While making biryani I find a lot of hype surrounding the "dum" cooking process. This involves:

  • Pre-cooking the meat and rice separately.
  • Mixing them together at the last minute into a container
  • Sealing the container with dough or some other way to set a "dum".

Basially putting the rice + meat in a sealed container over low heat. This restricts and concentrates the steam within the container which is supposed to "enhance" the taste.

While this technique has been practiced for centuries in Biryani making, I find myself wondering if it truly makes a significant difference in the final outcome or if it is merely a tradition upheld without any questioning.

To delve deeper into this topic, I would appreciate insights into the following aspects:

Taste: Are there any discernible differences in the taste of dum-cooked dishes compared to using conventional methods? If so, what contributes to these flavor variations? Are there specific ingredients or cooking conditions that interact uniquely in the dum process, resulting in distinct flavors?

Texture: Does the dum cooking process have a noticeable impact on the texture of the prepared food? Are the textures altered in a way that cannot be replicated through alternative cooking methods? How do factors such as heat, pressure, and moisture play a role in determining the final texture?

Scientific rationale: Are there any scientific explanations for the success and prevalence of the dum cooking method? Can the slow, sealed cooking process be justified in terms of its effects on taste, texture, or other culinary aspects? Alternatively, is it possible that the dum method has persisted primarily due to cultural or historical reasons, without any inherent benefits?

I am eager to learn whether the dum cooking process is supported by empirical evidence or if it falls under the realm of culinary traditions that continue despite a lack of scientific justification. Please provide any relevant observations, experiments, or explanations to shed light on this intriguing cooking technique.

  • 1
    Why not test this yourself? It feels like a fun weekend experiment.
    – FuzzyChef
    May 28 at 18:30
  • @FuzzyChef I don't think there's anything wrong if I try to collaborate with other chefs and post a question here. Do you have a problem if I post a question here?
    – Mugen
    Jun 20 at 14:32
  • I'm pointing out that you're more likely to find the answer you want by experimenting yourself. The lack of answers to this question kinda bear that out.
    – FuzzyChef
    Jun 20 at 17:08
  • @Mugen dang bro they're not telling you off for posting lol, plus it is fun to cook and find out Jul 18 at 8:49

1 Answer 1


Rice 1/4 cooked and meat 3/4 cooked before starting the dum process. Dum completes the cooking process by steaming which makes rice and meat melt in mouth and keeping it from drying out.

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