Thalassery Biriyani – Mutton Biriyani (North Kerala Style)

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My Dear Wonderful Readers

Hope you are well.  Today’s post is about “Biriyani” –  a  word synonymous to “A feast”. In my mum’s place, she has a special biryani recipe that she makes for all major occations. Like on birthdays, special dinner events, parties etc. But it wasn’t until I was in college that I learnt that there are so many different kinds of biriyanis out there. One such recipe is the ‘Thalassery Biriyani’.

Ingredients :-

  1. Ghee – 4 – 5 tbsp ( for frying the onions and the mutton)
  2. Mutton – 1 kg
  3. Onions – 5 cups (julienned)
  4. Ginger Garlic Paste – 80 gms ( 4- 5 tbsp)
  5. Chilli Powder – 2 tbsp
  6. Turmeric Powder – 1 tsp
  7. Garam Masala – 3 tsp
  8. Pepper Powder – 1 tbsp
  9. Curd – 3 tbsp
  10. Lime Juice – juice from 2
  11. Green Chilli – 4 (crushed)
  12. Mint Leaves – 1/2 cup ( chopped)
  13. Corriander Leaves – 1/2 cup (chopped)
  14. Salt – according to taste

For the rice: 

  1. Basmati Rice – 2 cups
  2. Water – 4 cups
  3. Onions – 1/ 2 cup
  4. Bay leaf – 1
  5. Cinnamon – 1 piece ( around 3 – 4 inches)
  6. Cardamom – 3
  7. Cloves – 4
  8. Cumin Seeds – 1 tsp
  9. Salt- as required
  10. Ghee – 2 tbsp

For the final assembling :-

  1. Milk –1/4 cup (luke warm)
  2. Saffron – one good pinch
  3. Cashew Nuts – 1/4 cup
  4. Raisina – 1/4 cup
  5. Ghee – to fry the nuts
  6. Mint Leaves – 1/4 cup
  7. Ghee – as required

Instructions :- For the Mutton Masala 

  1. Firstly add ghee to a heavy bottom pan and fry 4 cups of onions to golden brown
  2. Once the onions are nice and brown, divide into two equal portions
  3. Now in the same ghee, fry the cashew nuts and raisins. Set aside
  4. In the remaining ghee, add ginger garlic paste. Once the raw smell has gone, add the mutton pieces. Then add the crushed green chilli and a tsp of salt. Cover and let it cool till the mutton begins to release its water
  5. Once you see water coming from the sides, add turmeric powder, chilli powder, garam masala powder, pepper powder and mix well to coat the meat with the spices
  6. Cover and cook for 5 mins
  7. Then add the yogurt, lime juice, mint leaves, coriander leaves and cook for another 10 mins
  8. You want the meat to have cooked 90 % . Make sure you have enough gravy / water in the meat mixture. Set aside the pan.

Instructions for the Rice:-

  1. Soak rice in water for 10 – 15 mins. (Drain completely before adding in the next step)
  2. Heat ghee in a pot and once the ghee is nice and hot add the spices, – bay leaf, cinnamon, cloves, cardamom and cumin. Then add the onions and fry till translucent
  3. Finally add the drained rice and add 4 cups of boiling hot water. Cover and cook till all the water is drained and rice is cooked 90 %

Assembling the biryani

  1. Soak saffron strands in warm milk and set aside
  2. In a large pot, first add one layer of the mutton masala. Then add a layer of the cooked rice. Sprinkle half of fried onions over the rice. Then spinkle mint leaves, fried cashews and raisins. Finally pour half the saffron milk all over the rice
  3. Repeat the step with the rest of the mutton and rice. Sprinkle the remaining onions, mint, nuts, raisins and saffron milk
  4.  Lastly pour another spoon of ghee over the rice
  5.  Cover and cook for 5 mins or till the rice is cooked well
  6. Your biriyani is ready!
  7.  Serve with cucumber raita and hot poppadams
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