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Mutton Biryani (South Indian style)

October 16, 2011

 Ingredients and Method:

500 gms of mutton, 200 gms potato, 2 and 1/4 cup Biryani/Basmati rice – serves 2 comfortably.

Time taken for cooking: over 4 hours if you include, the time taken to shred the pudina, marinating time of 2 hrs, cooking time of mutton and then the final cooking time of biryani and then the standing time we give for the biryani.

This is a very time consuming & sheer hard-work recipe – but is very satisfying when we see the ultimate happiness in our son’s/husband’s face. (my poor H is missing all this!)

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I AM SO, SO, SO VERY HAPPY TODAY; FIRST TIME TRIED MY HAND AT MUTTON BIRYANI AND MY SON IS FEASTING ON IT RIGHT NOW! HE IS VERY CONTENDED AT THE OUTCOME, VERY SATISFIED… SEEMS TO LOVE IT VERY MUCH! QUITE AN EFFORT I PUT IN TODAY – SO GLAD, HE IS EATING IT HEARTILY!

Debut venture. Otherwise i am good at making Chicken biryani (supposedly) – but first ever Mutton biryani for me.

Posting the recipe right here:

Ingredients:

For sauteing: 1 bay leaf, 2 cardamoms, 1 cinnamon stick, 2 cloves, 1 tsp saunf.

Heart friendly oil: 1 tbsp – i am using Sundrop Heart (corn & kardi blend)

STRICTLY NO GHEE

Half or quarter of a coconut – grind it to paste to get 1/4 cup of thick coconut milk (first extract)

Pudina – a bunch (i have added a bit of coriander as well. it is my personal improvement) – thoroughly washed. measures to a cup.

ginger-garlic-green chilli – i have used 4-5 flakes of garlic, a slice of ginger and 3 green chilli

Cashew nut : 6-8 whole ones.

Garam masala powder – 1 tsp (optional) (readymade – i have used today with rice)

Red chili powder 1 tsp, dhania powder – 1 tsp (optional) (not used to day) (if you have ot use red chili powder, reduce the green chilli usage please)

Thick fresh curds- 2 tsp (for marinating mutton)

Mutton – 500 gms (my bhai supplied real great mutton today with 2 good bone pieces. showed it to my son who approved) (today’s mutton price: 190 bucks for 500 gms – he said there is a extra piece)

Boiled eggs, optional (only for serving)

Potato – i have used 200 gms of cubed potatoes (raw cubed potatoes will cook well with rice)

Onion – 1 sliced

Tomato – 1 small sized, sliced small

Turmeric powder – a pinch

Salt to taste

Water

BASMATI RICE – I HAVE USED 2 AND 1/4 CUPS TODAY FOR 500 GMS OF MUTTON. THIS SERVES 2 PEOPLE COMFORTABLY. MY SON IS HAVING HIS LUNCH. HE CAN HAVE MUTTON BIRYANI FOR DINNER TODAY AS WELL AND AGAIN FOR TOMORROW’S LUNCH.

For grown-ups, this will serve easily 2 healthy male adults.

I think, between my son and my husband, this biryani will get over evenly in one meal – lunch or dinner.

METHOD:

First of all, i have to stress the importance of pressure pan here. I just cannot live without my pressure pan. I have perfected chicken biryani, and now mutton biryani, chicken gravy, mutton gravy and such heavy non-veg recipes using my pressure pan. Its holding capacity is 5 litres. (TTK-Prestige brand – Desi – best in the whole world, believe me!) Has a huge depth – almost like a big pressure cooker. It can be used as a frying pan as well. I will be lost anyday without my pressure pan. I got one from Chennai to Doha as well.

In my pressure pan: can easily cook 3 cups of biryani (about half a kg or basmati rice) QUITE COMFORTABLY. Comes out very well. (my pressure pan can comfortably cook 2 kg of chicken gravy at one go as well!)

METHOD:

Wash and soak 2 and 1/4 cups of Basmati rice in standing water atleast for 1.30 hrs. The longer the better.

Take green chilli-ginger-garlic-pudina and cashew nuts and grind to a smooth paste adding water in blender. No need to stir fry these before grinding. Keep aside the paste.

In the same blender, grind coconut to paste with water – extract 1/4 cup thick coconut milk and keep aside (refrigerate until use as coconut milk sours very fast).

Take 1/4th of the ground g-g-g-pudina-cashew paste, add 2 tsp of curd and salt to it. Wash 500 gm of mutton in running water and add the ground paste to the mutton and mix well for marination. Salt it evenly and shake once more thorougly. Refrigerate the marinated mutton pieces for 1.30 hrs atleast. The longer, the better. ideal is 3 hrs if you cook in larger quantities.

Add 1 tb sp oil in a thick bottomed pan (karai) and heat it. Time to saute the spices – saunf, cloves, cardamom, bay leaf and cinnamon stick. When the saunf crackles, add sliced onion and stir fry. Add sliced tomato after a minute. Stirring continuously, add the rest 3/4th of the g-g-g-pudina-cashew paste to the same. Add cubed potatoes (optional) plus any other vegetable you want at this stage. Some do add beaten/scrambled eggs but i don’t. Add the washed basmati rice to the paste and keep turning in the karai. Add turmeric powder, garam masala powder and salt. After a minute, switch off the gas and let the fried basmati rice stand in the heated pan. Close with a lid.

After some 1.30-2 hrs, take out the marinated mutton from the fridge. Add a little water if necessary and pressure cook in the pressure pan CAPPED WITH WEIGHT upto 1 whistle. Or can remove even earlier if the mutton seems tender. This is to ensure that the mutton is not overcooked. Pressure cooking also ensures that the mutton is cooked well in the biryani. We don’t cook it with rice straight away as rice cooks very fast whereas mutton takes time. If you cook it at one go, chances are more likely, the biryani will be done but not the mutton. Hence the necessity to half-cook mutton prior to making biryani always. Use pressure pan thus first to cook the marinate mutton.

Take out the cooked mutton from the pressure pan. Do not throw the standing cooked water in the pan when the marinated mutton is ready. Measure up this water in a cup and keep aside. Add the semi or almost cooked mutton pieces to the karai which contains the biryani rice and turn well, mixing well. Add more salt at this stage if necessary.

Now pour the entire content into the pressure pan once again for final biryani cooking. Remember, the mutton pieces are almost cooked now. With rice, they will be cooked fine finally and biryani will be good to eat.

For water: for 2 and 1/4 cups of basmati rice, i have added totally 4 cups of water for cooking finally which included: 1/4 cup of thick coconut milk. also i did not throw away the water that was remaining with the pressure pan on cooking marinated mutton. I had measured it out separately in a cup – it came to a full cup.

So 1 cup of mutton-cooked water plus 1/4 cup of coconut milk is already accounted for. That is, 1 and 1/4 cups of cooking water is added straight away this way. The remaining 2 and 3/4 is fresh water that i added.

All this has to be poured completely in the pressure pan. Shake the pan well mixing well. Light the stove on high flame first without capping it with weight. When the steam comes out, reduce the flame and let the biryani simmer on low flame for about 15 min on steady steam. After 15 min, switch off the flame completely but cap the pressure pan lid with the weight.

ALWAYS REMEMBER, DO NOT COOK BIRYANI WITH THE PRESSURE PAN WEIGHT ON. COOK BASMATI OR BIRYANI RICE ON LOW FLAME WITH STEADY STEAM FOR ABOUT 15 MIN, TURN OFF THE GAS, AND THEN REPLACE THE WEIGHT ON THE LID.

The remaining steam is thus arrested within the pressure pan. This hot steam is enough and at right level to cook the biryani. (this procedure is what is repeated in big karais while making ‘dum biryani’ – my method is easier to handle for us housewives at home without much hassles).

Let the weight/steam stand this way for atleast 30 min.

By this time, mutton biryani is done completely.

After 30 min, remove the weight on the pressure pan carefully. You can find that the steam is off finally and you can open the pan lid easily this way.

MUTTON BIRYANI IS READY TO SERVE. MIX WELL BEFORE SERVING HOT WITH ONION RAITHA, MUTTON KORMA & BOILED EGGS.

The waiting time can be used to make onion raitha and to boil eggs. Can also use this time to make mutton korma.

I avoided korma, the usual side-=dish for biryani today, as i have been doing it for a while now. Made very little onion raitha this morning as my son is running severe cold.

I hope everyone knows Onion Raitha recipe:

Shred onion to very little pieces. Add scraped coconut 1 tsp. Add salt and beaten curd to this. Onion raitha is ready to serve.

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So for lunch & dinner today, my son is having Mutton Biryani, Onion Raitha and Eggs.

Believe me or not – NO ONE TAUGHT ME HOW TO MAKE BIRYANI. TOTALLY SELF-TAUGHT AFTER LISTENING TO SOME CHRISTIAN FRIENDS DISCUSS IT.

My son is loving my mutton biryani and says its much, much better than the restaurant biryani – better than even the Buhari (islamic/iranian kind. = Burahis are popular islamic/irani chain of restaurants in Chennai for over a century)).

That is home food, i tell him. Restaurant stuff has a commercial taste. Why wouldn’t the Buharis add colours or taste enhancers to their biryani?

I mean, their way of preparation also is different i know. They do the ‘dum biryani’ in a mass scale.

At best, i can describe my Mutton Biryani is HOMELY which the Buharis cannot ever hope to achieve, NATURALLY. So cannot compare our food with restaurant food.

I am not exaggerating – i can’t review my own recipes, but i value my son’s opinion because he is already quite a connoisseur at a mere 17 years, just like his dad, who has tasted a plethora of international cuisine.

So if Shriraam says its good, it must be good really.

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From → Non-vegetarian

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