Kolkata, the cultural capital of India, is famous for its rich culinary heritage. Among the many delectable dishes that originate from this city, Kolkata Mutton Biryani stands out as a true masterpiece. This flavorful and aromatic biryani is a perfect blend of succulent mutton pieces, fragrant rice, and a unique combination of spices that create a symphony of flavors in every bite. If you’re craving the taste of home-cooked Kolkata Mutton Biryani, you’re in for a treat!
In this article, we will guide you through the step-by-step process of preparing this iconic dish in your own kitchen. Follow our instructions carefully, and you’ll be able to recreate the authentic taste of Kolkata Mutton Biryani that will transport you straight to the streets of Kolkata.
To make Kolkata Mutton Biryani at home, you will need the following ingredients:
For Marinating the Mutton:
- 500 grams of mutton, preferably with bones
- 1 cup of yogurt
- 2 tablespoons of ginger-garlic paste
- 1 teaspoon of turmeric powder
- 2 teaspoons of red chili powder
- Salt to taste
For the Rice:
- 2 cups of long-grain Basmati rice
- 4-5 cups of water for boiling the rice
- 2-3 bay leaves
- 4-5 green cardamom pods
- 4-5 cloves
- 1 cinnamon stick
- Salt to taste
For Assembling the Biryani:
- 2 large onions, thinly sliced
- 3-4 green chilies, slit
- 1/2 cup of fresh coriander leaves, chopped
- 1/2 cup of fresh mint leaves, chopped
- 1/4 cup of warm milk
- A pinch of saffron strands
- 2-3 tablespoons of ghee (clarified butter)
- 2-3 tablespoons of vegetable oil
Marinating the Mutton
- Start by cleaning and washing the mutton pieces thoroughly. Drain the excess water.
- In a large mixing bowl, combine the mutton with yogurt, ginger-garlic paste, turmeric powder, red chili powder, and salt. Mix everything well to ensure that the mutton pieces are evenly coated with the marinade.
- Cover the bowl and let the mutton marinate for at least 2-3 hours, or preferably overnight in the refrigerator. This will allow the flavors to penetrate the meat, resulting in a more flavorful biryani.
Preparing the Rice
- Wash the Basmati rice under cold running water until the water runs clear. This helps remove excess starch and prevents the rice from becoming sticky.
- In a large pot, bring 4-5 cups of water to a boil. Add the washed rice, bay leaves, green cardamom pods, cloves, cinnamon stick, and salt.
- Cook the rice until it is about 70-80% done. The grains should still have a slight bite to them. Drain the rice and set it aside.
Assembling and Cooking the Biryani
- Heat 2-3 tablespoons of vegetable oil in a heavy-bottomed pan or a biryani pot. Add the thinly sliced onions and sauté them until they turn golden brown and crispy. Remove half of the fried onions and set them aside for garnishing.
- In the same pan, add the marinated mutton along with the marinade. Cook the mutton on medium-high heat until it changes color and starts to release its juices. This will take about 10-15 minutes.
- Reduce the heat to low and let the mutton simmer until it is tender and cooked through. You may need to add a little water if the mixture becomes too dry. The mutton should be soft and succulent, and the gravy should be thick and flavorful.
- While the mutton is cooking, warm the milk and add a pinch of saffron strands to it. Let it sit for a few minutes to infuse the saffron flavor and color.
- In a separate large pot or biryani pot, layer the partially cooked rice evenly at the bottom. Top it with the cooked mutton and its gravy.
- Sprinkle half of the chopped mint and coriander leaves over the mutton layer. Drizzle a tablespoon of ghee over it.
- Add the remaining rice on top of the mutton layer. Sprinkle the remaining mint and coriander leaves and drizzle another tablespoon of ghee.
- Finally, evenly spread the saffron-infused milk over the rice. Cover the pot with a tight-fitting lid or aluminum foil to trap the steam.
- Place the biryani pot on low heat and let it cook on dum (slow steam cooking) for about 20-25 minutes. You can also place a heavy pan or tava (griddle) under the biryani pot to distribute the heat evenly.
- Once the biryani is done cooking, turn off the heat and let it rest for 10-15 minutes before opening the lid. This allows the flavors to meld together.
Gently fluff the Kolkata Mutton Biryani with a fork, making sure not to break the rice grains. Garnish it with the reserved fried onions. Serve hot with raita (yogurt dip), salad, and a boiled egg if desired.
Kolkata Mutton Biryani is a culinary delight that captures the essence of Kolkata’s rich food culture. With this detailed recipe, you can recreate the flavors of this iconic dish right in your own kitchen. So, gather your ingredients, follow the steps, and savor the taste of Kolkata in every mouthful. Enjoy!