Mutton Biryani is one to the signature dishes from Hyderabad’s royal kitchens. Cooks and chefs of royal nawab era created cooking techniques which are still practiced and appreciated by foodies around the world. Nawab’s used to eat food that was cooked through conventional and traditional techniques. If you are from the culinary profession, you would know that making an authentic kachche ghost ke biryani is an ultimate challenge. It is a testimonial to the expertise of the chef.

Cooking on dam is a slow cooking technique used to prepare biryani in which steam is produced inside the pot that helps cook the raw meat and half-cooked rice. The blend of aromatic spices, raw meat and par boiled rice cooked under steam inside a pot gives this biryani a unique taste.

I feel that, with time, people are losing the passion for classic slow cooked food. With our fast-moving life style, we are inclined towards ready-to-go cooked meals that require minimum effort and hardly any technique. Yet, for those of you, who crave for authenticity in what they cook, I have tried to explore many recipes and found this version worth trying.

My biggest fear before trying out kachay gosht ke biryani was that, if the meat remains uncooked all my effort and ingredients will be wasted. But there is always a first time and you get immense joy when you get perfect result. The trick is in how you handle meat. Since meat needs more time to cook, it is marinated for a longer period before cooking. Lemon juice, raw papaya paste and yogurt are natural meat tenderizers and help as well. I marinated the meat overnight and did not use papaya paste. Despite this, I ended up with a perfectly cooked biryani. I used fresh whole spices which play a vital role making the biryani more aromatic. Well, just to summarize from selection of spices to marinating mutton and frying onions, par boiling rice to layering and cooking it on dam every step has its technical details which result in making of this classic dish. You will love it!

 

Ingredients:

For the Mutton:

  • Mutton – 500 gm
  • Fried brown Onion – 3, thinly sliced and fried
  • Ginger garlic paste – 2 tablespoons
  • Salt – 1 tablespoon
  • Red chili powder – 2 tablespoons
  • Turmeric powder – 1 teaspoon
  • Black pepper powder – 1 teaspoon
  • Chat masala – 1 teaspoon
  • Garam masala powder – 1 teaspoon
  • Sabat garam masala – (cinnamon sticks 3- 4, cumin seeds 1 teaspoon, cloves 3- 4, cardamom 4- 6, kabab cheeni 8 – 10 corns)
  • Green chilies – 8 – 10, roughly sliced
  • Yogurt – 2 cups
  • Lemon juice – 1 tablespoon
  • Oil – 3 tablespoons

For the Rice:

  • Rice – 3 cups
  • Salt – 1 tablespoon
  • Lemon juice – 1 tablespoon
  • Oil – 1 tablespoon
  • Sabat garam masala – 2 tablespoons (darchini, zeera, sabat kali mirch, tez patta, alachie, black bari alachie, loung)

For the Dum:

  • Oil – 2 tablespoons
  • Yellow color – ¼ teaspoon dissolved in ¼ cup of milk
  • Fresh coriander leaves – ½ bunch finely chopped
  • Fried onions – 2 thinly sliced and fried
  • Lemon wedges – 1 lemon, thinly sliced
  • Ghee – 1 tablespoon
  • Lemon Juice – 1 tablespoon
  • Preparation time : 1 Hour
  • Cooking time : 2 Hours
  • Number of servings (yield) : 6 – 7 Individuls

Instructions:

Mutton:

  • In a large bowl, add the mutton pieces and then add all the mentioned spices into the bowl and mix it well.
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  • Let this marinade rest in the fridge for at least 5 – 6 hours. For best results leave it overnight.

Rice:

  • Soak the rice 40 minutes before you want to cook the biryani.
  • In a large pot, add the generous amount of water.
  • Add salt and sabat garam masala into the water.
  • Bring the water to a boil.
  • Add rice, also add oil and lemon juice in it.
  • Cook the rice until par boil or till ek kani is left.
  • Strain the rice completely.

Assembly of Biryani on Dam:

  • Preheat the oven at 180 c.
  • In a large cooking pot, spread oil on the base. Add mutton marinade at the bottom.
  • Next, add all the par boiled rice on top of mutton. Over the top of rice, add some ½ cup of milk or water. Then spread the yellow color dissolved in milk over the rice.
  • Garnish fried onions, chopped coriander leaves, lemon wedges on top.
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  • On the top add the lemon juice, ghee and oil again to prevent the rice from getting dry.
  • Now seal the edges of the pot tightly with kneaded atta dough.
  • Place the pot in the oven at 180 C with both top and lower grill on for 20 minutes. Then reduce the heat to 150 C for 40 – 60 minutes or until steam starts coming out from the sides of the pot.
  • Serve the biryani with yogurt cucumber raita and fresh salad.
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Or

  • Cook the biryani on stove by placing a tawa under the pot. First cook it for 15 – 20 minutes on high flame and then reduce the flame and let it cook on dam for 40 – 60 minutes until steam comes out from the sides of the pot.

Fatima Ali

I am trained to be an IT professional. I served National University of Sciences and Technology (NUST) for six years after graduating from the same university. As long as I can remember, cooking good food has been my passion and it makes me happy. My cooking lessons were a bit unusual though. Back in the day when digital did not mean much, my father would record cooking shows (knorr ka kitchen, kaukab khuwaja and Zee Khana Khazana – Chef Sanjeev Kapoor) for me to watch endless times later on, before trying the recipes out. I would make brownies and cold cake almost every day while my mother was asleep. This was my way of surprising her every evening. My mother cooks amazing food too and I have tried many of the recipes written in her recipe book. I draw inspiration from a number of chefs from televised cooking shows such as Late Chef Farah, Chef Rahat, Chef Mehboob, BBC Food, Masala TV, Chef Shai, Chef Sharmeen, Master Chef Australia and my ultimate favorite Chef Shireen Anwer. I would not be as good a cook I am now without passive guidance from each one of these.