Paneer Dum Biryani
North Indian

Paneer Dum Biryani

5/5 - (44 votes)

Paneer Dum Biryani or Paneer Biryani is a one-pot meal that has basmati rice cooked with paneer (Indian cottage cheese) and fragrant spices. A spicy marinated paneer, saffron kissed rice, fried onions, and fragrant herbs come together in layers to make something so special.

The flavors of golden fried onions, mint leaves, kewra essence, and saffron gives a beautiful color and aroma to the paneer dum biryani. This method of cooking gives very flavorful and aromatic results.

No matter which part of India you live in, you must love biryani. The classic rice dish, encompassing aromatic spices, meats or veggies, and nuts, is the perfect treat for your soul. Biryani is a versatile dish and is made in different ways in different regions of the country. Although the classic biryani is made with meats, Veg Biryani is equally popular.

This paneer biryani is an incredibly flavorful and perfectly filling recipe. I am sure you’ll want this in your lunch/dinner menu again and again. It’s so easy to make and will be ready under 1 hour.

The good thing about cooking biryani is that it is made in a big batch. You know you can’t make biryani for 2 servings. So you will have leftovers for the next meal. I always love it when I have the next meal ready so that I can spend more time with my kid and family.

You can serve aromatic Paneer Dum Biryani with a bowl of vegetable raita, papad.

You may also try other similar recipes as:

Preparation Time: 15mins  ∏  Cooking Time: 45mins  ∏  Servings: 4-5 person

Level: Intermediate(Medium)  ∏  Measurement: 1 Cup ≡ 250 ml ≡ 250gm

Ingredients Checklist:

For Cooking the Rice:

For Marinating Paneer:

Other Ingredients:

How to make Paneer Dum Biryani

Step1: In a large bowl, add all the ingredients required for the marinade. Add 3/4 cup curd and whisk it. Then add spice mix: 1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder, salt as per taste, 2 teaspoon biryani masala, 2 teaspoons Kashmiri red chili powder, 1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds, 1 tablespoon ginger garlic (crushed or paste), 1 teaspoon coriander powder. Now add whole spices: 2 bay leaves, 3-4 cloves, 3-4 black peppercorns, 1-2 star anise, 1-inch cinnamon stick, 3-4 green cardamom pods, 2 black cardamom pod, 1 tablespoon oil.

Step2: Mix everything well so that all the spices are mixed with the curd. Add 200-250 grams paneer cubes, 1/4 cup red bell pepper, 1/4 cup green bell pepper.

Step3: Mix everything well so that the paneer and capsicum are fully coated with the curd and spice mixture.

Step4: Let it marinate for 20 mins. If you want to marinate it for longer then keep it in the fridge.

Step5: Wash and soak rice in enough water for at least 20-25 mins.

Step6: Soak 7-8 saffron strands 2 teaspoons warm milk. Keep it aside.

Step7: While the vegetables are marinating, we will prepare the birista and gravy. For Birista heat a large cooker on medium flame or instant pot, add 3 tablespoon oil and let it heat then add medium sliced onion and fry it for 6-8 mins. Don’t cover the pan at this time, we want to make this onion crispy.

Step8: Saute until they turn golden brown. Turn off the flame and take out the fried onion and keep them on paper towel. Make sure to spread them on a big plate so that they get air from all sides. This will make them more crispy.

Step9: Heat the same pot/cooker on medium flame, let the remaining oil heat. You may adjust oil at this point. Add sliced onions and sauté for 5-7 minutes on medium flame or until they turn golden in color. I will recommend covering the pan so that the onions are cooked in the steam (Do not put the whistle on the cooker lid).

Step10: Fry onions till it turns golden brown in color.

Step11: Once the onion turns golden brown then add the marinated paneer and capsicum. Mix it well.

Step12: Cover the pot and let it cook for 4-5 mins on medium flame. Keep stirring in between.

Step13: While the paneer and veggies are cooking. Heat 5 cups water In a large pot. Once the water starts to boil, add 2 teaspoon salt, 3-4 cloves, 3-4 whole black pepper, 1 bay leaf, 1 teaspoon ghee, 2 green cardamom pods, 1 black cardamom pods, 1/2 inch cinnamon stick, 1/2 teaspoon cumin (Shahi or normal Jeera) seeds.

Step14: Stir water and add soaked rice, let it boil on a medium-high flame for 5 minutes.

Step15: After 5-6 mins, It should have cooked about 80% hence turn off the heat (When we press the rice between fingers it should just be cooked al dente). Strain the water and keep aside.

Step16: Once the vegetables turn soft, add slit green chili and chopped tomatoes. Saute it for 2 minutes.

Step17: Once tomatoes turn soft. Adjust salt and add more biryani masala if required. Then add a layer of fried onion, cashew, mint and coriander leaves (Reserve some for top layer).
Step18: Layer cooked rice evenly and level it with a spoon.

Step19: Add fried onion (birista), some fresh coriander and mint leaf, few cashews. Add 1 teaspoon ghee along with 2 tablespoons of saffron milk. Add 2-3 drops of kewra essence.

Step20: Now keep it for dum. Cover the pressure cooker and let it sim for 10 minutes on low flame. Turn off the heat and wait for 5 minutes.

Step21: Paneer Dum Biryani is ready. Serve it hot with vegetable raita and Papad.

How to serve:

Now hold your breath open the pot slowly and smell its fragrance of spices, rose water, desi ghee and saffron.

From one side of a pot start removing rice (carefully don’t break rice grains) and go to the deep and pick some paneer pieces and capsicum pieces and put in a plate. Now take two serving spoons of spiced rice from the middle layer right before vegetables. Then finally last serving spoon of the top layer that is white rice. Sprinkle some crispy onion (store-bought) and papad, raita as sides. Enjoy!!

Paneer Dum Biryani


  • Use extra-long grain basmati rice.
  • Biryani is all about timing, make sure rice is not overcooked, it should be 80% cooked when layering it.
  • Use firm tomatoes if using in this recipe.
  • Since we have added salt at different stages so keep checking the salt in between and adjust as per your taste.
  • For this recipe, I have used homemade deep-fried as well as store-bought fried onions, but you can simply use either or both of them.
  • I have used the variety of whole spices, However, you may skip if you do not have any.
  • Paneer does not take much time to cook so do not overcook it otherwise it will turn hard and chewy.

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