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Mutton Dum Biryani

Updated: 4 days ago

Mutton Biryani

Mutton Biryani is a popular and flavorful Indian rice dish made with marinated mutton (goat or lamb meat), fragrant spices, and long-grain Basmati rice. It is renowned for its rich and aromatic flavor profile, making it a beloved dish in India and among food enthusiasts worldwide.

Total cooking time

60 minutes



Number of servings


Mutton Biryani is a timeless and iconic Indian dish that has captivated food enthusiasts worldwide with its rich flavors, aromatic spices, and tender chunks of mutton or lamb meat. This sumptuous and satisfying dish is a perfect representation of the diversity and depth of Indian cuisine. Originating from the Indian subcontinent, Biryani has evolved over centuries, adapting to regional tastes and preferences, resulting in a plethora of regional variations. In this recipe, we will delve into the  preparation methods, ingredients, and servings of Mutton Biryani. Mutton biryani is a delectable and aromatic South Asian rice dish that marries tender pieces of mutton (goat or lamb) with fragrant basmati rice, aromatic spices, and a blend of flavorful ingredients. This dish, renowned for its rich flavors and cultural significance, is a staple in many regions of India, Pakistan, and other parts of South Asia. The key to a delicious mutton biryani lies in the preparation and layering of its components. First, the mutton is marinated in a mixture of yogurt, spices like turmeric, ginger, garlic, and aromatic herbs such as mint and coriander. This marinade infuses the meat with depth and complexity of flavor. Meanwhile, basmati rice is parboiled and flavored with whole spices like cloves, cinnamon, and cardamom, which impart their essence to the grains. The rice and marinated mutton are then layered in a heavy-bottomed pot or a biryani vessel. This layering allows the flavors to meld together as the biryani cooks. The biryani is typically cooked in a two-step process – the "dum" method. First, the meat and rice layers are partially cooked separately. Then, they are combined and slow-cooked on a low flame, sealed with a lid or dough, to trap the steam and aromas. This slow cooking process ensures that the mutton becomes tender and succulent, while the rice absorbs the flavors from the meat and spices. The result is a tantalizing symphony of flavors and textures – the tender mutton pieces, fragrant rice, and a medley of spices, all harmonizing into a mouthwatering dish that's both hearty and aromatic. Mutton biryani is often garnished with fried onions, fresh coriander, and mint leaves, adding a crispy and refreshing contrast. Mutton biryani is more than just a meal; it's a celebration of culture and tradition. It's served at weddings, festivals, and special occasions, bringing families and communities together. Whether enjoyed with a side of raita (yogurt sauce) or a simple salad, mutton biryani is a culinary masterpiece that leaves a lasting impression on those fortunate enough to savor its exquisite taste. Mutton Biryani is a harmonious blend of high-quality ingredients, each contributing to its complex flavor profile. The following are the key components:

  1. Mutton or Lamb: The choice of meat is crucial in Mutton Biryani. Mutton, with its rich and robust flavor, is often preferred. The meat is typically marinated with yogurt and spices, enhancing its tenderness and taste.

  2. Basmati Rice: Basmati rice is the preferred choice for Biryani due to its long, slender grains and fragrant aroma. It serves as the foundation of the dish and must be cooked to perfection.

  3. Aromatic Spices: A signature feature of Biryani is its aromatic spice blend. Commonly used spices include cinnamon, cardamom, cloves, bay leaves, star anise, and mace. These spices infuse the dish with a captivating aroma and depth of flavor.

  4. Yogurt: Yogurt is a crucial component of the marinade for the mutton. It not only tenderizes the meat but also adds a creamy texture and tangy flavor.

  5. Fried Onions: Thinly sliced onions are deep-fried until they become crispy and golden brown. These fried onions, known as "birista," are used as a garnish and add a delightful crunch and sweetness to the dish.

  6. Ghee or Clarified Butter: Ghee is often used for cooking the meat and rice layers, adding richness and depth of flavor.

  7. Fresh Herbs: Fresh herbs like mint and coriander are used both in the marinade and as a garnish, lending a refreshing and vibrant element to the Biryani. Mutton Biryani is renowned for its unique cooking methods, with Dum Biryani being the most popular. Dum cooking involves slow-cooking the dish in a sealed pot to ensure that the flavors are trapped within, resulting in a delectable, fragrant, and perfectly cooked Biryani. Preparing Mutton Biryani takes some time and effort, but the result is a mouthwatering and aromatic dish that's perfect for special occasions or family gatherings. Enjoy the rich flavors and fragrant spices of this classic Indian dish!

Equipments used

  1. Large Biryani Pot

  2. Knife

  3. Chopping board

  4. Wooden Spatula

Ingredients for making mutton biriyani

For Marinating the Mutton:

  1. 500 grams of mutton (goat or lamb), cut into pieces

  2. 1 cup thick yogurt (curd)

  3. 1 tablespoon ginger-garlic paste

  4. 1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder

  5. 1 teaspoon red chili powder

  6. 1 teaspoon garam masala

  7. Salt to taste

For Cooking Rice:

  1. 2 cups Basmati rice

  2. Water for soaking and boiling rice

  3. 2-3 green cardamom pods

  4. 2-3 cloves

  5. 1-inch cinnamon stick

  6. Salt to taste

For Biryani Layering:

  1. 2 large onions, thinly sliced and fried until golden brown (birista)

  2. Fresh mint leaves

  3. Fresh coriander leaves

  4. 2 tablespoons ghee (clarified butter)

For Assembling and Dum Cooking:

  1. 2-3 tablespoons vegetable oil

  2. 2-3 green chilies, slit

  3. 1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds

  4. 1/2 teaspoon fennel seeds

  5. 1 bay leaf

  6. 1/2 cup warm water

Method of preparation

Marinating the Mutton:

  1. In a large mixing bowl, combine the mutton pieces with yogurt, ginger-garlic paste, turmeric powder, red chili powder, garam masala, and salt. Mix well to ensure that the mutton is evenly coated with the marinade.

  2. Cover the bowl and let the mutton marinate for at least 2-3 hours, or preferably overnight in the refrigerator. This allows the flavors to penetrate the meat and tenderize it.

Cooking the Rice:

  1. Wash the Basmati rice under cold running water until the water runs clear. Soak the rice in enough water for about 30 minutes.

  2. In a large pot, bring water to a boil. Add the soaked and drained rice, along with green cardamom pods, cloves, cinnamon stick, and salt.

  3. Parboil the rice, which means cooking it until it's about 70% cooked. The grains should still have a slight bite to them. Drain the rice and set it aside.

Biryani Layering and Assembling:

  1. In a heavy-bottomed, wide vessel (preferably a handi or a large, deep, oven-safe pot), heat 2-3 tablespoons of vegetable oil over medium heat. Add cumin seeds, fennel seeds, bay leaf, and green chilies. Sauté for a minute until fragrant.

  2. Add the marinated mutton and cook for about 5-7 minutes until the meat changes color and begins to brown slightly.

  3. Remove the vessel from the heat and set aside a portion of the partially cooked mutton.

  4. Start layering the Biryani: Place a layer of the remaining mutton at the bottom of the pot. Add a layer of parboiled rice on top of the mutton.

  5. Sprinkle a layer of fried onions, fresh mint leaves, and fresh coriander leaves. Drizzle a tablespoon of ghee over this layer.

  6. Repeat the process with another layer of mutton, rice, fried onions, mint, and coriander. Continue this process until all the mutton and rice are used up. The top layer should be rice.

Dum Cooking:

  1. Flatten the surface of the layered Biryani gently with the back of a spatula.

  2. Pour warm water evenly over the top layer of rice. This helps in creating steam during the Dum cooking process.

  3. Roll out a piece of dough and use it to seal the lid of the pot. Ensure that it's completely sealed to trap the steam.

  4. Place the sealed pot on a very low flame (sim) or in a preheated oven at 300°F (150°C) for about 45 minutes to an hour. Dum cook until the mutton is tender and the rice is fully cooked. You should be able to smell the aromatic flavors escaping from the sealed pot.


  1. Carefully remove the sealed dough from the lid and discard it.

  2. Gently fluff the Biryani with a fork, taking care not to break the rice grains.

  3. Serve the Mutton Dum Biryani hot, garnished with additional fried onions, mint, and coriander leaves.

  4. Enjoy your homemade Mutton Dum Biryani with raita or a side of your choice!

Preparing Mutton Dum Biryani takes some time and effort, but the result is a mouthwatering and aromatic dish that's perfect for special occasions or family gatherings. Enjoy the rich flavors and fragrant spices of this classic Indian dish !

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