Traditional Mutton Dum Biryani

I inherited this recipe from my Mother-In-Law who had fine tuned the art of making Biryani in a pressure cooker. It took me some time but now I am getting good at making this traditional mutton dum biryani.

A perfect biryani would have the right amount of moisture and yet the rice grains are separate.  There are spices, a whole variety of them, used in moderation. Fresh green chillies should be just enough to make you salivate a bit, bringing out all the flavours, textures and fragrances.


Ingredients required:

Marinade ingradients

1.25 Kg Mutton
1 Kg Basmati Rice
1/4 kg very sour (khatta) curd
Onion 2 large
Ginger 1.5″
Garlic cloves 10-12
(make a paste of onion, ginger and garlic)
Mint leaves -1/2 bunch
Coriander leaves – 1 bunch
Green chillies – this is the only thing that will make the biryani hot – but it use in moderation. Just enough to enhance flavours.
(make a paste of mint leaves, coriander and green chillies)
Khada masala (whole spices):
Cumin 2 tsp
Green cardamom 5-7
Cloves -10-12
Black Pepper 20-22
Cinnamon stick – 2 1 inch sticks
Caraway seeds (Shah zeera) 1 tsp
Mace 1 tsp
Milk +salt+water
Ghee 250 gms (vansapati)
Nutmeg 1/2 nutmeg cut into two pieces
Saffron – a few strands


Fried onion rings
Kewra essence (extract of Pandanus flowers) – 3-4 drops

  1. Mix curd, onion, garlic, ginger paste, half of whole spices, salt, some slit green chillies, 2 tsp paste of coriander, mint and green chillies. Marinate the mutton in this mix overnight in the refrigerator.
  2. Remover the marinade from the fridge 4 hours before cooking so that it comes to room temperature.
  3. Cut one onion in rings and deep fry the onion rings in ghee- keep aside. This melted ghee would be used for cooking biryani. Keep the fried onions separately -they will be used as garnish.
  4. Boil 3-4 liters of water, add salt, remaining whole spices and washed rice to the water. Let it boil for a minute or so. Discard water, Keep the mixture of rice and whole spices
  5. In a pressure cooker put some ghee (about 2 tbsp) and layer the mutton marinade and insert 3-4 slit green chillies
  6. Add more ghee and layer the semi cooked rice over it and insert 3-4 fresh (slit) green chillies
  7. Take 1/2 cup milk, add 1/2 cup water, and add salt (this mixture should be fairly salty). This water-Milk mixture should be at room temperature.
  8. After layering the rice, pour the water+milk mixture. Just enough – the water mixture should not come above rice level -infact it should be 1/2 finger below rice level -part the rice with finger and if you feel the moisture, it’s enough -remember the marinade has water and rice is half-cooked.
  9. Insert 2 pieces of nutmeg in the middle, add saffron strands (soaked in 2 tsp of warm milk)
  10. Pressure cook the biryani till the cooker blows 1 whistle on high, then put the heat on simmer and keep the cooker on for 15 more minutes,
  11. Remove the cooker from gas, and let it cool.
  12. Open the cooker lid, add fried onions and sprinkle the kewra essence (3 drops) -close the lid again for 5-7 mins
  13. Serve this mouth-watering, melt in mouth biryani with Curd+mint+coriander raita (the mint+coriander paste you had made earlier can be put into curd to make thin raita) and Khatti Dal
Mutton Biryani
(Click for larger image)

Khatti Dal

100 gms chana dal

250 gms Khatte chugge ki bhaji** (also called as Ambat chuka or  ) 2 raw tomatoes (should be sour)

2-3 Green chillies

1/4 tsp ground Ginger and Garlic paste


Little oil

Dried red Chillies

Cumin seeds

Boil chana dal with Khatti bhaji,  raw tomatoes green chillies, ginger garlic paste. Mash Dal after it is cooked and add water (the consistency should be thin). Give a boil to the dal with salt added to it.

Heat oil, put cumin seeds and dried red chillies and temper the dal with it

Serve with steaming dum biryani

** Substitute  raw mango powder and a lot of sour tomatoes if you can not find this vegetable

नील कमल

नील कमल

वो बूंद जो
बादलों में खेलती थी
आज तपती धरा की आग़ोश में
समाने को बेचैन हो उठी
पर फिर जब नील कमल
को इठलाते देखा
तो उसी की हो चली
डूब गयी
खो गयी
सो गयी

— स्वाति