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Thursday, 3 October 2013

Mutton Dum Biryani

#2 Amma's Recipe

I know you will kick me if I speak anymore about Biryani. I already said too much in my previous post on Madrasi Chicken Dum Biryani, Dindigul Mutton Biryani & The Royal Biryani! And now my lips are sealed. 

But I want to insist on two things again and again. Use good quality mutton and good quality basmati rice. The flavour to the biryani is basically from the rice and mutton. 

There is also a video demonstration for this recipe, you can find the video on YouTube HERE. It was a casually shot video by me but later I decided to put it up so that you can see exactly at what stages the ingredients go in. 

Serves 7

You Will Need

For Mutton Marination:

1.5 Kg of Mutton, Big Cuts
1/2 Cup of Thick Yogurt
Juice of a Lemon

For The Gravy:

Oil - 150 ml
Ghee - 2 Tbsp (If you wish you can increase or decrease the proportion of both)
6 Cardamom Pods
4 Cinnamon Sticks
3 Bay leaves
6 Cloves
1/2 kg of Onions, Sliced
1/2 Kg of Tomatoes, Chopped
20 Green Chilies, Pricked (You don't want it bursting on your face)
2 tbsp of Ginger Garlic Paste
Handful of Roughly Chopped Coriander Leaves
Handful of Roughly Chopped Mint Leaves
1.5 tsp of Red Chili Powder
1/2 Cup of Thick Yogurt
Salt to Taste

For The Rice:

1 kg Basmati Rice, Soaked for 20 - 25 mins
Ample Water to Cook the Rice
Required Salt for the Rice
A tbsp of Oil
3 Cardamom Pods
2 Bay leaves
2 Cinnamon Sticks
5 Cloves

Other Ingredients:

Few Strands of Saffron Soaked in 1/4 Cup of Warm Milk 
Mix Little Orange Food Color in 1/4 Cup of Milk
Dough to Seal the Dum / Foil

The Cooking:

Step 1:

Mix all the ingredients for marination together and let it rest for atleast an hour or overnight.

Step 2:

Heat a pressure cooker or any heavy bottom vessel, add oil and ghee. Once hot crackle the whole garam masala spices on high heat. Then add the sliced onions and saute till it turns pink and translucent. 

Step 3:

Add the pricked green chillies and saute till the onions turn to a light golden brown. Now add the ginger garlic paste and saute for a min followed by red chilli powder. Mix well and saute for couple of mins.

Step 4:

Add the yogurt and mix to incorporate. Then add the coriander and mint leaves, stirring well for a min. 

Step 5:

Tumble in the chopped tomatoes and saute well on high heat. The tomatoes need to go a little mushy. Add required salt for the gravy and cook covered for 5 - 7 mins.

Step 6:

Now, add the marinated mutton along with the marinade. Make sure you mix reaching all the way to the bottom of the cooker. Cover and cook for 10 mins giving time for the marinade and the gravy to come together and the mutton to soak up all the juices. Add water. Then lid on, and pressure cook it on high till 2 sounds.

Since, the mutton is marinated for a long time and its been cooking for 10 mins with the gravy 2 sounds is actually enough. But if you find if the mutton needs more cooking time then go for another one or two sounds. 

If not cooking in a pressure cooker, then cover and cook till the meat is tender. 

Once the mutton is done, check for salt, spice and sourness. The mutton gravy needs to be salty, spicy and sour enough for the gravy. If not, adjust accordingly and cook on medium heat for few mins. 

Step 7:

Meanwhile, bring ample water to boil. Make sure you really have loads of water, so that the rice do not stick with each other and break. Add required salt and oil to the water along with the whole garam masalas. You can add them directly or tie in a cheese cloth and throw it in. 

Step 8:

Once the water comes to a vigorous boil, carefully spoon in the rice. Once the last of rice goes it stir everything together once and bring the rice to a vigorous boil. 

They usually say the rice must be 70% cooked or 75% cooked. But I have no idea about it and this is how I always remember it. One vigorous boil after adding the rice, and THAT'S IT. 

Step 9:

By this time the mutton will be cooked perfectly. Scoop out the excess oil you see floating above the gravy. My mom usually adds it to the rice in the end or you can discard if you think its too much ;) 
So, anyway you can either use a different heavy bottom vessel to prepare the dum or just a pressure cooker. 

Now divide the gravy in half and add the first half of the gravy to the bottom of a pot or saucepan or vessel or whatever you are going to put the dum in. Then scoop out the rice carefully and layer half of the semi - cooked rice on top of the gravy. 

Then top it off with the remaining gravy and then finally the remaining rice. Sprinkle the saffron milk / food color over the rice evenly and pour the oil which you have scooped out earlier. 

Make sure your rice is evened out and you spread the saffron milk and the oil evenly, not pouring everything in one place. 

Step 10:

Place the dough around the edges  of the cooker and place a flat lid securing it tightly. My mom places a pot of boiling water over the lid it keep the steam in and also to provide source of heat from above. 

When putting on dum, place a heavy bottomed tava so that the heat is distributed evenly and the biryani does not stick to the bottom. 

If using foil, simply wrap the foil tightly around the cooker.

Cook for 25 - 30 mins on Medium low heat.

Step 11:

Carefully break the dum and with a flat metal spatula gently mix the rice from the edges. Be careful not to over mix. 

Serve Hot with Biryani Kathirikai, Onions Raita and Boiled Eggs ;)

  • If using very fatty mutton, go less on the oil. 

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Happy Cooking!


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