Kerala Style Malabar Mutton Biriyani

I’ve posted this recipe during my earlier days of blogging. I wanted to update the recipe with step by step pictures and a new picture for quite sometime.

I do hope you also get to try this wonderful biriyani recipe, it’s one of my all time fav! This is my family’s fav biriyani recipe. It has been passed on from generations and I’ve been making it from the time I started to take baby steps in the kitchen.

This is originally a chicken biriyani recipe. I just made with mutton for a change. You can use the same recipe (given below) for making both chicken or mutton biriyani.

Here is the recipe…

Please check out the notes section on how to cook it without oven.

Mutton Preparation
Marinate mutton pieces with all the ingredients for marination & keep for 1 hour…

Heat ghee in a pan/pressure cooker. Saute onions till it becomes brown…

Add crushed ginger, garlic & green chillies & saute…

Add tomatoes, salt & stir. When tomato becomes soft add garam masala…

After 5 minutes add marinated mutton pieces. Mix well…

Add enough water & cook. Grind the ingredients for white paste together. Add the white paste when mutton is half cooked…

Add chopped coriander leaves to the mutton and mix well. When the gravy becomes thick, remove from fire…


Rice Preparation
Clean the rice & soak for 25 minutes & drain the water completely…

Heat ghee in a pan & splutter whole masala. Fry the rice…

When the rice starts cracking add boiled water, salt & lemon juice. Cook the rice till the water is completely dried…


Layering the Biriyani
Apply some ghee to a baking dish. Spread one layer of rice first and a layer of mutton masala on top of it. Repeat the same.The top layer should be of rice. You can drizzle ghee & sprinkle coriander leaves, mint leaves, fried onion, nuts and raisins in between the layers.

 Spread a wet cloth/ aluminium foil over the top layer. Cover the baking dish with a tight lid. Bake in the preheated oven for 25-30 minutes. Garnish with fried onions,nuts, raisins…

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Mutton Biriyani

Print Pin
Course: Main Dish
Cuisine: Indian, Kerala, South Indian
Servings: 4 -5
Author: Maria Jose Martin

Ingredients

For Marination

  • 1 Onion (sliced)
  • 2 tbsp Curd
  • 1/2 tsp Turmeric powder
  • 1 tsp Pepper powder
  • 1 tsp Lemon juice
  • 1/2 tsp Garam masala
  • Salt – to taste

For masala:

  • 500 gms Mutton
  • 2 big Onion (sliced)
  • 6-7 cloves Garlic (crushed)
  • 1 big piece Ginger (crushed)
  • 4-5 Green chilli (crushed)
  • 2-3 Tomato (sliced)
  • 1/2 tsp Garam masala
  • 2 tbsp Ghee
  • 1-2 tbsp Chopped coriander leaves

For white paste

  • 3 tbsp Grated Coconut
  • 6-7 Cashew nut
  • 1-2 tsp Poppy seeds (kasha kasha) ( optional)

For the rice:

  • 2 cups Rice
  • 4 ups Water (refer notes)
  • 6 Cardamom
  • 6 Cloves
  • 2 medium size stick Cinnamon
  • 1-2 tbsp Lemon Juice
  • 2 tbsp Ghee
  • Salt
  • 3-4 tbsp Chopped coriander & mint leaves (each)

For garnishing

  • 1 big Onion (finely sliced)
  • 7-8 Cashew nuts
  • 1 tbsp Raisins

Instructions

  • Mutton Preparation
  • Marinate mutton pieces with all the ingredients for marination & keep for 1 hour. Heat ghee in a pan/pressure cooker. Cook onions till it becomes brown. Add crushed ginger, garlic & green chillies and cook for 3-4 mins. Add tomatoes, salt (keep in mind salt is already added with mutton also) & stir. When tomato becomes soft add garam masala. After 3 mins, add marinated mutton pieces. Mix well. Add 1/4 cup water & cook (refer notes to see the pressure cooking details).
  • Grind the ingredients for white paste together with 2 tbsp water. Add the white paste when mutton is cooked. Add chopped coriander leaves (1-2 tbsp) and mix well. When the gravy becomes thick and mutton is tender remove from fire.
  • Rice Preparation
  • Rinse the rice a few times and soak for 25 minutes. Drain the water completely. Heat ghee in a wide and deep pan & splutter whole masala (cinnamon, cardamom and cloves).Fry the rice. When the rice starts cracking (around 4-5 mins) add hot water, salt & lemon juice. Cook the rice till the water is completely dried. Spread the rice on a tray.
  • Garnishing
  • Heat oil / ghee in a deep small pan. Fry the cashews and raisins till the cashews becomes brown and raisins plump. Add more oil / ghee, if required, and fry the onion till it becomes golden brown. Drain it on a paper towel.
  • Layering the Biriyani
  • Preheat the oven to 180 degree 10 minutes before baking the biriyani. Apply some ghee to a deep and wide baking dish. Spread one layer of masala first & a layer of rice on top of it. Repeat the same.The top layer should be of rice. You can drizzle ghee & sprinkle coriander leaves, mint leaves, fried onion, nuts and raisins in between the layers (on top of the rice). Spread a wet cloth over the dish while baking. Bake in the preheated oven for 25-30 minutes. Garnish with fried onions,nuts, raisins.

Notes

If you dont have an oven to bake the biriyani, do the following method.

1. Layer the rice and masala in a greased heavy bottomed vessel/non stick pan & cover it with a tight lid.
2. Heat a thava/dosa kallu, when it is really hot, place the biriyani vessel on top of that. Reduce the heat to the lowest flame & cook for 20-25 mins. Keep the heat at the lowest flame throughout, otherwise it might get burnt.
3. Also place a pan of boiling water on top of the biriyani vessel at the same time.
Pressure cooking the mutton: After the first whitsle on full flame, reduce the flame to low-medium. I cook for another 10-12 whistles. Switch off the flame and let the pressure drop naturally. If the mutton isnt, cooked close the cooker and cook for another 5-6 whistles on low-medium flame.
Water for cooking the rice: Though the usual water qty is double the qty of rice, I take a little less. For 2 cups of rice, I use 3.5 cups of water instead of 4. If you feel that rice isnt cooked, add more water. However keep in mind that, rice will be cooked further during baking or while heating on thawa.
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  • Maria… Lov all ur recipes… it has taken me as a basic cook to a totally different level which.i feel proud of :)
    I am totally confused about ‘boiling water in half masala’…masalA now has the meat piecea also right. So i should.boil the water with both.masala and pieces ??

    • Hi Priyanka,

      Thank you very much :) Really happy to know that MM is a part of your cooking journey.

      I’ve mentioned in the recipe “Boil 4 cups of water with half of the whole masala ( cardamom, cloves & cinnamon ) & let it cool”. It means half of whole masala, whole masala is nothing but cardamom, cloves & cinnamon. So just boil the water with the half of those mentioned under “for the rice” tile. Hope it’s clear now :)

  • hi maria…..am a big fan of yours…have tried lot of ur recipes.all of them came out very well.tomorrow am gonna try out this biriyani recipe,but with chicken.so wanted to ask u one thing.if we are adding coriander leaves and mint leaves at what stage during the masala preparation should we add these and pls mention the quantity also.pls reply dear….thank you

    • Hi Unnimaya,

      Thank you so much :) Happy to know that you’ve tried many recipes from here.

      You can add coriander and mint leaves while layering the biriyani. You may add 2-3 tbsp chopped coriander leaves and 1-2 tbsp chopped mint leaves. You can add more or less to suit your taste requirements.

      Cheers
      Maria

    • Hi Justina,

      here you go:

      if you dont have an oven to bake the biriyani, do the following method.

      1. Layer the rice and masala in a greased heavy bottomed vessel/non stick pan & cover it with a tight lid.

      2. Heat a thava/dosa kallu, when it is really hot, place the biriyani vessel on top of that. Reduce the heat to the lowest flame & cook for 20-25 mins. Keep the heat at the lowest flame throughout, otherwise it might get burnt.

      3. Also place a pan of boiling water on top of the biriyani vessel at the same time.

      Hope you get to try this recipe soon.

      Cheers
      Maria

  • gonna try this mutton biriyani for my friends (they are asking ramazan biriyani ), thank you for the clean and neat detailed description.

  • Hello Maria!
    WOW! I tried this at the weekend and it was truly delicious! Even the rice cooked that way has converted me for life!
    I look forward to trying many more of your recipes!
    Thank you
    Natalie

    • Hi Natalie,

      Really happy that you got to make it :) I’m glad that it came out well for you.

      Thank you so much for sharing your feedback and pic here.

      Cheers
      Maria

  • Mariachechi… Just luved this recipe of yours!!! It was so so tasty..Beyond all my words.. My husband is a food lover and he said “Amazing” after tasting the biriyani.. And i told him its Mariachechi who should b thanked.. And its very true.. I’ll definitely make it for my parents and in-laws.. Im sure,they’ll luv it too.. Actually,i follow your recipes for any special dish i wish to try and i luv all of them.. And this became yet another strong reason that i follow u for any recipe i wanna try..Many many thanks to you…

    • Hi Hinduja,

      Thanks a lot for your wonderful feedback dear :) Hope your parents and in-laws will also like it.

      Hope you get to try more recipes from here and like them too..

      Cheers
      Maria

  • Maria. I have request, can you please try and post hyderbadi biriyani for us .
    it is very precise and yummy with your lil notes andthe way choose ingrediant also very easy to follow your recipes

  • hi maria i have one doubt …will it make any difference if we first fry the marinated chicken and then make the masala,,

  • Simply superb… I just had this for lunch now and could not wait to say thanks to you..it turned out really well..

    I am so addicted that I always have MM window opened in my system, be in
    office or in kitchen I keep going through your recipes whenever i have
    free time and make a list out of it for each day’s menu, and try them
    out :D,

    My family and I- we just love MM so much..

    Keep posting , Keep rocking, Have a great time dear!!!

    • Hi Deepz,

      Thanks a million for this comment dear! I’m really touched! I think I should frame this comment :)

      Please do convey my special regards to your family and a big Thank you also..

      Wish you and your family the very best in life!

      Take care,
      Maria

  • hiii maria , 
                   i like ur site an hav tried ur recipes like carrrot cake, malabar fish curry….. etc etc they come out very well… thank u 
      i hav a doubt regarding th biriyani recipe….dont v add coriander leaves an mint leaves paste also while sauteing….? my mom usually does…so i’ve also added it for my chicken biriyanis always… wat abt mutton biriyani..?
                             byeeee
                              priya

    • Hi Priya,

      So sorry for the delayed reply dear. I was away on a trip…

      Thank you so much for trying all those recipes. You can add coriander and mint leaves also, I wasnt a big fan of mint leaves till a few years ago, that’s why, you dont see it in the recipe :)

      Cheers
      Maria

  • Hey Maria,

    First of all,hats off to you for putting in the effort to share your wonderful recipes with all of us.

    A quick question..i cant use poppy seeds, coz they are illegal here in Dubai…    are there any substitutes that i can use??.. or can i just leave that part out??

    Cheers,
    Shiny

    • Thank you Shiny! I’m not sure about the substitutes. You can always use cashew paste. It’s ok to leave the poppy seeds. I’ve made biriyani a number of times without poppy seeds & still it turns out well.

      Cheers
      Maria

  • Maria , I have tried out many of your recipes (chicken biryani , prawns biryani , chicken roast , fish curry , aviyal etc…) and I am really glad to tell that they all turned out really well ..thanks for these wonderful recipes, keep writing … 

    • Hi Deepa,

      I’m excited to see the long list of recipes you have tried from here :) Its great to know that the recipes work well for you. Thanks a ton dear for the comment!

      Cheers
      Maria

      • Hi Maria,

        First time I tried n internet recipe.n wow…. No regrets.. I’ve had white biryani outside.. n did not like it… too dry.. Was sceptical while making.. but it a awesome.. family thoroughly enjoyed.. Had made for lunch n dinner but got over In lunch only… I think Will have to make burji at nite.. hats off… great one.. you have one more follower added to your list

  • Hi Maria, 

    I tried this today and it came out really well .. Thanks for such a wonderful recipe .. Please post beef biriyani recipe too .. 

    Luv, 
    Jesna

    • Hi Jesna,

      You are welcome! I have tried some beef biriyani recipes, but wasnt happy with them. Hopefully I can find a good recipe soon.

      Thanks for the comment :)

      Cheers
      Maria

  • Hi Maria,

    Yum yum yum yum…. what else can i say for this recipe!!! I tried this out last weekend and the result was excellent.
    This is the first time that my biriyani looked, smelled and tasted authentic.

    Thanks a ton!

    Ida.

      • Hi Maria,

        Well, since the first time i tried out this recipe; i have forgotten my previous biriyani recipes. Made it couple of more times; the result has always been ‘simply delicious’.

        Thanks again!!!

  • Hi Maria,

    Im totally new to your blog and happened to visit it recently. All your recipes seems awesome and i have already made of collection from your blog to be prepared post wedding !!! can u please tell me how to make this same biriyani if we dont have owen ?? i mean without this pre heating concept?? the word pre heating depresses me !! as i have no option of it ..

  • Hi Maria,

    I tried your mutton biryani today and it was really awwwesome…..The measurements were exactly right and my family liked it a lot. Thank you so much for this fantastic recipe. I will surely keep on trying all your recipes.

  • Hi maria!..Fantastic recipes and me and my husband have enjoyed preparing them for our friends:)..keep up the great work:).. The mutton biriyani looks yummy and want to try it out today but just want to confirm about the poppy seeds..did you use the black or white?:)..Thanks Maria!

    • Hi Tania,

      Thanks a ton. Its really nice to know that you like the recipes posted here. I used white poppy seeds for the biriyani.

      Happy cooking!

      Cheers
      Maria

  • Hi maria….awesome recipes n v just love all your recipes. Just a doubt, did u use black or white poppy seeds for the mutton biriyani?

  • Simply fabulous recipe. I have made this thrice and it has been a huge hit every single time. Thanks Maria!

    • Hi Caroline,

      Thank you so much dear :) Its really a pleasure to know that this recipe is a hit at your place! Thanks for the comment too.

      Cheers
      Maria

  • Hi Maria…can you tell me which brand of rice is generally good for making biryani as i hate to see the rice sticking onto each other in the final stage…

    • Hi Philip,

      We are both from Kerala, and thanks for the suggestion. But currently, we do not have any plans of publishing in Malayalam. We will consider the idea for the upcoming cook book.

      Jose

      • Dear Jose,
        If you are going to publish a Book, then you can collect a PDF version of the printed matter from the printing people. please upload it for online users. Eg : http://bethelpatrika.org/files/2010Dec.pdf
        Any way please inform me about the book publishing date. And how can i get a copy of it.
        Philip from Mumbai.

        • Philip, thanks for the suggestion. We are currently focused only on releasing a paperback edition.

          If you would like to be notified of the launch and pre-order, please sign up at https://mariasmenu.com/book

          If you would like to help with the translation of any recipes hosted on this site for our Kerala readers, we will be happy to host the pdf version on MariasMenu.com – of course we will provide you with the recognition and credit for the effort.

          • Dear Jose,
            Greetings !!!!! . Thank you for the fast reply. ok i shall co-operate with the translation of the recipes, we will talk about it only after the publishing of the ‘COOK BOOK’.

            Happy new year

            Philip & Fly,
            Mumbai.

  • Hi Maria…

    I tried making the chicken version of this biriyani and it really came out nice. Got complimented by my husband. Thank u and keep the god work going!

    • Hi Gincy,

      Thank you for trying this recipe and also for leaving the comment here :). Its great to know that it came out well for you.

      Cheers
      Maria

  • Hi Maria,

    I have a clarification. While marinating the mutton, do we need to mix the onions mentioned under the ‘For Marination’ along with the mutton?

    Then while making the mutton, we saute the onions mentioned under ‘For Masala’?

    Thanks
    Nancy

    • Hi Nancy,

      We use 2 different set of onions for this. As you’ve written, one is used in marination and the other is used in the masala part. I’ve given the qty of onion for each part under the respective sections…

      Hope your doubt is clarified :)

      Cheers
      Maria

  • Hi Maria

    This is a great recipe.Except the fact the i left the mutton more than half cook prior to baking.

    Thank you Maria.

    • Hi Raj

      Thank you so much for trying this recipe, I know my response is a bit delayed :( However I’m really glad to know that you enjoyed it.

      You can adjust the cooking time of mutton when you make it next time :)

      Cheers
      Maria

  • Hi,
    I was going through your Recipe and wanted to try this, but was a bit confused about the GARAM MASALA which is mentioned to be added after the tomatoes became soft. I thought there was mention of GARAM MASALA only once in the ingredient list and tat was for the marination. So in case tat watz the qty of Garam Masala to be added when the tomatoes are soften.
    Thanks

    • Hi Sheeba,

      Thanks for pointing it out. The garam masala to be added to the masala, after the tomato is softened, is different. You need to add 1/2 tsp garam masala again. Sorry for the confusion.

      I will update the recipe also with the same.

      Thanks again. Hope you will like the biriyani.

      Cheers
      Maria

      • @Maria,
        Thanks for your quick response..Got it, so its a total of 1 tsp of Garam Masala for the entire process, 1/2 for the marination and the other to be added with the tomatoes.
        And if I need to make 1 Kg Chicken and 4 cups rice do i doubly all the ingredients????
        Waiting to try this recipe…will get back on how it turned out to be :-)

        Cheers

        • Hi Sheeba,

          Sorry for the delayed rep :(

          Yes, its 1 tsp of Garam Masala for the entire preparation. If you are planning to make double the qty, adjust the other ingredients also accordingly.

          Cheers
          Maria

  • i usually dont like mutton so v prepared it as chicken biryani on last sun day n it was superb thanks a lot for these dishes maria de n i ll also try it as mutton biryani after some days

    • Thanks Shubha for trying it. For me it’s usually other way round, I dont like chicken much (though I eat it), so I make it with mutton :)

      Hope you’ll like the mutton version too…

      Cheers
      Maria

  • Hi Maria,

    I dont have an oven. Can you please tell me an alternative for the last layering stage?

    • Hi Priya,

      Please do the following steps for the stove top method.

      1. Layer the rice and masala in a greased heavy bottomed vessel/non stick pan & cover it with a tight lid.

      2. Heat a thava/dosa kallu, when it is really hot, place the biriyani vessel on top of that. Reduce the heat to the lowest flame & cook for 20-25 mins. Keep the heat at the lowest flame throughout, otherwise it might get burnt.

      3. Also place a pan of boiling water on top of the biriyani vessel at the same time.

      Hope this helps…

      Cheers
      Maria

    • Hi Neemol

      I usually dont add coriander powder while making biriyani. I add only turmeric, pepper n garam masala powder, which is mentioned in the recipe.

      Cheers
      Maria

  • Few tips from me:
    1. i add a pinch of sugar to the onions for garnishing,while frying.
    2. If the mutton gravy turns out too watery,i use this juice while cooking/baking the rice for biriyani.It gives a whole new twist to the dish.

    • Hi Vijaya

      Thanks for sharing your tips :) will try it next time I make biriyani.

      Regarding adding coconut & cashew paste, it gives a richness to the masala. Please try it, hope you will like it.

  • what difference does adding coconut paste make.coz i make it without coconut and cashew paste(but i add poppy seeds paste).
    Does it really add to the taste,Maria?

  • hi maria..

    if u hve any chicken biriyani recipe..i wish u cld post it..

    waiting eagerly for the recipe..an easy but tasty one..

    regds
    sindu

    • Hi Sindu

      I use the same recipe for chicken biriyani also. Anyways let me see whether I could find another good recipe for chicken biriyani. Please do try this recipe,I hope you will like it.

      Take care
      Maria

  • I like your reply to Eaps..meek yet put him in his place.A unique strength ! Your recipe for mutton biryani is very different will try it this weekend. God bless

  • hey eaps..

    so happy to hear from you after such a long time. btw, your wife is a major contributor to this site :)

    hey I believe am still the same person even aftr 7 years except may be for the cooking & computers part :) (credit goes to my hubby, jose), though I havent yet become an expert in both.

    Regarding the measurements for salt and water, salt – I dont give it because I still use the trial n error method for salt ;) and the amount of water in this recipe, I assume you are referring to the water required for cooking mutton, since water rqd for cooking rice is given. You can use 1/2 – 1 cup water for cooking mutton.

    and btw, I havent forgotten my roots, but am learning ew things and trying to share my exp with others :)

    hope your wife joins u sometime soon and happy cooking till then :)

  • I’m sure I’m a rather unique reader, cook…my wife deserted me (well..kindof..her job forced her back to Bangalore leaving me all alone in the US), so here I’m trying to make dinner. I must admit, I got the shock and awe treatment when I saw the site…I used to know Maria..can’t say I still do, I just don’t recognize all this. For now, I’ll believe this isn’t all cooked up, after all they say marriage can change a person. My only grouse is that she assumes that her readers know the basics of cooking..how much salt, how much water? I have a feeling the Maria I knew would’ve been asking the same questions if she’d seen the same recipe 7 yrs ago. Whatever said and done…vanna vazhi marakkarathu (don’t forget your roots), there are still novices out there who need spoon feeding ;-)

  • Hi Maria,

    I tried this with Chicken biriyani and am glad to say that we had a feast that day..thanks to tesschechi n u!!!

  • Hi Maria,

    Even though it took some time for the preparation, the results were amazing..
    we both loved it… THANKS Maria..

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