Mutton Biriyani

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


  • 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.


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.