Simple Mutton Rice

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Have you ever had the craving for biriyani but was too tired to make the entire recipe from scratch? Enter this recipe. It is not a biriyani per se but it might as well be since it has the meat, the rice and the trinity spices of cardamom, cloves and cinnamon. The sequence of the processes is important in this recipe if you would like to get to the end product sooner. If there is no hurry, feel free to go about as you please. Otherwise, it is my kind recommendation to follow the steps in sequence for an efficient production. It can be made as a vegetarian version, if needed. I improvised it once for a potluck and it turned out beyond my expectations. Recipe for the same coming soon.

The delicious taste of this recipe lies in the simplicity of its ingredients. This was in fact the first recipe I learnt from my MIL, so it goes without saying that this post is dedicated to her. I have made this recipe countless times since I learnt it since it an eternal house favorite. Enjoy!

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Simple Mutton Rice

Cooking time: 30 – 45 minutes.

Yields: 4 servings.


2 cups Basmati/long grain rice, washed

1 lb Mutton/beef/choice of meat, bone-in

1 medium-size Onion, chopped

a bunch of coriander leaves/cilantro, finely chopped

1-2 tsp paste/5-6 cloves Garlic

1-2 tsp paste/ 1 inch thumb size Ginger

3-4 Thai green chillies (for medium spicy)

3-4 whole cardamom pods

1/2 stick cinnamon stick, crushed

5-7 whole cloves

1 bay leaf

1 star anise

Few whole peppercorns

1/4 tsp turmeric powder

Salt, as required

Clarified butter (Ghee)/sesame oil/any oil of choice

2 cups water, boiling

Warm water, as required

Method :

  1. Wash the rice and let it soak in water.
  2. Wash the Mutton. Cook it in a pressure cooker with turmeric powder, salt and enough warm water (I use 1-1.5 cups) to cover it. Close the lid and pressure cook it for 4-5 whistles on medium-high, or until it’s done. Let the pressure subside on its own.(For other choices of meat, please refer to notes below)
  3. While the mutton is cooking, chop onions, coriander leaves, ginger, garlic, green chillies.
  4. In a separate pan, put a few tablespoons of ghee/oil and cook the onion until translucent.
  5. Add salt as required, green chillies, ginger, garlic and cook till the raw smell goes and the onions turn brown. Add coriander leaves and saute for a few more minutes until everything is nicely caramelized.
  6. Once the mixture is done, transfer it to a bowl and keep aside.
  7. In the same pan, add few tablespoons of ghee/oil and add the whole spices. When they splutter and a nice aroma emanates, add the drained rice.Stir the rice for a few minutes.
  8. Meanwhile, the mutton must be fully cooked. Separate the mutton pieces and the broth.
  9. Mix the mutton pieces with the onion mixture.
  10. In the same pressure cooker, add the stir-fried rice and whole spices.
  11. Then add 4 cups of mutton broth + boiling water. If you have sufficient mutton broth, then skip the addition of water. The ratio of rice:water is 1:2.
  12. Cover and cook for 1 whistle.
  13. After the pressure subsides, layer the rice with mutton-onion mixture. Cover with lid until ready to serve.
  14. Just before serving, mix the layers gently and garnish with cilantro (and a dab of ghee, if feeling a little festive!). Serve with raita and pickle.

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  1. My MIL makes with beef often but I am yet to try it. For beef or any other choice of meat, please cook it accordingly. Cooked meat needs to be tender and falling off the bone.
  2. Although, ghee/clarified butter adds an amazing dimension to the entire dish, it can be easily substituted with any choice of oil for an healthier option.
  3. Green chillies can be increased for added heat, if needed.

I usually don’t follow recipes on videos since I personally prefer to refer to written version as I navigate through the recipe. I often make a shorthand if I have made that recipe more than a few times which tells me in one quick look how the sequence of ingredients is. I usually scribble it on my kitchen chalkboard. I figured I could try it out on the blog if you, like me, are following the recipe on your phone or tablet whilst you cook. Just take a screenshot of the image and follow it as you navigate the recipe, you seasoned chef you!

Let me know how you like it and if you have any comments/suggestions.


For the seasoned chef : Simple Mutton Rice.

4 thoughts on “Simple Mutton Rice

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