Sunday, October 4, 2009

Calicut Mutton Biriyani / Malabar Mutton Biriyani

The term Biriyani is derived from the Persian word 'Birian'.In Farsi Birin means 'Fried before cooking'.The rice is fried in Ghee which gives it a nutty flavour.It is then boiled in water with spices until it is half cooked.The rice and meat are then layered and baked or cooked over coals .
An age old test for a good biriyani is that if you drop a hand full of Biriyani on a hard floor , no two grains of rice should be stuck to each other.
Calicut is very famous for its Biriyani and no celebration in the Malabar region is complete without this delicacy.


  1. Biriyani rice/Basmati rice - 5 cups
  2. Goat meat with bones - 5 lbs (approx 2.5 kg)
  3. Garlic - 2 pods (plus 1 pod for mutton marination)
  4. Ginger - 3 inch piece (plus 1 inch for mutton marination)
  5. Green chillies - 8 (plus 6 for mutton marination- depends on how spicy the chillies are)
  6. Sour yogurt/curd - 1.5 cups
  7. Onion - 4 (plus one to fry as garnish)
  8. Tomatoes - 2
  9. Lime - 1
  10. Coriander leaves - 2 big bunches
  11. Mint leaves - 1/2 of a small bunch
  12. whole Masala - 5 cardamoms, 1 star anise, 1 big cinnamon piece, 6 cloves,2 bay leaves,1 tsp pepper
  13. Powdered masala - crush together 1/2 tsp fennel,5 cardamoms,3 cloves,1/2 inch piece cinnamon,1/2 tsp pepper
  14. Turmeric powder - 1/2 tsp
  15. Salt - to taste.
  16. Ghee - 6 tbsp
  17. Oil - 4 tsp
  18. Cashews - hand full
  19. Raisins - hand full
Step 1:
Marinating the meat - crush together 1 pod of garlic, 1 inch piece of ginger and 6 or 7 green chillies into a very coarse mix .Add in the sour curd ,turmeric powder and salt to this mixture.
Add the washed drained meat to the curd mixture and marinate in the refrigerator overnight or for few hours.

Step 2:
Cooking the marinated meat for 1 whistle in the pressure cooker.
Pressure cook the marinated meat with the juices for just 1 whistle (do not over cook ,since goat takes a long time to cook we are doing this pressure cooking process just to reduce the time).
Open the cooker and if there is too much juice boil on high flame for few minutes to reduce the gravy.There should still be 2 cups of gravy in the meat.

Step 3:
Grind together 2 pods of garlic , 3 inches of ginger and 7 to 8 green chillies to a coarse paste.
Slice the Onions finely.Slice the tomatoes finely.Wash and chop the cilantro/coriander leaves and mint leaves.

Heat the oil and half of the ghee in a large frying pan and add the ginger,garlic,green chilly paste and saute until raw smell is gone.

Add 4 sliced onions and stir fry until it is wilted.

Add in the sliced tomatoes and cook for few minutes.

Add 1/2 of the chopped coriander and mint leaves and mix well.
Add in the juice of 1/2 a lime and crushed masala.

Add in the half cooked mutton with the juices into this pan and cover and cook until mutton is cooked.This might take 35 minutes or so.
Towards the end if there is too much gravy , keep on high flame to reduce the gravy.
Add in the rest of the coriander and mint leaves.
Keep this gravy aside.

Step 4:
Soak the rice in water for 10 minutes and wash and drain.
Keep 10 cups of water in a large pan to boil( rice : water ration = 1:2)
Heat the rest of the ghee in a large frying pan and add in the whole spices.
Saute for a minute and add the drained rice and stir fry for few minutes until the rice is toasty (7 minutes).
When the rice is toasted add it into the boiling water , add salt to taste and cover and cook until the water is absorbed and rice is almost cooked.

Step 5:
In a big ovenproof dish add a layer of the goat masala followed by a layer of rice .
Alternate the goat masala and rice until it is used up .
Cover and bake in a 275 degree oven for 30 minutes.

Fry cashews and raisins in ghee and keep aside.
Fry 1 sliced onion until golden brown and drain on paper towel
Hard boil eggs and keep aside.
Garnish the baked biriyani with the fried cashews,raisins and friend onion.
Serve with boiled egg, salad, chutney ,pickle and pappad.


  1. OMG...mutton briyani i love it my favorite food priya...Pls send it me rite now..I've started craving for it already.Keep rocking girl.....


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