Hyderabadi Mutton Biryani

You like Biryani? So do I!

This very popular rice dish has a million (yes, yes, I’m exaggerating) versions and can be prepared any which way you like. There’s the Awadhi Biryani, the milder Kolkata Biryani, the Chettinad Biryani, Sindhi Biryani, and so many more variants.

Being a Bengali who grew up in Mumbai, my choices of eating Biryani wasn’t limited (though the chances of eating the Kolkata style Biryani remained remote and only during the Durga Puja festivities did such a change arrive)..but frankly, I don’t regret that! I’ve never been a fan of the Kolkata Biryani. Too much Kewra, hardly any masalas and the lack of wholesome flavours makes it VERY unattractive to me.

Where does this lead, you ask? I promise you, I have a point..!

I remember this little outlet that used to take orders for home delivery, called Star Biryani. Run by a Hyderabadi Muslim family, their Hyderbadi Biryani was the best I have eaten…succulent pieces of meat, moderately spiced, bursting with flavours…. Sadly, I don’t get the chance to enjoy that anymore here in Kolkata..

This is my attempt to recreate that delightful Hyderabadi Mutton Biryani whose memory I shall always cherish.


Hyderabadi Mutton Biryani Recipe:


  • Mutton – 1 kg with bone
  • Rice – 500 gm Basmati rice 
  • Onion (for Birista) – 2 medium sized, sliced finely
  • Cashew nuts – fried lightly for garnish

Mutton marinade:

  • Onion – 4
  • Ginger – 1 1/2 inch piece
  • Garlic – 12-15 cloves
  • Make a coarse paste of these
  • Add it to the mutton, coat the pieces well
  • Add 150 gms of well-beaten sour curd to the mutton
  • Salt
  • Sugar
  • Turmeric


  • Keep aside the marinaded mutton in the fridge for 1-2 hours
  • In a pressure cooker take the following:
  • 2 tbsp of Mustard Oil (Fortune kacchi ghani)
  • 2 tsp of ghee (Any brand)
  • Add whole garam masala (Green & Black cardamom, 1 inch stick of cinnamon, 3-4 cloves, 1 piece of javitri, a pinch of mace/nutmeg)
  • Smoke well, add 2 finely sliced onions. Fry well.
  • Add the mutton with the marinade
  • No need to add salt since salt is already added.
  • Fry on a low flame well for minimum 15 mins.
  • Add 1/2 cup of water
  • Give 2 or 3 whistles so the meat is tender.
  • Meanwhile, soak the rice for 10 mins, drain and keep aside.
  • Fill a large dekchi with water.
  • Add a spoon of oil and a ‘potli’ with whole garam masalas
  • Let the water come to a boil
  • Add the rice, and add salt according to rice quantity.
  • Within 4-5 mins the rice will have come to a boil as well.
  • Switch off the gas and drain the rice.
  • Throw away the potli.
  • Now in another vessel, preferably a dekchi or large pan, line the bottom with the mutton.
  • Top the mutton with the rice, sprinkle the birista, fried cashews and sprinkle ghee all over the rice.
  • Add 1 cup of water, but sprinkle it over the rice.
  • I have cooked the Biryani on Induction, 300 power, for 20 mins.
  • Check to see, rice might need water, sprinkle some in that case.
  • Switch of the heat and let the biryani stand for 5 mins.
  • Serve hot with boiled eggs



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