Dum mutton biryani is made with raw meat at the bottom of the pan with par-boiled rice on the top. Cooked perfectly it produces fork-tender meat and light and fluffy rice on the top. A few extra steps in the making but definitely worth it in the end.
Biryani is usually my choice for festive dinners on special occasions. Packed with flavor from wonderful biryani spices this one is going to be the star at your table.
There are two ways to make biryani.
- One is the raw meat also called Kacche gosht ki biryani from Hyderabad and the second is cooked meat called pakki gosht ki biryani.
- Truth be told the raw meat method with the raw meat on the bottom is much easier than making the other cooked varieties.
- In the pakki or cooked method – you cook both the rice and the meat separately in two different pots. Then layer them over each other and give it a final steam before serving.
- The raw meat biryani is not very commonly made in households becayse it is considered difficult. The cooked meat method is considered the easier biryani and used by almost everyone.
Ingredients and substitutes
- Mutton – today, I am using mutton but you can also use chicken or lamb to make this biryani. I like to use meat with bones as it adds more flavor and juices to the gravy. Cut the meat into small pieces of about 2 to 3 inchs as too large will not cook the meat evenly
- Onions – make a huge difference to the overall taste of biryani. We use a lot of onions but most importantly, the onions must be cooked down and almost caramelized so it imparts a nice sweet flavor and golden color to the biryani.
- Spices – I like using individual spices to make my own biryani masala. I think it is the best way combination but, you can use also use 3 tbsp biryani masala instead.
- Yogurt – use thick yogurt or hung yogurt with less liquid. This way you will not have a soggy rice. I like to use Greek yogurt for the same reason.
- Rice – when it comes to biryani, it is highly recommended to use long grain basmati rice. It has a unique flavor and aroma as well as adds to the visual appeal of the dish.
Tips for success
There are a few things you want to ensure when making biryani
- Use a meat tenderizer or marinate the meat overnight in the fridge. The yogurt in the marinade breaks down the meat which results in fork-tender soft meat.
- Soak the rice for 30 minutes before you par-boil it. Soaking will ensure the rice cooks evenly as well as quickly. The rice will take about 5 to 8 minutes once it starts to boil.
- Ensure the meat in the bottom of the pan is a thin layer. You want each and every piece of meat to be closer to the heat source as possible which then cooks evenly. A thick layer of meat will result in the top part being less tender.
- We cook the meat at different temperatures.
The high heat encourages all the juices in the meat and marinade to be released.
Then we lower the heat to medium so the meat cooks in all that moisture.
We then, reduce the heat to low and the meat continues to cook and excess moisture is evaporated steaming the rice. This result is soft light and airy rice as well as juicy meat without too much gravy.
Simple steps to making biryani
- Marinate the mutton (up to overnight)
- Parboil the rice (3 – 5 mins)
- Layer the marinated mutton and rice.
- Cook the biryani 20 – 30 mins
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- Saute Pan
- 1 kg Onions sliced
- ¼ cup Ghee
- 4 tbsp Oil
- ½ Coriander kothmir fresh chopped
- ½ Mint pudina fresh chopped
- 1 tbsp Rosewater
- ½ tbsp Kewra essence
- 1 tbsp Saffron
- ¼ cup milk
- 1 kg Mutton cut into 2-inch pieces
- 1 tbsp Garlic paste
- 1 tbsp Ginger paste
- 1 tbsp Garam masala
- 1 cup Greek yogurt (hung curd)
- 1 tbsp Lemon juice
- 2 tbsp Coriander powder
- 1 tbsp Cumin powder
- 1 tbsp Red chili powder
- 1 tsp Salt
- ½ tsp Black pepper
- 2 tbsp Papaya paste or meat tenderizer
For the rice
- 500 grams Basmati rice
- 2 tsp Salt
- 2 Bay leaves
- 2 Black cardamom
- 2 tsp Caraway seeds
- 2 tsp Cumin seeds
- 1 tsp Kasoori methi
- 6 Green cardamoms
- 6 Cloves
- 2 Cinnamon sticks
- 1 Star anise
- ½ Mace javitri
- ¼ tsp Nutmeg powder
- Trim excess fat from the mutton. Cut into small 2-inch pieces. Large pieces will not cook too soft and tender so keep the pieces small.
- Season the lamb with salt and pepper. Add the papaya paste or meat tenderizer. Leave aside for an hour.
- In a bowl, combine all the rest of the marinade ingredients. Add the mutton, combine well. This can be marinated in the fridge for up to 8 hours.
- Slice the onions thinly and separate the slices. Deep fry small batches of onions in oil until nicely golden. Gently fry them on medium heat until they are golden brown. Drain them on a paper towel to absorb the extra oil.
Par-boil the rice
- Bring a large pot of water to a boil with salt and whole spices
- Add the rice and cook to about 70% done. Drain in a colander.
- Soak the saffron in milk and set aside for 10 minutes
- Use a wide heavy-bottom pan so the meat gets is a thin layer on the bottom.
- Add half the cilantro and mint leaves to the mutton and plate the meat in the bottom of the pan.
- Top with some fried onions and more fresh herbs (cilantro and mint). Then top with the remaining rice. Top with the remaining onions, and fresh herbs.
- Sprinkle the top with rose water, kewra essence. Sprinkle the saffron milk on top
- Cover the pot with a tight lid. Seal the top with foil or flour dough.
- Transfer to a serving bowl and serve with raita and salad. Enjoy!
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