Biryani in a mug was a natural progression of the matka (pot) biryani. With earthenware being scanty and what with all the pot pies and mug cake ideas floating around the World Wide Web, it was about time I acted on this Biryani in a mug idea.

Biryani in a mug

A little time consuming considering that the mug has a much narrower mouth as compared to a casserole dish but definitely fancier! For all you party hosts and caterers out there, all you need to do is make ahead and refrigerate it; shove it in the oven just before service and… Voila! Your guests can roam around the party hall effortlessly, striking up conversations, entertain others and themselves; all of this while having Biryani! It’s as convenient as carrying around a glass of martini 😉

Biryani in a mug

Portion control? Tell me about it! I, for one, always tend to binge eat biryani. There’s something so comforting about rice with the aromatic blend of spices (need I say more?). So, my husband and I landed on the couch with a mug each in hand, and I was aware that this mug meant a SINGLE SERVING of Biryani. It’s another thing that I went for a second one justifying that I put in a lot of effort and it has alternate layers of veggies 😛 But, I was aware. Ha ha 😀

Biryani in a mug

Finally, I want to mention that the choice of vegetables/meat/chicken for this biryani is up to you and the process would remain the same. The dough can also be replaced with store-bought pie crusts or puffed pastry sheets. For a few more tips, please refer to the “My Take” section. Now, the recipe for:

Biryani in a mug

Biryani in a Mug | Dum Biryani


Prep Time: 30 minutes

Cook Time: 30 minutes

Total Time: 60 minutes

Serves: 5



    For the Veggie-Spice
  • 1 cup of mixed vegetables (I have used some shredded carrots, string beans, cauliflower and paneer and sliced green bell peppers)
  • 1/4 cup sliced onions
  • 1/2 cup yogurt
  • 4 tbsp oil
  • 1 tsp ginger-garlic paste
  • 2 tbsp Biryani masala
  • 1 tbsp red chili powder
  • 1/4 tsp turmeric
  • 1/2 tsp garam masala
  • Salt to taste
  • For Rice
  • 1 cup long grain rice (preferably Basmati)
  • Water to boil cook rice
  • 1 tsp of oil
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 petal of star anise
  • 1 inch of cinnamon
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds (jeera)
  • Pinch of salt
  • For Dough
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1/4 tsp baking powder
  • Pinch of baking soda
  • 1 tbsp warm milk
  • Water to knead the dough
  • For optional garnish
  • Pinch of saffron soaked in 2 tbsp warm milk
  • Golden fried onions
  • Chopped mint leaves


  1. Mix all the ingredients for the dough in a bowl, add water in small quantities and knead it into tight dough.
  2. Cover and set aside.
  3. Heat 1 tsp oil in a pot. This is to help roast spices a well as to help prevent the rice from sticking to each other.
  4. Add the whole spices (listed under ingredients for rice) and sauté for 1/2 a min.
  5. Add in the long grain rice; mix the rice well so that all the grains are coated well with oil.
  6. Add water (be liberal since we will be straining the rice later); cover and cook.
  7. Heat 4 tbsp oil in another pan, add the sliced onions.
  8. Sauté for a min and then add the cup of mixed vegetables in. Sauté for about 3-4 min. We want the vegetables only half done. Take a bite off one of them; they should be cooked but have a crunch.
  9. Add ginger-garlic paste & the powdered spices mentioned in the list for veggie-spice mix and sauté for a min or two.
  10. Lower the heat; add the yogurt in and mix well. Cook for another minute or two. We do not want the spices having a raw smell/taste.
  11. While you are cooking the veggie-spice mixture, do keep an eye on the rice that is cooking.
  12. When the rice is almost done (check the picture), turn off the heat. Strain the rice and set aside.
  13. Fill alternate layers of rice and veggie-spice mixture into the mug. The topmost layer has to be rice. My coffee mugs accommodated two layers of each (which was just the right size to serve).
  14. I was able to fill about 5 mugs with this recipe (may be 5 1/2). Garnish the rice with the saffron milk and a strand of saffron, fried onions and chopped mint leaves.
  15. Divide the dough into small portions, roll them out into rounds.
  16. Seal the mugs with the dough. I topped the seals with some minced garlic and cilantro which is completely optional. I thought they will look fancier and you get a bonus naan once you are done baking 
  17. Transfer the mugs into a preheated oven and bake at 350°F/180°C for about 20-30 min.
  18. Serve Hot with a side of Raita (yogurt-vegetable mixture)

My Take:

I rolled out the dough discs for the seal very thin which made the cover quite crisp once the baking was done. If you like it that way, go ahead. I would have preferred them a little more thinker; closer to a naan/Indian flat bread texture.

If you do roll out the dough thicker, you might have to bake for a longer time.

If you do not have mint leaves for garnish, you could substitute with basil or cilantro both of which would taste great.

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  1. wow wow biryani in mug looks fantastic and awesome idea dear 🙂 Fabulous clicks !!

  2. It is a WONDERFUL idea & i really loved it. THANKS!!

  3. Wow, what an idea !!! Looks very inviting!!

  4. very interesting recipe biryani in mug! what a innovative idea.. looks yum

  5. Looks amazing!This idea is absolutely wonderful!

  6. Really liked the idea of making briyani in a mug. What a cool way to make biriyani in a breeze!!

  7. OMG! This is just cute and genius all at the same time. I think I’ll be more excited about the crispy rotis that bake on top of the mugs 🙂
    I can totally see myself doing this with little ramekins. Just one question. Don’t you need a bain-marie or can you simply place the mugs in the oven?

    • Oh yes! Vi-Fi (virtual hi-fi) to you because I loved those crispy naans too 🙂 Actually, Even I was not sure if I should use a water bath but I think it might slow down the process? I have made this about 2-3 times now and placed them directly in the oven, just used a tray to hold them in place. Thanks Anjana 🙂

  8. Wow! This IS brilliant!!! So impressed. Wonderful!!!

  9. I tried this right now.. It taste awesome.. Thicker naan might require more baking time.. I brushed the naan with light olive oil.. Thanks for the idea…

  10. I never ever comment on blogs but.. WOW! This is some idea. Definitely on my list of things to try

  11. preeti balchandani

    What is the reason of using bp and baking soda in the dough..what is there role

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  15. What kind of mug to use ?

    • Stoneware mugs are oven safe. Otherwise, best to check if the material is oven safe before using it in oven 🙂

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