Straight from the land of Nizams, Mutton Biryani is a regal dish that does not need any special mention or patronage. This dish is made in two styles, one is Kacche Gosht Ki Biryani and the other is Pakke Gosht Ki Biryani.
I have covered both the styles in this post. Though many prefer eating it with raita, salad; the original “Zayka” of this dish lies in savouring every nibble as it is. Check out the recipe.
I have traveled to many places in India and mainly because I always have this urge to taste the authentic and traditional food of the region.
You can say I am lucky, that my family loves to explore the food as much as I do.
Last year, I got a chance to visit Hyderabad and it was very obvious that I would go explore the local food in the tiniest street of Hyderabad.
I still remember relishing on those yummy Kababs, Biryanis, and spicy Curries in the winter.
Enjoying spicy and hot food in chilly weather, the joy is different altogether!
As much as I was influenced by Lucknowi cuisine in one of my trips, I was stunned by the culinary options Hyderabad offers its populace and the tourists, of course.
The very air of this royal city is trenched with the legacy of Mughlai, Turkish, Arabic, Telugu, and Marathwada cuisines and you cannot shrug off the amalgamation of their culinary charisma that easily, can you?
During this trip, I tried everything from Badam Ka Hareera, Hyderabadi Mirchi Ka Salan, Hyderabadi Khatti Dal, Hyderabadi Bagara Baingan to Hyderabadi Sheer Khurma and my senses were flooded with euphoria.
All those dishes were made to the T and were nothing but scrumptious.
And then came the star of this trip, Hyderabadi Mutton Biryani.
Prepared with passion for the culinary legacy of the Nizams, this mutton rice recipe is made with the choicest basmati rice, fried onions, marinated mutton, and more.
Biryani in Hyderabad is made using two techniques. Both these variations are slightly different from each other but the end result in both is phenomenal.
So let’s check out how to make both the versions of Biryani and then prepare it for our next weekend dinner. What say?
About This Recipe
I get hungry with the mere name of ‘Biryani’ and my favourite one is this Hyderabadi Mutton Biryani.
Layers of a spicy mutton masala topped with whole spices flavoured rice, ghee, and lots of fried onions.
My mouth is literally watering thinking about it!
In Hyderabad, it is made in two ways – one is Kacche Gosht Ki Biryani where the Mutton is not cooked before layering with rice and the other one is Pakke Gosht Ki Biryani or Pakki Biryani where the mutton is cooked with spices and then layered with rice.
So, bookmark both the recipes and save this delicious recipe for a special lunch or dinner.
To make this dish, you will need some time on your hands and it needs a little effort too.
But the ingredients used to make the biryani are rather simple.
To cook the rice, you will need Rice, Whole Spices, Shahi Jeera, and Salt.
The whole spices are tied up in a potli or a Bouquet Garni and then boiled with rice, salt, ginger garlic paste, green chilli paste and shahi jeera so that the rice gets the subtle flavors from the potli and the whole spices do not overpower the taste of steamed rice.
I also add a few drops of Kewra Essence for a very traditional flavor.
For the mutton masala, you will need – mutton, raw papaya paste, ginger paste, garlic paste, garam masala powder, red chilli powder, turmeric powder, salt, vegetable oil, green chilli paste, lemon juice, curd, mint, coriander, and golden fried onion.
If you are making Pakke Mutton Ki Biryani, you can avoid adding the raw papaya paste.
Once the layers of the above two are done, it is topped with milk, saffron soaked in water, golden brown onion and ghee.
You can also add in some chopped mint leaves and coriander leaves and fried dry fruits.
Having loved eating Hyderabadi Mutton Biryani, I had to try it at home by slow cooking it to perfection.
Whenever you make it, you need to understand that it is different than making the usual cooked rice or Pulao.
Kacche Gosht Ki Biryani is made without cooking the meat prior to mixing it with rice.
The raw marinated mutton is layered along with cooked rice and is cooked on dum until the mutton gets cooked and fall of the bone along with the rice.
Think of any recipes of biryani and you would realize that it is made in stages such as cooking rice, marinating mutton (or any other main ingredient as per the variation), and then finally assembling the two in a heavy bottom pan.
Here is how I make Kacchi Hyderabadi Mutton Biryani
For the rice
- Long Grain Basmati Rice – 2 cups
- Potli Masala – 10 g
- Ghee – 1 tsp
- Shahi Zeera – 1 tsp
- Salt – 4 tsp
- Ginger Garlic Paste – 2 tsp
- Green Chilli Paste – 2 tsp
- Kewra Essence – 2-3 drops
For the Mutton
- Mutton – 750 g
- Raw papaya Paste – 2 tbsp
- Ginger paste – 2 tsp
- Garlic paste – 2 tsp
- Green chilli paste – 2 tsp
- Garam masala powder – 1/2 tsp
- Red Chilli powder – 2 tsp
- Turmeric powder – 1tsp
- Salt – 2 tsp
- Ghee – 2 tbsp
- Lemon juice – 2 tbsp
- Curd – 200 g
- Mint – 2 tbsp ( Chopped )
- Coriander – 2 tbsp ( Chopped )
- Golden fried onion – 1/4 cup
For Assembling the biryani
- Milk – 1/2 cup
- Saffron – a good pinch ( Soaked in 2 tbsp water )
- Golden brown onion – 1/2 cup
- Ghee – 2 tbsp
- Wash the rice and soak in water for 40-45 minutes.
- Tie whole spices in a cloth piece to make a potli.
- Mix mutton with raw papaya paste, ginger paste, garlic paste, garam masala powder, red chilli powder, turmeric powder, salt, vegetable oil, green chilli paste and lemon juice and marinate for 8-10 hours.
- Add curd, mint, coriander and golden fried onion in the marinated mutton and mix well.
- Heat water in a large pot. Add potli masala, salt, ginger garlic paste, green chilli paste, kewra essence and shahi zeera in the pot and bring the water to a boil.
- Drain the rice and add it in the boiling water.
- Transfer the mutton along with the marinade in a heavy bottom pan.
- Once the rice gets 80% cooked, drain it and top it over the mutton.
- Sprinkle 1/2 cup milk, saffron soaked in water, golden brown onion and ghee on top. I also like to sprinkle chopped coriander and mint sometimes.
- Cover the pan tightly with a lid. Place the pan on a very slow heat for 50-55 minutes. Remove the lid and mix the biryani gently. Serve hot.
To make Pakki Mutton Biryani, the marinated mutton is cooked in pressure cooker with spices until it is tender.
This cooked mutton is then layered with rice.
We don’t use raw papaya in this recipe as the mutton doesn’t need a tenderizer.
Check out the recipe card below to see my recipe.
How to make Potli Masala?
The traditional Potli Masala recipe has many unusual ingredients, but since it is not easy to source them, I have a mix that is easy to find and you don’t have to compromise on taste too.
To make Potli Masala, tie 2 g green cardamom, 2 g cloves, 2 g bay leaves, 2 g cinnamon and 2 g star anise in a small cloth piece and add in the pan while cooking the rice.
Pro Tips by Neha
Use the best quality rice to make biryani.
If making Kacchi Biryani, the mutton must be marinated beforehand.
Since we are not cooking it separately, marinating it beforehand will make it tender and easy to cook.
Raw papaya is a great tenderizer and in this recipe, it is a must. Do not skip using it.
Traditionally, the mutton was massaged well after adding each marinating ingredient.
One ingredient was added and it was mixed well with the mutton before adding the next one.
This process makes mutton very tender and many people still follow this method.
Use a heavy bottom pan to assemble it.
The biryani needs to be cooked for 40-45 minutes on low heat and if the pan is not heavy, it might burn.
Keeping a heavy tawa below the pan helps to cook the biryani on very low heat and it also makes sure it doesn’t get burned from the bottom.
Birista or Golden Fried Onions are a must to make a good biryani.
Making perfect birista is an art and takes a lot of patience and skills.
I have a detailed recipe to make perfect birista at home.
You can check the recipe to make golden fried onion here.
Be very attentive while cooking the rice. Do not stir the rice much while cooking otherwise it will break the grains.
Choose a pan with a tight-fitting lid. This dish cooks on dum or steam and we want to retain as much steam that is formed inside.
Traditionally, a sealing of dough used to be put around the pan and the lid but I don’t think that it is required if the lid fits tightly.
How to choose Biryani Rice?
Both the taste and visual appeal of Biryani should stand out in its preparation.
Now while this recipe takes care of the taste, the visual appeal comes only through rice grains.
Longer the grain better would be the biryani. I always choose the rice which is extra-long and stands out as individual grains.
Some people also use Sela rice.
It is a variation of Basmati Rice which has a long grain and becomes fluffy when cooked and thus tastes great in this biryani.
In the market, you now even get specially selected long grain Basmati Rice, which is perfect for this Biryani.
I have used Fortune Biryani Special Rice to make this one.
The age of rice is also very crucial. Choose the rice grain which is at least 1 year old.
The older the rice, the better it is.
How to make it in Rice Cooker?
To make Biryani in a rice cooker, treat it exactly similar to the pan, and follow the same steps.
Cook the rice separately and layer it in the rice cooker for dum cooking.
Rice cooker traps a lot of steam and that will help to cook the mutton through.
How to make it in Instant Pot?
When rice is cooked with spices and water together, everything mixes with each other and it is no more a biryani.
Biryani has to be layered, with each layer having its own importance.
So if you see posts on how to make biryani in an Instant Pot, that’s the wrong method to make it.
Call it a pulao, a delicious one, but for heaven’s sake, it’s not biryani.
It can be served with curd/yogurt or any raita of your choice.
In Hyderabad, it is served with Mirchi Ka Salan.
You can also serve it with any other Vegetable Salan of your choice or it even tastes great with Egg Salan.
Make any spicy thin curry to go with biryani.
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How to make it Step by Step
For the Mutton:
Wash the mutton and mix it well with curd, green chilli paste, ginger garlic paste, golden fried onion, coriander powder, turmeric powder, red chilli powder, garam masala powder, cumin powder, salt and lemon juice.
Marinate the mutton for at least 2 hours or overnight.
Heat oil in a pressure cooker. Add onion and fry until onion turns golden brown.
Add the marinated mutton and fry on high heat for 4-5 minutes.
Now add 1 cup of water and pressure cook until mutton is tender.
Remove the lid of the cooker and cook the mutton until most of the water is evaporated.
Add coriander and mint and mix well.
Keep the mutton aside.
For the rice:
To make potli masala, tie green cardamom, cloves, bay leaves, cinnamon and star anise in a small cloth piece.
Wash the rice and soak in water for 40-45 minutes.
Heat water in a large pot. Add potli masala, ghee, salt, shahi zeera, ginger garlic paste, green chilli paste and kewra essence in the pot and bring the water to a boil.
Add rice and mix.
Cook until it is 90% cooked. Drain the rice and keep aside.
Assembling the Biryani:
Transfer the cooked mutton in a heavy bottom pan.
Top with drained rice and spread evenly.
Sprinkle 1/4 cup milk, saffron soaked in water, golden brown onion and ghee on top.
Cover the pan tightly with a lid. Place the pan on a very slow heat for 20-25 minutes.
Remove the lid and mix the biryani gently. Serve hot.
Pakki Mutton Biryani
For the Mutton
- 1 kg Goat Mutton
- 1 cup Thick Curd
- 4 tsp Green Chilli Paste
- 2 tsp Ginger Garlic Paste
- 1/4 cup Golden Fried Onion
- 2 tsp Coriander Powder
- 1 tsp Turmeric Powder
- 4 tsp Kashmiri Red Chilli Powder
- 1 tsp Garam Masala Powder
- 1 tsp Roasted Cumin Powder
- 2 tsp Salt
- 2 tbsp Lemon Juice
- 1 cup Onion (Thinly Sliced)
- 1/4 cup Vegetable Oil
- 2 tbsp Fresh Coriander (Chopped)
- 2 tbsp Fresh Mint (Chopped)
For the Rice
- 2 cups Long Grain Basmati Rice
- 10 g Potli Masala
- 1 tbsp Ghee
- 1 tsp Shahi Jeera
- 4 tsp Salt
- 2 tsp Ginger Garlic Paste
- 2 tsp Green Chilli Paste
- 2-3 drops Kewra Essence
For assembling the biryani
- 1/4 cup Milk
- 1 pinch Saffron (Soaked in 1 tbsp water.)
- 1/2 cup Golden Fried Onion
- 1 tbsp Mint (Chopped)
For the Mutton
- Wash the mutton and mix it well with curd, green chilli paste, ginger garlic paste, golden fried onion, coriander powder, turmeric powder, red chilli powder, garam masala powder, cumin powder, salt and lemon juice.
- Marinate the mutton for at least 2 hours or overnight.
- Heat oil in a pressure cooker.
- Add onion and fry until onion turns golden brown.
- Add the marinated mutton and fry on high heat for 4-5 minutes.
- Now add 1 cup of water and pressure cook until mutton is tender.
- Remove the lid of the cooker and cook the mutton until most of the water is evaporated.
- Add coriander and mint and mix well. Keep the mutton aside.
For the rice
- Wash the rice and soak in water for 40-45 minutes.
- Heat water in a large pot.
- Add potli masala, ghee, salt, ginger garlic paste, green chilli paste, kewra essence and shahi zeera in the pot and bring the water to a boil.
- Cook the rice until it is 90% cooked.
- Drain the rice and keep aside.
Assembling the biryani
- Transfer the cooked mutton in a heavy bottom pan.
- Drain the rice and layer it over the mutton evenly.
- Sprinkle 1/4 cup milk, saffron soaked in water, golden brown onion and ghee on top.
- Cover the pan tightly with a lid.
- Place the pan on a very slow heat for 20-25 minutes.
- Remove the lid and mix the biryani gently.
- Serve hot.