Aloo Biryani | Potato Biryani

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Aloo biryani recipe with step by step photos. This is a layered and dum cooked biryani made from baby potatoes. Hence the name dum aloo biryani or potato dum biryani. It makes for a filling, satisfying and healthy meal when served with a side of raita or yogurt, pickle and papad.

aloo biryani served in a white plate. with a bowl of raita kept on the top left side and text layovers.

Sharing a potato biryani which is a family recipe and loved at home. This is my mom’s method of preparing biryani. It was time I shared her recipe. Here I have used baby potatoes, but you can make it with regular potatoes or even mixed veggies.

Whenever I want to have a special rice-based dish then biryani is always in my mind. I have shared many veg biryani varieties on the blog. A few of the popular biryani recipes you can try are:

When I make this biryani with baby potatoes, I just shallow fry to save time. If you want you can even boil or steam them.

If making with veggies, then no need to fry. Just cook the veggies in the biryani gravy. In the recipe I have shown the main steps together. However, while cooking, you can cook the rice and veg gravy simultaneously.

You can serve this dum aloo biryani hot or warm with raita or biryani shorba or plain yogurt or salan.

Step-by-Step Guide

How to make Aloo Biryani

Cooking rice:
1. Rinse 1.5 cups of basmati rice (300 grams) very well in water till the water runs clear of starch. Soak rice grains in enough water for 30 minutes. After 30 minutes drain all the water and keep the soaked rice aside.

I recommend using aged basmati rice to get the best texture, aroma and flavor when preparing any biryani variety.

soaking rice.

2. On medium to high heat, take 5 cups water. Add 1 teaspoon salt, 1 small to medium bay leaf (tej patta), 2 cloves, 2 green cardamoms, 1 inch cinnamon, 3 to 4 strands of mace, and bring to a boil.

Taste the water, it should feel slightly salty. If the water is not slightly salty, then add a bit more salt.

boiling water in a pan with salt, bay leaf, cloves, green cardamoms, cinnamon and mace.

3. When the water comes to a boil, add the soaked rice. Do not reduce the heat and cook the rice.

adding soaked rice to the boiling water.

4. Cook rice till its ¾th done or 75% cooked. Check the doneness by biting a few grains of rice. You should get a slight bite in the rice.

rice cooked till 3/4th or 75%.

5. Then drain the water from the rice in a colander. If you want you can even rinse the cooked rice with fresh water. Keep aside.

draining cooked rice in a colander.

6. In a chutney grinder jar or small grinder, take the following ingredients:

  • 2 green chillies
  • ¼ cup chopped coriander leaves
  • 2 tablespoons chopped mint leaves
  • ½ inch ginger (roughly chopped)
  • 5 small to medium garlic (roughly chopped).
green chilies, chopped coriander leaves, chopped mint leaves, roughly chopped ginger and roughly chopped garlic cloves added to a grinder jar.

7. Add ⅓ cup fresh curd (yogurt).

curd added

8. Grind or blend to smooth or a semi-fine paste. Keep aside.

ingredients ground to a smooth paste.

9. Heat 3 tablespoons of ghee (clarified butter) in a pan.

heat ghee in a pan

10. When the ghee becomes hot, add peeled baby potatoes (250 grams or 12 to 15 baby potatoes). If the potatoes are large, then halve or quarter them and then add.

aloo added

11. Fry the potatoes on medium heat.

frying potatoes in hot ghee.

12. Fry till the potatoes till they are 90% cooked or almost cooked. They just need to become crisp and golden from the edges. Remove with a slotted spoon and place the potatoes on kitchen paper towels.

frying potatoes in hot ghee till 90% cooked.

13. Next add 15 cashews to the pan and fry till the cashews become golden. Remove and keep aside.

frying cashews in hot ghee.

14. Next add ½ tablespoon of raisins.

raisins added to hot ghee.

15. Fry till they become plump.

frying raisins till they become plump.

16. Remove the fried raisins and keep them aside.

fried potatoes, fried cashews and fried raisins kept on kitchen paper towel.

17. In the same pan now add the following spices:

  • 1 inch cinnamon
  • 3 green cardamom
  • 2 cloves
  • 1 black cardamom
  • 1 small to medium tej patta (Indian bay leaf).

The oil will be hot, so the spices will crackle as soon as you add them.

spices added to hot ghee.

18. Quickly add 1 cup of tightly packed thinly sliced onions.

thinly sliced onions added to hot ghee.

19. Begin to saute the onions on low to medium heat stirring often.

sautéing onions in hot ghee.

20. First the onions will become light golden. So continue to saute them.

sautéing onions till light golden.

21. Saute onions till they turn golden in color and caramelize.

sautéing onions till they caramelize.

22. Quickly remove half of the fried onions from the pan.

remove 50 percent of fried onions from the pan.

23. Keep the fried onions aside along with the remaining fried ingredients.

some fried onions kept with other fried ingredients on kitchen paper towel.

Preparing gravy for biryani 

24. Now add 1 medium tomato (chopped) or ½ cup chopped tomatoes.

chopped tomatoes added to the pan.

25. Sauté the tomatoes till they turn mushy.

sautéing tomatoes till they soften.

26. Keep the heat to a low and add the following spice powders and mix very well.

  • ½ teaspoon turmeric powder
  • ½ teaspoon red chilli powder
  • 1 teaspoon coriander powder
  • 1 teaspoon biryani masala powder or garam masala powder
various spices added

27. Then add the prepared ground paste.

prepared paste added to the spiced tomatoes.

28. Mix very well and saute the masala.

sautéing the tomato masala in the pan.

29. Saute till you see oil releasing from the sides of the masala.

sautéing the tomato masala in the pan.

30. Now add ½ cup water.

water added to the masala.

31. Season with salt as per taste. Stir and mix very well.

adding salt to the masala.

32. Add half of the fried potatoes.

half of the fried potatoes added to the masala gravy.

33. Simmer the gravy on a medium heat.

simmering the gravy.

34. Simmer for 8 to 9 minutes till the gravy thickens. You will also see some specks of ghee on top of the gravy. Keep aside.

simmering the gravy till it thickens.

Assembling and Layering Potato Biryani

35. When the gravy is cooking, soak 1 pinch of saffron in 3 tablespoons of warm water. Keep aside.

soaking saffron in warm water.

36. Now take half of the gravy and layer it in a thick bottomed pan.

layer of some of the gravy in a thick bottomed pan.

37. Layer half of the rice.

cooked rice layer on top.

38. Next add some of the half of the fried potatoes, cashews and raisins.

some fried potatoes, cashews and raisins added on top of the rice layer.

39. Layer with half of the fried onions.

fried onions added to the cooked rice layer.

40. Add half of the saffron dissolved water.

half of the saffron water sprinkled on top.

41. Repeat the gravy, rice, fried potatoes, onions, cashews and raisins layer. Add the remaining saffron soaked water. Also add 2 teaspoons rose water or kewra water

repeat the layers with the remaining gravy, cooked rice, fried ingredients, saffron water and top with kewra water.

Dum Cooking Aloo Biryani

42. Seal the pan with aluminum foil.

pan sealed with aluminium foil.

43. Cover the pan with its lid and place it on a preheated tava or griddle. Preheat the tawa on a low to medium heat for 5 minutes before you place the pan.

pan covered with lid and placed on a preheated tawa.

44. Dum cook potato biryani on low heat or sim for 30 minutes.

If baking – preheat the oven to 180 degree celsius and then bake the biryani in a preheated oven for 25-30 minutes. Please remember to use an ovenproof glass utensil like the pyrex bowl for baking in the oven.

You will have to assemble biryani as mentioned above in the ovenproof utensil. Cover with aluminum foil or the pyrex bowl lid and then bake.

Give a resting time of 5 to 7 minutes and check the biryani. If you see a lot of gravy in the biryani, then cover and continue to dum cook the biryani. There should be no liquid or gravy at the bottom of the pan. If there is some gravy, then seal again and continue to dum cook for some more minutes.

dum cooked aloo biryani.

46. You can garnish with some mint or coriander leaves if you want. Serve aloo biryani hot or warm with your favorite raita or mirchi ka salan or biryani shorba or plain yogurt.

aloo biryani served in a white plate. with a bowl of raita kept on the top left side and text layovers.

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dum aloo biryani recipe

Aloo Biryani | Potato Dum Biryani

This Aloo Biryani is a layered, dum-cooked biryani made with baby potatoes, basmati rice, dry fruits, spices and herbs.
4.91 from 10 votes
Prep Time 30 mins
Cook Time 30 mins
Total Time 1 hr
Cuisine Hyderabadi, South Indian
Course Main Course
Diet Vegetarian
Difficulty Level Difficult
Servings 4
Units

Ingredients

for cooking rice

  • 1.5 cups basmati rice or 300 grams basmati rice
  • 5 cups water for cooking rice
  • 1 teaspoon salt or add as required
  • 1 small to medium tej patta (indian bay leaf)
  • 2 cloves
  • 2 green cardamoms
  • 1 inch cinnamon
  • 3 to 4 strands of mace

for ground paste

  • 2 green chillies
  • ¼ cup chopped coriander leaves
  • 2 tablespoons chopped mint leaves
  • ½ inch ginger – roughly chopped
  • 5 small to medium garlic – roughly chopped
  • cup Curd (yogurt)

for frying

  • 3 tablespoons Ghee (clarified butter)
  • 250 grams baby potatoes or 12 to 15 baby potatoes
  • 15 cashews
  • ½ tablespoon raisins

for biryani gravy

  • 1 inch cinnamon
  • 1 small to medium tejpatta (indian bay leaf)
  • 3 green cardamoms
  • 1 black cardamom
  • 2 cloves
  • 125 grams onions or 2 medium onions or 1 cup tightly packed thinly sliced onions
  • 75 grams tomatoes or 1 medium tomato or 1/2 cup chopped tomatoes
  • ½ teaspoon turmeric powder
  • ½ teaspoon red chilli powder
  • 1 teaspoon Coriander Powder
  • 1 teaspoon biryani masala powder or garam masala powder
  • ½ cup water

for layering

  • 1 pinch of saffron
  • 3 tablespoons warm water
  • 2 teaspoons rose water or kewra water

Instructions
 

cooking rice

  • Rinse 1.5 cups basmati rice (300 grams) very well in water till the water runs clear of starch. Soak rice grains in enough water for 30 minutes. 
  • On a medium to high flame, bring to boil 5 cups water, 1 teaspoon salt, 1 small to medium tej patta, 2 cloves, 2 green cardamoms, 1 inch cinnamon, 3 to 4 strands of mace.
  • When the water comes to boil, add the rice. Do not reduce the heat and cook the rice.
  • Cook rice till its ¾th done or 75% cooked. Check the doneness by biting a few grains of rice. You should get a slight bite in the rice.
  • Then drain all the water from the rice in a colander. If you want you can even rinse the cooked rice with fresh water. Keep aside.

preparation to make gravy for biryani

  • In a chutney grinder jar or small grinder, take 2 green chillies, ¼ cup chopped coriander leaves, 2 tablespoons chopped mint leaves, ½ inch ginger (roughly chopped), 5 small to medium garlic (roughly chopped).
  • Add ⅓ cup fresh curd (yogurt).
  • Grind or blend to smooth or a semi fine paste. Keep aside.
  • Heat 3 tablespoons ghee (clarified butter) in a pan.
  • When the ghee becomes hot, add peeled baby potatoes (250 grams or 12 to 15 baby potatoes). If the potatoes are large, then halve or quarter them and then add.
  • Fry the potatoes on medium heat till they are 90% cooked or almost cooked.
  • Remove with a slotted spoon and place the potatoes on kitchen paper towels.
  • Next add 15 cashews in the pan and fry till the cashews become golden. Remove and keep aside.
  • Next add ½ tablespoon raisins and fry till they become plump. Remove and keep aside.
  • In the same pan now add the following spices – 1 inch cinnamon, 3 green cardamoms, 2 cloves, 1 black cardamom and 1 small to medium tejpatta. The oil will be hot, so the spices will crackle as soon as you add them.
  • Quickly add 1 cup tightly packed thinly sliced onions.
  • Begin to saute the onions on low to medium flame stirring often till they turn golden or caramelize. 
  • Then quickly remove half of the fried onions from the pan.
  • Keep the fried onions aside along with remaining fried ingredients.

making gravy for biryani

  • Now add ½ cup chopped tomatoes
  • Sauté the tomatoes till they turn mushy.
  • Keep the flame to a low and add ½ teaspoon turmeric powder, ½ teaspoon red chilli powder, 1 teaspoon coriander powder and 1 teaspoon biryani masala powder or garam masala powder. Mix very well.
  • Then add the ground paste. mix very well and saute the masala till you see oil releasing from the sides.
  • Now add ½ cup water. season with salt as per taste. Mix very well.
  • Add half of the fried potatoes and mix again. 
  • Simmer the gravy on a medium flame for  8 to 9 minutes or till the gravy thickens a bit. Keep aside.

assembling and layering aloo dum biryani

  • When the gravy is cooking, soak 1 pinch of saffron (kesar) in 3 tablespoons warm water. Keep aside.
  • Now take half of the gravy and layer it in thick bottomed pan.
  • Layer half of the rice.
  • Next add some of the fried potatoes, cashews and raisins. layer with some of the fried onions.
  • Add half of the saffron dissolved water.
  • Repeat the gravy, rice, fried potatoes, onions, cashews and raisins layer. Add the remaining saffron soaked water. Also add 2 teaspoons rose water or kewra water.

dum cooking potato biryani

  • Seal the pan with aluminium foil.
  • Cover the pan with its lid and place it on a preheated tava or griddle. Preheat the tawa on a low to medium flame for 5 minutes before you place the pan.
  • Dum cook potato biryani on low flame or sim for 30 minutes. 
    If baking – preheat the oven to 180 degree celsius and then bake in a preheated oven for 25-30 minutes. Please remember to use an oven proof glass utensil like the pyrex bowl for baking in the oven. You will have to assemble the biryani as mentioned above in the ovenproof utensil. Cover with aluminum foil or the pyrex bowl lid and then bake.
  • Give a resting time of 5 to 7 minutes and check the biryani. 
  • If you see a lot of gravy in the biryani, then cover and continue to dum cook. There should be no liquid or gravy at the bottom of the pan. 
  • If there is some gravy, then seal again and continue to dum cook for some more minutes.
  • You can garnish with some mint or coriander leaves if you want. Serve the potato biryani hot or warm with your favorite raita or salan or biryani shorba or curd.

Notes

  • For the best taste, texture and aroma use aged basmati rice.
  • I have made this aloo biryani with baby potatoes. However you can make it with regular potatoes or even with mixed veggies.

Nutrition Info (Approximate Values)

Nutrition Facts
Aloo Biryani | Potato Dum Biryani
Amount Per Serving
Calories 499 Calories from Fat 144
% Daily Value*
Fat 16g25%
Saturated Fat 8g50%
Polyunsaturated Fat 1g
Monounsaturated Fat 5g
Cholesterol 31mg10%
Sodium 700mg30%
Potassium 610mg17%
Carbohydrates 81g27%
Fiber 6g25%
Sugar 6g7%
Protein 9g18%
Vitamin A 453IU9%
Vitamin B1 (Thiamine) 1mg67%
Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin) 1mg59%
Vitamin B3 (Niacin) 2mg10%
Vitamin B6 1mg50%
Vitamin B12 1µg17%
Vitamin C 24mg29%
Vitamin D 1µg7%
Vitamin E 1mg7%
Vitamin K 9µg9%
Calcium 111mg11%
Vitamin B9 (Folate) 32µg8%
Iron 3mg17%
Magnesium 74mg19%
Phosphorus 201mg20%
Zinc 2mg13%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

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This Aloo Biryani Post from the blog archives, first published in January 2017 has been republished and updated on December 2022.

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