Non-vegetarian food in India (or Indian Cuisine) is incomplete with out Biryani. Biryani can be from Awadh, Hyderabad, or Delhi, and based on its location, there would be somewhat variations. I have seen biryani served in normal Indian takeaways or restaurants in UK, and I won’t call it biryani, its just pieces of chicken/ lamb/ prawn tossed in rice and some curry added on top. To explore the true taste, you need to go to the roots and discover real meaning of biryani where rice is cooked in layers of meat, along with spices on a low heat by sealing the lid, that’s what I call “Dum Biryani”.
Like most Indian girls who grew up never entered kitchen; if I would made a cup of tea, it would had been a huge milestone with round of applauses from my dad. I would have never thought that I would be talking of a “lamb / mutton biryani recipe”. As some of you know I do not eat non-veg food, but my rest of family does, I have shared the recipe with my hubby who had executed this recipe many times now, and now finally got around to put it on the blog.
There are hundreds and thousands of families in India, where people have learnt the art of biryani making from generation to generation and have mastered in making finger licking biryanis which will melt in your mouth, slow cooked meat, infused with spices & rice ensuring the juices are soaked in by the rice grains. For a delightful meal, it is recommended to seal the pots and open on dinning table, which will make biryani get cooked from top too by steam and as soon as lid is taken off, it wafts the atmosphere with aroma of lush food.
First of all, wash properly the mutton pieces and drain the water completely. In a mixing bowl, add mutton pieces, salt, red chilli powder and turmeric powder. Mix it well and keep aside.
Cut the onion lengthwise and deep fry them in the oil. Now add rest all the ingredients under marination category and mix everything well. Crush the fried onions and add them too. Add the leftover oil from frying too in the marination.
Mix everything well and cover the bowl with cling film and keep it in fridge for at-least 5-6 hours.
Wash and Soak rice in enough water and similarly soak saffron strands in Luke warm milk.
Now, heat a heavy bottom pan/ handi in which you planning to make Biryani, on medium flame. Add 2 tablespoon oil and once it’s warm add onions and sauté. Add tomatoes and green chillies and sauté again till it start leaving oil.
Now transfer the marinated mutton and add 3 cups of water to it. Cover the pan with lid and let it cook till mutton is tender. It will take around 25-30 minutes.
In a separate pan, boil 4-5 cups of water. Add all the whole spices, salt and 2 tablespoon oil to it. Once it starts boiling, add soaked rice and let them cook till they are 80 percent done. Drain the excess water and keep them aside.
Once the mutton is tender, open the lid and let it cook for 10 more minutes so that extra water evaporates and you will see a thin oil layer on the top. Make sure it still has got little gravy, it should not be completely dry.
Now with the help of a ladle, collect the extra gravy in a bowl. Spread rice over cooked mutton evenly. Spread the gravy on the rice layer. Spread Chopped Coriander leaves, mint leaves and fried onions. Spread Saffron flavoured milk and Kewra water and close the lid of the pan.
Now keep the pan on medium high heat for 10 minutes and then reduce the heat to lowest. Let it cook for around 35-40 minutes and then switch off the heat.
Open the pan and spread clarified butter on it and mix the biryani. Serve it hot with raita.
You can adjust the spice level according to your taste.
Marinate the mutton at least for 5-6 hours. Cooking time varies on the quality of meat used. So always check for properly cooked mutton before switching off heat.
Always use Basmati Rice for making biryani as it tastes best only when basmati rice is used.