Kolkata Mutton Biryani is a renowned dish that holds a special place in the culinary heritage of India. Tender chunks of mutton, fragrant basmati rice, well-seasoned potato halves, boiled eggs, and aromatic spices combine to create this delectable rice dish.
A shout out to all the mutton fans out there! If you haven't had Kolkata Mutton Biryani, now is the opportunity to try it in your own kitchen.
Although there is a long list of ingredients, the cooking process is not difficult, even though it takes some time. However, proper planning can make the cooking process easier.
Gear up and add this delicious mutton biryani in your house party, special occasions like birthdays & anniversaries, festivals like bhai dooj (bhai phota), etc.
Rice: Use long grain good quality basmati rice for biryani.
Meat: Fresh, tender mutton is perfect for biryani.
Whole Spices: Cinnamon stick, clove, green cardamom, shah jeera, javitri, bay leaf, black peppercorns, black cardamom, kabab chini, jaiphal, star anise, etc.
Spice Powders: Turmeric powder, coriander powder, red chilli powder, etc.
Ginger-Garlic: Fresh ginger paste and garlic paste.
Onion: For beresta, you should use sliced onions. Use chopped onion for cooking the mutton.
Vegetables: Potatoes are must for Bengali style biryani recipe. Grated raw papaya is required for the marination of mutton.
Oil/Ghee: Vegetable oil & deshi ghee
Others: Salt, Sugar, yogurt, milk, saffron, eggs, etc.
Learn how to prepare Kolkata Mutton Biryani by following the steps below.
We can categorize the method of cooking mutton biryani in overall five steps and they are
- Making of Biryani Masala or Biryani Spice Powder
- Marination of Mutton Pieces
- Cooking the Rice for Biryani
- Cooking the Mutton for Biryani
- Assembling the Kolkata Mutton Biryani
Making of Biryani Masala or Biryani Spice Powder
In a skillet, dry roast the ingredients for Biryani masala (excluding the nutmeg powder) for a few minutes. Allow to cool before grinding to a smooth powder.
Combine the ground spice combination with the nutmeg powder. Biryani Spice Powder, also known as Biryani Masala, is now ready to use.
You can make ahead the biryani spice powder in large batch and store it in a clean and dry glass jar. So, every time you do not have to go through this step which can save a lot of your time.
Marination of Mutton Pieces
Wash the mutton pieces thoroughly under running water. Now marinate the mutton in grated raw papaya for 30 minutes to an hour.
Papaya makes the mutton soft and juicy. you can also add vinegar instead of papaya.
Then, add the additional ingredients listed in the marinating mutton section.
Rub the marinade ingredients into all of the pieces and set aside overnight.
Cooking Rice For Biryani
Wash the rice thoroughly and soak for 20 minutes in water. Drain the water and cook the rice with the whole spices indicated under the tab 'For Cooking Biryani Rice'.
When the rice is 75 to 80% cooked, drain the water. Spread the rice out on plates to cool. Season the rice with a touch of salt.
Cooking Mutton For Kolkata Mutton Biryani
This is an important step in the cooking of mutton biryani.
In a pan, heat the oil and add the onion slices. Cook it in a little salt and sugar over medium heat until golden and crisp.
Place them on absorbent paper after removing them from the oil. Beresta is now ready. Set aside.
Meanwhile, parboil the potatoes and drain the water and keep aside.
Once cooled down, cook the potatoes in the remaining oil, seasoning with salt and turmeric powder. Take them out and set them aside after they have turned golden.
Now, in the same pan, melt the ghee and add the finely chopped onions.
Once transparent, add the marinated mutton pieces.
Cook the mutton pieces in a pan with coriander powder and salt. Cover with a lid and cook for 3 to 5 minutes on high heat.
Reduce the heat to low and slowly cook the mutton chunks, covered with a lid and stirring occasionally.
Make sure the spice mixture should not get burnt. Hence, stirring plays an important role here. Once the mutton turns tender, remove from the heat and keep aside.
Assembling of Biryani
We have now reached the most crucial and last stage of the biryani assembly process.
Soak saffron strands in warm milk for 10 minutes. The milk will turn pale yellow. You can also add a few drops of food color to the milk.
Take a large pot and coat it with ghee. Place one-third of the cooked mutton in the bottom, followed by rice, fried onions (beresta), a couple potato halves, and a boiled egg. Add a little saffron milk to this layer.
Top with a similar layer of cooked mutton, fried onions, rice, potatoes, boiled egg, and saffron milk. Similarly, you can add multiple layers depending on the amount of cooked mutton and rice.
Finally, drizzle the top layer with kewra water and meetha attar. Close the lid and use wheat flour dough to seal the edges of the pot.
Cook for 2 minutes on high heat before removing from the flame. Heat an iron skillet over medium heat while keeping the biryani pot on top.
Keep the gas on low heat for about 10 minutes, then turn it off and set aside for 10 minutes. Now Kolkata Mutton Biryani is ready to serve.
Biryani is always best paired with raita and a fresh cucumber and onion salad. You can serve with your choice of raita, such as mixed veg raita, boondi raita, bhindi raita, cucumber-onion rata, biryani raita, etc.
I recommend making fresh biryani for any special occasion. However, you can store leftover biryani in a dry airtight box and keep inside the refrigerator for 3-4 days. Later you can reheat in microwave before eating.
- Avoid overcooking the rice for biryani.
- Always allow to cool the rice before layering, otherwise long grain rice will be broken.
- The two most important components of a good biryani are high-quality rice and tender meat.
- Marination plays a key role in the making of biryani.
- While layering the biryani, use thick bottom utensils to avoid getting burnt at the bottom.
- Don't rush! You need to slow down because biryani is a slow cooked dish. Hence, adjust the heat appropriately while you prepare biryani.
Check out our Kolkata Chicken Biryani Page for all your Kolkata style biryani related FAQs.
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Kolkata Mutton Biryani
For Biryani Spice Powder or Biryani Masala
- 1 inch Cinnamon Stick
- 8 nos Clove
- 4 nos Green Cardamom
- ¾ teaspoon Caraway Seeds or Shah Jeera
- 3-4 petals Mace or Javitri
- 1 no Bay Leaf
- 8 nos Whole Black Peppercorns
- 1 no Black Cardamom
- 3-4 no Cubeb or Kabab Chini
- ½ teaspoon Nutmeg or Jaiphal grated or powder
For Cooking Biryani Rice
- 2 cups Long Grain Basmati Rice
- 2 nos Green Cardamom
- 4 nos Cloves
- 4 nos Whole Black Peppercorn
- 1-2 nos Star Anise
- 3-4 nos Cubeb
- 1 no Bay Leaf
- ½ inch Cinnamon
- 1-2 petal Mace
For Marinating Mutton
- 500-600 gms Mutton Pieces
- 1½ tablespoon Grated Raw Papaya
- ½ cup Thick Yogurt
- 2-3 teaspoon Ginger Paste
- 2 teaspoon Garlic Paste
- 1 teaspoon Red Chilli Powder
- ⅓ teaspoon Turmeric Powder
- 2 teaspoon Biryani Masala Powder (Ingredients given above)
- 1½ tablespoon Vegetable Oil
- Salt to taste
- 1 no Onion, large Sliced (for making beresta)
- 2 cups Onion finely chopped
- 2-3 nos Potato, medium cut into halves
- 4 nos Boiled eggs
- 1½ teaspoon Coriander Powder
- ¼ teaspoon Turmeric Powder
- 1 teaspoon Sugar
- ¼ cup Milk Warm
- Saffron a pinch
- ¼ cup Ghee or Clarified Butter
- Few drops of Food Color (Saffron) (Optional)
- Few drops Meetha Attar (a special fragrance for Mughlai cuisine)
- Few drops of kewra water
- Salt to taste
Making of Biryani Spice Powder or Biryani Masala
- Dry roast the ingredients for Biryani masala (except nutmeg powder) in a skillet for a few minutes.
- Allow them to cool and later grind them to smooth powder.
- Add nutmeg powder to the ground spice mixture and combine well.
- Now Biryani Spice Powder or Biryani Masala is ready to use.
Marination of Mutton Pieces
- Wash and clean the mutton pieces thoroughly under tap water.
- Now marinated the mutton with grated raw papaya for 30 minutes to 1 hour.
- After that, add the remaining ingredients given under marinating mutton section.
- Rub the marination ingredients in all the pieces and rest it for overnight.
Cooking Rice for Biryani
- Soak the rice in water for 20 minutes.
- Later, drain the water and cook the rice with the whole spices listed under the tab 'For Cooking Biryani Rice'.
- Drain the water when the rice is 75 to 80% cooked.
- Spread the rice out on plates to cool.
- Sprinkle a pinch of salt over the rice.
Cooking Mutton for Biryani
- Heat oil in a pan and add the sliced onions.
- Fry it in a little salt and sugar over medium heat until brown and crisp.
- Remove them from the oil and place them on absorbent paper. Now beresta is ready. Set aside.
- Meanwhile parboil potatoes and once cooled down after draining water, cook them in the remaining oil with a pinch of salt and turmeric powder.
- Once they turn golden, take them out and keep aside.
- Now, in the same pan, melt the ghee and add the finely chopped onions.
- Once transparent, add the marinated mutton pieces.
- Cook the mutton pieces with coriander powder and salt under low heat.
- Cover with a lid and cook for 3 to 5 minutes on high heat.
- Later, decrease the heat to low and cook the mutton pieces slowly, covered with a lid and stirring occasionally.
- After the mutton is cooked, set it aside.
Assembling of Biryani
- Soak Saffron in warm milk for 10 minutes. The milk will turn pale yellow. You can also add a few drops of food color to the milk.
- Take a large pot and coat it with ghee.
- Place one-third of the cooked mutton in the bottom, followed by rice, fried onions (beresta), a few potato halves, and a boiled egg. In this layer, add a little saffron milk.
- Add a similar layer on top of this by layering cooked mutton, fried onions, rice, potatoes, boiled egg, and saffron milk.
- Finally, add kewra water and meetha attar to the top layer.
- Close the lid and seal the edges of the pot with wheat flour dough.
- Cook for 2 minutes on high heat and remove the pot from the heat.
- Place an iron skillet on the heat and keep the biryani pot on top.
- Keep the gas on low heat for around 10 minutes and later turn off the heat and set aside for 10 minutes.
- Unseal the edges and serve the hot Kolkata style mutton biryani with raita.
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