Straight from the land of Nizams, Hyderabadi Mutton Biryani is a regal dish that does not need any special mention or patronage. Though many prefer eating it raita, salad; the original "zayka" of this mutton biryani lies in savouring every nibble of it as it is.
Wash the rice and soak in water for 40-45 minutes.
Heat water in a large pot.
Add potli masala, ghee, salt and shahi zeera in the pot and bring the water to a boil.
Drain the rice and add it in the boiling water.
Mix mutton with raw papaya paste, ginger paste, garlic paste, garam masala powder, red chilli powder, turmeric powder, salt, ghee, green chilli and lemon juice and marinate for 10-12 hours.
Add curd, mint, coriander and golden fried onion in the marinated mutton and mix well.
Transfer the mutton along with the marinade in a heavy bottom pan.
Once the rice gets 30% cooked, take out half of the rice and top it over the mutton.
Once the remaining rice is cooked to 70 %, take it out and top it over the 30% cooked rice.
Sprinkle 1/2 cup milk, saffron soaked in water, coriander, mint, golden brown onion and ghee on top.
Cover the pan tightly with a lid.
Place the pan on a very slow heat for 40-45 minutes.
Remove the lid and mix the biryani gently.
Use best quality rice to make biryani.
If making kacchi biryani, the mutton must be marinated before hand. Since we are not cooking it separately, marinating it beforehand will make it tender and easy to cook. raw papaya is a great tenderiser 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 ingredients 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 the biryani. 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 the biryani doesn't get burned from the bottom.
The traditional potli masala used to make biryani recipe has many unusual ingredients, but since it is not easy to source them, I have a mix which is easy to find the not compromise on taste. 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
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 biryani 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.