Mutton biryani recipe – Simple and quick lamb biryani recipes suitable for bachelors, new cooks and busy folks. There are so many ways a biryani is made across India. In this post I am sharing 3 easy recipes to make mutton biryani. The first one is a hyderabadi pakki dum mutton biryani & second one is a kachi dum biryani. The third one is mutton biryani recipe in pressure cooker.
The success to making any good lamb or mutton biryani recipe is tender meat and cooking it the right way on a low flame or heat.
Most folks fail to prepare a good mutton recipe or mutton curry, due to the wrong choice of meat. Using one that is not tender. Next overcooking or cooking on high flame too can make it hard.
I have included clear instructions on how to cook mutton that yields soft and tender chunks.
Mutton has to be marinated with yogurt and oil that helps to tenderize it very well. If you are using meat that is not tender or if you are unsure about how tender it is, use meat tenderizer, which is available in most grocery stores. Alternately you can use grated raw papaya during marination.
All the recipes will yield you amazing & delicious best mutton biryani. Please scroll down to find the kachi mutton biryani (method 2) & the recipe made in cooker (method 3)
More biryani recipes
Method 1 – Dum mutton biryani
Marinade for Lamb Biryani
1. Wash mutton thoroughly and drain well. Add ginger garlic paste, salt, turmeric, biryani masala, red chili powder and lemon juice.
2. Next add curd and oil. If using raw papaya paste you can add it now.
3. Marinate well and cover. Allow this to rest for at least 4 hours to overnight in the fridge. This marinade tenderizes the mutton. So longer the resting time softer the meat will be. If you are using papaya paste, you can just leave it for 45 mins. I prefer to marinate overnight and refrigerate. I do not use raw papaya.
4. When you are about to prepare the other ingredients for the biryani keep the mutton out of the fridge. It is good to bring it to room temperature before cooking. You can slice the onions and chilies, soak the rice for 30 to 40 minutes. Soak saffron in milk. Set aside.
5. Heat a heavy bottom pan or pressure cooker with ghee or oil. Add the spices.
6. Immediately add sliced onions & green chilies. You can skip this step if using store bought fried onions.
7. Fry them evenly until golden brown. Set aside half of this.
8. Transfer the marinated lamb meat.
9. Add chopped mint and coriander leaves.
10. Next begin to saute on a very low flame for 3 to 4 mins.
11. Cover and cook for 10 mins on the low flame.
12. Either pressure cook it for 2 to 3 whistles. Or continue to cook in the pot until the meat is soft and tender. We are not adding any water to cook this. If cooking in pot make sure you stir occasionally to prevent burning.
Cooking rice for Lamb Biryani
13. While the meat cooks, bring water to a boil and add bay leaf, shahi jeera, cardamom, cloves and cinnamon.
14. Next add salt.
15. Then add rice and cook al dente. The rice must be cooked completely but you must feel the bite. If you are a beginner, you can also check this post on how to cook basmati rice for biryani.
16. Drain it completely in a colander.
Make pakki dum mutton biryani
17. When the meat is soft cooked, you will be left with a thick gravy. Add the rest of the curd to this.
18. Add the fried onions, coriander and mint leaves.
19. Mix together. Check the salt and spice by tasting. You can adjust by adding salt or green chilies.
20. Layer the rice, mint and coriander leaves. Add ghee as well.
21. Finally pour the saffron milk. Next cover the pot with a foil or kitchen cloth. Place a heavy lid over the pot. If you do not have a heavy lid, place any lid and a heavy pot filled with water over the lid.
22. Heat a old tawa / griddle or pan until very hot. Place this biryani pot over the pan. Lower the flame and cook for 15 mins. Switch off the stove and allow to rest for 15 mins.
Serve mutton biryani hot with a raita.
Ingredients (US cup = 240ml )
To cook rice
- 2 cup basmati rice aged (soaked for 20 mins)
- 8 cups water
- 1 bay leaf or tej patta
- ½ tsp shahi jeera
- 3 cloves or laung (optional)
- 1 cinnamon – small piece or dalchini (optional)
- 3 green cardamom or choti elaichi (optional)
Whole spices (for gravy)
- 3 tbsp Oil or ghee (do not reduce)
- 1 bay leaves
- ¾ tsp shahi jeera or black cumin
- 4 green cardamoms or choti elaichi
- 1 star anise or chakri phool
- 2 inch cinnamon or dalchini
- 8 cloves or laung
Other ingredients for lamb biryani
- 1 cup onions sliced thinly or 1/3 cup fried onions
- 2 green chilies slit (up to 4)
- 4 tbsp coriander and mint or pudina (for top layer)
- 4 tbsp mint leaves or pudina & coriander leaves or dhania patta (for seasoning)
- ½ cup yogurt or curd (room temperature)
- 1 pinch saffron or kesar or soaked in 2 tbsp of hot milk
- Marinate mutton with red chili powder, biryani masala, yogurt, ginger garlic, turmeric, lemon juice, oil and salt.
- Refrigerate for at least 4 hours. Overnight is best.
- If you are using raw papaya paste, you can just set aside for 1 hour & begin to prepare.
- Wash rice and soak for 30 to 40 minutes.
- Drain it completely to a colander and set aside.
- Heat a heavy bottom pan or a pressure cooker with oil. Add the whole spices.
Making fried onions
- Skip this section if using store bought fried onions.
- Add onions, green chilies and fry till they turn brown almost about to caramelize.
- Keep stirring to prevent burning. This is crucial to get a good aroma and taste.
- There must be enough oil for the onions to fry. Set aside half of the fried onions for garnish.
Making mutton biryani gravy
- Reduce the flame to low. Add the marinated meat.
- Add half of the coriander and mint leaves saute for 3 to 4 mins.
- Cook covered on a low flame till the mutton turns soft and tender. Or cook for 2 to 3 whistles in a pressure cooker. Turn off the stove.
- If cooking in the pan without pressure cooker, stir occasionally to prevent burning. Remember the flame has to be very low otherwise mutton may turn hard.
Making biryani rice
- While the meat is cooking, Bring water to a boil in a large pot. Add the whole spices and salt. Make sure the water is slightly salty.
- When the water comes to a boil, add the drained rice.
- Cook until 90% done or aldente. When you bite the grain , it must be cooked completely but you must be able to feel the bite into it. Drain it off to a colander.
- Soak saffron in little milk and set aside.
- When the pressure goes off, open the lid. You will be left with a thick gravy. Mutton must be cooked completely now. Check it , if still undone. Cook until it is soft and tender.
How to make mutton biryani
- Add the rest of the half cup curd to the cooked mutton.
- Next add few chopped coriander and mint leaves.
- Few fried onions. Mix everything well.
- You can check the salt and spice at this stage and adjust.
- Layer the rice evenly over the cooked lamb meat.
- Sprinkle some chopped coriander, mint leaves, fried onions and tbsp of ghee.
- Lastly pour the saffron milk.
- Cover the rim of the biryani pot with a moist thick clean cloth or foil.
- Place a heavy lid over it. If you do not have a heavy lid. Just place a bowl filled with water over the lid. You can also seal it with atta.
- Heat a old tawa until very hot. Place this biryani pot over the hot tawa and cook on a low flame for 15 mins.
- Allow to rest for at least 15 mins.
- Serve mutton biryani with raita.
- I have used a 3+ liters heavy bottom pressure cooker for cooking mutton and even for the dum process. You can use any heavy bottom pot, do not use cast iron pot/pans.
- The timings for dum may vary, if you use different pots for cooking mutton and for dum process. I have used same pot for both the purposes, hence the cooking time is less here.
- If your rice has over cooked slightly, remember slightly not mushy. Then you can sprinkle very little salt and sprinkle 1 tbsp oil over the hot rice while it is still in colander. Gently toss the rice. This will firm up the rice slightly. If your rice turns mushy do not use it for biryani. Just make a fresh batch of rice and use.
Alternative quantities provided in the recipe card are for 1x only, original recipe.
For best results follow my detailed step-by-step photo instructions and tips above the recipe card.
NUTRITION INFO (estimation only)
© Swasthi’s Recipes
Method 2 – Kachi mutton dum biryani
½ kg mutton (500 grams) can use up to 600 grams
1 tbsp ginger garlic paste
¼ tsp turmeric
Salt as needed (I used half tsp)
1 cup curd
1 tbsp lemon juice
1 ½ tsp red chili powder
2 green chilies chopped
½ fried onions from 1 large onion
½ tsp biryani masala
4 green cardamoms
2 inch cinnamon pieces – 2
½ tsp shahi jeera
1 bay leaf
1 strand mace
1 black cardamom
3 tbsp coriander leaves chopped
3 tbsp mint leaves chopped
1 tbsp oil
1 large onion sliced fried onions
¼ cup ghee for frying onions and topping
2 cups rice (about 400 grams)
Salt as needed
¼ tsp saffron soaked in 3 tbsp of milk
¼ tsp biryani masala for sprinkling
2 tbsp mint
2 tbsp coriander
2 cups plain flour – maida or atta for sealing
1. Wash mutton cleanly. Drain off water completely. Make sure the mutton pieces are just about 1 to 1 ½ inch cubes. This recipe may not work if you go ahead with bigger size pieces. Add ginger garlic paste,salt, turmeric, biryani masala and red chilli powder. I used this homemade biryani masala. You can also use this garam masala.
2. Add fresh yogurt/ curd, fried onions and spices. Cinnamon,cloves, bay leaf, shahi jeera / black cumin, black cardamom, mace and green cardamom. You can use either store bought fried onions or make fried onions from this post.
3. Add chopped coriander,mint leaves, chopped green chilies and lemon juice. Pour 1 tbsp oil.
4. Mix everything well. If you have raw papaya paste you can use 2 tsps and get to cooking just after 45 mins. If not using raw papaya then cover and refrigerate for at least 4 hours to overnight. The longer you allow it to rest the better the results are.
5. To make fried onions, heat ¼ cup of ghee and fry thin slices from 1 large onion. When they turn brown, set them aside. You will be left with 2.5 tbsp ghee. One tbsp will be used for the meat later and 1.5 tbsp will be used for topping after diluting with hot rice cooked water.
6. Use aged good quality basmathi rice. Add rice to a pot & wash several times until the water runs clear. Soak it for at least 30 to 40 mins. Keep the mutton out of the fridge. It is good to bring it to room temperature before we begin to cook it. For at least 40 to 60 mins.
7. Bring water to a boil in a large pot. Add salt as needed.
8. Add bay leaf, shahi jeera, star anise and cardamom.
9. When the water comes to a boil, add drained rice.
10. Rice must be half cooked for this recipe. This is very important. When you bite the rice, you should feel that is under cooked.
11. Drain it off to a colander. Set aside little rice cooked water.
12. Heat up milk and soak saffron. Melt the ghee.
13. Add 1 tbsp ghee to the pot. Mix it well.
14. Layer the cooked rice over the marinated mutton. Pour the saffron milk.
15. Mix 2 tbsp rice cooked water with ghee and pour it over the rice. Do not add ghee directly here.
16. Sprinkle coriander, mint leaves and fried onions.
17. Make a dough of atta or plain flour. Set aside a lemon sized ball. Using the rest place it around the rim of the pot.
18. Place a lid and knock it a few times to hold it tightly. Make sure it is air tight. Transfer this pot over a hot tawa / griddle. Cook for 45 mins on a low heat.
19. During this process make sure the steam doesn’t escape. You will need to patch up with some dough which we set aside earlier. Allow to rest for a while.
Serve the bottom and the top layers together. Serve with raita.
Method 3 – Mutton biryani in cooker
Easy mutton biryani recipe in pressure cooker. Though mutton dum biryani is one of the most loved by biryani lovers, it is indeed a bit time consuming task which has to be prepared very carefully. I had some readers requests for this easy mutton biryani in pressure cooker recipe, so sharing it here. This is similar to the Chicken biryani in cooker.
Most restaurants serve mutton biryani that is not dum cooked. They usually cook rice and meat together or sometimes the gravy is kept separate and biryani rice separate. They just mix and layer the gravy and biryani rice as and when they get orders. This recipe is an exact replica of what we get in most South Indian good restaurants. Mutton is cooked to soft first and then rice is cooked with the meat.
- 2 cup basmati rice
- 2½ to 3 cups water
- ¾ cup onions (sliced thinly)
- 2 to 4 green chilies
- ½ cup tomatoes ( optional)
- salt to taste
- 1 tsp garam masala
- ¼ cup mint leaves (or pudina)
- ¼ cup coriander leaves
- 3 tbsp Oil (do not reduce)
- 1 bay leaves (or tej patta)
- ½ small nutmeg (optional)
- 1 strands mace (or javitrii)
- ¾ tsp shahi jeera (or black cumin)
- 6 green cardamoms (or choti elaichi)
- 1 black cardamom (or badi elaichi)
- 1 star anise (or chakra phool)
- 4 pepper corn crushed (optional)
- 2 inch cinnamon (or dalchini)
- 6 cloves (or laung)
- ½ kg mutton (cut to a size of your choice)
- ¾ tsp red chili powder
- 1 tsp garam masala powder ( or biryani masala as needed)
- 1 ½ tbsp ginger garlic paste
- ¼ tsp turmeric powder
- 1 cup curd (do not use sour curd)
- Salt ( little)
- Wash rice and soak for 20 minutes. Drain it completely to a colander and set aside.
- Next wash mutton and drain water thoroughly. Marinate with marination ingredients and set aside for at least an hour. Overnight is best.
- Heat a pressure cooker or a heavy bottom pot with oil, add the dry spices, sauté till they begin to sizzle.
- Add onions, green chilies and fry till they turn brown.
- Skip this step if you do not like tomatoes. Add tomatoes, sprinkle salt just enough for the tomatoes to cook easily. Cook till the tomatoes turn fully mushy and the raw smell goes off.
- Add half of the coriander and mint leaves, sauté for a min.
- Next add the marinated mutton pieces, mix well and saute for 2 to 3 minutes. Cook covered on a low flame till the mutton turns soft and tender or cook for 3 to 4 whistles in a pressure cooker. Switch off the stove.
- If cooking in the pot without pressure cooker, stir occasionally to prevent burning. When the pressure goes off, remove the lid. You will be left with a thick gravy. How thick depends on your mutton. If you are left with lot of watery gravy, then evaporate it by cooking for some time.
- Add mint, coriander leaves and garam masala. Saute till the good smell of mint and masala comes out. Pour 2.5 cups water, bring to a boil. add rice. Adjust salt and cook on a medium flame till almost all the water is evaporated.
- Cook till the rice is al dente or fully done. If the rice is under cooked and there is not enough moisture, you can sprinkle some warm water. If needed you can use up the left over half cup water as well. Make sure you add wam or hot water.
- When the rice is cooked al dente, cover the cooker with a pressure cooker lid. Cook on a very low heat for 5 to 7 minutes. Off before the cooker whistles. When the pressure goes down, open the lid and fluff up the rice.
Serve easy mutton biryani with onion raita
I’m Swasthi Shreekanth, the recipe developer, food photographer & food writer behind Swasthi’s Recipes. My aim is to help you cook great Indian food with my time-tested recipes. After 2 decades of experience in practical Indian cooking I started this blog to help people cook better & more often at home. Whether you are a novice or an experienced cook I am sure Swasthi’s Recipes will assist you to enhance your cooking skills.
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