Dum cooking is a way of slow cooking. It is a technique that is more than 400 years old! This method was accidentally discovered during a famine when enormous containers were filled with rice, vegetables, meat and spices and sealed. Hot charcoal was placed on top and fires lit beneath, while slow cooking ensured food was available day or night. The result was extraordinary, for when the containers were unsealed; the splendid aromas attracted even the royal attention. The dishes prepared in this style of cooking has evolved in to one of the finest fine-dining cuisines from South Asia and is represented by its own taste and flavour especially in Lucknow, Kashmir, Hyderabad and Lahore.
Dum signifies steam and many a time the vessel containing the food being slow cooked in its own juices is sealed with atta. When the steam is not allowed to escape it becomes dumpukht (here pukht means choking).
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