Sunday, May 18, 2014

Thalasherry/Kannur Mutton Dum biryani - Malabar Mutton Biryani

Today I am sharing a biryani of my hometown,Kannur/Thalasherry biryani.No other biryani can
beat this famous Thalasherry biryani.Its a mild spicy biryani and tastes very delicious.Earlier I shared Malabar Vegetable Biryani from my hometown.Now I am sharing, mine and  hubby's favourite biryani, mutton biryani. Biryani is a common one pot meal served for occasions like marriage,party ,large gathering etc.. Neychor ( ghee rice ) with non veg curries and biryani are the common lunch that muslim household have every friday..Without having any one of these,we can't consider it as friday :) ( as commonly said as a joke).But,I mostly cook biryani,instead of ghee rice, as my hubby is a great lover of biryani :)... Aleesa ( porridge made of mashed skinless whole wheat with meat pieces) is commonly served as a starter before serving biryani, during marriages and parties.Will post the recipe of 'Aleesa' later.Most common side dish served for biryanis are pickles, raita ( yogurt mixed with chopped onions and vegetables), chammanti /chutney ( dry grounded spicy coconut powder) , Cucumber pachadi (Cucumber with spicy yogurt-coconut paste) etc.Will share these in my later post.Biryani taste differently from home to home..Some may add a thick yogurt in masala,some may or may not add mint leaves ( pudina)..But the spice used in masala in my hometown is same everywhere..As I told earlier, garam masala and ginger-garlic paste is the highlight of this biryani..Unlike other biryani, we don't add coriander powder and red chilli powder in this biryani..we used green chillies paste for spiceness...Thalasherry biryani used kaima/ jeerakashala rice as biryani rice..If that rice is not available in your place,do substitute it with basmati rice..I used basmati rice,as I have to finish it off in my pantry...In Thalasherry and Mahe areas in Kannur dist, they put only rice for dum (cooked on slow flame),  and serve rice and masala seperately..But we prefer layering masala and rice alternately and put on dum,so that juice of meat and masala will infuse the rice,which gives nice flavour and aroma..We serve all this combined..Try this biryani and impress your family..Lets go the recipe :)

Recipe Source : My mom
     Serves : 6 to 7 hungry people


     To marinate:
  • Lamb/Mutton ( cut into medium big chunks) - 1 kg
  • Turmeric pdr - a pinch
  • Vinegar/lime juice - 2 to 3 tsp
  • Pepper pdr - 1/2 tsp

      For Masala:
  • Onions,thinly sliced - 5 large or 6 medium sized
  • Garlic - 1 & half whole
  • Ginger - size of middle finger
  • Green chillies - 10 large or 15 bird eye chillies ( depends upon your spiceness)
  • Chopped coriander leaves - 1/2 cup + 1/2 cup for decorating
  • Chopped mint leaves - 1/4 cup + 1/3 cup for decorating
  • Tomatoes,sliced - 3 large or medium sized
  • Garam masala pdr - 1 tsp + few for sprinkling
  • Salt - to taste  
  • Lime juice - 1 tsp

      For Ghee rice :
  • Basmathi rice / Jeerakashala (kaima rice ) - 6 cups
  • Ghee - 1 tbsp
  • Oil - 2 tbsp
  • Cardamon -  3 no.s
  • Cloves -  5 no.
  • Cinnamon - one large, broken
  • Bay leaf - 1 ( optional)
  • Water - 9 3/4 cups ( 1 cup of rice = 1 3/4 cups of water)

      For Garnishing:
  • Onion,thinly sliced - 1 large or 2 medium sized
  • Cashew nuts - 10 no.s
  • Raisins - 7 no.s
  • Saffron - a pinch mixed with 2 tbsp milk and set aside for 15 mins ( optional )
  • Rose water - few for sprinkling ( optional)

  • Soak basmati rice in water for 30 mins.  If using jeerakashala rice,ignore this step.Wash the rice thoroughly with 2 to 3 couplets of water,drain rice in the colander and keep aside.
  • Wash the mutton thoroughly and drain it. Marinate mutton with ingredients mentioned in " to marinate ' and keep aside for 30 mins..
  • Make a paste of ginger +garlic+ green chillies and set aside.
    For making masala
  • Heat oil in a pressure cooker, add sliced onions with salt and saute till translucent.
  • Add ginger-garlic-chilli paste and saute for few seconds.
  • Add sliced tomatoes and saute till mushy.
  • Add chopped coriander + mint leaves and saute for few seconds.
  • Add garam masala pdr and saute till raw smell goes away.
  • Add marinated mutton and mix well thoroughly.Do not add water in between ,as mutton, onions and tomatoes itself releases water while cooking..
  • Add salt and lemon juice and mix well..
  • Close the lid of pressure cooker and pressure cook for 5 to 6 whistles,depending upon the mutton ..
  • Off the stove. When the pressure releases, open the lid, switch on the flame and make into high flame and let the mutton gravy reduced to semi thick consistency and  stir in between carefully..Don't make it too dry as there should be moisture left for dum..It takes time to evaporate the water..For easy evaporating of water,pour the gravy into the sauce pan ( ignoring mutton) reduce the gravy to semi-thick consistency..Off the flame and pour the gravy back to the pressure cooker on top of meat..keep aside.

       Making of ghee rice.
  • In a large wide non-stick casserole/biryani pot , heat ghee + oil for few seconds.
  • Add thinly sliced onions and saute till light brown. Adding few pinches of sugar will caramalise onion faster. Drain and keep aside.
  • Add cashewnuts and raisins and saute till cashewnut turns light brown and raisins puffed up. Drain and keep aside.
  • In a same vessel,add all the whole spices mentioned and saute for few seconds.
  • Add water and let it boil till the bubbles comes.
  • Add salt and sprinkle few lime juice to prevent sticking of rice.
  • Add drained basmati rice into it,mix gently and close the lid.
  • Keep at high flame for few minutes till the water evaporates.( Be careful not to get burnt)
  • Immediately reduce the flame to low and turn the rice from bottom to top on all sides and gently level the rice.
  • Close the lid and cook for 2 to 3 mins..
  • Rice should be 80 percent cooked, remaining it will cook on dum..Off the flame and keep aside with lid closed.

     Layering the rice and dum
  • Divide the mutton masala and rice into three equal parts..
  • Transfer the rice into another big plate..In same biryani pot, spread one part of mutton masala in circular motion.
  • Take another part of rice and pour on top of masala,covering everywhere. Level it with a back of large spoon,sprinkle few garam masala powder and few chopped mint-coriander leaves on top of the rice..
  • Then pour another part of mutton masala and repeat the step.
  • Top part should be covered with rice..Sprinkle remaining garam- masala pdr and herbs like how you layered on rice earlier..level it with large spoon
  • Sprinkle caramalised onions, cashews and raisins sparingly on top of it.
  • Sprinkle saffron-milk  and rose water sparingly on top of rice ( optional)..
  • Cover it with aluminium foil on top of the vessel as shown in the picture below..Close it with lid on top of that..It is mainly done to tight the lid,so that steam will not escape while  on dum..It will retain flavour and aroma of biryani..As a substitute, you can stick wheat dough on  top sides of a vessel in circular motion and cover it with a lid on top of it..
  • Place tawa or steel platter ( any one of this) as shown in the pictures ( It is done to avoid burning at bottom during dum) and place biryani pot on top of it.
  • Keep at very low flame and cook for 30 to 40 mins...
  • At the time of serving,remove the foil and serve warm..  
  • Serve it with the combination of your choice like pickles, raita etc.

Dum preparation of mutton biryani

  • Cutting,chopping and pasting of ingredients can be done previous night to save time for making biryani..
  • If you have guest, make biryani masala previous day and refrigerate..Next morning, make ghee rice and layer it for dum..
  • It is better to reduce water for biryani ghee rice than normal ghee rice, as it will prevent rice from getting mushy while on dum..