Evocative Press

Insights and inspirations of a homeschooling mother and a full-time homemaker


Jan 10 2012
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This recipe is no authentic way of making biryani. But it works and tastes really good! This recipe is a combination of my mom-in law’s pulao and biryani as I knew it. Her pulao had such a strong biryani taste and flavor, that I thought, hmm, may be I need to flavor the rice this way. And guess what, this biryani is suffused with gutsiness!!!


5 large onions, chopped

3 large green chillies, slit

1 cinnamon stick

2 small bunches pudina/ mint leaves

1 small bunch coriander leaves

2 tablespoons ginger garlic paste

3 peppercorns

2 cloves

3- 4 tablespoons oil

Saute all the above ingredients in oil until onion turns light brown. Cool and puree. That’s the ground masala.

1-2 tablespoons chilly powder

400 gms curd

1 ½ – 2 Kg mutton (Depends on the mutton to rice proportion you prefer.)

Marinate the mutton in salt, curd, ground masala, and chilly powder for an hour in the vessel you desire to cook in. Cook the marinated mutton as is for an hour or till the meat is tender.



1 kg basmati rice (5 cups)

9 cups water ( a little less than needed)

2-3 drops kewra water

a pinch of saffron

2 small bunches mint leaves (pudina), cleaned and choped

3- 5 chillies, slit in 4 (number of chillies will depend on how spicy you like it)

2 onions, chopped

2 tablespoons ginger garlic paste

3 cardamoms

3-4 cloves

large stick of cinnamon or cassia

1 tablespoon ghee ( it does flavor the biryani)

1 tablespoon oil

  • Over medium heat, in a large pan with a lid, melt the ghee along with the oil and the garam masala (cardamoms, cloves, cinnamon), stirring a bit. Add the chillies, onions and mint leaves, frying each a bit before adding the other. Then the ginger and garlic paste. Stir a little.
  • Add the washed rice, stirring till lightly slicked with the oil. Pour the water and kewra water. Add the saffron. Clamp on the lid. Let it cook.



8-10 onions, thinly sliced in rings

8-10 potatoes (optional), cut in thick discs

200gm  cashews, split in half

Oil for deep frying


  • In a pan of hot oil, fry the onions in batches to get dark brown strands. Stash them on paper towel.
  • The potatoes can be grilled on a nonstick pan
  • Toast the cashews on a nonstick pan till lightly brown.


  • In a large vessel with a lid, layer the bottom with potatoes. Spoon the rice to cover the bottom with a thin layer. Then pour some gravy and strew few mutton pieces. Add the second layer of rice. Scatter onion strands and cashew.
  • Then spread the mutton and gravy. Scatter few potatoes over the grayy layer. Then the rice…. Continue layering till you fill the vessel, the final layer being rice. For the garnish, a final smattering of onion strands and cashews. Clamp on the lid. Place it over a very low heat for 20 min., or till warmed through. Done


When serving, never mix the layers so that the gravy completely mingles with the rice. So spoon out delicately! Serve with raita!


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