Dum Pukht Biryani - Slow Cooked Biryani

Goat Biryani
Prep: 20 mins
Cook: 20 mins
Marinate: 60 mins
Total: 100 mins
Servings: 8 servings
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
636 Calories
13g Fat
81g Carbs
46g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 8
Amount per serving
Calories 636
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 13g 17%
Saturated Fat 5g 25%
Cholesterol 102mg 34%
Sodium 769mg 33%
Total Carbohydrate 81g 30%
Dietary Fiber 3g 12%
Total Sugars 8g
Protein 46g
Vitamin C 26mg 130%
Calcium 197mg 15%
Iron 8mg 47%
Potassium 1031mg 22%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

Dum Pukht means slow cooking in a sealed container. This popular cooking method goes back hundreds of years. It is almost always used to cook meat dishes and almost no water is added, so that the meat cooks in its own juices. Dum Pukht Biryani can be made with lamb, goat meat or chicken. My favorite is made with goat meat so that’s what this recipe calls for but feel free to replace with any of the other meats. Dum Pukht Biryani is not a dish that can be hurried but when it’s done, you will love it and the wait will have been worthwhile. It is great dish to serve at your next dinner party. Try it…


  • 1 kilogram (2 1/4 pounds) goat meat, cut into 2- to 3-inch pieces

For the Marinade:

  • 2 cups plain yogurt

  • 2 pepper green chiles, finely chopped

  • 1/4 cup cilantro, very finely chopped

  • 1 pinch turmeric

  • 1 teaspoon salt

  • 1 teaspoon chili powder

  • 1 teaspoon garam masala

For the Gravy:

  • 4 tablespoons vegetable oil

  • 2 large onions, very finely chopped or grated

  • 1 tablespoon garlic paste

  • 1 tablespoon ginger paste

  • 1 tablespoon poppy seeds, ground into a powder

  • 1 tablespoon unsweetened shredded coconut, ground into a powder

  • 1 tablespoon cashews, ground to a powder or 1 tablespoon cashew nut powder

  • 3 large tomatoes, processed to a smooth paste

  • 4 1/4 cups rice basmati

  • 2 to 3 drops orange food coloring

  • 2 to 3 drops green food coloring

  • 1 teaspoon salt

For Garnish:

  • 1 teaspoon saffron

  • 2 to 3 tablespoons warm milk

  • Ghee, as needed for greasing the baking dish, and for garnish

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

  2. Put all the ingredients (including garam masala powder) for the marinade into a large non-metallic bowl and mix until a smooth marinade is formed and all the ingredients are well blended.

  3. Add the goat meat pieces and stir to coat every piece well. Cling wrap the bowl and keep in the fridge to marinate for an hour.

  4. Heat the vegetable oil in a deep pan/pot and add when hot, add the onions. Sauté until the onions begin to turn a pale golden color. Now add the garlic and ginger pastes and sauté for a minute. This will splutter at first so be careful while you stir.

  5. Add the khus-khus (poppy seed), coconut, and cashew powders and sauté for another 1 to 2 minutes, stirring continuously to avoid burning.

  6. Add the tomato paste you made earlier and sauté for a minute.

  7. Now add the marinated goat meat and the marinade to the pot and stir well to mix everything.

  8. Cover and cook until the goat meat is three-quarters cooked.

  9. While the meat is cooking, prepare the rice. To do this, wash the rice thoroughly under running water till the water runs clear. Now put into a deep pot and add enough water to submerge the rice and go 2 inches over its surface. Cook the rice on medium heat until it is almost done. To test, just squeeze a grain between your thumb and index finger. There should still be a uncooked white core at the center when you do this. When the rice is done, drain it in a colander and keep aside for later.

  10. If you are using the food coloring, divide the cooled rice into 3 equal portions and put into separate dishes. Add the orange food coloring to 1 portion of the rice and the green food coloring to another portion of the rice. Leave the third portion white. With each portion, mix the rice till all the grains are well colored. Keep aside for 10 minutes after which you can mix all 3 portions of rice together in a bowl for use in the next step.

  11. Soak the strands of saffron in the warm milk.

  12. Preheat your oven to 350 F/180 C/Gas 4.

  13. Grease a deep baking dish with a little bit of ghee (or butter) and add a layer of the cooked rice to the bottom. Now add half the goat meat (and its gravy) on top of the rice. Add another layer of rice, another layer of meat and then the last layer of rice (rice-meat-rice-meat-rice.)

  14. Garnish with a bit of ghee along with the saffron and milk mixture by drizzling all over the top.

  15. Cover the dish tightly. If your dish does not have a cover, wrap tightly with foil and place another same-sized baking pan over it.

  16. Bake for 20 minutes in the preheated oven.

  17. Turn off the oven and let the dish sit in the oven till you are ready to eat. Only open when you are ready to eat. The way to serve Biryani is to gently dig in with a spoon so you get through the layers.

  18. Serve with raita and kachumber (cucumber) salad.