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  • Tamil Style Mutton Biryani

    Posted on | March 16, 2007 | 46 Comments |

    I am very lucky to be married to a guy who not only shares my passion for food, but is a fantastic cook as well. But even though both of us work full-time, somehow cooking is my responsibility in our house. It is not something that Siv demands, he doesn’t expect me to cook every day, he cooks when he is in the mood, and expects me to do the same. But I have a voice in my head that tells me that the kitchen is my domain, and cooking is my responsibility! I consider myself a modern, independent, free spirited woman, but I figure that I’m very traditional when it comes to my role in the kitchen. Siv does cook a lot, but when he does, I feel like he is doing me a favor. Am I crazy? Does this make sense to anyone?

    Anyway, ramblings aside, here is the Mutton Biryani Siv made this week,I am sharing the recipe as promised in my last post. His first attempt at making Biryani following his mom’s recipe.


    • 1.5 lb goat or lamb meat cut into medium sized pieces
    • To Grind:
      • 12 Dry Red chilies
      • 1″ Cinnamon
      • 1 tsp fennel seeds
      • 4 cardamom
      • 1 finger sized ginger
      • 6 cloves garlic
      • 1 onion thinly sliced
      • About 20 mint leaves
    • 1 star anise
    • 3 bay leaves
    • 1″ cinnamon
    • 3 cups Basmati Rice
    • Salt to taste
    • Oil
    • Coconut milk 1/2 cup
    • 1 tbsp Ghee (Clarified butter)


    Wash and soak the rice in cold water for at least 30 minutes.

    Grind all the ingredients in the To Grind section to a smooth paste and keep aside.

    In a pressure cooker, heat some oil and fry the mutton pieces along with the star anise, bay leaves and cinnamon stick.

    Add the ground masala paste, salt and 1 cup of water and pressure cook the mutton. (3 minutes after the first whistle).

    While the cooker is cooling down, in a big frying pan, heat the ghee, add soaked rice and a little bit of salt and fry well.

    When the pressure cooker is cool enough to handle, open and measure the gravy in the mutton. We need total 5 cups of liquid including the gravy, coconut milk and water to cook 3 cups of rice. For example, if there is two cups of gravy in the mutton, add 1/2 cup coconut milk and 2 1/2 cups of water. Add the fried rice along with the required amount of hot water and coconut milk to the mutton in the pressure cooker.

    Close the pressure cooker and cook till the first whistle. Switch off the stove and let stand till it cools down.

    Delicious mutton biryani is ready. Garnish with coriander leaves, squeeze a fresh lime over the biryani and serve with cucumber raitha.

    Since this is a traditional biryani recipe from his mom, this is made completely in the pressure cooker. I’ve tried a pressure cooker biryani recipe from Kitchen Wonders once, even though it tasted great, I kind of messed it up by overcooking the rice, so I went back to my regular oven method. But Siv made this perfect, you can see from the picture that the rice is not overcooked, may be he is a better cook than I am after all!

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    Category: India - Tamil Nadu, Lamb or Goat, Recipes, Rice Or Biryani

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    46 Responses to “Tamil Style Mutton Biryani”

    1. Sumitha
      March 16th, 2007 @ 1:04 pm

      Hi Sig,its my first visit to your blog!You have a “fantastic” blog!I loved reading the restaurant reviews,if only i lived in Seattle your info would have been greatly useful.Aww…I am sad that the biryani you tried was overcooked.I have found a great recipe here in your blog now which I am definetly gonna give a try.

      • Deepali Pendse
        May 6th, 2009 @ 11:15 am

        Hi sumitha,

        I enjoyed reading and trying your recipes. Unfortunately, i didn’t log in for a few months to kitchen wonders and now i can’t access it anymore.

        The blog says that i need to be invited to your blog. Can you please send me an invite on my gmail address……

    2. Sig
      March 16th, 2007 @ 4:03 pm

      Hi Sumitha, Thanks for coming by… I love your blog and recipes too… Yeah, I messed up your biryani recipe… think I added more water than you specified… it tasted wonderful though. :)

    3. Richa
      March 16th, 2007 @ 4:25 pm

      hi sig, reached here blog hopping.
      i too love to try new restaurants, veg though.
      i try to use the masala from non-veg recipes for my paneer recipes.


    4. Pravs
      March 16th, 2007 @ 4:59 pm

      More than chicken biriyani..mutton biriyani is my fav…i will give this a try. Thanks for the recipe.

    5. Kalinka
      March 16th, 2007 @ 5:55 pm

      Hello from Portugal

      I went for holidays to Algarve, in the south of the country.

      Now, I write in portugueses and in english, if you want to visit me again, you can read it in english.

      You can see some pictures there.

      Waiting for YOU.

      Bye. Hugs.

    6. shilpa
      March 16th, 2007 @ 6:03 pm

      Sig, biryani looks very good. I don’t wat mutton very frequently and since my husband don’t eat it, I have stopped eating it after marriage. So I am going to prepare this with chicken. Thanks for sharing.

    7. A Yunus
      March 16th, 2007 @ 7:46 pm


      The Biriyani is tempting da!! Hmm..I have no way to get such nice dishes from my DH…he is a forever wannabe taster :) ) I shud try this one sometime…!!

    8. Asha
      March 16th, 2007 @ 10:26 pm

      YUMMY!! Thank you Sig!!!Looks beautiful!!

      I am off and won’t see me until Minday!:)

    9. Sig
      March 16th, 2007 @ 10:49 pm

      Richa, welcome… yeah most non-veg recipes are great with paneer as well.

      pravs, yep me too.. i love mutton everything and biryani especially.

      Shilpa, if you are not into mutton, try with chicken, just reduce the cooking time for chicken.

      Anisha, thanks… if your DH doesn’t cook, that has a positive side too, I personally like to feed him and collect the praises than the other way… It is good when someone appreciates you. :)

      Asha, Have a great weekend… Take frequent vacations from blogging, otherwise you will get burned out and the whole food blogging community will miss our greatest member :-)

    10. ros
      March 21st, 2007 @ 3:58 pm

      Mutton biryani was what my mother considered one of her specialities. Unfortunately she wasn’t the greatest cook and I found I had to rework her recipe completely.

      It is interesting seeing the differences between your husband’s Tamil version of the dish and the one I make which is based on my Sinhalese family’s recipe. There are subtle differences in the spicing, the most notable are the use of star anise and mint leaves.

    11. Sheela
      March 29th, 2007 @ 11:17 pm

      Hey Sig, was stuck at home today, down with flu and all, and popped over to check out your posts – couldn’t surf away without leaving a note – not about the recipe, but about something you “rambled”…

      D, my husband, cooks a lot, and yet, I feel pretty much the same way you do. You ask:

      —Am I crazy? Does this make sense to anyone?

      It sure does, makes complete sense to me…you stole my thoughts.

      Perhaps, it is a genetic trait? or cultural? or plain conditioning? who knows?

      But, works out fine as I love to cook… if only my wee one would not insist on sitting on my hip and supervising :-)

    12. Sig
      March 30th, 2007 @ 12:25 am

      Sheela, hope you feel better soon… I am at home too today, taking care of Siv who is down with flu and cold :) .
      I’m glad someone got what I was rambling about. There is a great discussion on Jugalbandi.Info about this, in case you missed it.

    13. shilpa
      January 27th, 2008 @ 2:07 am

      lovely n brilliant recipe ….but ur question as in is ur hubby doin a favour on u by cookin doesnt make sense to me …for me ..common sense takes priority over …tradition n unecccessary cultures …no one takes a dominence over one area …be it kitchen or earning bread …its a shared responsibility …i wud never follow th fact that women look pretty in kitchen …no matter which fool makes that tradition.

    14. Bharathy
      March 12th, 2008 @ 7:20 am

      I was under the impression that coconut milk in biriyanis means Kerala..Tamil recipe calls for yoghurt! I see the other way round!..
      Both are LOVEEELY!(your and siv’s) :grin:
      It is a TIE :razz:

    15. suba
      June 30th, 2008 @ 5:15 am

      Did u forget tomato or no need? I am surprised without tomato….let me try this week

      No, I didn’t forget tomato, we don’t need tomato in this biryani.

    16. chandrika
      July 3rd, 2008 @ 11:33 am

      Ilike to know indian all kind of biriyani and sweets how to cook please help meto learn.
      Thank you.

    17. sumathia
      August 11th, 2008 @ 1:26 pm

      :drool: :( Martini):

    18. seema
      September 4th, 2008 @ 4:10 pm

      Hello Sig,

      I tried this biriyani.. pramaadamaa irundedu. Brought back memories of child hood days in Erode. I didnt have a big enough cooker. so I cooked the mutton, processed the rice and did every thing else the way you mentioned. I added the whole thing into a big sauce pan, let it boil first and then reduced the flame for 20 mins.. and it turned out amazing. Thanks for posting it. could you post more tamil recipes? seema

      Thanks Seema… I am glad you could make it without the pressure cooker. I will try and post more Tamil recipes soon.

    19. Dhivya Selvaraj
      September 14th, 2008 @ 11:59 am


      I followed your recipe to make mutton briyani and it came out really awesome….it was too good.. my hubby felt tat it was just like the ones u get in the hotel. thanks a lot !! and ur blog is really interesting tooo..:)

      Thanks Dhivya! Glad you and hubby enjoyed the biryani… Hope to see you around!

    20. Anna
      September 14th, 2008 @ 1:16 pm

      I hate to set such a good cook right but there is a huge difference between 6 pods of garlic and 6 cloves of garlic. I am certain you meant the latter.

      Thanks for the correction Anna! Of course I meant cloves, I’ve updated the post.

    21. priti
      October 19th, 2008 @ 12:59 am

      Hi dear sig…

      You make my days so good.. i have already cooked a couple of ur chicken recipes and got wonderful comments from my hubby. i am new to cooking and so, i have some doubts to clarify. I am planning to give ur tamil style mutton biryani with chicken instead of mutton. so, i have one bit doubt to clear. this might be a little weird one but i hope u’ll understand.

      1. The 3 cups of basmati rice u it the pyrex measuring cup or the one with the rice cooker? sorry if this is a stupid question.. but pls reply… :???: :?:

      Hi Priti, a cup is a standard size. If you have a measuring cup that has the measurements in cups or ounces, you should use that. 1 cup = 8 oz. Hope that helps.

    22. Ravi
      October 25th, 2008 @ 4:41 pm

      The Biriyani was awesome…I followed the instructions with out missing any steps and the result was feast to our tongue. :drool:
      Thanks a lot!!

      Thanks Ravi! Glad you liked it.. :)

    23. MJ
      January 5th, 2009 @ 2:56 pm

      Everytime I visit your website, I can’t explain the rush I get out by reading your recipes. Its like all my senses have woken up.

      Thanks !! and a fantastic job presenting it ..

    24. Dharshana
      March 1st, 2009 @ 5:39 pm

      Thanks for the wonderful recipe. My only worry was, my biriyani was never perfect. Sometimes overcooked and sometimes too bland. Oneday, i bumped into your blog and decided to do my mutton biriyani in your style. From then on,till date i always cook mutton biriyani your style and it has come perfect everytime. Thank you so much. Now i am called “Mutton Biriyani Specialist” among my family. :-) All credit goes to u…. :-)

    25. prem
      May 29th, 2009 @ 4:55 am

      hi Thanks for the wonderful recipe. i have one doubt … turmeric powder is not needed??

      • sig
        May 29th, 2009 @ 6:23 pm

        Nope, no turmeric powder needed, but you can always add some if you like the color.

    26. prem
      June 2nd, 2009 @ 11:51 pm

      hi … i have done it this week end … i came out awesomely … my wife have been flattened … she was very happy …. thanks a lot for the nice dish. hope i will be regular member from here on.

    27. saveetha
      September 15th, 2009 @ 11:53 am

      hi hi

      i came upon ur recipe while searching for biryani in pressure cooker.

      i have few doubts, pls clarify friend.
      1. i have hawkins 3ltr cooker, so can i follow this whiste counts and timings just as u have mentioned….. is there any standard rule for cooking time no matter what type of cooker we use.
      2. y is it 5 cups of liquid instead of 6 cups for 3 cups of rice( as i have read that u need liquid = double the quantity of rice)
      3. i have electric stove and always there is burning of rice at the bottom, how to avoid it.

      hope u can help me , thank in advance.

      saveetha. :razz:

    28. Priya
      September 21st, 2009 @ 8:00 am

      Question: pressure cook mutton at high or medium until first whistle?

      Gonna give this a try :) thanks

      • sig
        September 26th, 2009 @ 4:10 pm

        Pressure cook on medium, otherwise the bottom part might get burned.

    29. amu
      October 17th, 2009 @ 5:28 am


    30. Saranya Shree
      February 6th, 2010 @ 7:50 pm

      i try it today its really good and awesome……… my hubby like it and he also thank you for a ice and lovely biriyani
      I had a small doubt Why you wont use Tomato for this ?
      Thanks a lot!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    31. Suntheran
      September 1st, 2010 @ 7:29 pm

      Just to check, If i want to pressure cook 1kilo of mutton how much of water needed to cook the meat.

      • mani
        April 20th, 2011 @ 11:55 pm


        • mani
          April 20th, 2011 @ 11:55 pm

          1 spoon of water is enough …

    32. Arivu
      October 2nd, 2010 @ 5:07 am

      Thanks very much for your recipe. Tried it twice and it came out good both times. My husband liked it a lot… thank you!

    33. sonia
      November 4th, 2010 @ 12:37 am

      sorry to say i dont feel to say this shud b named as Tamil Biriyani, mainly no masalas…
      I tried it , but not a sucess, but ur goat curry recipe & Pork Ularthiyathu (Pork Dry Curry Kerala style) was a gud one, it was delicious..
      Got any recipes for beef?


    34. Priyanka
      November 24th, 2010 @ 5:17 pm

      Loved it.. Been making biryani for 4 years now.. But this is my favourite!! I made a little adjustment and marinated my meat in grounded spice mixed with couple of tablespoons of yoghurt an kept aside for 30 mins.. Turned out really yummy and rich in whole family loves it!! Thank you :)

    35. Eashwari
      February 17th, 2011 @ 1:37 am

      It came out very well.. this is my first try with biryani and i am impressed by my own abilities to do something so good ;) Thank you!!!

    36. Fiveftnwalkintall
      July 11th, 2011 @ 6:23 am

      WoW, i cooked this on father’s day – hubby loved it. It’s just awesome. I do marinate the mutton with yoghurt, vinegar and garam masala which is the only thing i’ve done to digress from the recipe – but truly yummy stuff :-)

    37. Yummy Mum
      July 29th, 2011 @ 2:43 am


      This has become a weekend must have at my place :-) Shared recipe with my friend and she loves it too.
      I’d like to cook it for a dinner party next week, informal gathering of my 12 close friends. However i don’t have a pressure cooker to handle that quantity and i really dont wanna do it in batches. Any ideas?