Mutton Biryani-Foolproof for Beginners

Mutton Biryani is already up on Kitchen Rings. Then “Why another South Indian version?” you may very well wonder.

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Well, the story is that I spent a couple of days with a very talented young cousin, who confidently made this Biryani. And I fell in love with the aroma and the method.

It is also simple, and the best part is, the onions, tomatoes and coriander can be chopped very roughly indeed! At the end of the day, you cannot see them, so this is quite ideal for the busy person who cannot be bothered with perfect dices or slices!

It is relatively fool-proof and beginners are going to love it for it’s simplicity. But it’s been 26 odd years in the kitchen, and I love this recipe too!

And it’s good to have choice, right? So take your pick! Try one each weekend! Make your own tweaks! And when you do, do tag me on Instagram @kitchen.rings or in the comments at the end of the post.

So here goes, another version of the Mutton Biryani, made in the South Indian Style!

Check the video for an insight into the recipe.

Step 1 Marination of the Mutton for the Mutton Biryani

For every kilogram of rice, the experienced cooks add a kilo and a quarter of mutton. You can reduce the mutton to a kilo for a kilo. But any lesser than that will have you searching for the pieces and wondering where it all went!

Choose an extremely good cut of meat for your Biryani. Do read more about this in my earlier post on Biryani. This is crucial and critical to the ultimate Mutton Biryani that people will talk about for ages to come!

Now that you have a good cut and medium sized pieces of mutton, you have to marinate it. Use a mixture of curd, ginger-garlic, chilli powder, cinnamon powder and turmeric powder.

Leave this, covered, overnight in the fridge or for an hour on the kitchen counter.

Step 2 Preparing the Rice

When you are ready to cook the Biryani, prepare the rice. Use long-grained Basmati rice if you do not have access to the shorter, fragrant seeraga samba variety.

First measure the volume of the rice in a cup or a bowl. Note it down.

Now wash the rice till the water runs clear. Soak it in clean water for up to an hour.

Step 3 Preparing the Masala for the Mutton Biryani

Indian cooking is fond of numerous kinds of masala. There are the wet and the dry kinds, and it is an art to find the right combination to build up a fine aroma that is not overpowering.

For this mutton biryani preparation, it starts with a couple of whole spices in oil and ghee. Plenty of onions, tomatoes, ginger-garlic paste and coriander and mint leaves are added next. Saute this mixture, stirring occasionally, on low heat. It will take approximately 10 minutes.

Once you see the onions have become translucent and the tomatoes are all mushy, add the dry masala powders. Chilli, turmeric, coriander and garam masala go in next. You can reduce the amount of these or even avoid the garam masala if you wish.

Step 4 Cooking the Mutton

Time to add water to the mushy, fragrant masala. Remember the volume of rice you had noted down? Double it and exactly that volume of water. So if you had one cup of rice, you will add 2 cups of water…and so on.

Just note that you are free to adjust the water to suit the desired softness of the rice. In case you like the rice grains to be slightly hard and totally separate, add less than double the water. If you want the rice to be mushy, add more than double the water.

Once the water is boiling, add the marinated mutton.

Pressure cook it for 7 minutes on low heat after the cooker is at full pressure. Let the pressure subside on its own.

Alternatively, if you do not have a pressure cooker, all you need to do is to let the meat cook for around 35 minutes.

Check if they are done by adding one of the pieces in a small bowl of water. It is cooked if it is soft and breaks apart easily.

Step 5 Adding the Rice

Once the pressure has died down, open the cooker carefully, holding the lid as a shield against the steam.

Check the mutton. Is it cooked and soft? If it isn’t, change your meat shop (!) and for now, you need to cook it again, till it is tender.

Now taste the liquid. Ensure it is salty. Add just half a teaspoon of sugar. Trust me! Bring it to boil.

Drain the rice and add it to the boiling liquid. Cover with a lid. In 5 minutes, squeeze a lime and add the juice to it.

Replace the lid and cook till done.

Remember to add all the accompanying sides like boiled eggs, onion in curd raita and some sweet-sour chutney. Dessert that is popular after mutton biryani is the humble but tasty semia payasam.


Hot Biryani!

Serve hot, accompanied by payasam, onion pachadi and a boiled egg.


Mutton Biryani-Foolproof for Beginners

Recipe by Sheetal RabindranCourse: MainCuisine: IndianDifficulty: Easy


Prep time


Cooking time



This mutton biryani can be made by beginners also. It is a no-fail, easy recipe. Enjoy!


  • 1.25 kg Mutton

  • 1 kg rice, measured, washed and soaked in clean water

  • 2 cups coriander leaves, cleaned and chopped

  • 1 cup mint leaves, cleaned and chopped

  • 2 green chillies, chopped (optional)

  • 1/4 cup curd

  • 1 tsp + 1 tbsp ginger garlic paste

  • 1 tsp + 1 tbsp salt

  • 1 tsp + 1/4 tsp turneric powder

  • 2 tsp + 2 tsp chilli powder

  • 1 tsp coriander powder

  • 1 tsp cumin powder

  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon powder

  • 4 large onions, chopped

  • 4 large tomatoes, chopped

  • 3 tsp oil

  • 3 small sticks of cinnamon

  • 1 tsp sugar

  • 2 tsp ghee

  • 1/2 tsp cardamom powder

  • 1/4 tsp garam masala powder

  • 1 lime


  • Measure rice. Wash and soak it in enough water.
  • Marinade the mutton pieces in a mixture of curd, 1 tsp ginger garlic, 1 tsp salt, 1/2 tsp cinnamon, 1 tsp cumin powder, 2 tsp chilli powder and 1 tsp turmeric powders. Keep it overnight in the fridge or at least for an hour.
  • In hot oil, drop in the cinnamon pieces. Add the chopped onions, 1 tbsp ginger garlic paste, tomatoes, coriander and mint leaves. All can be roughly chopped.
  • After 5 minutes, add the cardamom powder and 1 tbsp salt. Add 2 green chillies.
  • Add 2 tsp chilli powder, 1 tsp coriander powder, 1/4 tsp turmeric powder, 1/4 tsp garam masala powder.
  • Fry for a minute and add the water. Remember to add double the measured volume of rice.
  • Add the mutton. Pressure cook for 7 minutes on full pressure, on low heat.
  • After the pressure subsides, open the cooker and add the lime juice. Check salt. Add the teaspoon of sugar.
  • Now drain the water from the rice and add the soaked rice carefully to the mutton mixture.
  • Cook covered till done…around 5 minutes.
  • Add a bit of ghee before serving hot!


  • Biryani always tastes even better on the next day, save some!
  • If you want to make this for a party, make ahead till step 8. It will take only a few minutes to complete the dish on time!

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