Family traditions are treasures. And, whenever a tradition involves Biryani, we ain’t looking back. Rooting for my Ammi’s Mutton Biryani Recipe for Eid-ul-Adha. Without fail, regardless of how tired my mother was, She would never miss cooking Mutton Biryani for Eid. I have taken over that tradition as a part of our Eid celebration.
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Let’s start with a brief intro about Eid-ul-Adha then we will jump into the star of our post “Mutton Biryani”. So, If you ever somehow interacted with a Muslim in your bright life, you might have somewhat of an Idea about our “Eid” celebration. If you haven’t had a chance to interact with a Muslim or never made a Muslim friend then let’s begin our friendship from here. Muslims all over the world celebrate two “Eids” as a part of religious holidays in a year. Eid-al-Fitr celebration comes after fasting from dawn to sunset for a month. Then just a few months after Eid-al-Fitr, Muslims all around the world celebrate Eid-ul-Adha. Muslims around the world sacrifice an animal after the performance of the “Hajj” pilgrimage ends.
My family’s Mutton Biryani Tradition
Growing up in India, every year my parents sacrificed a goat for our Eid-ul-Adha celebration. This was the only time of the year when my family would eat the most meat. We would get the goats slaughtered by a local butcher on the day of Eid-ul-Adha. My mother would spend most of her morning and afternoon making meat packages for our friends and neighbors. I was always assigned meat distributor duty for our neighborhood lol. Every year, as much as I was excited to go door to door to share the meat packages with our friends and neighbors, I was more looking forward to my Ammi’s Mutton Biryani and Mutton Korma(Mutton Curry). Without fail, no matter how tired Ammi got, she would prepare Mutton Biryani and Mutton Korma with Indian flatbread(Roti) for the entire family. And, our neighbors would join in as well for the Eid feast.
What is Biryani?
Biryani is basically a magical combination of some generously spiced Meat and Rice. I always keep Biryani-Masala(spice blend) and other fresh ingredients stocked up for any day Biryani cravings. Let’s talk about the main ingredients of Mutton Biryani recipe. There is absolutely no substitution for these ingredients. Sorry, but not really.
Ingredients for Mutton Biryani Recipe
Biryani Masala– I have used boxed Bombay Biryani Masala for this recipe but I always like to keep it fresh by using my homemade Biryani Masala. Grab my Biryani Masala recipe made with fresh spice goodness for those delicious Biryani, and Meat Curries. Click here for the Biryani Masala Recipe. My homemade Biryani Masala Recipe contains instructions to create your own Bombay Biryani Masala Blend as well :).
If you are using boxed Biryani Masala, adjust the quantity according to your spice tolerance. I like to use Bombay Biryani Masala boxed spices whenever I am out of my homemade Biryani Masala blend. Check my homemade Biryani Masala instruction on how to use Biryani Masala.
Mutton– Mutton usually refers to Goat Meat in South Asian countries. Goat Meat is easily available at any local Halal Meat Market. I have also seen cubed Goat Meat at our local Costco. The local Halal Butcher place is a great option to get fresh Mutton with bone-in for Biryani. If you aren’t big on having Goat Meat, you can certainly go for cubed Lamb Meat, Beef or Chicken. Chicken Biryani cooking instructions are slightly different than Mutton Biryani. Check out my Easy Chicken Biryani Recipe for detailed recipe and cooking instructions.
Basmati Rice– I highly recommend using aged long grain Basmati rice for Biryani. Growing up, I have witnessed my family and relatives hire wedding chefs to prepare Biryani for many wonderful family occasions. Their recommendation to cook the best Authentic Biryani came with aged long grain Basmati rice. Aged long grain rice fluffs up beautifully with each separate grain. Also the Aroma coming from aged Basmati rice is beyond perfect to create authentic Biryani.
Yogurt– I only recommend using creamy Indian yogurt for your Biryani recipe. It has perfect creamy consistency with the right amount of water for your Meat Curry. No Greek Yogurt substitute for Biryani. Sorry!
Fried Onions– Thinly sliced onions fried until golden brown and crispy. Fried onions are a crucial part of Biryani. Biryani is not really Biryani without fried onions. I don’t recommend using store bought coated fried onions for Biryani. Thinly slice 1 to 2 large yellow onion and fry them in 1/3 to 1/2 cup oil until golden brown. I like to fry onions in large batches and store it for Biryani meal prep. There are a handful of brands out on Amazon who seem to have great quality non-coated fried onions for South Asian cooking.
I like to cook Mutton, or Lamb for Biryani in a Pressure cooker or an InstantPot.
For Pressure Cooker– Cook meat on medium high heat for two whistles then reduce the heat to low and cook for 25 minutes.
InstantPot Cooking– Pressure cook meat on high pressure setting for 25 minutes. Release the steam.
Regular Pot or Dutch Oven– Goat or Lamb meat can take upto an hour. For tender meat in a regular thick bottom Pot or Dutch oven cook at low-medium heat for 50 minutes to an hour. Check the water consistency in between cooking time and do not remove lid consistently.
Check out One-Pot Spicy Vegetable Rice Recipe for a great Vegan Indian option.
Frying the Potato Halves– Wash and peel the Potatoes. Cut them into halves or whatever size you prefer. Dry them completely with and fry them until golden and crispy. For quicker frying, you may boil the potatoes until half way cooked then shallow fry them. I absolutely love potatoes in my Biryani. If you would rather not combine two carbs, you may skip adding the potatoes. You do you!! 🙂
For Mutton Curry
- 3 pounds Mutton with bones , small cubes
- 3 medium Roma Tomatoes , finely chopped
- 1/4 cup Oil or Ghee
- 3 tablespoons Ginger-Garlic paste
- 1 package Bombay Biryani Masala , or 1 tbsp homemade Biryani Masala
- 2/3 cup Plain Yogurt , preferably Indian yogurt
- 1/2 cup fried Onions
- 1/4 cup chopped Cilantro
- 1/4 cup chopped Mint
- 6-8 fried Potato halves
- 2 cups Basmati Rice, preferably aged Basmati , soaked in water for 15 minutes
- 8-10 cups Water
- 1 Lemon juiced
- 1/4 teaspoon Caraway Seeds(Black Cumin Seeds)
- 1 Cinnamon Stick
- 2-3 Green Cardamom
- 2 Cloves
- 1 Green Chili , optional
- 1/8 teaspoon Food coloring
- 8-10 threads Saffron , soaked in 1/4 cup warm water
- Thoroughly wash and clean mutton. In a large bowl, combine mutton, ginger-garlic paste, and Biryani spices. Mix it well and set it aside.
- Heat oil in an InstantPot or Pressure cooker on medium heat. Add marinated Mutton and fry the meat and spices until fragrant. Cover and pressure cook on high for 25 minutes.
- Meanwhile, bring water to boil in a large pan and add washed Basmati rice, whole spices, green chili, salt, and lemon juice. Cook until rice is partially cooked or aldente. Take out the rice in a large colander and drain all the water. Set it aside. Release the pressure of IP and set the curry aside.
- In a large Dutch oven or oven-safe pot, cook chopped tomatoes with a drizzle of oil until soft on medium-high heat. Add mutton curry and cook until curry becomes thick.
- Turn the heat off and add yogurt, fried onions, mint, cilantro, and garam masala. Mix gently and add potatoes in the curry.
- Meanwhile, preheat the oven at 365 F.
- Top the Curry with Rice. Swirl food coloring and soaked saffron on top of the rice and sprinkle the rest of the onions. Cover the lid and pop the Dutch Oven in the oven.
- Bake the Biryani at 365 F for 25 minutes. Serve it hot with Yogurt Cucumber Raita.
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Mother, Wife, Indian-American born and raised in the small town of India. Former IT employee now a food blogger. A self-taught food photographer.
I choose to cook with Whole Foods and Clean Ingredients as my Mother did. I am a firm believer in cooking meals with lots of vegetables, little meat, and generous spices.