Simple Indian Recipes...
Delicious and healthy dishes that can be made even by first timers.

Hyderabadi Mutton Dum Biryani

 Published 2017-Jun-05   Updated 2017-Jun-11

- Submitted by Dahlia

(Aatu Kari Biryani, Lamb Biryani, Mutton Biryani, Dum Biryani)

Biryani is one dish that truly represents India. It is made during all important occasions, weddings, festivals etc. It is impossible to find an Indian who doesn't love Biryani. Today's recipe is by far the most popular and the most sought after biryani dish, Hyderabadi Mutton Dum Biryani... . The juicy mutton pieces is layered with the aromatic basmati rice along with some spices and cooked on dum. Dum cooking is a process where the vessel is completely sealed and cooked on low heat. Traditionally a thick wheat dough is prepared to seal the vessel. It is then topped with some charcoal pieces. This ensures that heat is applied from the top and bottom. At home any heavy bottomed vessel with a tight fitting lid can be used. Once done, the mutton pieces will be coated with the spices and juicy. The flavor of the mutton penetrates the rice. 

Recipe for Mutton Dum Biryani

Preparation time: 30 minutes
Cooking time: 1 hour
Serves: 4 - 5


For Marinating

  • Mutton – ½ kg
  • Yogurt - 2 tbsp
  • Garam Masala – ¼ tsp
  • Turmeric Powder – ¼ tsp
  • Lemon Juice – 1 tsp
  • Ginger garlic paste – 1 tsp
  • Salt – 1 tsp

For Cooking Rice

  • Basmati Rice – 2 cups
  • Water - 8-10 cups 
  • Cardamom – 3
  • Cloves – 5
  • Cinnamon – 2” piece
  • Bay Leaf – 2
  • Oil – 1 tbsp
  • Salt - to taste
  • Fennel seeds – 1 tsp

For Masala

  • Oil – 3-4 tbsp
  • Ghee – 2 tbsp
  • Onion – 2 (about 1 cup sliced)
  • Ginger Garlic Paste – 2 tbsp
  • Tomato – 2 (about 1 cup chopped)
  • Green Chilies – 4 (finely chopped)
  • Mint Leaves – 1/4 cup
  • Coriander Leaves – 1/4 cup
  • Curd – ¼ cup
  • Lemon Juice – 1 tsp
  • Garam Masala (or Biryani Masala)– 1 tsp
  • Red Chili Powder – ½ tsp
  • Black Pepper Powder – ¼ tsp
  • Turmeric Powder – ¼ tsp

For Layering

  • Cashews – 2-3 tbsp
  • Mint Leaves – ¼ cup
  • Coriander Leaves – ¼ cup
  • Onion – 1 (sliced) 
  • Milk – 3 tbsp
  • Saffron – few strands
  • Garam Masala – ¼ tsp
  • Ghee – 2 tbsp
  • Oil – 2-3 tbsp

Preparation Steps

  1. Marinating the Mutton : Marinate the mutton with salt, yogurt, ginger garlic paste, garam masala and lemon juice for about 10 minutes.
  2. Soaking Rice : Wash and soak the rice for about 30 minutes. I usually soak the rice and get the other things done.
  3. Similarly, soak the saffron strands in some warm milk.


  1. Cooking Mutton : Heat a big heavy bottomed pot with about 2 tbsp of oil.
  2. After removing the onions, add little ghee to the same pan. Add the ginger garlic paste and fry for a minute.
  3. Add chopped tomatoes and green chilies. dd the chopped mint and coriander leaves. Saute till it gets mushed up.
  4. Add the dry spices – red chili powder, garam masala, turmeric powder and black pepper powder. Add the curd and lemon juice. Also, add 1/3rd of the fried onions. Mix everything together and cook for 2-3 minutes till you get a nice gravy.
  5. At this stage, Add the marinated mutton and saute for about 5 minutes. Add about 1/2 cup water and close the pressure cooker.
  6. After the first whistle, reduce the flame and cook for 15 minutes before switching off. You may hear 4-5 whistles.
  7. Preparing the layering: While the mutton is getting cooked, in another burner heat oil in a kadai. Fry the cashew nuts on low heat. Remove using a slotted spoon and keep it aside.
  8. In the same oil, add the sliced onions with little salt. Cook on medium heat till the onions turn brown. Switch off and keep it aside for layering.
  9. Cooking Rice : After the mutton is cooked, start cooking the rice. Bring plenty of water (8-10 cups) to boil. Add the oil, cinnamon, cardamom, cloves, bay leaf, fennel seeds and some salt.
  10. Add the soaked rice and cook until the rice is almost done. It should be little undercooked. Drain the excess water and keep it ready.
  11. Layering the Biryani :Take a heavy bottomed pan for layering the biryani. If you plan to bake it, using a over proof dish or aluminum tray.
  12. Apply some ghee in the bottom of the pot. Add a layer of the mutton masala and spread it evenly around the pan. Add the cooked rice as the second layer.
  13. After you add the rice layer, add finely chopped mint leaves, coriander leaves, fried onions and roasted cashews as the third layer.
  14. Repeat by adding a mutton layer followed by rice layer and the other garnishing ingredients. For this quantity 2 layers will be enough but for larger quantities more layers are better.
  15. Finally add the saffron soaked milk on top of the rice. Also sprinkle some garam masala and drizzle the ghee on top.
  16. Cover with a tight fitting lid so that no steam should escape. 
  17. Applying Dum : If you plan to put it on dum on stove top, switch on the flame and leave it on the lowest heat setting for about 20 minutes. For baking in the oven, preheat the oven to 180 degree C (350 F) and leave it for about 30 minutes.
  18. When ready to serve, fluff up the rice gently to mix all the layers and enjoy.

Serving Mutton Biryani

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 Published by on and last updated on 2017-06-11.