Mutton Biriyani Kerala Style. 

I stumbled upon this recipe a few weeks ago after reading a blog on the famous Lucknow Mutton Biryani, which set off a craving for the dish. Predictably, I’ve made a few tweaks to the spice blends as I wanted quite a heavy lean towards cinnamon and clove flavours to the dish to match the robust flavour of the mutton.


Biryani masala blend 

Cinnamon sticks 2

Cardamom green 8

Cardamom black: 2

Cloves: 6

Caraway seeds : 1 tsp

Fennel seeds : 1 tsp

Bay Leaves : 1

Star Anise : 1

Nutmeg 1/2

Fenugreek seeds 1/4 tsp

Mace : 4


Turmeric 1/2 tsp

Chilli powder 1 tsp

Natural yogurt 250ml

Biryani masala : 1 tbsp

Salt to taste

Mutton 1kg

New potatoes 8


Onion 4 thinly sliced

Tomatoes : 3 chopped

Green chillies 4 chopped

Ginger paste 2 tbsp

Garlic paste: 2 tbsp

Biryani masala : 1 tsp

Red chilli powder 1 tsp

Coriander powder 2 tbsp

Turmeric powder 1/4 tsp

Coconut oil: 2 tbsp

Cashew paste 

Fennel 1 tsp

Poppy seeds: 1 tsp

Grated Coconut 50gms

Cashew nuts one small handful


long grain rice 2 cups

Cloves 4

Cardamom, green 4

Cinnamon stick 1

Bay leaves : 1

Salt to taste


Cashew nuts

2 large onions, thinly sliced and fried till crisp

Mint leaves 1 small handful, chopped

Coriander 1 small handful, chopped

Saffron 1 pinch


For the biryani masala blend:

Start by heating a heavy based dry frying pan, add all biryani masala spice blend and gently roast until the spice aroma has developed. Remove the spices from the heat, place in a heavy-duty spice grinder and grind to a fine blend.

Place the mutton in a bowl, add the marinade ingredients and combine, cover and put to one side for 2 hours.

Prepare the cashew paste by soaking the poppy seeds, fennel, and cashew nut in some hot water for 20 minutes. Add to the grated coconut and grind to a smooth paste, cover and place it to one side.

Make the Masala sauce by heating the coconut oil in a heavy based pan, which has a tight fitting lid you will need this later; add the cashew nuts and fry until golden, remove and keep to one side. Add the sliced onions and fry until soft and golden, add the ginger, garlic and chilies, fry until browned. Then add the chopped tomatoes and cook down, add a splash of water to stop the sauce from sticking. Add the remaining masala spices, season with salt and cook for a further 5 minutes.

Now add the marinated mutton, new potatoes, cashew paste and some of the chopped herbs to the masala sauce and combine, add another splash of water if the mixture look dry. Cover and cook over a low heat for an hour adding a little water from time to time to reduce the risk of the masala sauce sticking.

Pre heat the oven to 180c

While the mutton is cooking prepare the rice, first wash the rice and drain. Heat a teaspoon of coconut oil in a pan; add the rice spices to the oil and temper. Add the drained rice to the spices with 4 cups of water and salt. Cook for 8-10 minutes, you do not want the rice be fully cooked, drain and place to one side.

Place a pinch of saffron in a 1/4-cup of warm water and leave to infuse.

Once the mutton is ready, place half the rice over the masala mixture and layer with the chopped herbs, fried onions and cashew nuts, and then the remaining rice. Garnish the very top with fried onions.

Pour over the saffron water, replace the lid and cook for a further 25 minutes.





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