Kolkata Style MUTTON BIRYANI is a phenomenal combination of succulent mutton/lamb pieces with fragrant long grain basmati rice and aromatic spices. Kolkata mutton biryani is quite distinct, as it is light and fragrant. The Mughal influence makes the Bengali mutton biryani stand out as it consists of large chunks of potatoes. Learn how to make Kolkata Mutton biryani by following this step by step recipe.
Ask a Bengali what biryani means to them? Well, let me answer that question. Biryani is an emotion, a sentiment to each and every Bengali. Long fragrant rice laden with sinfull ghee and soft and succulent mutton pieces, large chunks of potatoes and eggs all wrapped in an aromatic biryani masala spice blend.
Uff!! I am already salivating as I am writing about this. Let’s see what ingredients goes in making this delicious mutton biryani.
Ingredients to make Calcutta Mutton Biryani
The ingredients list may seem endless but trust me these are the basic ingredients that you will find in your pantry. Except for a few essences like kewra, mitha attar and saffron that is very essential for the Bengali style biryani. The rice matters too. Best quality basmati rice is extremely important when making biryani.
Mutton/Lamb: Since mutton is not available here I used fresh cut of lamb with bones. Medium sized meat cut with bones.
Potatoes: Another main ingredient in Bengali biryani. Kolkata style biryani is incomplete without potatoes. So please don’t skip it. In restaurants the potatoes are first boiled and fried and then added in the biryani while layering. But I am really not vey fond of the bland potatoes that goes in. So instead I fry and cook the potatoes with the mutton/lamb. This makes the potatoes more juicy and flavourful.
Birista (Crispy fried onions): This is not essential while making Kolkata biryani. But I added birista while cooking the mutton as well as while layering the biryani as it adds a pleasant flavour. It’s optional, you can also do without adding birista in your biryani.
Biryani masala: Hmmm… the aromatic part of biryani. Simply dry roast the spices like cinnamon, green cardamom, black cardamom, cloves, star anise, mace, nutmeg, black peppercorns and shahi jeera a ground them into a fine powder. Biryani masala is ready.
Eggs: Layer the biryani with hard boiled eggs.
Ghee: No biryani is complete with out oodles of ghee. Essential, essential, essential!!!
Though this biryani doesn’t need any side. But here are few delicious dishes that you can serve alongside this mutton biryani.
Kolkata style MUTTON BIRYANI Recipe
Kolkata Style MUTTON Biryani | How to make Bengali Mutton Biryani with potatoes
- pressure cooker
- large thick bottomed pan
- large thick bottomed
- mixer grinder
- Large oven caserole
- 1 kg Mutton cut into medium pieces
- 3-4 tbsp Yogurt
- 1 1/2 tbsp Ginger-garlic paste
- 1-2 tsp Chilli powder
- 1/2 tsp Turmeric powder
- Salt as per taste
Biryani Masala powder
- 2 inch Cinnamon
- 8 Green Cardamom
- 8-10 Cloves
- 1 large Black Cardamom
- 1 tbsp Shahi jeera
- 1 floret Mace
- 1/2 Nutmeg
- 1 tsp Peppercorns
- 1 Star Anise
Onion Barista (Crispy fried Onions)
- 2 large Onions Thinly sliced and separate the onions strands by rubbing with your hands.
- Oil for deep frying the onions
For the Biryani Rice
- 4 cups Basmati Rice (approx 500-550 grams washed and soaked for 30 minutes. After 30 mins drain teh water and keep it aside)
- 1-2 Bay leaves
- 1 tsp Shahi Jeera
- 2 inch Cinnamon sticks
- 5-6 Green Cardamom
- 6-7 Cloves
- 1 Star anise
- 1 floret Mace
- 1/2 Nutmeg
- 1 tsp Ghee
- 1 1/2 tsp Salt
- 2 large Onions thinly sliced
- 2-3 large Potatoes washed, peeled and halved
- 2 Bay leaves
- Generous pinch of Saffron
- 5-6 tbsp Milk Warm milk
- 2 tsp Kewra water or few drops or kewra essence
- 4-5 drops Mitha Attar (optional)
- 4 tbsp Ghee or oil Ghee preferably for the curry
- 5-6 Eggs hard boiled pricked all over with fork
- 1/2 cup Ghee Melted for assembly
Marinade the Mutton/lamb
- In a large bowl add all the ingredients under marination and marinate for atleast 1 hour.
Make the BIryani masala
- Heat a skillet and dry roast on low heat all the ingredients under biryani masala for 4-5 minutes. Don't burn the spices.
- Take the spices off the skillet and let it cool.
- Grind all the ingredients in a mixer grinder and ground into a fine powder.
- Biryani masala is ready. Keep it aside for later use.
Prepare the Birista (Crispy fried onions)
- Heat enough oil in deep frying pan to medium heat to deep fry the thinly sliced onions.
- Now add the onions and fry them on a steady heat stirring occasionally.
- Once the onions starts turning golden stir frequently or else it will burn from the bottom.
- When the onions turn lovely golden brown in colour drain and place it on a kitchen towel. Keep it aside and let it rest for some time.
To prepare the mutton
- Heat 2 tbsp of ghee in a large thick bottomed pan on medium heat. Then add the large potato chunks and fry until they are golden brown on all sides. drain and remove from the heat and keep it aside.
- Now add the rest of the ghee to the same pan and add bay leaves and sliced onions and fry until they are soft and and translucent.
- Now add the marinated mutton along with the marinade and continue frying on medium heat. Stir continuously until the meat is mixed well with the fried onions and the meat is browned on all sides. Continue cooking the meat on medium heat stirring frequently.
- When the meat is 70 percent done add the fried potatoes and half of the barista (fried onions) and continue frying the meat on medium heat. If the meat is getting a bit dry sprinkle with some water. (I like to cook the potatoes along with the meat as it makes the potatoes more juicier and flavourful)
- Continue frying the mutton and potatoes until it's almost done. And you see the oil floating on top.
- Now lower the heat and add 4 tsp of prepared biryani masala and a tsp of kewra and and mix well. Switch off the flame. Cover and keep it aside for layering.
Prepare the Biryani rice
- In a muslin cloth add cinnamon, green cardamom, black cardamom, cloves, shahi jeera, star anise. Tie a tight knot into a potli.
- Heat a large pot of water and add the spice bag to the water along with salt and bay leaves and a tsp of ghee.
- Now add the rice and bring it to a boil cook the rice till it is half done.
- Drain the water and discard the bay leaves and spice bag. Spread it on a large plate and keep it aside as we start wit the assembly.
Assembling the Mutton Biryani (2 ways Oven version and Stove version)
- Firstly soak the saffron in warm milk and keep it aside.
- For the Oven version: Preheat the oven to 180 degrees. Grease 1 tbsp of ghee in a large oven proof casserole. Now add a layer of rice at the bottom. Then top it up with few pieces of cooked meat and potatoes. Then sprinkle with some birista (crispy fried onions), some saffron milk, biryani masala and melted ghee.
- Now continue with the same process of layering until you are done with the meat and the rice.
- Finally, place the boiled eggs sprinkle with the rest of the saffron milk, birista, kewra water, mitha attar and the rest of the melted ghee. Then cover with aluminium foil and tightly close the lid and cook it in the oven for 30 to 40 minutes.
- For the gas version: follow the same procedure only in a large metal pot with lid. Finally seal the lid with dough. Place the large metal pot on a wide pan and cook it on the lowest heat for 30-40 minutes. Switch off the flame and keep it rested for 10 to 15 minutes.
I hope you enjoy this delicious Kolkata MUTTON BIRYANI as much as we do!