When the kitchen is filled with the aroma of flavor-some, exotic and scrumptious meals, you know it is a festive occasion at home and what better time to celebrate festivity than Eid. Eid ul Adha or Bari Eid is just around the corner. It is a special Islamic festival that Muslims celebrate all around the world. Eid represents happiness and family reunions. Every Muslim who sacrifices (an animal) in the name of Allah, shares one portion of meat with the poor and needy people, thus on the eve of festivity by Allah  commands that the most deserving are cared for in the best possible way. The true essence of Eid is in fact to make others and the less fortunate, happy.

Eid is also a time to celebrate and eat delicious meals and sweets. Since Eid ul Adha  is all about animal sacrifice, we see a lot of meaty dishes around.

For me, Eid is not complete without the rich and flavorful Mutton Biryani . “Jo maza biryani ka eid walay din khanay ka hai who sara saal nai ata” – “ Mutton Biryani does not taste as good the whole year, as it does on the Eid day
The flavors of the tender and moist mutton marinated in yogurt and a home mix of aromatic spices cooked with rice to heavenly perfection just adds to the festivity of Bari Eid! 

Ingredients:

Mutton Preparation

Step 1:

  • Mutton -1 kilogram
  • Ginger -1 inch whole, peeled
  • Garlic – 10 cloves, peeled
  • I medium size onion
  • Salt – 1 teaspoon
  • Fennel seeds – 2 teaspoon heaped
  • Coriander seeds – 2 teaspoon heaped
  • Cumin seeds – 2 teaspoon heaped
  • Spice bag: black pepper (8) cloves (4), green cardamom (3), cinnamon (1) and bay leaf(1)
  • Water – 4 cups

Step 2:

  • Oil – ½ cup
  • Yogurt – ¾ cup
  • Brown onion – 3 medium fried
  • Tomatoes – 2 larger finely chopped
  • Potatoes – 2 cubed (optional, I like them in my biryani)
  • Chili powder – 1 ½ teaspoon heaped
  • Turmeric powder – ½ teaspoon
  • Coriander and cumin powder – 1 teaspoon heaped (roasted and grinded)
  • Salt – ¾ teaspoon
  • Sabat Garam masla – { star anise, cinnamon, whole cloves, cardamom, black peppercorn, caraway and poppy seeds (khus khus )} – 1 teaspoon
  • Nutmeg – ¼ teaspoon grinded
  • and Mace powder – ¼ teaspoon grinded
  • Green chilies – 3 chopped
  • Green coriander leaves – ½ bunch

 Rice Preparation:

  • Rice – 1 kilogram – Basmati rice soaked for 30 minutes
  • Bay leaf -1
  • Cinnamon stick – 1
  • Cloves – 4
  • Green cardamom – 6
  • Caraway seeds (black zeera) – 1 teaspoon
  • Salt – 2 teaspoon
  • Oil – 2 tablespoon
  • Water – 6 cups

Garnish

  • Saffron thread – a pinch dissolved in warm milk or Yellow food color – ¼ teaspoon dissolved in milk
  • Kewra water – 1 teaspoon
  • Fried Onions – deep fry the onions over medium high heat to get crispy onions. Remove them from oil and keep them on kitchen towel.

Raita

  • Cucumber – 1 shredded or chopped
  • Plain yogurt – ½ cup
  • Coriander – ¼ teaspoon ground
  • Cumin – ¼ teaspoon ground
  • Spring onion – 2 chopped
  • Fresh green coriander & Mint Leaves
  • Salt and black pepper to taste
  • Pinch of sugar
  • Preparation time : 30 minutes
  • Cooking time : 1 hour 30 minutes
  • Number of servings (yield) : 6

Instructions:

  1. Mutton Preparation

Step 1:

  • In a pan, add mutton with a prepared spice bag along with salt, onion, ginger, garlic, fennel seeds, cumin seeds, coriander seeds and 4 cups of water. Let it cook for 40 – 45 minutes or until mutton is tender.  Strain mutton and keep the stock for later use.

Step 2:

  •  In a deep pan heat the oil, sauté ginger garlic paste till the raw smells goes away. Add the cooked mutton pieces and potatoes. Slight fry them to give a beautiful golden brown color, this will add more flavor to the meat.
  • Add brown onions, tomatoes and yogurt along with salt, red chili powder, coriander & cumin powder, turmeric powder and sabat garam masala.
  • On medium heat, let it cook for 15 – 20 minutes until the water dries and gravy is cooked completely (masala bhonn jaye).
  • In the end, add nutmeg and mace powder, along with green chilies and coriander and let the mutton gravy simmer on slow heat till oil comes on top.

2. Rice Preparation:

  • While the meat is cooking, in a pan, slightly toast the whole spices (cloves, black pepper, cinnamon sticks, cardamom & caraway).  Place the toasted spices in a spice bag (omit this step this you don’t mind your spices mixed in the rice).
  • On medium high heat bring the water to boil along with the toasted spices, bay leaves, oil and salt. Once the water is boiled, taste the water (it should be slightly salty). Add more salt if necessary.
  • Add the rice in and let simmer uncovered for 5 minutes and parboil them till ek kani is left. Strain and set aside.

3. Assembling Biryani

  • In a large pan, stick a spoon full of rice on the bottom and add half the mutton gravy, top it a layer of parboiled rice, a tablespoon of ghee and fried onions. Repeat the layers and add remaining mutton gravy, fried onions and top with rice.  Drizzle the remaining ghee, saffron milk mixture, and kewra water.
  • Tightly cover the lid wrapped with a muslin cloth for dam.  Initially, for 3 minutes on medium high flame and then on medium low heat for 15 minutes. You will know when it’s ready, your whole kitchen will be filled with divine aromatic smell of biryani.
  • Let the biryani rest for 10 minutes, before uncovering the dam  Slightly mix the rice and meat and garnish with coriander leaves.  Serve immediately with raita, chutney.

 

4. Raita

  • Mix all the ingredients in yogurt and yummy healthy raita is ready to be served with biryani.

5. Useful Tips in Preparations of Mutton

  • On eve of Eid, the most challenging part is the smell of meat. After the sacrifice of the animal, due resting time is not given to the meat which is the major reason that the blood is not drained from the meat, hence resulting in bad odor. Following these simple guide lines and you can enjoy the mutton to its full.
  • Let the meat rest for good time before use.
  • Apply wheat bran on the meat before making pieces and let it rest for minimum 2 hours. Wash the meat thoroughly with warm water. After this process cut the meat into small sizes and use in cooking or storing in freezer.
  • Applying lemon, vinegar, soya sauce, papaya paste will also help in tendering the meat and getting rid of the meat smell.

6. Useful Tips in Preparations of Biryani

  • Here I am listing some helpful tips I learned from my mother, they play a vital role in making a perfect dish
  • When parboiling rice, add oil to the water to avoid the stickiness of rice.
  • Instead of food colors, use saffron, as it’s a natural herb. Soak it for few hours in warm milk and then use for best results.
  • Yogurt is added in the gravy to tenderize the meat.
  • Add fried onions on the dam, it will give a sweet crunchy taste which will balance the hotness of spices.
  • Use ghee in damas it offers richness and a sense of royalty.
  • Don’t be afraid of long list spices used in biryani, if everything is in the pantry, you can make a perfect one.

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.