  3. Once the water starts boiling, add pre-soaked rice and lemon juice. Cook till the rice is 80 percent done/cooked. It takes a few minutes. 
  4. Lemon juice prevents the rice from sticking.
  5. Drain off the water. 
  6. Transfer the rice to a large plate so that it cools down quickly. Remove the whole spices if they bother you while eating. 
  7. Rice is done. Keep it aside.
  1. Heat some oil in a pan. (I am cooking biryani in my Instant Pot)
  2. Add cumin seeds and let them sizzle for a few seconds.
  3. Add sliced onions and saute. Let them cook till they are soft, translucent, and slightly brown. It will take a couple of minutes.
  4. Blend tomato, ginger, and garlic. 
  5. Once onions are done, add the tomato, ginger, and garlic puree. Mix well.
  6. Add red chili powder and turmeric powder. Mix and cook till all the moisture is evaporated. It will take 7 to 10 minutes.
  7. Once the tomato puree is all dry and starts releasing the oil, add the marinated veggies. Mix well. 
  8. Cover and let the veggies cook till they are 80 percent cooked. Keep stirring in between.
  9. To check if the veggies are done, cut a potato piece with the spatula. We need it almost cooked and not completely cooked.
  1. Take out half of the cooked veggies in a bowl. Leave half in the pan.
  2. Spread the cooked veggies in the pan. Top it off with half of the boiled rice. 
  3. Add some fried onions, chopped coriander, and mint on top. Finish it off with some ghee.
  4. Repeat the same steps for one more layering. 
  5. I did 2 layers. You can have one or maybe more than two.
  6. Finish it off with saffron milk and milk. 
  7. Saffron Milk is made by soaking a few saffron strands in milk.
  8. Seal the lid and cook on low flame for 1.5 hours. Do not open the lid in between.
  9. After 1.5 hours, open the lid and add rose water on top for extra fragrance.
  10. Your dum biryani is ready. Serve hot with some sliced onions and curd.
  11. Enjoy your happy meal :)

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