How to make Kolkata restaurant-style mutton biryani recipe at home with step-by-step pics

Kolkata mutton biryani recipe with step by step detail & pictures. Let’s see how to make Kolkata restaurant-style Bengali mutton biryani at home through this recipe. Kolkata-style mutton biryani is one of the most popular flavoursome and delectable biryani devoured by bongs from West Bengal to Bangladesh. This mutton biryani (lamb biryani) is a Bengali style biriyani popular for its unique aroma, flavourful saffron-white long-grain Basmati rice /Dehradun rice, juicy succulent mutton (lamb not goat) pieces, and buttery soft aloo. A mixing flavour of Ghee- Bengali Biryani masala- kewra water-gulab Jal- mitha atar- saffron creates a wonderful aroma infused in mutton(or lamb meat), rice and aloo.

Like other traditional biriyanis, Kolkata biryani is also prepared in dum(a slow cooking method) to spread over the fragrance or aroma of spices and essence in the entire dish. Kolkata’s popular Mughlai restaurants like Arsalan, Aminia, Nizaam, Royal, Shiraz are masters for making this dish in their kitchen. Those Mughlai restaurant-style bengali chaap or rezala is the best accompaniment to this recipe. However, salad or raita can be a perfect side if want to relish the original taste of this dish. Learn how to make it at home with simple step-by-step pictures.

Though this Kolkata-style mutton biryani is easy to make at home however a little time-consuming. From making bengali biryani masala to cooking mutton/lamb(not goat meat as not containing fat) and aloo takes long preparation time. Though biriyani is mostly loved by all, however, this Kolkata biryani is most favourite to Bengali, especially the Bengalis who love to eat mutton just like me. Due to its most satisfying and pleasing aroma, this dish easily carried the Bengali crowd towards it. That is why, from celebrations like Durga Puja, Birthdays, and Marriage fiest to any get-together kind of house party, Kolkata biryani is much loved by Bengalis.

In Kolkata, biryani(with mutton/lamb/beef or chicken) is mostly popular as a Mughlai dish among Bengali, however, it is an edition of Lucknow cuisine. That is why Lucknow biryani and Kolkata biriyani are similar in taste and texture except for aloo. Just because both cuisines are using almost the same spices and flavours in their biryanis. Even except Lucknow and Kolkata, no Indian states make such non-spicy and flavourful biryanis in their kitchen.

Must be thinking how Kolkata biriyani is similar to Lucknow biryani, right? Do you remember about Nawab Wajid Ali Shah? Nawab of Lucknow was exiled by the British from his own Motherland. Then Nawab came to Calcutta(the old name of Kolkata during the British era) with his close associates(including his royal chef) and make this city his permanent residence. Calcutta’s Garden reach, Metiabiuruz area was Nawab Wajid Ali shah’s residence till his last breath.

As a result, during Nawab Wajid Ali Shah‘s Calcutta days, their royal delicacies slowly reached out to Bengali through some eateries run by the Lucknow chefs. Bengali totally starts loving their delicacies and those dishes got popular in Calcutta. In the meantime, after figuring out Bengalis love for aloo, those eateries first started adding aloo in their biryani. The addition of aloo makes the biriyani distinct from their authentic Lucknow biryani. That is how biriyani is created in Calcutta and the name of Nawab Wajid Ali Shah is connected to the history of this dish forever.

best homemade kolkata style mutton biryani served with soft and juicy mutton pieces and aloo from my bengali kitchen

In our Kolkata days, Arsalan, Siraj, Rahmania(Park circus), Royal(Chitpur)Aminia, and Regent(Esplanade) were our most favourite places for having their special biriyani (mostly with mutton) with their delicious sides. Good food always energies me, and our Kolkata biryani is top of that list. So to energise me and for pleasing my tastebuds, these restaurants were my ultimate destination on Durga Puja or any special occasion. So still whenever we visit Kolkata, must enjoy their biryani either by sitting in their restaurant or having a takeaway option. However sitting in Bangalore, far away from Kolkata, missing their delicacy, actually drives me for making this biriyani at home, just to satisfy our craving. Even, after long years of practice, finally, I make this biryani quite close to my favourite Arsalan style taste. 

As we know, biryani takes a huge time to complete, especially when cooked with mutton. But many of my Bengali readers asking for a quick and easy version of this mutton biryani. So today I try to share my comparatively quick and easier version of the Kolkata-style mutton biriyani. Which is partially cooked in a pressure cooker. This means mutton and aloo are cooked in the pressure cooker. However, the dum style cooking method is still intact like other traditional biryani recipes. Without the dum method, our Kolkata biriyani is just incomplete. Though for making a quick biryani recipe, multitasking is the most important thing, which means, doing it in an organised way. Such as, While soaking the rice in water, make the biryani masala, even while cooking mutton in the pressure cooker, make the rice on another stove, just like that.

If you are a mutton lover and a true fan of Kolkata biryani, then must try this recipe at home and enjoy this dish with

Kolkata Arsalan style chicken chaap
Kolkata Mutton chaap
Aminia style Chicken rezala
Bengali chicken kosha
Mutton kasha recipe

Please don’t forget to share your valuable feedback about this recipe.

Even you may try my other Kolkata biryani recipes too-

Kolkata style chicken biryani
Kolkata style Ilish biryani

Recipe card for Kolkata mutton biryani recipe

How to make Kolkata restaurant-style mutton biryani recipe at home with step-by-step pics

Recipe by Moumita PaulCourse: Main course, Lunch, DinnerCuisine: Bengali IndianDifficulty: Medium
Servings

6

servings
Prep time

30

minutes
Cooking time

1

minute
Calories

1380

kcal

Kolkata mutton biryani is the most popular and delectable recipe of Kolkata biriyani prepared with mutton or lamb (not goat meat as not containing fat), long grain basmati rice/dehradun rice, potato or aloo, flavourful spices including Bengali biryani masala, food colour and essence.

Ingredients for kolkata mutton biryani

For Marination

  • 800 gms Mutton/Lamb (biriyani cut pieces)

  • 1 tsp Ginger paste

  • 2 tsp Garlic paste

  • 1/2 cup Curd /Unflavoured Yogurt/ Tok Doi

  • 1+1/4 tsp Bengali biryani masala (described in my Chicken Biryani recipe)

  • 1 tsp Kashmiri red chilli powder

  • 1/2 Lemon juice

  • Salt

  • For cooking Biryani rice
  • 1 kg Basmati rice /Long grain Dehradun rice

  • Water(as required)

  • 4 pcs Bay leaves

  • 10 pcs Cloves

  • 6-8 pcs Cardamoms

  • 4 pcs of Cinnamon

  • 3 tsp of Vegetable oil

  • 3 tsp of Salt

  • For making saffron milk
  • 6 tbsp of Milk 

  • A pinch of Saffron

  • 10 drops of Mitha atar

  • 3-4 drops of Rose water

  • 1+1/2 tsp Kewra water

  • Other ingredients required
  • 7-8 pcs Aloo or Potatoes (Medium size)

  • 3 finely chopped Onion(for Beresta)

  • 1 tsp Bengali biryani masala

  • 6 – 8 tbsp of Ghee

  • 1/2 cup of Vegetable oil

  • Salt (as required)

Instruction

  • Clean and wash the mutton pieces, and drain them well.
  • Keep the mutton in a mixing bowl, and add ginger-garlic paste, curd/yogurt or tok doi, Kashmiri red chilli powder, Bengali biryani masala, salt, and lemon juice with the mutton. Mix them well.
  • Cover the bowl with a plate and leave it for marination till other ingredients are ready.
  • Finely slice the onion and lightly squeeze it by hand to separate the onion strips.
  • Heat a pressure cooker, on high flame, make it hot, and add 1/2 cup vegetable oil + 1/2 cup ghee. Once oil+ghee gets hot, add the onion to the cooker. Stir it frequently.
  • For quick caramelising add 1/2 tsp of sugar to the onion. Fry it until it gets golden and crispy.
  • Remove it on a paper-lined plate. Once cools down crispy birista or beresta will be ready to use.
  • Peel out the aloo/potatoes, prick it all over with a fork and smear it with salt and turmeric powder.
  • Fry the aloo in the same oil used in frying onion. Fry till both sides of aloo get a golden hue. Remove it from the pressure cooker and keep it aside.
  • Then take out 2 ladles full of oil from the cooker and keep them for later use. Start cooking the meat in the oil kept in the pressure cooker.
  • Place the marinated mutton into the oil. Stir it well and cook it in oil for 2-3 mins. Then add the fried potatoes to the cooker. Mix it well.
  • Add 1 hand full of birista, mix it well and cook the mutton for a few more mins.
  • When the mutton gravy almost dries up then add 2 cups of water to the cooker. Lets the gravy start boiling then add 1/2 tsp of salt. Mix it well.
  • Close the lid of the cooker and keep it on high flame until one whistle blows. Then slow down the heat to its medium and cook the mutton for 12-15 mins. Then turn off the heat. 
  • Remove the pressure cooker lid until the pressure cooker automatically releases the pressure.
  • After removing the lid, separate the aloo from the gravy. Check whether the meat is perfectly cooked or not.
  • Now almost dry up the mutton gravy until the gravy reaches the right consistency(as shown in the below step-by-step picture section).
  • For making the rice, take 1 kg long-grain fine Basmati rice/Dehradun, wash it 4-5 times. Soak the rice in water at least for 30 mins.
  • Take a wide mouth pan, and fill it 3/4 with water. Add vegetable oil and salt with bay leaves, cloves, cardamoms, and cinnamon. Place it on high heat and let the water starts boiling.
  • Drain the soaked rice and put it into that boiling water. Cook the rice until almost 80 per cent done. Immediately drain the starch of this rice and keep it aside.
  • For making saffron milk, boil the milk and add a pinch of saffron/jaffran to soak in it. Once the milk little cools down, rub the saffron strips with your fingertips to release its rich colour and flavour into the milk.
  • Add rose essence, kewra water, mitha attar and mix it nicely. (described in ingredients)
  • Take a wide mouth heavy bottom vessel, grease its bottom and sides with 1 1/2 tbsp ghee.
  • First place the mutton pieces in the bottom of the pan. Then add little gravy over the pieces. (as shown in the below step by-step pics)
  • Make a thick layer of white rice to completely cover the mutton and its gravy.
  • Place the aloo on the layer of rice, then sprinkle 1/2 tsp of Bengali biryani masala, 1/2 tsp salt, 3 tbsp saffron milk, and a handful of birista.
  • Make another thick layer with the rest of the rice, sprinkle 1/2 tsp biryani masala, 1/2 tsp salt, rest of the saffron milk, a handful of birista, and lastly sprinkle almost 6-8 tbsp of ghee added oil(used in making birista and frying potatoes) from the top of the rice. Close its lid. 
  • For putting the biryani in dum, take old used tawa, make it hot in high flame, and place the biryani vessel over the tawa.
  • Put another pan( filled with hot water) on the top of that vessel (as shown in the pic below).
  • After 10 mins, slow down the heat to its medium. Heat the biryani pot until the outer side and the lid of the vessel is enough hot that almost could not touch the vessel for more than 1 sec. That indicates your biryani is perfectly done in dum. Then turn off the heat.
  • Kolkata restaurant-style dum pukhth mutton biryani is ready to serve. Serve with bengali style chaap, rezala, or kosha, or just with salad and raita. 

Notes

  • For the detailed recipe, check the below step-by-step pictures description.

How to make Kolkata restaurant-style mutton biryani recipe at home with step-by-step pics

Preparation

Marinate the mutton for biryani

For making biryani, good marination(for mutton or chicken) is mandatory. So let’s see how to marinate mutton for making this Kolkata-style biryani.

  • Clean and wash the mutton pieces thoroughly and drain them well. Place it in a mixing bowl. Set it aside.
  • Then add 1 tsp ginger-2 tsp garlic paste, 1/2 cup of curd/yogurt or tok doi, 1tsp of Kashmiri red chilli powder, 1 1/4 tsp of Bengali biryani masala(described in my Chicken Biryani recipe), 1/2 tsp of salt, and 1/2 lemon juice with the mutton. Mix it well.
  • Cover the bowl with a plate and leave it for marination till other ingredients are ready.
Marinating mutton with 1 tsp ginger, 2 tsp garlic paste, 1/2 cup of curd or doi or dahi, 1tsp of Kashmiri red chilli powder, 1 1/4 tsp of Bengali biryani masala, 1/2 tsp of salt, and 1/2 lemon juice added step by step

Making birista or beresta (crispy fried onion) for Biryani

For making any biryani, birista or beresta (crispy fried onion) is a must, let’s learn how to make it.

  • Finely slice the onion and lightly squeeze it by hand to separate the onion strips from each other.
  • Heat a pressure cooker, on high flame, make it hot, and add 1/2 cup of vegetable oil along with 1/4 cup of ghee. When the oil gets hot, add the onion strips to the cooker. Stir it frequently.
  • For quick caramelising add 1/2 tsp of sugar to the onion. Fry it until it gets golden and crispy(shown in the pics).
  • Take out on a paper-lined plate to absorb the excess oil contains in the fried onion. Once cools down crispy birista or beresta will be ready to use. Keep it aside.
making birista or crispy fried onion step by step an important ingredient of kolkata biryani

How to Cook Biryani Aloo and Mutton

As it is a pakki biryani(means meat is cooked before using in making such biryanis), so mutton must be cooked before being used in layers. As I said, I’ll make a quite quick and easier biryani so here I’ve used a pressure cooker. Let’s see how to cook it in the pressure cooker.

  • Peel out the potatoes, prick them all over with a fork(as shown in the pic), and smear them with salt and turmeric powder.
  • Then fry it in the same oil used in frying onion. Fry till both sides get a golden hue. Remove it from the pressure cooker and keep it aside.
preparing aloo for kolkata biryani
  • Now, first, take out 2 ladles full of oil from the cooker and keep them for later use. As the meat should be cooked just in 4-5 tbs of oil.
  • Place the marinated mutton into the oil. Stir it well and cook it in oil for 2-3 mins. Then add the fried potatoes to the cooker. Mix it well.
  • Then add 1 hand full of birista, mix it well and cook it for a few more mins. When the gravy almost dries up then add 2 cups of water to the cooker. Let the gravy starts boiling then add 1/2 tsp of salt. Mix it well.
  • Close the lid of the cooker and keep it on high flame until one whistle blows, then slow down the heat to its medium and cook the mutton for 12-15 mins. Then turn off the heat. 
Step by step making of mutton and aloo in pressure cooker for making this biryani recipe
  • Remove the clip of the pressure cooker and wait till it releases its pressure automatically. After removing the lid, separate the aloo from the gravy and put it in another bowl. Even check the meat is perfectly cooked or not.
  • Now almost dry up the mutton gravy until the gravy reaches the right consistency (as shown in the pics below).
perfectly cooked mutton and aloo in pressure cooker

How to Make Rice For Biryani

Making any biryani rice(Basmati rice/long grain Dehradun rice) is a crucial task. Biryani rice can not get overcooked or mushy. That can easily spoil the taste of this dish. So here I will show how to make perfect rice for making biryani. Follow each step-by-step guide to make it perfect.

  • For making the rice, take 1 kg long-grain fine Basmati rice/Dehradun, and wash it 4-5 times or until its water gets clear. Soak the rice in water at least for 30 mins.
  • Take a wide mouth pan to fill it with water till it 3/4 is covered. Add 3 tsp of vegetable oil and 3 tsp of salt to it along with 4 bay leaves, 10 cloves, 6-8 cardamoms, and 4 pieces of cinnamon. Place it on the gas stove and wait until the water starts boiling.
  • Then drain the soaked rice and put it into the pan. Cook the rice until almost 80 per cent done(as shown in the pics). Immediately drain the starch of this rice and keep it aside.
making biryani rice with green cardamom(choti elaichi), cinnamon(dalchini), cloves(long) and bay leaves(tej patta) in a step by step way

How to Make Saffron Milk (for Kolkata Biryani)

Saffron milk means saffron or jaffran soaked in hot milk, mandatory for making all biryani recipes. Especially the biryanis are originally from any royal cuisine. This saffron milk is basically used to add the colour and flavour of saffron to the food. Though in royal cuisines saffron milk is used itself(means no added extra colour and flavour with it). When making my Bengali biryani, I always add all the flavours(means kewra+ mitha attar+ rose water) in this milk. As through the milk the essence could be easily soaked by rice, mutton and aloo.

  • For making saffron milk, take 1/4 cup of milk, boil it and add a pinch of saffron to soak in it. Remove it to a bowl. Once the milk little cools down, rub the saffron strips with your fingertips to release its rich colour and flavour into the milk.
  • Then one by one add 3 drops of rose essence, 1 1/2 tsp of kewra water, and 10 drops of mitha attar and mix it nicely. As shown in the pics.
Making saffron milk step by step with saffron, rose water, kewra water and mitha atar must for making this biryani

How to Assemble Biryani

Assembling biryani means making layers of rice and meat, which is very important for making any biryani recipe. Because through these layers every rice grain and piece of meat will evenly get cooked and absorb the flavour as well.

  • Take a wide mouth heavy bottom vessel, grease its bottom and sides with 1 1/2 tbsp ghee, then place the mutton pieces in the bottom of the pan. Then add the gravy over the pieces. Spread the mutton and its gravy all over the bottom.
  • Make a thick layer of white rice to completely cover the mutton and its gravy. First, place the aloo on the first layer of rice. Then sprinkle 1/2 tsp of Bengali biryani masala, 1/2 tsp salt, 3 tbsp saffron milk, and a handful of birista.
  • Again make another thick layer with the rest of the rice, again sprinkle 1/2 tsp Bengali biryani masala(check it in my Chicken Biryani recipe), 1/2 tsp salt, rest of the saffron milk, a handful of birista, and lastly sprinkle almost 6-8 tbsp of ghee added oil(used in making birista and frying potatoes) from the top of the rice. Follow each step shown in the pics. Close its lid. 
assembling mutton, rice, aloo, biryani masala, flavoured saffron milk, crispy fried onion and ghee step by step for making this kolkata biryani

How to Make Kolkata Mutton Biryani (in Dum Pukhth Style)

Dum pukhth style is a traditional method of Awadhi cuisine which maintains few conditions like the lowest heat, the sealed mouth of biryani pot or handi, and lastly place of burning charcoal on the lid of the pan. Basically, people use wheat or atta dough to seal the mouth of this pot before placing it on dum. However, I put a hot water-filled pan on the top of the pot. That works the same as charcoal does in the dum pukht method, where the pot gets slow heat from both sides, from the bottom and the top.

  • For putting the biryani in dum, take old used tawa, make it hot in high flame, and place the biryani vessel over the tawa. 
  • Put another pan( filled with hot water) on the top of that vessel (as shown in the pic below).
  • After 10 mins slow down the heat to its medium. Heat the biryani pot until the outer side and the lid of the vessel is enough hot that almost could not touch the vessel for more than 1 sec. That indicates your biryani is perfectly done in dum. Then turn off the heat.
  • Kolkata style dum pukhth mutton biryani is ready to serve, serve it with bengali style chaap, rezala, or kosha, or just with salad and raita. 
making dum pukhth style kolkata mutton dum biryani step by step

Tips & Tricks for Kolkata-Style Best Mutton Biryani recipe

  • Try to use biryani cut mutton pieces(for best result use lamb meat or rewaji khashi) which is a quite big piece than the curry cut mutton.  
  • In Kolkata restaurants, generally, they use big pieces of aloo in biryanis, as I used the medium size aloo, so I used it as a whole. However, you may use big potatoes in your recipe by cutting them into halves.
  • Don’t fry the onion till it gets dark brown in colour. As its frying process still goes on even after removing it from the pan. So then the dark brown onion gets darker in colour. Even it may be bitter in taste.
  • One whistle on a high flame and 12-15 mins on a medium flame is perfect for cooking mutton & aloo. However, cooking time may vary for different brands of pressure cookers. So either you may use my process, or calculate the timing your pressure cooker takes to cook mutton and aloo. If your pressure cooker generally needs 2 or 3 whistles for making mutton whereas the aloo takes only one whistle. Then first make one whistle and take out the aloo when the cooker releases its pressure. Later cook the mutton with the rest of the whistles or the rest of its cooking time. 
  • Mutton gravy must be thick as shown in my recipe. Otherwise, gravy persists in the bottom of the pan and the bottom layer of rice will soak more gravy and gets soft & mushy. 
  • Old basmati rice is best for making biryani. Generally, old basmati rice comes at a high price in the market. And the shopkeeper will advise taking the best quality basmati rice which charges high. However, for making biryanis I always prefer to choose the second-best quality available in the market. That is not high in price even though it matches my criteria of old long-grain rice.
  • Comparatively, the newly harvested basmati rice or Dehradun rice has a sticky starch, is cooked in very little time and needs to add more water. So need to handle it more carefully and don’t keep it unattended. If more water requires boiling, then must use hot water.
  • If the rice or aloo get overcooked then you may keep it in the refrigerator for a minimum of half an hour. But don’t use the mushy rice or potato in this recipe, as mushy rice and potatoes will spoil their taste.
  • While making rice, must use vegetable oil to get each grain of rice separated from the other. And must use salt too as rice soaked while cooking and never taste bland.
  • Here I made two-layer of rice but you may apply 3 to 4 layers as per the size of your pan. As I used 1 tsp of biryani masala for 1 kg rice. So divide the portions of biryani masala according to the number of layers. Otherwise, the portion of masala will be more and spoil the taste of this dish. 
  • Though kabab Chini, shahi jeera both are important spices for making bengali biryani masala. However, if not available, just skip it. Even if you may use black pepper instead of white pepper but all garam masala including jaitri and jaiphal must be in the same amount used in making this biryani masala. 
  • Instead of a hot water-filled pan, put a cloth on the mouth of the biryani vessel to prevent the air from coming out of the pan during dum. 
  • Take a heavy bottom pan for making the biryani in dum, even timing will depend on the thickness of the pan. This means, because of less thickness, dum will be finished in less time than me. But avoid using the steel pan or cast iron pan, during dum, rice and meat may stick to the bottom.
  • Keep the excess amount of biryani masala in an airtight container for future use.

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