Mutton biryani recipe – Simple and quick lamb biryani recipes suitable for bachelors, new cooks and busy folks. There are so many ways a biryani is made across India. I am sharing 2 recipes in this post. First one is a hyderabadi pakki dum mutton biryani and the second one is a one pot biriyani – rice and meat cooked together. You can find the second method at the end of this post. The success to make any good mutton biryani is tender meat and cooking it the right way.
Most folks fail to prepare a good mutton recipe or mutton curry, due to the wrong choice of meat. Using one that is not tender. Next overcooking or cooking on high flame too can make it hard. I have included clear instructions on how to cook mutton that yields soft and tender bites.
Mutton has to be marinated with yogurt and oil that helps to tenderize it very well. If you are using meat that is not tender or if you are unsure about how tender it is, use meat tenderizer, which is available in most grocery stores. Alternately you can use grated raw papaya during marination. Just 2 tsp. for half a kg is the approximation. I have personally never used it as I get good tender meat in Singapore.
This Lamb biryani tastes very delicious due to the slow cooking and the dum process.
Mutton biryani recipe below
- ½ kg of tender lamb mutton (cut to a size of your choice)
- 1 cup thinly sliced onions or ⅓ cup fried onions
- 1 to 1¼ tsp red chili powder
- 1 tsp. biryani masala powder or mutton masala
- 1 tbsp. ginger garlic paste
- ¼ tsp turmeric powder
- ½ cup fresh yogurt (do not use a sour one)
- 1 ½ tbsp fresh lemon juice
- 1 tbsp.oil (oil helps to make the mutton soft)
- ½ tsp Salt
- 2 tsps papaya paste (optional)
- 2 cup of aged basmathi rice (soaked for 20 mins)
- 6 to 8 cups water
- 1 bay leaf
- ½ tsp shahi jeera
- 2 to 3 cloves/ laung (optional)
- 1 small cinnamon stick / dalchini (optional)
- 2 to 3 green cardamom/ choti elaichi (optional)
- 3 tbsp. Oil or ghee (do not reduce)
- 1 bay leaves
- ¾ tsp shahi jeera / black cumin
- 4 green cardamoms / choti elaichi
- 1 star anise / chakri phool
- 2 inch cinnamon stick / dalchini
- 6 to 8 cloves / laung
- 1 cup onions sliced thinly
- 2 to 4 green chilies slit
- Handful of chopped coriander and mint / pudina (for top layer)
- Handful of mint leaves / pudina & coriander leaves / dhania patta (for seasoning)
- ½ cup fresh yogurt (room temperature)
- generous pinch of saffron soaked in 2 tbsp of hot milk
- Wash mutton and drain water thoroughly and marinate with marination ingredients and set aside for at least 4 hours. Overnight is best. If you are using raw papaya paste, you can just set aside for 30 to 40 mins.
- Wash rice and soak for 30 to 40 minutes. Drain it completely to a colander and set aside.
- Heat a heavy bottom pan or a pressure cooker with oil, add the dry spices.
- Skip this step if using store bought fried onions. Add onions, green chilies and fry till they turn brown almost about to caramelize. Keep stirring to prevent burning. This is crucial to get a good aroma and taste. There must be enough oil for the onions to fry. Set aside half of the fried onions for garnish.
- Reduce the flame to low. Add the marinated meat. Add half of the coriander and mint leaves saute for 3 to 4 mins.
- Cook covered on a low flame till the mutton turns soft and tender or cook for 2 to 3 whistles in a pressure cooker. Switch off the stove. If cooking in the pan without pressure cooker, stir occasionally to prevent burning. Remember the flame has to be very low otherwise mutton may turn hard.
- While the meat is cooking, Bring water to a boil in a large pot, add the spices and salt. Make sure the water is slightly salty.
- When the water comes to a boil, add the drained rice and cook until 90% done or aldente. When you bite the grain , it must be cooked completely but you must be able to feel the bite into it. Drain it off to a colander.
- Soak saffron in little milk and set aside.
- When the pressure goes off, remove the lid. You will be left with a thick gravy. You mutton must be cooked completely now. Check it , if still undone cook until it is soft and tender.
- Add the rest of the half cup curd. Again few chopped coriander and mint. Few fried onions. Mix everything well. You can check the salt and spice at this stage and adjust.
- Layer the rice evenly over the cooked lamb meat. Sprinkle some chopped coriander and mint leaves, fried onions and tbsp of ghee. Lastly pour the saffron milk.
- Cover the rim of the biryani pot with a moist thick clean cloth or foil. Place a heavy lid over it. If you do not have a heavy lid. Just place a bowl filled with water over the lid. You can also seal it with atta.
- Heat a old tawa until very hot. Place this biryani pot over the hot tawa and cook on a low flame for 15 mins.
- Allow to rest for at least 15 mins.
- Serve with raita.
2.The timings for dum may vary, if you use different pots for cooking mutton and for dum process. I have used same pot for both the purposes, hence the cooking time is less here.
3. If your rice has over cooked slightly, remember slightly not mushy. Then you can sprinkle very little salt and sprinkle 1 tbsp oil over the hot rice while it is still in colander. Gently toss the rice. This will firm up the rice slightly. If your rice turns mushy do not use it for biryani. Just make a fresh batch of rice and use.
Recipe 1: How to make pakki dum mutton biryani recipe
1. Wash mutton thoroughly and drain well. Add ginger garlic paste, salt, turmeric, biryani masala, red chili powder and lemon juice.
2. Add curd and oil. If using raw papaya paste you can add it now.
3. Marinate well and cover. Allow this to rest for at least 4 hours to overnight in the fridge. This marinade tenderizes the mutton, so longer the resting time softer the meat will be. If you are using papaya paste, you can just leave it for 45 mins. I prefer to marinate overnight and refrigerate. I do not use raw papaya.
4. When you are about to prepare the other ingredients for the biryani keep the mutton out of the fridge. It is good to bring it to room temperature before cooking. You can slice the onions and chilies, soak the rice for 30 to 40 minutes. Soak saffron in milk. Set aside.
5. Heat a heavy bottom pan or pressure cooker with ghee or oil. Add the spices.
6. Immediately add sliced onions. You can skip this step if using store bought fried onions.
7. Fry them evenly until golden brown. Set aside half of this.
8. Add the marinated lamb meat.
9. Add chopped mint and coriander leaves.
10. Begin to saute on a very low flame for 3 to 4 mins.
11. Cover and cook for 10 mins on the low flame.
12. Either pressure cook it for 2 to 3 whistles or continue to cook in the pot until the meat is soft and tender. We are not adding any water to cook this. If cooking in pot make sure you stir occasionally to prevent burning.
13. While the meat cooks, Bring water to a boil and add bay leaf, shahi jeera, cardamom, cloves and cinnamon.
14. Add salt.
15. Add rice and cook al dente. The rice must be cooked completely but you must feel the bite.
16. Drain it completely in a colander.
17. When the meat is soft cooked, you will be left with a thick gravy. Add the rest of the curd to this.
18. Add the fried onions, coriander and mint leaves.
19. Mix together. Check the salt and spice by tasting. You can adjust by adding salt or green chilies.
20. Layer the rice, mint and coriander leaves. Add ghee as well.
21. Pour the saffron milk. Cover the pot with a foil or kitchen cloth. Place a heavy lid over the pot. If you do not have a heavy lid, place any lid and a heavy pot filled with water over the lid.
22. Heat a old tawa / griddle or pan until very hot. Place this biryani pot over the pan. Lower the flame and cook for 15 mins. Switch off the stove and allow to rest for 15 mins.
Serve hot with a raita. You can find a collection of raita recipes here.
Recipe 2 : Simple Mutton biryani recipe
Most restaurants serve mutton biryani that is not dum cooked. They usually cook rice and meat together or sometimes the gravy is kept separate and biryani rice separate. They just mix and layer the gravy and biryani rice as and when they get orders. This is an exact replica of what we get in most South Indian good restaurants. Mutton is cooked to soft first and then rice is cooked with the meat.
2 cup of aged basmathi rice (soaked for 20 mins)
3 cups water
¾ cup onions sliced thinly
2 to 4 green chilies
½ cup of tomatoes (optional)
1 tsp. garam masala powder
¼ cup of mint leaves / pudina
¼ cup of coriander leaves
3 tbsp. Oil (do not reduce)
Dry spices (for seasoning)
1 large or 2 small bay leaves
½ small nutmeg
2 strands of mace
¾ tsp shahi jeera / black cumin
6 green cardamoms
1 black cardamom
1 star anise
Few pepper corn
3 inch cinnamon stick
6 to 8 cloves
½ kg of tender lamb mutton (cut to a size of your choice)
¾ tsp red chili powder
1 to 1 ½ tsp garam masala powder or biryani masala as needed
1 ½ tbsp. ginger garlic paste
¼ tsp turmeric powder
1 cup fresh yogurt (do not use a sour one, can make your rice very sour as we are using tomatoes too)
1 tbsp.oil (oil helps to make the mutton soft)
How to make mutton biryani recipe with step by step photos
1. Wash rice and soak for 20 minutes. Drain it completely to a colander and set aside.
2. Wash mutton and drain water thoroughly. Marinate with marination ingredients and set aside for at least an hour. Overnight is best.
3. Heat a pressure cooker or a heavy bottom pot with oil, add the dry spices, sauté till they begin to sizzle.
4. Add onions, green chilies and fry till they turn brown.
5. Skip this step if you do not like tomatoes. Add tomatoes, sprinkle salt just enough for the tomatoes to cook easily. Cook till the tomatoes turn fully mushy and the raw smell goes off.
6. Add half of the coriander and mint leaves, sauté for a min.
7. Add the marinated mutton pieces, mix well and saute for 2 to 3 minutes. Cook covered on a low flame till the mutton turns soft and tender or cook for 3 whistles in a pressure cooker. Switch off the stove. If cooking in the pan without pressure cooker, stir occasionally to prevent burning. When the pressure goes off, remove the lid. You will be left with a thick gravy. How thick depends on your mutton. If you are left with lot of watery gravy, then evaporate it by cooking for some time.
8. Add mint, coriander leaves and garam masala. Saute till the good smell of mint and masala comes out. Pour water, bring to a boil. add rice. Adjust salt and cook on a medium flame till almost all the water is evaporated.
9. Cover and cook till the rice is fully done. If the rice is under cooked and there is not enough moisture, you can sprinkle some water. Alternately you can close the lid of the pressure pan / cooker and cook on a very low flame for just 5 mins. The flame must barely touch the surface of the pan. Do not let the cooker whistle. Alternately you can move the pan on to a old hot tawa. Set the flame to medium and let it cook that way for 10 mins. This way the biryani is not burnt at the bottom.