Lucknow Biryani (Awadhi Biryani)

The baap of all biryanis out there, the Awadhi biryani is what all other biryanis aspire to be, in terms
of the flavour and aroma. In Lucknow, the people who make biryani are called karigars – artisans –
rightfully so, because in Awadhi cuisine, the making of biryani is not just about cooking it. It is about
saleeka (etiquette) and nafasat (artistry) leading to itminan (satisfaction). The biryani they prepare is
made in a pukki way – where the meat and spices are half-cooked separately from the rice,
flavoured with other spices and saffron. These are then layered in a deep-bottomed handi, covered,
sealed with dough and cooked to perfection. The addition of kewra water, or screwpine water gives
the Awadhi Biryani its final touch of royalty.

Ingredients Of Awadhi Mutton Biryani

  • For garam masala

  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 8-10 cloves
  • 2-3 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 tsp fennel seeds
  • 2-3 tsp coriander seeds
  • 1 tsp pepper corns
  • 2 star anise
  • 2-3 mace
  • 2-3 brown cardamom
  • 3-4 green cardamom
  • For mutton marination:

  • 1/2 kg mutton
  • 2-3 tsp. ginger-garlic paste
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 1 tsp chilli powder
  • Cashew nut paste
  • Pinch of garam masala
  • 4-5 tsp. curd
  • For cooking:

  • 2-3 tsp salt
  • 3 tsp ghee
  • 2-3 tsp oil
  • 2-3 cups milk
  • Saffron

How to Make Awadhi Mutton Biryani

1.For garam masala:

1. Dry roast all the spices.
2. Once they are roasted, transfer them to a masala grinder and grind them

2.For mutton marination:

1. To half kg mutton, add ginger-garlic paste, turmeric and chilli powder.
2. Then add cashew nut paste, garam masala, curd and whisk it.
3. Cover it with the lid and put it in the refrigerator for an hour.

Final Preparation:

1. Let the meat come to room temperature. Season the meat with salt.
2. Grease the handi with some ghee and oil. Transfer the marinated meat
from the bowl to the handi.
3. Now stir and cook the meat for a few minutes.
4. Cover with the lid and simmer it for another half an hour.
5. Now layer the mutton with cooked rice and pour a little saffron induced
milk over it.
6. Add a little salt, garam masala, roasted onions and ghee over it.
7. Cover the handi with the lid and weight it down with something heavy.
Keep the flame low.
8. Cook for about half an hour. Serve it hot.
9.Tip: Add some kewra jal or gulab jal to biryani for an romatic essence.