Mutton Biryani

mutton biryani

Mutton Biryani is a very popular and delicious dish. It is usually made with rice and meat. There are however biryanis made with vegetables, eggs, or fish as well. On special occasions and celebrations, it is not a surprise if it is one of the main dishes served. Although there are claims it originated in Persia and was brought to India by the Mughals, there are others who claim it was already known in India much before the Mughals arrived! There are so many varieties of Biryanis like I mentioned earlier, and each and every type from all the different states in India tastes unique!

The recipe I have today is my mother’s no-fail recipe which I have been following from the time I learned to make biryani. This is not the recipe for the popular Hyderabadi dum biryani usually available in Indian restaurants in the US or the Kozhikode biryani from Kerala (which by the way, is another exceptional biryani and I will definitely post it another time). I used goat meat (mutton) for this recipe and you can substitute it with lamb as well. The preparation starts with the marination of the meat, after which follows the frying of onions, nuts, and rice. Finally, the marinated meat is cooked. Lastly, we layer the rice and meat and garnish it. Please continue reading for the detailed version of the recipe. Hope you enjoy making and eating it!


Mom's mutton Biriyani

  • Servings: 6-8
  • Difficulty: medium-high
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A very popular , aromatic ,layered rice dish with mutton or lamb based on Indian cuisine

Its preferable to use Basmati rice although other varieties of raw rice can be used .It is preferred to liberally use ghee for biryani to get the authentic taste (although I use a combination of ghee and oil ).Feel free to adjust the quantities and spices to your liking.


For Rice

  • 4 cups  Basmati Rice
  • 4 teaspoon ghee or Clarified Butter
  • 4 tsp oil
  • 3-4 cloves
  • 1  inch stick  cinnamon
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 5-6 cardamoms
  • 1/2 an onion diced
  • salt per taste
  • 5 cups Water

For Meat marination

  • 11/2 pounds mutton
  • 3 cups of yogurt
  • 3 medium tomatoes diced
  • 3 -4 mint leaves chopped
  • 5 tsp coriander powder
  • 2 tsp Kashmiri chilly powder
  • 1 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1 tsp Biryani Masala (optional)
  • 1/2 tsp Garam Masala
  • salt to taste

To grind for marinade

  • 1 inch ginger
  • 10-12 cloves of garlic
  • 1 bunch of coriander
  • 4 green chillies
  • 1 inch of cinnamon
  • 4-5 cloves

For Meat Preparation

  • 1 onion chopped
  • 1 tomato diced
  • 1 tsp ginger garlic paste
  • 1/2  lemon

For Garnish

  • 1 onion cut into long thin stripes
  • 10 cashews
  • 10 raisins
  • ghee for frying
  • 1 sprig of mint leaves
  • coriander leaves chopped


Meat Marination

  1. Wash the meat thoroughly with salt and lemon and drain water completely
  2. Grind the ingredients in the “to grind for marinade” section with minimum water to get a green paste
  3. Add the yogurt, tomatoes, green paste,mint leaves and the spice powders in the “for meat marination” section to the meat
  4. Mix well and Marinate for about 2 to 3 hours in a referigrator

Rice Preparation and garnishes

  1. Wash the rice, drain and keep aside
  2. Heat a thick bottomed pan , add the ghee and oil
  3. Add the thin sliced onions and fry until crisp golden brown
  4. Drain and keep aside.
  5. Add the cashews and raisins ,brown it as well
  6. Drain and keep aside.
  7. The thin fried onions, cashews and raisins will be used for garnishing.
  8. In the remaining ghee and oil, add the spices under the “For rice” section
  9. Next add the diced onions and sautée
  10. After 2 mins add the washed rice
  11. Fry for about 5 to 7 mins until the rice turns opaque
  12. Add the salt and water and cook until done in a rice cooker
  13. Wait for the steam to be released and rice to be cooled.

Meat Preparation

  1. Next for the preparation of the meat , take ghee and oil in the pressure cooker
  2. Add onions and sautée it for 10 mins
  3. Add tomatoes and ginger garlic paste ,sautée for another 5 mins
  4. Next add the marinated meat and fry it for a while
  5. Pressure cook for about 4 or 5 whistles (depending on the meat) until the meat is cooked.
  6. Once steam is released, check that the meat is cooked well .If the gravy is runny , heat and reduce until you get a thick gravy
  7. Add some chopped coriander leaves and squeeze a little lemon.

Layering biryani and garnishing

  1. Next process is layering of the biryani, transfer the cooked rice into a serving bowl and garnish with fried onions,cashews ,raisins,chopped mint and coriander leaves
  2. Then add a layer of the meat gravy and repeat layering with rice, meat and again layer with garnish onions , nuts ,raisins, mint and coriander leaves.
  3. Gently mix so the gravy is evenly mixed into the rice.
  4. Squeeze half a lemon if you like (optional).
  5. Finally garnish with chopped coriander leaves and the remaining garnishes.
  6. Mutton Biryani is finally ready !!
  7. Serve with Papad (rice fritters),  fried shrimp /fish or salad , Enjoy!


Layering the biryani with rice, meat, fried onions, garnishes and then repeating
Mutton Biryani
Mutton Biryani

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  • Reply
    April 7, 2017 at 9:49 am

    Looks great and well explained..

    • Reply
      April 7, 2017 at 10:37 am

      Thank you so much Saumya!

  • Reply
    April 12, 2017 at 9:27 am

    It is so tempting, but sorry for me, I am a vegetarian. 😐

    • Reply
      April 12, 2017 at 10:11 am

      Thanks for the comment, I will post a vegetarian biryani soon 🙂

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