Dum Pukht: Know How This Cooking Technique Came Into Existence
Image Credit: Source: Art Of Dum/Instagram

As a spicy food lover, the word ‘Dum’ sends chills down my spine. My memory of savouring all the Indian dishes cooked by this technique is absolutely delightful. From the flavourful Dum Biryani to the mildly spicy Dum Aloo, all the delicacies made by the Dum technique have distinct and delicious flavours. The cooking method involves slow and sealed cooking which is responsible for the infusion of the flavours of all the spices and herbs used in the dish.

Food historians usually associate the style of Dum Pukht with the Mughlai cuisine which is believed to be derived from either Persian or Central Asian cuisine. Although the stories behind its origin are countless, the one story that is popular amongst the masses is associated with Nawab Asaf-Ud-Daulah. The Wazir of Awadh introduced a charity theme for his people during the great famine of 1784. The Nawab wanted to build an architectural marvel and wanted manpower for it. The famine had left the people with the need for food and money hence, many people joined to work for the Nawab’s initiative. At the end of every day, the Nawab served the workers with a dish made of rice, meat and vegetables which were cooked in a vessel sealed with dough for hours. The dish was filling, wholesome, and delicious as well. One day during his regular rounds, the Nawab came across the aroma of the same dish and couldn’t resist himself. He immediately ordered his Khansamas to prepare the same dish for him.

The Khansamas made the same dish but with some royal ingredients and served the Nawab who was left speechless after eating the dish. Gradually, the dish crossed the borders through the workers and the royal guests of Awadh court who were served this dish. The cooking technique came to be known as one of the most convenient techniques to serve a large number of people and became popular in many kingdoms. With time, people used the same technique to cook numerous other dishes which had delicious flavours infused into them.

Now that you know the story behind the invention of this cooking technique, it is quite clear why is it so popular even today. After all, can a technique that has spellbound the Nawab fail to amaze foodies like us?