Mutton dum biryani

One more mutton biryani, which I prepared for Eid (Ramzan), lamb/mutton dum biryani (kache ghost ki biryani) Hyderabad style, which I could not resist to share with you. I am just keep trying all different kinds of biryani, as I am a big lover of biryani and never get satisfied after trying so many biryanis. Though I prepared this biryani for eid but my husband’s comment after eating this biryani was, he felt the same taste as the biryani served in our marriages (muslim biryani), which gave me immense happiness and satisfaction.

Hyderabadi style lamb/mutton dum biryani is a one pot dish which is made by cooking meat and rice together on a slow flame. Hyderabadi mutton biryani is usually prepared for special occasions or whenever you desire for it. I have prepared this Hyderabadi lamb biryani as per my taste and with my home made biryani masala. The lamb biryani is full of flavour when cooked with home made biryani masala. The method I used for this lamb biryani is kacche gosht ki biryani style. This means that the raw meat is marinated with spices, and then half cooked rice layered over marinated raw meat and cooked on slow flame for 30 to 45 mins depending upon the quantity used. Kacche gosht ki biryani is easy if we cook the rice rightly and leave for dum for the appropriate time.

Dum means simmering or slow cooking process. The lid is sealed over the biryani vessel with a wheat dough tightly. You can view in one of my biryani recipe or as a easy process, just close it with a cloth or aluminium foil and then put the lid on tightly. In the marriages, the biryani is cooked on firewood in big vessels, put off the fire and then the hot charcoal is used for dum. Some charcoal is also put on top of the biryani vessel to ensure heat is provided from both top and bottom, which will cook the biryani more evenly. Biryani vessel is sealed with the lid by using a wheat dough and then dum is given on a low flame. But at home we can adopt easy process like closing the lid and keeping it inside the oven for dum. You can also give dum in a rice cooker or place a chapathi tava below the biryani vessel to provide heat from the bottom and placing boiling hot water on the top for heat from above, so that the biryani cooks more evenly.

In this Hyderabadi lamb/mutton dum biryani (kachche gosht ki biryani), I have used fragrant whole spice, which is optional. I have used 1 kg of lamb/mutton and 600 gms of rice, which is more of meat and less of rice. You can use equal quantities also. The meat I have used is spring lamb with medium size pieces , which is tender and gets cooked easily. My butcher sells good quality meat and a good quality meat is very much essential for a good biryani.

Serve this kachche gosht ki biryani with raitha (onion and yoghurt mixture) or mirchi ka saalan (green chilli curry) or brinjal curry (brinjal pacchadi or yennai kathirikkai (in Tamil), chicken fry or chicken 65. In our home, we serve like this and are enjoyed by everyone.

Preparation time: 45 mins (including frying onions)

Cooking time: 1 hour

Cuisine: Hyderabad (home style)

Serves: 4 to 5

Spiciness: Medium


  1. Oil – 1/3 cup or less
  2. Mutton/Lamb (with bones) – 1 kg
  3. Onion (medium size) – 5 or 500 gms
  4. Oil - for frying onion
  5. Mint – 2 cups
  6. Coriander leaves – 1 1/2 cup
  7. For marinade

  8. Oil – 1/3 cup
  9. Ginger and garlic paste – 3 tbsp
  10. Curd – 2 cups
  11. Chilli powder – 2 tbsp
  12. Turmeric powder – 1 tsp
  13. Biryani masala (home made) – 1 tsp
  14. Mace and nutmeg (javitri and jaiphal) – 3/4 tsp
  15. Green cardamom powder – 1/2 tsp
  16. Cinnamon powder – 1/2 tsp
  17. Garam masala – 1 tsp
  18. Rose water – 2 tbsp
  19. Fried onion – 2 cups
  20. Mint and coriander leaves – 2 cups
  21. For cooking rice

  22. Basmati rice – 600 gms
  23. Mint and Coriander leaves (chopped) – 2 tbsp
  24. Rose water – 2 tbsp
  25. Water – 3 litres
  26. Salt – as required
  27. Oil – 1 tbsp
  28. Whole spices:

  29. Black cumin seeds/caraway seeds – 1 tsp
  30. Black pepper seeds – 1 tsp
  31. Bay leaves - 2
  32. Cloves – 6
  33. Cinnamon sticks (2 inch size) – 2
  34. Cassia buds – 10
  35. Staranise – 2
  36. Black cardamoms – 2
  37. Green cardamoms – 5
  38. Bay leaves - 2
  39. For garnishing/layering (dum)

  40. Green chillies (thin and long) – 4
  41. Saffron (Kesar) and lime (yellow) colour – a pinch (each)
  42. Saffron (kesar) threads – a big pinch
  43. Hot milk – 1/3 cup
  44. Mint and Coriander leaves (chopped) – few or 1/3 cup
  45. Fried onions – few or 1/2 cup
  46. Rose water – 2 tbsp
  47. Ghee (clarified butter) or oil – 3 tbsp


    Preparing for biryani

  1. Chop mint and coriander leaves or easy way in a food processor. Slice the onions in a food processor. I have used mint and coriander leaves together 2cups (chopped) for the marinate and the remaining for garnishing in the dum.
  2. Soak saffron in hot milk or hot water and keep it aside.
  3. Fry the sliced onion in enough oil, until golden brown colour comes, it will take 10 to 12 minutes. Fry the onions in batches. Place it on kitchen tissue paper so that oil is absorbed. Spread on a plate widely, it will become crispy. I have used 2cups for the curry base that is in the marinate and the remaining for garnishing, in the dum.
  4. There are 3 stages for the dum biryani:

    1. Marinating meat
    2. Cooking 50% of rice
    3. Cooking meat and rice on dum process


  5. First put all the marination ingredients in a big vessel or any big wider bowl and mix well.
  6. Add mutton pieces and mix well.
  7. Keep the marinated mutton for 4 hrs or overnight in the fridge.
  8. The pieces of mutton should be of medium size and not very big.
  9. Cooking rice

  10. Soak the rice in water for about 1/2 hr.
  11. Preparing for the fragrant stock, with whole spices.
  12. When the water starts to boil, add all the spices and mint leaves, boil for 5minutes high flame, 15minutes on medium flame and 15minutes in simmer by closing the lid.
  13. Drain the stock in a strainer and put it back in the same vessel.
  14. Boil the fragrant stock; add rice, rose water cook for about 4 to 5 mins only. The rice has to be cooked roughly about 50%. Keep it aside and add saffron milk, colour and mix in the rice, partial mixing is enough. Keep it ready.
  15. Layering (marinated meat and rice)

  16. Take a big vessel, grease the vessel by adding oil and coat it around the vessel.
  17. Add the marinated meat in the vessel and addition of 1/3rd cup water in the marinated vessel to clear any attached marinate to it. Add on the meat. Heat the vessel and keep it on high flame for 2 to 3 minutes.
  18. When steam starts to come from the mutton and bubbles (slightly boiling) are seen (mutton is heated up nicely), add the rice, which is half cooked. Spread evenly on the heated marinated mutton. Keep the flame low at this stage, while layering the rice and other ingredients.
  19. spread the garnishing ingredients on the rice; mint and coriander leaves, fried onions, and green chillies evenly.
  20. Drizzle ghee or oil on top of the rice, spread evenly and rose water also evenly all over the rice.
  21. Dum process

  22. After the layering is done, keep the flame to high for about 5 mins until you see some steam coming from the corners below the rice.
  23. Now immediately put the flame to simmer and then cover the biryani vessel with aluminium foil and close the lid tightly.
  24. After closing the lid, put the flame to medium and cook for about 5 mins. Then lower the flame and cook the biryani for about 35 to 40 mins or until the rice and meat are cooked.
  25. The sign of whether the biryani is cooked and ready is when you can smell its aroma from the nearby rooms or from the kitchen.
  26. Switch off and let it rest for 15 to 20 mins. Do not open the lid immediately because the steam inside the vessel will continue to cook the biryani.
  27. When the biryani is cooked, you need to be careful while serving. Take the biryani out with a wide spoon or a saucer slowly from one side to prevent the rice grains from breaking.
  28. Serve it with raitha or mirchi ka saalan (chilli curry) or brinjal curry (chutney) or with chicken 65 as a side dish.


  1. You can reduce the chillies if you do not eat spicy food or if your chillies are very hot.
  2. Rice should be only 50% cooked. While cooking the rice you can add a few drops of oil or vinegar and while draining wash it under cold water. This will keep the rice grains all nice and separated.
  3. Rice has to be cooked in advance and kept aside, readily available for layering.
  4. You can buy ready made biryani masala. If you want to make it yourself, refer to my biryani masala recipe.
  5. Add salt carefully for the marinade and rice. Divide the salt quantity to portions and add as it will be easier this way and will not risk adding more salt.
  6. Mix colour with 2 tbsp of water or milk and then add to the rice. Alternatively, you can even just sprinkle the colour on the biryani. You can also use saffron instead of the colour.
  7. While giving dum you can keep a flat tawa beneath the vessel or even better if the utensil has a thick bottom. This will prevent the biryani from sticking to the bottom of the utensil. I have used a non stick vessel, so I did not use a tawa while giving dum.
  8. For making any biryani, you can maintain from 2:1 to 1:1 mutton to rice ratio. For example, you can use 500 gms to 1 kg of mutton for 500 gms of rice. Obviously, you need to adjust the spices appropriately.
  9. I have cooked my biryani in oil and only drizzled a little ghee on top of the rice while layering. You can choose the proportion of oil and ghee and also how much according to your liking.
  10. Shahjeera is also known as black cumin seeds (kala jeera). If black cumin seeds are not available, you can use caraway seeds. The caraway seeds also belong to the cumin family. Shahjeera is darker in colour and thin. Some also say both are same.
  11. while layering you can also mix the layering ingredients with the half cooked rice. Mix it partly so that some white rice is still seen. Add this rice to the gravy and spread evenly in the vessel, while giving dum.
  12. Biryani vessel can be sealed with the lid by using wheat dough and then dum can be given on a low flame.