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Kacchi Mutton Biryani

Marinated meat and parboiled rice are cooked in an oven or on a slow fire.
Prep Time20 mins
Cook Time1 hr 30 mins
Total Time1 hr 50 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Indian, North Indian
Keyword: kacchi biryani, kacchi biryani recipe, mutton kacchi biryani
Servings: 2 people
Author: Famidha Ashraf


For crispy fried onions

  • 2 to 3 large red onions sliced finely and strands separated
  • enough cooking oil to deep fry

For marination

  • 500 grams mutton Raan cut /leg pieces (washed, drained and pat dry completely)
  • salt to taste
  • 2 teaspoons caraway seeds shah jeera
  • 1 small piece mace crushed
  • 3 green cardamom
  • 1 black cardamom
  • 2 inch cinnamon stick
  • 5 cloves
  • 1 star anise
  • 1 small bay leaf
  • 1 ½ teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 1 teaspoon coriander powder
  • 1 tablespoon red chilli powder
  • 2 tablespoons ginger garlic paste
  • 2 to 3 green chillies slit
  • ½ cup thick yoghurt
  • handful fresh mint leaves
  • fistful Fresh coriander leaves
  • ¾ cup crispy fried onions
  • ¼ cup oil from the fried onion, preferably

For par-boiling the rice

  • cups basmati rice washed and soaked in water for 20 to 30 minutes and drained or soak as per packet instructions
  • 6 cups water
  • 2 green cardamom
  • 2 cloves
  • 2 green chillies slit
  • tablespoons fine salt


  • 1 pinch saffron soaked in 2 tablespoons of hot water
  • fistful fresh mint leaves
  • ¼ cup fried onions
  • 1 tablespoon ghee
  • ¼ cup water reserved after parboiling the rice


Prepare the crispy fried onions

  • Heat enough oil in a wide shallow pan or kadai.
  • Separate the strands of the sliced onions with your hands.
  • Test the oil by dropping one small onion strand, if it sizzles up then you can continue.
  • Drop a handful of onion strands into the hot oil ensuring to spread out and do not overlap.
  • Keep the flame low to medium all time, stir in between to fry evenly and fry till you see the onions changing shades (4 mins).
  • Remove the onions with a slotted spoon on time before they get burnt. The onions will continue to cook even when you take them out, so remove them when you see the golden light brown shade.
  • Spread the fried onions on a paper towel to drain the excess oil (It will become crispy as it cools).
  • Let it cool completely before storing it in an airtight box and in the freezer.

Marinate the Mutton/lamb

  • Make sure you have washed and drained and pat dried the meat completely so avoid excess moisture.
  • Add the mutton and the rest of the marinade items and mix thoroughly with your hand preferably.
  • Cover and refrigerate overnight or at least 6 hours.
  • Take it out 30 minutes before you start the rice prep.

Prepare the Rice

  • Boil the water in a deep large pot with salt, green chillies, cardamoms and cloves.
  • Stir in the drained rice and bring to boil on a high flame.
  • Reduce to medium flame and boil for just about 90 seconds to 2 minutes (30% to 50% cooked) and switch off.
  • Drain the rice in a colander immediately.
  • Reserve ¼ cup of water for later.

Prepare the Kacchi Mutton Biryani Pot

  • Spread the marinated mutton in a single layer on the bottom of the biryani pot (oven friendly).
  • Spread the drained rice evenly and pour the reserved water all around (in case you feel the rice is almost cooked because you forgot to drain on time, then skip adding the reserved water).
  • Add the fried onions, mint leaves and saffron water (you may squeeze some lemon juice or rose water and a few dollops of ghee for extra flavour)
  • Cover and seal the pot with foil and then with the lid.

Bake or Dum cook

  • If making in the oven, then preheat the oven from 165°C to 170°C with the rack on level 2.
  • If making on a stove-top, place a heat diffuser (or any flat pan) on low flame and keep the biryani pot over the diffuser. This will ensure even heat distribution and prevent the burning of food. Dum cook for 45 mins to 1 hour.
    For the oven, keep it up to 1 hour and 10 mins.
  • Open and remove the foil and let it cool for 5 minutes before you stir the rice (You may dig and check if the meat is done. If you feel it needs more cooking, then put it back in the oven. The residue heat of the oven will be enough to get it done)
  • Serve hot with cold salads, kachumber raita, papadams etc.


  • Crispy fried onions are a must and so should not be skimmed or skipped
  • Make sure the marination is not too runny, so use only thick yoghurt and drain the meat and pat dry before marination
  • Freeze any leftover fried onions in an airtight box for later use