Mutton Biryani by Snigdha Ganguly



What makes a home-cook aspire to master the art? Well, the answer could be myriad. But, mostly, it is to appease the foodies in the family; and for Snigdha Ganguly, it was the taste buds of her husband, Sujit Ganguly (He is no more with us; God bless his soul; but I deny to use any term that hammers in that fact — we still feel his effervescent presence in every family gathering). That’s my baro pishi (paternal aunt) for you.

Not boasting of pishi’s culinary skills, but the lady has the capacity to cook delectable fare, even for large number of people. What I admire about her is that she does that without fuss, or even much ado. She is one person in the family who has kept alive the tradition of treating visitors and family with homecooked fare, even when people visit her with a short notice. Through the trials and triumphs of life, she has proved to be a woman of substance. Coming back to food and cooking, since the couple established their marital home in the historic town of Lucknow, and stayed there for many years, naturally pishi picked up Awadhi recipes. This is one of her gems. Every time she makes it, we keep licking fingers. Every time. Without fail or exception. Thank you, pishi, for sharing your treasured recipe with BitebyByte.



  1. Mutton 1kg
  2. Dehradun basmati rice 700gms
  3. Curd 150gms
  4. Green chilies according to your taste
  5. 2 pods of Garlic ground into a paste
  6. Garlic & green chilies paste
  7. Tejpatta/Bay leaf
  8. Ghee
  9. White Oil
  10. Salt
  11. Kewra Water
  12. Dry masala:
  • 5 labanga/cloves
  • 4 to 5 small elaichi/cardamom
  • 4 to 5medium pcs dalchini/cinnamon
  • ½ tea spoon black pepper
  • ½ tea spoon jeera/cumin
  • ½ jaiphal/nutmeg
  • Javitri/mace – 2 sprigs
  • 2/3 teaspoon posto/ poppy seeds



  1. Marinate mutton with the pastes and the curd for 2 hrs.
  2. Dry roast the ingredients under dry masala in a pan and then grind into a powder.
  3. Now cook the rice till half done.
  4. Cook mutton with salt in a pressure cooker and dry off the excess water.
  5. Cool the rice; add little salt and two teaspoons of ghee into the rice.
  6. Heat the pan, add little white oil then add tejpatta followed by the half-done rice.
  7. Then add the mutton along with the dry roasted masala powder.
  8. Mix rice with the mutton.
  9. Now sprinkle little kewra water, cover the pan, put a heavy weight on top of it.
  10. Now place a tawa on the gas stove, turn on the flame; and place the pan on it.
  11. Cook in slow fire for ten minutes then turn off the heat and leave it for again ten minutes.
  12. Finally mix well and serve hot.

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