Friday, 23 December 2011

Mutton Biryani (Rice layered with Spicy Mutton)

Mutton Biryani
Most of the cooking is done by me now a days in pressure cooker on gas/cooking range, yet the sight of mutton biryani brings the old memories back when it used to be cooked in a big Degchi on coal stove with smoldering amber on the top of lid and we children used to wait patiently for the lid to be opened by my friends mom in most ceremonious manner, by first removing the ambers then removing the dough used for sealing and last lifting the lid slowly! There is no other word in my lexicon for this rice preparation except mouthwatering and lip smacking. It is said that to believe you have to see but in case of food eating is believing, so I encourage you to put some hard work and cook mutton Biryani. Goat meat being red meat is high on fat content and so not too good for people with high cholesterol and heart diseases. But nothing is too harmful if taken in moderation.

Preparation Time: 30min. (Marinating time not included)
Cooking Time: 60min.
Servings: Makes 6 Large Servings.

Ingredients required for making Mutton Biryani
  • 150gm.Basmati Rice.
  • 500gm. Mutton cut to pieces.
  • 8 cloves.
  • 2 Black Cardamoms.
  • 3-4 Green Cardamom. 
  • 1/2Teaspoon of Saffron.
  • 4 Petals of Star aniseed.
  • 2cm. Cinnamon sticks (two).
  • 50gm. Garlic Paste.
  • 50gm. Ginger Paste.
  • Red chili powder to taste.
  • Salt to taste.
  • 5mm. Piece of Nutmeg (grated)
  • 1kg Onions for mutton.
  • 2 medium size onions for frying.
Onion slices
  • 15-20 Cashew
  • 20-30 Fresh Mint Leafs (made to coarse paste) and 10-15 mint leafs shredded.
    • 50-75 gm.Ghee
    • Water.
    Ingredients for Marinade
    • 200gm.Thick Curd.
    • 1/2 tea spoon Turmeric Powder.
    • 1 Tea spoon Red chili Powder.
    • 1 Pinch of Nutmeg Powder.
    • 50 gm. Garlic Paste.
    • 50gm. Ginger Paste.

    • 1 Tea spoon juice of Raw Papaya (optional).
    Marinade Ingredients
    Directions for making Marinade:
    • Take thick curd, garlic paste, ginger paste, nutmeg powder, red chili powder, turmeric powder, and papaya juice (Optional) in a bowl.
    • Mix all ingredients to a creamy consistency by beating them with a spoon/fork.
    •  Marinade is ready to be used.
    Directions to make Mutton Biryani
    Step 1.
    • Wash the rice in running water and soak it in water for 30min.
    • Wash mutton pieces in running water and drain them of excess of water.
    • Take washed and drained mutton pieces in a bowl and coat each piece with the marinade.
    • Keep aside for marinating for minimum 2-3 hrs.
    •  Soak saffron in 10 ml. water.
    • Cut 2 onions thin, long and fry them to light brown color and keep aside.
    •  Fry 2-3 whole green chilies and keep aside.
    Fried Onion slices and green chilli

    Step 2.
    • Take the fat and few small pieces and bones of mutton in a thick bottom pan.
    • Add 4 cloves, one 2cm. stick of cinnamon, I black cardamom, 2 petals of aniseed and salt.
    • Add 300ml. of water cover.
    • Keep it on high flame and boil.
    • Once the water starts boiling lower the flame and let it simmer till the water reduces to 200ml. (It will take approx.. 15min.).
    • Cool it and sieve the stock. Keep the stock aside for cooking the rice.
    Mutton Stock
    Step 4.
    • Drain water from  the soaked rice. 
    • Take drained rice in a thick bottom pan and add the stock of mutton, little salt (to taste).
    • Cover and cook till the rice is partially cooked.
    • Remove from gas and allow it to cool.
    • The grain of partially cooked rice should separate from each other.
    • If the rice grain are sticking to one another then wash hot rice in running water and spread to cool. The picture of cooked rice is to show how rice should be after cooking. It was cooked in water for vegetable biryani. The rice cooked in stock will be yellowish in color. But the texture will be same.
    Partially cooked Rice
    Step 5.
    • When the partially cooked rice is cooled divide it into three equal portions and keep aside.
    Step 6.
    • Cut  Onions to thin long slices.
    Onions for Gravy
    • Take 20 gm. ghee. 
    • When the Ghee is hot add 4 cloves, 2 petals of star aniseed, I black cardamom, one 2 cm. cinnamon stick, grated nutmeg piece, and cook for 30sec.
    • Add cut onions and cook till they are brown in color.
    • Add 1 tea spoon Garlic paste and 1 tea spoon Ginger paste and cook for 1 min.
    Onions and ginger garlic paste cooked for mutton
    • Add tomato , chopped coriander leafs  and cook for a minute.
    Tomato, coriander leafs added
    • Add 
      • Red chili powder 
      • Mint paste and cook for 1 minute with regular stirring
    Fresh Coriander and Mint added to Onions
    • Add marinated mutton and cook on medium heat with occasional stirring for 15-20 minutes or till the mutton gets cooked.
    Mutton added and mixed
    • Cover and cook for 5 min. Mutton should have a very thick gravy.
    Mutton For Biryani
      • Remove from gas and cool.
      • Divide into two equal portions.
        Step 7.
        • Take a 10ml ghee in a thick bottom pan or pressure cooker / oven proof container.
        • Put a layer of cooked rice and pat gently.
        layer of rice over ghee
        •  Put layer of mutton with the gravy on the top of rice layer.
        First layer of Mutton over rice
        • Put 1/3part of fried onions on the top of mutton.
        • Put another layer of rice and pat gently.
        • Put the remainder mutton and it’s gravy on the top of rice layer.
        • With the third portion of rice make the final layer of rice.
        First layer of Mutton over rice
        • Spread the remaining mint leafs after shreddind and chili on the rice layer.
        • Pour the 15-20 gm of ghee / 10-15 ml. oil over the last layer of rice.
        • Spread saffron water over the rice laye. (Optional)
        Final layer of rice on the top sprinkled with shredded mint and chilli
        • Cover the pan / pressure cooker / Oven proof container. (If you are using pan then seal it with wheat dough / oven proof container can be seal packed with Aluminum foil).
        • Keep on low flame for 30-40 min.over a thick iron plate (tawa) 
        Sealed and being cooked 
        • Remove from gas and allow the steam to settle.
        •  Mutton biryani is ready.
        Mutton Biryani
        •   Take out biryani in a Rice serving dish and garnish with fried Almonds and Cashew nuts and fried onions.
        Mutton Biryani
        • Biryani's best companions are Curd/raita/Pickles and papad.
        • If you want to shorten the procedure then you can omit making the mutton stock and cook rice in excess water and when rice is partially cooked drain the excess of water.
        • I personally prefer making mutton stock and cooking rice in it as rice gets rich flavor of mutton when cooked in mutton stock.
        • Raw papaya juice enhances the cooking of mutton and reduces cooking time.
        • Make sure the partially cooked grains of rice are well separated.
        • Use ghee as the flavor of mutton biryani comes best with ghee (clarified butter).
        • Saffron adds distinct color and flavor to the biryani.
        Suggested Variations:
        • Layering of rice and mutton can be done in a pressure cooker and then cooked without putting gasket on the lid. Just weight on the lid. Keep this cooker on the tawa and cook over low heat.
        • Finely cut almond, cashew nuts pistachios can also be used for layering along with mutton and fried onions.
        • The ratio of mutton to rice is 2:1, if so desired you can increase the rice ratio.

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