Traditional Dum style Mushroom Biryani( Awadhi Cuisine)

Traditional Dum style Mushroom Biryani( Awadhi Cuisine)

Traditional Dum style Mushroom Biryani is the dum style of cooking or the art of cooking on a slow fire that has become synonymous with Lucknow Biryani cuisine. This cuisine native to the city of Lucknow is known as Awadhi Cuisine and comprises both vegetarian and non-vegetarian dishes, greatly influenced by Central Asia, the Middle East, and Northern India.

Check out my other vegetarian recipes on Mushrooms – StuffedMushrooms , StirFryMushroomsFriedRice , #Mushrooms

The bavarchis(chefs) and gourmet cooks of Lucknow take pride of their traditional Dum style cooking or slow oven cooking, that is always associated with the Lucknow or Awadh region of India. The meat or the vegetables are cooked on a very low flame, generally in sealed containers and this technique is known as Dum pukht. Dum means to ‘breathe in’ and pukht to ‘cook’. Though this dum style cooking was introduced by the Persians in India, yet history traces the origin in India under the reign of Nawab Asaf-ud-Daulah.

Traditional Dum style Mushroom Biryani

So, you read a brief  history about the origin of dum style cooking. Now. let us understand the basic concepts in the dum style cooking. Basically, there are 2 simple techniques- “Bhunao” which means roasting , and “Dum” which means maturing of a prepared dish. The soul of the dum style cooking are the herbs and the spices. The spices are roasted on low flame that release their natural beautiful aroma and maximum flavor. Once the spices are roasted, the meat or the vegetables are added into the handi(pot) and the lid is sealed tight with a dough. What happens is that now the meat or the veggies are cooked in the aroma and flavor of the roasted spices which is trapped inside, and like a sponge, they absorb all the flavors of the spices, thus achieving maturing. The dough is spread over the container and is known as purdah(or veil). As a result of slow cooking, the dough is also cooked and becomes a bread which has absorbed the flavors of the food and the two are best eaten together.

The dum style cooking bring the family together as they sit to enjoy this delicious meal. When the lid of the handi(pot) is broken, the dum pukht food release the fragrance of an Avadhi repast that is rich in flavor. This post is a very simple recipe of Traditional Dum Style Mushroom Biryani , native to the city of Lucknow . Its very easy and best part is no marination or any prep work is required. Enjoy #ThrowbackThursdays.

Traditional Dum style Mushroom Biryani
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Recipe type: Vegetarian
Cuisine: Lucknow
Serves: 3 people
  • ¾ cup Basmati rice(soaked for atleast 30 minutes)
  • 1 black cardamom
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1½ cup water (for cooking rice, adjust as per needs)
  • 4-5 medium size button Mushrooms, sliced
  • 2 small cardamon pods
  • 2 cloves
  • 4 black peppercorns
  • 1 inch cinnamon stick
  • ½ tsp Shahi Jeera
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • Ginger garlic paste 1 tbsp
  • 1 green chilli
  • 1 tsp madras curry powder or tandoori masala
  • 1 tsp Kashmiri mirch
  • 1 tsp red chilly powder( adjust as per your taste preference)
  • ½ tsp Turmeric
  • 1 tsp pudina powder
  • salt as per taste
  • ¼ cup hung yogurt
  • ½ cup Chopped tomatoes
  • Edible food color (1/4 tsp) or put 2 strands of saffron in 1 tbsp of milk
  • ½ cup chopped coriander leaves
  • 2 tsp Lemon juice
  1. Drain the soaked rice. Bring to boil 3/2 cup of water in a big container. Add bay leaf and black cardamon. Add 1 tsp oil into the water.
  2. Add the rice and cook till it is ¾th done. For basmati rice, it generally takes 5-6 minutes. Drain the rice and spread it flat on a plate to let it cool.
  3. Take a heavy bottom pan. Prepare a dough from flour enough to seal the container with a lid on. I use 5L pressure cooker and cook the biryani with the lid on but without whistle.
  4. Add 1½ tbsp oil and 1½ tsp ghee into the pan. When the oil is heated, add cardamon pods, black peppercorns, cloves, cinnamon stick and shahi jeera.
  5. When the seeds stop to crackle, add the onions, green chilli and ginger garlic paste. Saute for 5-7 minutes till the onion turns brown and translucent.
  6. Add the sliced mushrooms. Saute on medium high for 5-7 minutes until there is no moisture.
  7. Add the tomatoes, curry powder, turmeric, kashmiri mirch powder, red chilly powder and salt as per taste. Saute for 5 minutes till the tomatoes become soft and mushy.
  8. Meanwhile beat the yogurt in a separate bowl. Add this to the pan and mix and stir quickly.
  9. Reduce the heat to low. Now start layering. Add some rice. Sprinkle some coriander leaves, a little pudina powder and few drops of lemon juice. Repeat for other layers in the same way.
  10. Take a little amount of rice in a separate bowl and mix it with food color. Add this on the top layer. Do not mix with the rest of the rice.
  11. If using saffron milk, spread it on top layer in any pattern and do not mix.
  12. Seal the cooker with the lid on and no whistle. The rubber gasket should be there on the lid to prevent escape of steam from the sides.If using a container, seal the top with the dough or aluminum foil and place the cover on it.
  13. Cook the biryani on a low flame for 20 minutes. After 20 minutes, check if the rice is done. Insert the end of a wooden spatula into the bottom of the center. If there is no water, turn off the gas. If it is a little wet, cover the lid and let it cook for another 5 minutes. This is the way I check to see if the biryani is done.
  14. Turn off the gas. Do not stir the biryani immediately. Let it rest for 10 minutes and then mix. The reason is rice is very brittle when hot, so might break if you try to mix immediately.
  15. Serve the biryani hot with curry or raita .

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