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🍚Vegetable Dum Biryani Recipe

Vegetable Dum Biryani made in the slow cooker has the same authentic taste but without the fuss. A spicy & delicious dish to serve at any special occasion.
Author: Pavani
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Prep Time: 30 mins
Cook Time: 2 hrs
Total Time: 2 hrs 30 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Indian
Servings: 6 servings


For Rice Layer:

  • 2 cups Basmati Rice, washed, rinsed and soaked in cold water for at least 30 minutes
  • 2 Bay leaves
  • 3~4 Cloves
  • 1" Cinnamon stick
  • 2 Cardamom pods
  • 1 tbsp Oil

For the Vegetable Layer:

  • 3 tbsp Oil, divided
  • 8 oz Paneer cubes, diced
  • 1 Bay Leaf
  • 2 Cardamom pods
  • 2 Cloves
  • ½" Cinnamon stick
  • 1 Large Onion, chopped
  • tsp Ginger+garlic paste
  • 4~5 cups Mixed Vegetables (carrot, green beans, peppers, corn, green peas)
  • 2 tsp Biryani masala
  • 1~2 tsp Red Chili powder (adjust as per taste preference)
  • 2 tbsp Tomato paste
  • 1 cup Tomato puree
  • 3 tbsps Mint, finely chopped
  • 3 tbsps Cilantro, finely chopped
  • 2 tsp Kasoori Methi (dried fenugreek leaves)
  • To taste Salt

Other Ingredients:

  • 2 tbsps Raisins
  • 1 cup Fried Onions (like the French's brand)
  • 1 big pinch Saffron milk soaked in 2 tbsp of warm milk (optional, but highly recommended)


Cook Rice:

  • In a large soup pot, bring lots of water to a rolling boil. Add the spices, oil and season with salt.
  • Add the drained basmati rice, bring the mixture to a boil and simmer for 6~8 minutes or until the rice is about 90% cooked. It should still have a little bite.
  • Carefully drain the water and set aside until ready to layer.

Make the Vegetable Layer:

  • Heat 1tbsp oil on medium heat in a large saute pan. Add the paneer cubes and fry until golden on all sides. Remove with a slotted spoon onto a plate and set aside.
  • In the same pan, heat the remaining 2tbsp oil, add the whole spices and cook until fragrant about 1 minute.
  • Next add the onions and cook until lightly browned around the edges.
  • Add the vegetables, cover and cook until tender, about 10~12 minutes.
  • Stir in red chili powder and biryani masala.
  • Next add the tomato paste and tomato puree and cook for 3~4 minutes.
  • Add the fried paneer, cilantro, mint, kasoori methi and cook for 2~3 minutes. The vegetable mixture is ready to layer.

To make Biryani in Slow Cooker:

  • Coat the inside of the slow cooker crock with a cooking spray. Add half of the vegetable mixture and top it with half of the rice.
  • Top that with fried onions and chopped nuts.
  • Add the remaining half of the veggie mixture, followed by the remaining half of rice.
  • Finally sprinkle the remaining fried onions, some chopped herbs and saffron milk (if using). Cover with the lid and cook on High for 1 hour or on low for 2.5 hours.

To make Biryani in Instant Pot:

  • Cook the rice separately as per the recipe and keep ready.
  • Make the vegetable layer directly in the instant pot using the Saute feature. Once ready, remove half of the veggie mixture into a bowl. Turn off the Saute feature.
  • Top the veggie layer in left in the Instant pot with the rice, fried onions, chopped nuts.
  • Followed by the reserved veggie mixture, remaining rice, fried onions, herbs and saffron milk (if using).
  • Cover and set it on 'Slow Cooker' feature for 1 hour on high or 2.5 hours on low. 


  • To make Fried Onions at home: Heat 1 tbsp oil in a large saute pan and cook the thinly sliced onions until golden brown, this takes about 12-15 minutes. Remove from the pan and set aside.
  • Cook rice until 90% cooked. DO NOT overcook the rice. Mushy rice is the bane of good biryani. So, stick around while making rice. It only takes a few seconds to end up with mushy rice.
  • Add oil while cooking rice. This helps in keeping the grains separate after cooking.
  • Add salt to the rice cooking water. This adds flavor to the final dish.
  • Taste the vegetable mixture before layering. Since the rice is fairly bland, vegetable layer needs to have enough spice and salt. Otherwise the whole dish will turn out bland.
  • Fresh herbs add tons of flavor to the dish. So, make sure you have fresh mint and cilantro before making this dish.
  • Saffron milk is traditionally sprinkled on top to give nice color and subtle flavor to biryani. This is an optional step, but a highly recommended step.
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