02 June 2015

Malabar Mutton Biriyani | Step by Step Recipe

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Malabar Mutton Biriyani

Spicy Malabar style Mutton Biriyani.
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cooking Time: 60 to 80 minutes
Serves: 4 to 5
For Rice:
  1. Basmati rice-2 cups( see notes)
  2. Ghee - as required
  3. Cinnamon - 2" piece
  4. Cloves - 4
  5. Cardamom - 4
  6. Bay leaf- 1
  7. Boiling hot water- 4 cups
  8. Salt - to taste
For Mutton Masala:
  1. Ginger- 2" piece
  2. Garlic - 6 large cloves
  3. Green chilies - 7 to 10(according to taste- See notes)
  4. Mutton,cleaned and cut into medium pieces - 500 gms
  5. Garam masala- 1/2 tsp+1/2 tsp
  6. Turmeric powder - 1/4 tsp+1/4tsp
  7. Black pepper powder- 1/2 tsp+ 1/2 tsp
  8. Lemon juice - 1 tsp
  9. Onion,sliced - 2.5 cups(5 medium)
  10. Tomato,diced- 3/4 cup(1 large)
  11. Fennel powder - 1/2 tsp
  12. Yogurt - 2 tbsp
  13. Curry leaves - 2 sprigs
  14. Coriander leaves,chopped - 2 tbsp
  15. Mint leaves,chopped - 1 tbsp
  16. Salt- to taste
  17. Oil/ghee- as required
For Layering/garnishing:
  1. Onion,sliced- 1/2 cup( one medium)
  2. cashew nuts - 2 tbsp
  3. Raisins - 2 tbsp
  4. Ghee - as required
  5. Mint leaves,chopped - 1 tbsp
  6. Coriander leaves - 2 tbsp
  7. Garam masala- 1/8 tsp
  8. Ghee - 1 to 2 tsp
  9. Saffron (mixed with warm water )- 1 pinch(optional)
To Prepare Rice:
  • Wash the rice until water runs clear.Soak rice in plenty of water  for about 20 minutes.
  • Heat ghee in a pan.Add cinnamon,cloves cardamom and bay leaves.Saute until fragrant.
  • Add the drained rice and fry for about 2 to 3 minutes ,stirring continuously.
  • Pour the boiling hot water and add salt to taste.Cover and cook until it is 90 % done and water is completely absorbed.Fluff it up using a fork and keep aside until required. 
  • To Prepare Mutton Masala:

  • Combine together ginger,garlic and green chilies in a blender and grind to form a coarse paste.
  • In a bowl combine together 1 tsp of the prepared ginger,garlic and green chili paste,mutton ,1/2 tsp garam masala,1/4 tsp turmeric powder,1/2 tsp black pepper powder , lemon juice and salt to taste.Keep aside for about 20 minutes.
  • Heat oil in a pan and the onion and saute until it turns pale.Next add the remaining ginger,garlic and green chili paste.Saute until onion turns soft and golden brown.(Add 2 to 3 tbsp of water in between ,to avoid sticking/burning.)
  • Once onion turns golden brown ,add the cubed tomato and cook until it turns mushy.
  • Next add fennel powder,1/2 tsp garam masala,1/4 tsp turmeric powder and 1/2 tsp black pepper powder.Mix well until combined.Add the marinated mutton, yogurt and salt to taste, stir to combine.
  • Add curry leaves , cover and cook for about 40 to 50 minutes or until the mutton is tender.( Check in between and give it a stir to avoid burning.)
  • Finally add coriander and mint leaves.Mix well and switch off the stove.
  • For layering/garnishing:

  • Heat ghee in a pan and fry sliced onion,cashew nuts and raisins( for layering/garnishing) separately until it turns golden brown.Keep aside.
  • For layering ,take a heavy bottomed pan and add half of the prepared mutton masala.Add half of the rice over the masala.Sprinkle half of the fried onion,cashew nuts,raisins,coriander leaves,mint leaves  one pinch of garam masala and few drops of ghee.(Mix saffron with 1 tbsp warm water and drizzle on top if desired)
  • Add the remaining mutton masala followed by the remaining rice.
  • Sprinkle the remaining fried onion,cashew nuts,raisins,coriander leaves,mint leaves  one pinch of garam masala and few drops of ghee.(drizzle saffron water on top if desired)
  • Cover with a tight-fitting lid .Heat a heavy bottomed pan/tava and place the biriyani vessel on top.Reduce the flame to the lowest and cook for about 20 minutes.(Alternately you can bake the biriyani in a preheated oven @ 180 Deg C for  about 20 to 25 minutes.).Serve with raitha ,pickle and pappadom.
    • For best results use HOMEMADE GARAM MASALA
    • Adjust the number of green chilies  according to your taste.I used about 15 to 18 green chilies as it was the less spicy variety.If you are using the spicy variety use 7 to 10 or according to your taste.
    • Use Jeerakasala rice for best results.


    1. Great recipe and great pictures! Congratulations on your great work!
      Just out of curiosity, may I ask what camera and lens you use?

      Thank you!

      1. Thank you for your kind words...
        i use Nikon D3100 n nikkor 50 mm 1.8 lens.

    2. Can I replace mutton with chicken

    3. Can I replace mutton with chicken

      1. Hi Remya
        Yes you can use chicken instead of mutton ,but make sure you adjust the cooking time accordingly.
        Happy cooking

      2. I tried and it came out well.thanks

    4. I tried it and it was very tasty..thanks a lot

    5. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

    6. Hi, tried this recipe and it came out tasty and was loved by all

    7. taste gr8...good presentation with picturs

    8. Thank you so much for the recipe..i tried it and it came out very well..

      1. Hi feba,,thank you for the feedback.


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