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This article was first published 1 year ago  » Getahead » Food » Varun Inamdar's Paneer Dum Biryani

Varun Inamdar's Paneer Dum Biryani

By Chef Varun Inamdar
May 26, 2022 16:54 IST
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Chef Varun Inamdar's simple, fragrant one-pot Paneer Dum Biryani makes for a vibrant midweek meal.

Dig into it with raita, kachumber and a dab of mango pickle.

Photograph: Kind courtesy California Walnuts

Paneer Dum Biryani

Serves: 2-3


  • 2 cups basmati rice, parboiled
  • ½ cup walnut halves
  • 2 tbsp oil
  • 1 cup cubed paneer
  • ½ cup fried onions
  • 1 tbsp ginger-garlic paste
  • ½ cup yoghurt
  • ½ cup walnut milk
  • ½ cup sliced tomatoes
  • Salt to taste
  • ½ cup water

Dry spice mix

  • ½-inch stick dalcheeni or cinnamon
  • 1 tbsp red chilly powder
  • Pinch kesar or saffron
  • 1 tsp haldi or turmeric powder
  • 1 tsp green elaichi or cardamom seeds
  • ½ tsp laung or cloves
  • 1 tbsp dhania or coriander seeds
  • 1 tsp peppercorns
  • ½ tsp jeera or cumin seeds
  • ½ tsp fennel seeds

For the garnish

  • Dried rose petals
  • Green dhania or coriander or cilantro leaves

To serve

  • Kachumber
  • Raita


  • In a blender grind the dry spices to a fine powder.
    Keep aside.
  • In a large saucepan whisk the yoghurt and the walnut milk till lump free.
    Add the spice mix, fried onions, ginger-garlic paste, tomato slices, salt.
    Mix well.
    Add the paneer cubes, walnut halves.
    Add 1 cup water and cook over medium heat.
    Top with the parboiled rice.
    Drizzle in the oil.
    Garnish with the rose petals, coriander leaves.
    Cover and cook over medium-low heat for 20 minutes.
    Fluff with a fork and serve up with kachumber or raita, pickle and papad.

Note: A dash of ghee might be a tasty addition and a sprinkling of fried onions or birasta.

Vegans or those on a low-cal diet can swap the 1 cup paneer with 1 cup cauliflower florets. Also vegans should use vegan yoghurt, made by several brands in India.

Those on a diabetic diet, should substitute the rice with quinoa or pearl barley or millets.

If following a Jain diet, skip the onions.

Varun Inamdar is a chef, food stylist and chocolatier.

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Chef Varun Inamdar