Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Hyderabadi Mutton Dum Biryani

Hyderabadi Mutton Dum Biryani

   As in my earlier post about biryanis ,I  had mentioned the types of biryanis. Though there are many versions of biryanis depending on the regions and history behind them, Hyderabadi  dum biryani is the most famous or can we say "the king of biryanis ".
  I am totally obsessed with the biryanis, and for that matter my husband also shares the same thought. Nothing can beat the aroma of a perfectly cooked biryani with every rice grain separated and the meat cooked succulent and tender. We take biryanis very seriously ,our obsession for biryanis is so much that whichever city we move or visit, we make sure to dig out the restaurant  with best serving biryanis. Though I make biryanis at home quite often but still the craving for a restaurant style biryani remains.
     The biryani for me is where the rice and meat is cooked in dum. So many restaurants having biryanis in their menu just disappoint us when we see the dish coming out of the kitchen being not biryani but the pulao. While preparing pulao all the  ingredients including meat ,masala and rice are cooked all together until the rice and meat are cooked ,where as for preparing an authentic biryani the rice MUST be cooked separately until 3/4rth done and then drained out from water and is then layered along with marinated meat (cooked or uncooked) continued with cooking it on "Dum"  traditionally done by cooking over coals below and above the utensils used.

     The hyderabadi dum biryanis is cooked using "Dum Pukht" method. Dum  means to ‘breathe in’ and pukht to 'cook' . Dum pukht is technique of  cooking  in which food to be prepared is tightly sealed usually with dough in a heavy claypot or handi and cooked over a slow fire which allows the food to cook in its own juices and steam thus retaining all the aromas of the herbs and spices used giving the maximum flavor to the dish. Hyderabadi biryanis is usually served with mirch ka salan and raita.

photo resource:Flikr


Mutton pieces in chunks - 1/2Kg
Basmati Rice  - 2Cups
Bay leaves   - 2
Green cardamoms -5-6
Black cardamom  - 3
Black pepper corns -20
Cinnamon stick    - 3
Shahi jeera    - 1/2Tsp
Cloves    - 10-12
Oil   -  1Tsp
Salt  To taste
Red chili powder  - 1Tbs
Garam Masala    - 1Tbs
Ginger garlic paste  - 4Tbs
Onions medium  - 5 (sliced)
Yogurt      - 1Cup
Fresh cilantro/coriander - 1Cup (chopped)
Fresh mint leaves        - 1Cup (chopped)
Ghee(clarified butter )  - 4Tbs
Saffron  a generous pinch Soaked in 1/4 cup lukewarm water
Rose water     -Few drops
Kewara(screw pine) water  - Few drops
Boiled eggs   - 2
Coriander and Mint chopped -For garnish


  • Wash and soak the rice for at least 30 minutes, drain and keep aside.
  • Heat five to six cups of water in a deep pan. Add drained rice, salt,bay leaves,5 green cardamoms,7-8 peppercorns, one cinnamon stick and cook till 3/4rth done. Drain and keep aside.
  • Heat sufficient oil in a pan or kadai and deep fry half the onions slices till golden .Drain and place on an absorbent paper.
  • Dry roast caraway seeds, one cinnamon stick and remaining pepper corns ,cloves and green cardamom until fragrant. Cool and grind it into a fine powder and set aside.
  • In a bowl take mutton pieces ,add ginger garlic paste, salt and mix well. Add the spice powder, red chili powder ,Garam masala half the fried onions crushed ,yogurt. Chopped coriander and mint leaves and 1Tbs oil and mix until well incorporated  .Let it marinate for atleast 3-4 hours  or may be overnight in the refrigerator.
  • Heat 2 Tbs Ghee in a pan, add remaining cinnamon, black cardamoms and sauté till fragrant .
  • Add remaining onions and sauté till light golden. Add marinated  mutton and stir cook on high heat for 5-6 minutes. Cover reduce heat and cook until almost done.
  • Heat remaining ghee in a thick bottomed pan. Spread half the rice in a layer and mutton over the rice layer. Sprinkle remaining chopped coriander and mint leaves. Spread the remaining rice.
  • Sprinkle saffron ,rose and kewra water .Cover with a lid and seal it with normal dough and cook under dum in a very low flame until done.
  • I keep tawa first and then the handi or vessel with biryani so as to avoid direct heat and use heavy vessel filled with water over the top of lid.
  • Garnish the biryani with chopped coriander and mint leaves, fried onions and boiled egg.
  • Serve with salan and raita.
  • Enjoy!!!

  •  Avoid shoulder cut of the mutton.
  • Keep an eye while cooking rice or it will get overcooked, cook until 70% done .
  • You can add fried nuts to the biryani.

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