Dum! A word that often features in the menu cards of your favourite Biryani joints. Ever wondered what it refers to?

Dum is a style of slow cooking that was developed 400 years ago and has been perfected in Asia.

Dum means to simmer. To cook on very low flame, mostly in sealed containers, allowing the meat to cook, as much as possible, in their own juices and bone-marrow. Usually, a covered pot is sealed to create pressure to ensure cooking is low and slow.

The discovery of this cooking method is quite fascinating. During a famine, enormous containers were filled with rice, vegetables, meat and spices and sealed. Hot charcoal was placed on top and fires lit beneath to keep the food warm. However, the method employed allowed the ingredients to wallow in their own aroma or juices and the trapped steam cooked the ingredients to perfection. When the containers were unsealed, the aroma and the splendid flavours of the food had people spellbound. Thus, the art of dum cooking was born.

If this Sunday you do decide to get into the kitchen and make a smashing biryani, read on for the best method to cook a dum biryani::

1) Take a thick-bottomed vessel, use bay leaves as the base. Laying the bay leaves would not only prevent the meat from burning but it would also help in adding more flavour to the biryani

Layer the ingredients on the bay leaves in the following order:

Add the meat Top the meat layer with some rice. Add some masala milk, herbs & fried onion. Add the rest of the rice and add then the rest of the masala milk, herbs and onions.

The container needs to be sealed using dough or aluminium foil to prevent the loss of moisture and should be cooked for 30 minutes on a low flame. After half hour, turn off the stove and allow the vessel to sit for fifteen minutes. Mix all the layers and serve your favourite people your favourite dum biryani.

If all that is a hassle you could always order a biryani kit from 1tsp.

Choose from our amazing rice varieties here: https://1tsp.in/product-category/biryanis-pulaos/

You could also check out the best biryanis in Bengaluru here:

Dum cooking isn’t restricted to your favourite biyrani. Here are some other delicacies that can be prepared using this method.

Kashmiri Dum Aloo: Kashmiri dum aloo is a flavorful dish prepared using mini potatoes that are cooked using curd and fennel seeds. This is one dish that will make you fall in love with Kashmiri cuisine. The Dum method is used to cook the potatoes in low flame. The curd forms the base of the dish, and spices like coriander, cumin, powder and red chilli add flavour to this dish. It is an excellent side for with rotis, naans, rice and puris.

Hydrabadi Dum Murg: Hyderabadi dum murgh is a delicious and aromatic chicken curry. Chicken is cooked with spices, dahi, coriander, mint leaves on a low flame (in dum)and left to cook until the chicken turns tender.

Paneer Tikka Biryani

With superbly grilled paneer sitting on a layered basamati bed with exquisite spices providing the flavour for the dish to simmer and retain the aroma, this Paneer Tikka Biryani would even have hardcore meat lovers looking at it longingly. You can order the Paneer Tikka Biryani at potchef,in, a speciality of this takeaway only joint in JP Nagar, Bangalore.