Mutton Briyani

Mutton is one of my favourite meat. Some people don’t like it because of the gamey smell. If mutton or lamb without gamey smell, it’s not mutton or lamb anymore. I really enjoy having this smell in my food. It is distinct.

Mutton Briyani

The best way that I enjoy mutton is making mutton curry or making mutton briyani. Somehow I really like making briyani. This is like my 3rd post on briyani. I made chicken and mushroom briyani earlier on. This mutton briyani is based on a recipe posted in Saveur website. It is a Pakistani briyani. Pakistani really love their spices and they like it spicy too. The spiciness just fill up your whole mouth until to the back of the throat. So, when making this, if you want it less spicy, decrease the amount of chilli you put.

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Mutton Briyani

This briyani needs a little bit of patience because there are many things you need to do to get it done. End result is great I would say. Something worth all the effort.

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Mutton Briyani

Mutton Briyani (serves 2-3 depending on your appetite)
Adapted from Saveur

Because there are many elements in this briyani, I have outlined a big picture/general steps to help you to have an idea on the cooking sequence and the timing:

General Steps:

  1. Cook the mutton first (About 1 hour)
  2. Cook the rice (About 20 minutes)
  3. After the rice is done and left aside, start caramelizing the onion (About 30 minutes)
  4. After 1 hour of cooking the mutton, add the onion into the mutton and cook (About 15 minutes)
  5. Assemble the mutton and rice in a pot for steaming (About 20 minutes)


Ingredients to cook the mutton:

  • 500g of mutton
  • 1 tablespoon of oil
  • 10 black peppercorns
  • 4 green cardamom, lightly crushed
  • 2 cloves
  • 1 black cardamom, lightly crushed
  • 1 small cinnamon stick
  • 1 ½ tablespoon of garam masala
  • ½ teaspoon of dried crushed chilli (optional if you want less spicy)
  • ½ teaspoon of ground turmeric
  • 2 cloves of garlic + 2 inches of ginger, pound into paste
  • 1 small red onion, slice thinly
  • 1 large tomatoes, largely diced
  • 1 green chilli, remove seeds and slice
  • A handful of coriander leaves, roughly chopped
  • A handful of mint leaves, roughly chopped
  • 1 cup of water
  • *Half of the caramelized onion
  • ½ cup of yogurt
  • 1 teaspoon of salt

Ingredients to cook the rice:

  • 1 ½ cup of rice
  • 4 cups of water
  • 8 peppercorns
  • 4 green cardamom
  • 1 black cardamom
  • 1 cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon of cumin seeds
  • 2 cloves
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 3 teaspoon of salt

Ingredients to cook the Caramelized Onion (for cooking with mutton + garnishing):

  • 2 medium sized onion, slice thinly
  • 1 tablespoon of oil
  • ¼ teaspoon of salt
  • A dash of ground turmeric
  • A dash of black pepper

Assembling for further cooking (steaming):

  • 1 tablespoon of oil
  • 15 threads of saffron (grinded) mix with 1 tablespoon of hot water, leave for 10 minutes
  • 1 teaspoon of rose water
  • Orange food coloring (optional)
  • Cooked mutton
  • Cooked rice


  • Chopped coriander leaves
  • Chopped mint leaves
  • Half of the caramelized onion



Cooking Mutton:

  1. Heat up a medium size pot with medium heat. Add in oil. Once oil is heated up, add in spice, add in black peppercorns, green and black cardamom, cloves and cinnamon.
  2. Fry the spices until you see the green cardamom turning brown. Add in the small red onion and fry until soft.
  3. Then add in the mutton and fry until the mutton turns brown.
  4. Add in garam masala, crushed chilli and turmeric. Stir and fry to coat the mutton evenly with the spices.
  5. Add in ginger and garlic paste. Fry and mix. Follow by adding in the tomatoes, green chilli, coriander leaves and mint leaves. Mix well.
  6. Add in water. Cook for 1 hour.
  7. After 1 hour, add in half of the caramelized onion, yogurt and season with salt to your taste. Cook for another 15 minutes.

Cooking Rice:

  1. In a pot, boil the water. Once the water is boiled, add in salt and spices.
  2. Add in the rice and cook for 8 minutes. Stir occasionally.
  3. Drain the water off and set the rice aside.

Cooking Caramelized Onions:

  1. Heat up a pan in medium heat, add in the oil. Once oil is heated up, add in the sliced onions and  stir fry.
  2. Turn to low heat and fry for about 20 minutes, stir occasionally to have all the onions caramelized evenly.
  3. After 20 minutes, add salt, pepper and turmeric. Fry for another 10 minutes until reach the onions reaches dark brown color.
    6 (7)

Final Process – Assemble and Steam Rice and Mutton:

  1. Combine the saffron water and rosewater in a small bowl
  2. For assembling the rice and mutton, use a big deep pot.
  3. First, put in the oil, follow by rice. The drizzle the saffron and rosewater plus the coloring.
  4. Add in the mutton and then follow by rice again. Repeat the steps until you finish both rice and mutton.
  5. Wrap your lid with cloth and cover the pot. This is to prevent the steam from escaping.
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    Wrap the lid with cloth and cover the pot
  6. Steam under very low heat for 20 minutes.

Lastly, pour out the rice on a big plate and garnish with caramelized onions, coriander and mint leaves.

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