Mutton Biryani
Mutton Biryani
4.95 from 38 votes
Mutton biryani is the epitome of Indian cuisine, with layers of beautifully spiced mutton and tender grains of rice topped with coriander and fried onions. Serve with raita for a refreshing combination of heat and flavour.
Mutton Biryani

Mutton Biryani is a beloved dish that originates from the Indian subcontinent, celebrated for its aromatic spices and tender meat nestled within layers of fragrant rice. This recipe, though it may seem complex at first glance, is actually quite approachable even for novice cooks.

With a few key ingredients and some patience, you can recreate the flavors of this classic dish right in your own kitchen.

Biryani has a rich history dating back centuries, believed to have been brought to the Indian subcontinent by Persian travelers. Over time, it evolved into various regional variations, each with its own unique blend of spices and cooking techniques.

Today, it remains a staple in Indian and Pakistani cuisine, cherished for its depth of flavor and comforting appeal.

While the list of ingredients may seem extensive, each component plays a crucial role in building layers of flavor in the dish. From the aromatic spices like cloves, cardamom, and cinnamon to the freshness of coriander and mint, every element contributes to the rich tapestry of taste that defines a well-made biryani.

Though the process may require some time and attention, the end result is more than worth the effort. Whether you’re cooking for a special occasion or simply craving a hearty and satisfying meal, mutton biryani is sure to delight your taste buds and transport you to the vibrant streets of India with its irresistible aroma and robust flavors.

Expert Tip: Ensure to soak the basmati rice for at least 30 minutes before cooking. This helps the rice grains cook evenly and prevents them from becoming mushy during the cooking process.


Rice Basmati: Basmati rice is the ideal choice for biryani due to its long grains and fragrant aroma when cooked. It provides the perfect foundation for the layers of flavor in the dish.

Mutton: Mutton, or goat meat, adds richness and depth to the biryani. Its tender texture and robust flavor pair beautifully with the aromatic spices and rice.

Onions: Finely chopped onions add sweetness and depth of flavor to the biryani. When sautéed until golden brown, they contribute a rich caramelized taste to the dish.

Tomatoes: Finely chopped tomatoes lend a subtle tanginess to the biryani while also adding moisture to the cooking process. They help create a flavorful base for the spices and mutton.

Garlic Paste: Garlic paste provides a pungent and savory flavor to the biryani. When combined with ginger paste, it forms the aromatic base of the dish, enhancing its overall depth of flavor.

Ginger Paste: Ginger paste adds a warm and spicy kick to the biryani, complementing the other spices and infusing the dish with its distinctive flavor.

Turmeric Powder: Turmeric powder contributes a vibrant yellow color to the biryani while also imparting a subtle earthiness to the dish. It enhances the visual appeal and adds complexity to the flavor profile.

Chili Powder: Chili powder adds heat and intensity to the biryani, balancing the other flavors in the dish. Adjust the amount according to your preference for spiciness.

Garam Masala: Garam masala is a blend of ground spices commonly used in Indian cuisine. It adds warmth and depth to the biryani, infusing it with a complex and aromatic flavor.

Cumin Seeds: Cumin seeds are toasted in oil to release their nutty flavor, providing a warm and earthy undertone to the biryani. They are a staple spice in Indian cooking, prized for their aromatic properties.

Cloves: Cloves add a sweet and pungent flavor to the biryani, contributing to its rich and aromatic profile. They are often used whole to infuse dishes with their distinctive taste.

Cardamom Pods: Cardamom pods impart a floral and citrusy aroma to the biryani, enhancing its fragrance and complexity. They are cracked open to release their seeds, which infuse the dish with their intense flavor.

Cinnamon Sticks: Cinnamon sticks add warmth and sweetness to the biryani, balancing the savory and spicy elements of the dish. They infuse the rice with their aromatic essence during the cooking process.

Bay Leaves: Bay leaves provide a subtle herbal flavor to the biryani, imparting a delicate aroma to the dish. They are often used in Indian cooking to add depth and complexity to savory dishes.

Vegetable Oil: Vegetable oil is used for sautéing the onions and spices, providing a neutral base for building layers of flavor in the biryani. It ensures that the ingredients are evenly cooked and prevents sticking.

Salt: Salt enhances the overall flavor of the biryani, bringing out the natural tastes of the ingredients and spices. Adjust the amount according to your taste preferences.

Coriander: Finely chopped coriander leaves add freshness and brightness to the biryani, garnishing the dish with their vibrant green color and citrusy flavor.

Mint: Finely chopped mint leaves contribute a refreshing and cooling element to the biryani, balancing the heat of the spices and mutton. They add a delightful burst of flavor to each bite, making the dish even more irresistible.

Expert Tip: Use a heavy-bottomed pot or Dutch oven for cooking the mutton biryani. This helps distribute heat evenly and prevents the bottom from burning, ensuring that the biryani cooks perfectly.

Serving Suggestions

  • Raita: Serve mutton biryani with a side of raita, a refreshing yogurt-based condiment. Raita helps cool down the palate and complements the spicy flavors of the biryani. You can make raita by mixing yogurt with finely chopped cucumbers, tomatoes, onions, and mint leaves, seasoned with salt and cumin powder.
  • Salad: Accompany your mutton biryani with a crisp and colorful salad for a refreshing contrast. A simple salad of sliced cucumbers, tomatoes, red onions, and lettuce dressed with lemon juice and olive oil adds a fresh and tangy element to the meal.
  • Pickles: Enjoy mutton biryani with a side of tangy pickles for an extra burst of flavor. Mango pickles, lime pickles, or mixed vegetable pickles complement the rich and spicy taste of the biryani, adding a zesty kick to each bite.
  • Fried Onions: Garnish your mutton biryani with crispy fried onions for added texture and flavor. Simply thinly slice onions and fry them until golden brown and crispy. Sprinkle the fried onions on top of the biryani just before serving for a delicious finishing touch.
  • Naan or Roti: Serve mutton biryani with warm naan bread or roti for a complete and satisfying meal. The soft and fluffy texture of naan or the thin and flaky layers of roti pair perfectly with the hearty flavors of the biryani, making every bite a delight.
  • Lemon Wedges: Serve lemon wedges alongside the mutton biryani to add a tangy and citrusy kick to each bite. Squeezing fresh lemon juice over the biryani just before eating enhances its flavors and brightens up the dish.

Expert Tip: Allow the biryani to rest for 10 minutes after cooking before serving. This allows the flavors to meld together and the rice to fully absorb the aromatic spices, resulting in a more flavorful and cohesive dish.

Frequently Asked Questions

How long does it take to cook mutton biryani?

The cooking time for mutton biryani can vary depending on factors such as the size of the mutton pieces and the type of rice used. Generally, it takes about 1.5 to 2 hours to prepare and cook mutton biryani from start to finish.

Can I use lamb instead of mutton?

Yes, you can substitute lamb for mutton in this recipe if you prefer. Keep in mind that lamb tends to cook faster than mutton, so you may need to adjust the cooking time accordingly to ensure the meat is tender.

Can I make mutton biryani in advance?

Yes, you can prepare mutton biryani in advance and reheat it before serving. Store the cooked biryani in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 2-3 days. When ready to serve, reheat the biryani gently in a microwave or oven until heated through.

How do I prevent the rice from becoming mushy?

To prevent the rice from becoming mushy, be sure to parboil it before layering it with the mutton. Parboiling involves partially cooking the rice in boiling water for a few minutes until it is just tender. Drain the rice immediately to stop the cooking process and prevent it from becoming overcooked.

Can I customize the spice level of mutton biryani?

Yes, you can adjust the spice level of mutton biryani according to your personal preference. If you prefer a milder biryani, reduce the amount of chili powder or omit it altogether. Conversely, if you like your biryani spicier, you can increase the amount of chili powder or add additional spices such as green chilies or red chili flakes. Adjust the spices to suit your taste buds.

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Mutton Biryani

Mutton Biryani

by Nabeela Kauser
Mutton biryani is the epitome of Indian cuisine, with layers of beautifully spiced mutton and tender grains of rice topped with coriander and fried onions.
4.95 from 38 votes
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 45 minutes
Course Dinner, Main Course
Cuisine Indian, Pakistani
Servings 6
Calories 421 kcal


  • 500 g Rice Basmati
  • 750 g Mutton
  • 2 Onions Finely chopped
  • 2 Tomatoes Finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp Garlic Paste
  • 1 tbsp Ginger Paste
  • 1 tsp Turmeric Powder
  • 1 tsp Chili Powder
  • 1 tsp Garam Masala
  • 1 tsp Cumin Seeds
  • 4 Cloves
  • 4 Cardamom Pods
  • 2 Cinnamon Sticks
  • 2 Bay Leaves
  • 4 tbsp Vegetable Oil
  • Salt To taste
  • 1 bunch Coriander Finely chopped
  • 1 bunch Mint Finely chopped


  • Begin by washing the basmati rice in cold water until the water runs clear. Soak the rice in water for at least 30 minutes.
  • Heat vegetable oil in a large, heavy-bottomed pot or Dutch oven over medium-high heat.
  • Add cumin seeds, cloves, cardamom pods, cinnamon sticks, and bay leaves to the pot and sauté for a few seconds.
  • Add finely chopped onions to the pot and sauté until they turn golden brown.
  • Add ginger and garlic paste to the pot and sauté for 1-2 minutes.
  • Mix in finely chopped tomatoes, turmeric powder, red chili powder, garam masala powder, and salt to the pot. Cook the mixture until the tomatoes are completely cooked and the oil separates.
  • Add mutton pieces to the pot and mix well. Cook for 10-15 minutes until the mutton is browned on all sides.
  • Add enough water to cover the mutton, bring it to a boil, and then reduce the heat to low. Cover the pot with a lid and let the mutton simmer for 45-50 minutes or until the mutton is tender.
  • In the meantime, bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add the soaked rice and partially cook it for 5-6 minutes until it is parboiled. Drain the rice and set it aside.
  • Once the mutton is cooked, layer the partially cooked rice on top of the mutton in the pot. Sprinkle finely chopped coriander leaves and mint leaves on top of the rice.
  • Cover the pot with a tight-fitting lid, reduce the heat to the lowest setting, and let the biryani cook for 15-20 minutes or until the rice is fully cooked and fluffy.
  • Once done, remove the pot from the heat and let it rest for 10 minutes.
  • Serve hot with raita or a side salad.


Nutritional facts:
The provision of nutritional information is done so merely as a courtesy and should not be taken as a guarantee.


Calories: 421kcalCarbohydrates: 76gProtein: 7gFat: 9gSaturated Fat: 1gSodium: 23mgPotassium: 300mgFibre: 4gSugar: 3gVitamin A: 569IUVitamin C: 9mgCalcium: 61mgIron: 2mg
Keyword Biryani, Dinner, Food, Lamb, Meat, Mutton, Recipe, Rice, Spicy
Tried this recipe?Mention @CookwithNabeela or tag #CookwithNabeela!



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Latest comments (2)

4 stars
I made this today. It wasn’t as flavourful as expected as everything was just a teaspoon. I was a bit worried that the water wouldn’t evaporate based on the timings given (which it didn’t) and had to be cooked longer. I found adding coriander and mint with the layered rice didn’t make it refreshing. There could be better instructions.

Cook with Nabeela

Hi, I'm Nabeela!

I love to cook! I want to share with you my favourite, delicious family-friendly recipes. I want to inspire you to create fantastic food for your family every day.

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