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

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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 S, who graciously agreed to share her recipe with me.

Safeera is a home maker and a proud mother of two beautiful girls, residing in the United Arab Emirates. During our interactions, I felt that she too shares the passion for cooking. She feels that people from the Malabar region are great cooks and that must be why the Biryani is famous. I made this Biryani following Safeera's recipe and I was grinning from ear to ear when I saw my boys really enjoying their food. Words are not enough to thank Safeera for the recipe. I intend to trouble my new friend for more such recipes :-) Thanks again Safeera... :-)

Malabar Mutton Biryani

Source: Safeera H S


For Mutton/Lamb
Mutton/Lamb  1 kg
Oil  2 tablespoons
Onions thinly sliced  3 big
Turmeric powder  1/4 teaspoon
Green Chillies ground to a fine paste 13
Ginger- Garlic paste  3 tablespoons
Tomatoes thinly sliced  3 big
Lime juice of limes 3
Coriander leaves  1/4 cup
Mint leaves (Optional) few tablespoons
Garam Masala Powder  3/4 teaspoon
Salt to taste
Garam Masala for garnish  few  pinches
For Rice
Biryani Rice/Jeerakashaala rice  3 cups
Ghee/ Clarified Butter  3 tablespoons
Cashewnuts  8
Raisins  1 tablespoon
Sliced Onion  1
Boiled water  4-1/2 cups
Rose water/ Gulab jal few drops


  1. Heat a pan/utensil and add ghee.
  2. When hot, saute the cashewnuts, raisins and onions separately till they turn golden brown. Drain and keep aside.
  3. In the remaining ghee, lightly toast the rice.
  4. Add boiled water and salt. Cover with lid and cook on high flame for 3 minutes.
  5. Tranfer the pan/utensil onto a griddle and cook for another few minutes. Our aim here is to avoid direct heat.
  6. Stir the rice lightly with a spoon, cover and cook for another 5 minutes and switch off the heat.
  7. In another pan, heat oil.
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
  10. Once all the ingredients are well blended, add cleaned and washed mutton with salt and stir well. There is no need to add water.
  11. 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.
  12. Add garam masala powder and coriander leaves and take off the heat.
  13. Layering:
  14. 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.
  15. Take a utensil and spread a layer of rice topped with some lamb.
  16. Sprinkle a pinch of garam masala powder.
  17. Put another layer of rice, followed by mutton. Continue the process and finish off with a top layer of rice.
  18. 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.
  19. 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.
  20. 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.

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

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