Sunday, 15 June 2014

Beef - Mutton Biryani

Beef - Mutton Biryani

It’s a recipe I swear by. This biryani is a must-do for my family at every occasion that demands a celebration. Ever since this biryani was made at home, we have given up on calling in for biryani from restaurants and from caterers. Give this a try and I have a sneaky feeling you'll message to say that you don't plan to call in for biryani from a restaurant ever again. ;-)


1 kilo boneless beef chunks (not very lean beef) or 1¼ kilo lamb/goat mutton on bone
½ kilo dahi/yogurt, beaten smooth
2 tablespoons ginger-garlic paste
5-6 tablespoons red Deghi mirch/chili powder
1 teaspoon turmeric powder
1 tablespoon coriander powder
Salt, to taste
2 one-inch sticks cinnamon
7 cloves
4 cardamoms
12 black peppercorns
1 bay leaf
4 medium onions, sliced
4-5 large potatoes, each cut into two inch pieces


  1. Marinate the beef chunks in ginger-garlic paste, red Deghi chili powder, turmeric powder, coriander powder, salt, cinnamon sticks, cloves, cardamoms, black peppercorns and bay leaf. Leave to marinate overnight in the fridge.
  2. Remove the beef from the fridge in the morning and to it add the smooth, beaten yogurt, potatoes and onions. Marinate for one hour.
  3. Add all the marinated ingredients into a pressure cooker and pressure cook the meat till done. (About 5-6 whistles, if you are using a cooker that works on the whistle system) Please do not overcook the beef.
  4. Do not open the cooker immediately. Allow the pressure to ease off by itself.
  5. Open the cooker and check the amount of gravy in the cooker. If there is too much gravy, simmer till the gravy reduces a wee bit. Do not reduce too much of the gravy because there should be quite enough gravy to ensure that the biryani is flavorsome.

 Ingredients for Rice:

1 kilo basmati rice (I used the blue Daawat packet)
2 teaspoons shahjeera/caraway seeds
2 one inch sticks cinnamon
7 cloves
4 cardamoms
12 black peppercorns
1 bay leaf
Salt, to taste
4 tablespoons oil


  1. Wash the rice and soak in clean water for ten minutes. Drain.
  2. Boil a large quantity of water in a large vessel.
  3. Add caraway seeds, cinnamon, cloves, cardamoms, black peppercorns, bay leaf, salt and oil. When the water comes to a boil, add the drained rice.
  4. Parboil the rice till it is 50% cooked.
  5. Retain one cup of rice water in a cup. Drain all of the remaining water from the rice.

 Extra Ingredients:

10 green chilies, slit
4 tomatoes, sliced into roundels
½ bunch coriander leaves, chopped
½ bunch mint leaves
1 kilo onions, sliced and fried crisp to golden brown
6 tablespoons ghee, heat and melt
4 tablespoon oil
5 tablespoons butter, heat and melt
3-4 large pinches of saffron

Ingredients to seal the vessel:

2 cups wheat flour
Water to bind the dough


  1. Knead the dough with the water to make a semi-stiff dough.
  2. Cover and leave aside.
 Layering the Biryani:

  1. Soak the saffron threads in half cup hot water. Cover and allow to steep for 30 minutes.
  2. In a large thick-bottomed vessel, add all the cooked beef chucks from the cooker along with the gravy.
  3. Over the mutton, layer the tomato roundels, the chopped coriander leaves, mint leaves, slit chilies and ¾ quantities of the crisp, fried onions.
  4. Carefully layer the par-boiled rice over the layered greens.
  5. Even pour one cup of the retained rice water over the layered rice.
  6. Evenly pour over the melted ghee, oil and butter over the layered rice.
  7. Spoon the saffron and the saffron water over the rice.
  8. Sprinkle the remaining crisp, fried onions.
  9. Cover the vessel with a lid and seal the edges of the vessel and lid with the kneaded dough.
  10. Put a griddle on the stove and heat the griddle.
  11. Once the griddle is hot, load the sealed vessel on the griddle. Keep on high flame for 20-25 minutes, then lower heat to minimum flame and allow it to cook till the rice is cooked and the biryani is heated through to piping hot level. This should take 20-30 minutes more.
  12. Turn off the stove. Carefully break open the sealed dough and serve with onion rings or Dahi Kachumber and lemon wedges.

 Dahi Kachumber: An Indian Salad…

A salad comprising of chopped onions, chopped tomatoes, chopped green chilies, chopped coriander leaves, mixed with smoothened yogurt, seasoned with salt and black pepper powder.

Chef Notes:

  1. This time we chose to make biryani with beef because this hardcore meat eater threw a massive tantrum (yeah, I tend to do that with my loved ones ;) ). I find beef more flavorsome than mutton!
  2. The same recipe also works with lamb or goat meat. I would advise though that you use meat-on-the-bone when using lamb or goat meat as that will ensure that the biryani is more flavorsome.
  3. This biryani if followed to the T, turns out amazingly superb.
  4. Only the photos and photo set-up for this recipe is done by me. This recipe is courtesy, Anita (Anu). My daughter, for the last 23 years, from another mother. <3 
  5. You may share the direct blog-link of the recipe/s but do NOT publish my recipes and my photographs on any blog-site or website without my explicit consent or attempt to pass off my recipe/s as your own. You will be held accountable for plagiarism.


  1. Awesome...must eat as soon as possible

    1. Ushnish da, thank you ever so much! I look forward to hearing feedback from you. Please do let me know if the recipe worked for you and your loved ones. I'd love to know.

  2. Making this right now...will update you once I am done..

    1. Hi Priya! Thank you so much for giving the recipe a try. I look forward to hearing feedback from you. :-)

  3. I made this Yesterday...turned out fabulous...My brother who is generally fussy when it comes to homemade biryani loved it ..the first morsel he put into his mouth..:-))))) (lost count of how many times i may have made biriyani using number of different recipes ..) Thank you so much for sharing this...sorry could not post pics..the boy polished it yes he did :-)

    1. Hi again Priya!
      You and your brother have truly made my day with the feedback you have posted. Thank you ever, ever so much for trying the recipe, trusting it and taking the time to give me feedback. You have no clue how much i appreciate the gesture. Cheers and God bless :-)

  4. This looks wonderful! One question- why do you recommend that the vessel goes on a griddle vs directly on the flame? Thanks so much!

    1. Hi Sarvar, We usually use a griddle between the vessel and the stove to prevent direct heat to the vessel so as to ensure the gravy doesn't get burnt or dry off completely. It keeps the heat in check without burning the meat gravy. It gets the rice and gravy done to perfection, without burning the base because it does stays on the stove hob for quite a while when cooking on 'dum'. Thank you so much for visiting the blog and for the appreciation. If you try this recipe please do let me know whether it worked for you and your loved ones. I'd love to hear from you. :-)