Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Hyderabadi,Kachchi Goshth(lamb)Biryani

Biryanis have originated in Persia but they got perfected in India,with the addition of an array of spices locally available.There are a variety of biryanis but the Hyderabadi kachchi biryani beats them all.However, if you happen to be in this city of pearls don't ever leave without sampling some in Persis or restaurants in the old city full of the old world charm.If you like making one remember that making biryani is like peeling the different layers of an onion each layer revealing a new facet.All you have to do is listen, feel and smell and in doing so understand what the ingredients are trying to tell you.You will never get it right with the first attempt, you have to keep on learning from each of your attempts, till you reach to your idea of that perfect one you tasted, unless, you are a genius or simply lucky.


1 kg shoulder or leg portion of lamb cut into 3''-4 ''inch pieces
750 gms of high quality basmati rice( IndiaGate)
5-6 onions finely sliced
5-6 tbs of ginger - garlic paste
1 tbs garam masala
3 green chillies slit
2 cups yoghurt
3 -4 cloves
1 inch cinnamon
3-4 pods of green cardamom
3-4 pods of black cardamom
1 tbs of shah zeera/ caraway seeds
a bunch of mint and coriander leaves
a tsp each of rose water and kewra(screw pine)water(optional)
a slice of green papaya(unripe)/tenderizer(only if using lamb)
2 tbs dhanya powder
juice of 1-2 large lemons
1/2 cup milk
a pinch of saffron
salt as required
1 -2 cups Oil for deep frying
3 tbs oil or ghee for assembling biryani

Make sure you buy the best quality tender lamb. On a lighter note you need to invest sometime with your butcher.Marinate the lamb overnight after cleaning and trimming the fat(most people prefer to leave it in as it adds to the taste)with the blended paste of half the mint,coriander leaves, two chillies and papaya slice, then add the ginger-garlic paste,coriander powder, garam masala and yoghurt and mix well to infuse the flavors, don't forget to add the salt and taste the marinade, it should be slightly salty.Keep the marinated lamb in the refrigerator and take it out only an hour before assembling the biryani.Heat oil and deep fry the onion slices till golden brown remove onto a plate lined with absorbent tissue.

Wash and soak basmati rice for half an hour and drain the water.In the meantime boil water in a pan with the whole spices(cinnamon cloves, cardamoms), caraway seeds,one green chilli deseeded,some basil and rose mary if you don't have the rose water or kewra water,some mint and coriander leaves and some salt.While its boiling hot add the rice and remember the water should be double or triple the portion of rice.Now comes the real test draining the rice at that perfect time, don't worry it will come with experience.The rice should be two thirds cooked, now drain the rice in a collander and reserve one and half cups of the drained water to add to the mutton.

Take a thick bottomed pan in which to assemble the biryani.Arrange the marinated lamb pieces along with the marinade in the pan.Now crush the fried onions(birishtha) with your hand( reserving a tbs) and add to the lamb, mix well, add half the oil left over from frying the onions it should be no more than a cup.Add a cup of the drained water,arrange the rice in one layer over the meat.Now sprinkle some mint and coriander leaves, (some kewra and rose water which is optional)lemon juice, and saffron soaked in warm milk in a circular motion above the rice.Dot the rice with the 3 tbs of ghee or oil,the remaining half cup of water(obtained from draining the rice) and finally sprinkle the reserved deep fried crushed onions.Cover with aluminium foil and then place a tight lid or alternatively you can make a dough with wheat flour and seal the lid edge with the dough.Place the pan on high heat for five minutes and then cook on a very low flame for 45 minutes.The biryani is ready now and you can serve with a raita of your choice.

The second picture is that of the biryani cooking in the pan.You can make the same with chicken but reduce the cooking time to 20 mins.


  1. seems yummy yum yum

  2. This picture looks great and I am sure the taste too will be wonderful. 'l try it before the week runs out. Keep up the good work.

  3. Thank you so much Precious.I will try my best to give you the best recipes.Try it Im sure you will make it delicious

  4. Thank you For your yummy yum yum comment.

  5. Thank you Mona.You made me smile.I did visit your site.Keep it up.

  6. Thank you for the effort you put in...will try this today!

  7. you are welcome anonymous should have put in ur details...feel refreshed with ur comment will keep putting up the best recipes Ive trained in

  8. Hello there!

    First of all, thank you for posting this recipe. I have a question regarding this: in the step where you partially cook the rice, approximately how long do you need to cook the rice? After adding the rice, should we cook on high flame, say for 6-7 mins or lesser? If you have a pic of the partially cooked rice, it would be great. Is there any way to know its 2/3 cooked?
    Please let me know. I tried Mona's recipe from zaiqa.net and loved it. was reading your recipe and seemed interesting so would like to try this too!

    1. Dear Joyce,

      Thank you for the interest in this recipe actually the cooking time for the rice depends on the basmati rice you use aged rice/ new harvest brand etc so it is not possible to tell u the time as a rule of thumb you have to keep checking after say approx 5-7 minutes n press the boiling grain between your finger and thumb and if it breaks into 3 bits without much effort it is two thirds cooked before this stage you will notice the rice breaks into two bits on the test then you have to wait for the 2/3 to happen.yes the water has to be boiling n bubbling when u put the rice in.Try it and u will not be disappointed it is an authentic recipe passed out from generations of cooks.Also keep checking out for new post. Cheers.


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