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Malabar Mutton/Lamb Biryani...A Biryani from Northern Kerala

I had received a request to put up Malabar Biryani recipe from a friend of ours. I have never made any Malabar Biryani nor did I have the recipe. Keeping this in mind, I asked my friend Taha, who belongs to the Malabar region, if he could help me in this regard. He promptly directed me to Safeera H


For Mutton/Lamb

  • 1 kg Mutton Lamb /
  • 3 Onions big thinly sliced
  • 1/4 teaspoon Turmeric powder
  • 13 Green Chillies ground to a fine paste
  • 3 tablespoons Ginger Garlic - paste
  • 3 Tomatoes big thinly sliced
  • 3 Lime juice limes of
  • 1/4 cup Coriander leaves
  • tablespoons Mint leaves (Optional) few
  • 3/4 teaspoon Garam Masala Powder
  • to taste Salt
  • pinches Garam Masala for garnish few

For Rice

  • 3 cups Rice/Jeerakashaala rice Biryani
  • 3 tablespoons Ghee Butter / Clarified
  • 8 Cashewnuts
  • 1 tablespoon Raisins
  • 1 Onion sliced
  • 4 - 1/2 cups water Boiled
  • drops Rose water / Gulab jal few


  • Heat a pan/utensil and add ghee.
  • When hot, saute the cashewnuts, raisins and onions separately till they turn golden brown. Drain and keep aside.
  • In the remaining ghee, lightly toast the rice.
  • Add boiled water and salt. Cover with lid and cook on high flame for 3 minutes.
  • Tranfer the pan/utensil onto a griddle and cook for another few minutes. Our aim here is to avoid direct heat.
  • Stir the rice lightly with a spoon, cover and cook for another 5 minutes and switch off the heat.
  • In another pan, heat oil.
  • When the oil is hot, add onion along with 1/4 teaspoon salt and saute for a while. Cover with a lid and cook on low heat.Stir in between to avoid sticking to the bottom of the pan.
  • Once the onions turn pink, add turmeric, chilli paste, ginger-garlic paste, sliced tomatoes and lime juice. Mix well, cover and cook on low heat.
  • Once all the ingredients are well blended, add cleaned and washed mutton with salt and stir well. There is no need to add water.
  • Cook on low heat with the lid on, till the mutton is 3/4 cooked. Take off the lid and let it cook till there is no moreliquid.
  • Add garam masala powder and coriander leaves and take off the heat.
  • Layering:
  • If you want to have some colour to the biryani, take a bowl of cooked rice and divide into two. Add yellow colour into one part and red colour into the other. Mix well and keep aside.
  • Take a utensil and spread a layer of rice topped with some lamb.
  • Sprinkle a pinch of garam masala powder.
  • Put another layer of rice, followed by mutton. Continue the process and finish off with a top layer of rice.
  • Add the coloured rice if using. Sprinkle garam masala powder and rose water. Cover the utensil with a lid and seal the edges with atta (dough made of wheat flour) and keep it atop a griddle and cook on low heat for 30 minutes.
  • Those opting for baking, can take a deep dish and layer the rice and mutton as mentioned above. Cover with an aluminium foil and place on a preheated oven of 180 C and bake for 30 minutes.
  • Arrange in a dish and garnish with the fried cashewnuts, raisins, onions and chopped leaves.


Your Malabar Mutton/Lamb Biryani is ready to be served.. :-) You can eat it plain or serve with Raita and pickle.
You can adjust green chillies according to your heat tolerance.