Posted on: January 3, 2019 Posted by: Deepsikha Comments: 0
Kolkata Style Mutton Biriyani

Maa says, and I believe – “bochor suru jeibhabe korbe, sara bochor seibhabe katbe” (how you start your year defines what you will do the rest of the year). Thus, I am a firm believer of Good Start ๐Ÿ™‚ Talking about this, I remember a story and here it goes: I spent my childhood in a small and beautiful town of Assam, Kokrajhar. Back then, New Year was never about cocktails and parties, but all about offering Puja, cooking great food, greeting friends and family and going to picnics. That year, on 31st Dec night, Maa called me and said “kalke sokal sokal uthe phool tulbe, onek phool diye thakur ke pujo dite hobe kalke” (wake up early tomorrow to pluck fresh flowers, I have to offer to God) and I said “thik ache” (alright).

As the first ray of new sun hit the Earth, here I am ready with my flower basket and ran to the garden to pluck flowers for Maa. As I went to the garden I saw Mili Aunty is already there, she greeted me and I greeted her too. In my mind I thought – Mili Aunty cooks awesome Mutton Biriyani. Seeing her the first thing in new year could be a cosmic conspiracy. Does it mean that I am going to eat tasty Mutton Biriyani throughout the year? Probably. I know God is kind ๐Ÿ™‚ As I came back with flowers, I was super excited unknown from the fact that a series of surprises awaiting me.

By afternoon as Maa was ready with her new year special dishes, Singh Aunty came with a large vessel and told Maa “Mutton Biriyani baniyechi, apnader jonno ektu diye gelam” (I cooked mutton biriyani, brought some for your family). I was utterly surprised in my mind. Next day, we had a dinner party to attend, second surprise in a row – the menu had Mutton Biriyani in it. That night I told Maa about my “surprise series”. Maa smiled and said “dekhli, Thakur koto bhalo, dara tahole kalke ami Mutton Biriyani banabo tor jonne” (God is kind on you. Wait, tomorrow I will cook Mutton Biriyani for you). And the very next day we had a grand feast with Kolkata Style Mutton Biriyani cooked by Maa. The series of surprises stopped form the next day – days were usual with usual food and fun. Years passed by, life happened and I moved on – all is good with or without Mutton Biriyani surprise. But this dish has an impact on me and with the arrival of every single year I think of two things – “bochor suru jeibhabe korbe, sara bochor seibhabe katbe” and “Mutton Biriyani”.

This time I started my year not with Mili aunty, but with Mutton Biriyani. As I keep my fingers crossed and wait for yet another “surprise series” to start, let me tell you a little bit about the biriyani I cooked. This is the Bengali version of Mutton Biriyani and it contains Alu (potato) and Dim (Egg) and it’s called Kolkata Style Mutton Biriyani. With minimalist spices, this is one of the most savory and delicious one could ever have. Here’s the recipe.


  • 500 gm mutton (biriyani cut)
  • 250 gm long grain basmati rice
  • 2 potatoes, peeled 
  • 2 hard boiled eggs
  • salt (according to taste)
  • 1.5 table-spoon keora water
  • 1 table-spoon rose water
  • 2 cup fried crispy onion

For Marination

  • 4 table-spoon yogurt
  • 1.5 table-spoon ginger-garlic paste
  • 1/2 tea-spoon turmeric powder
  • 1 tea-spoon cumin powder
  • 1 tea-spoon coriander powder
  • 1/2 tea-spoon red chilli powder
  • 1 tea-spoon salt
  • 1 table-spoon mustard oil

For Tempering

  • 3 table-spoon ghee
  • 2-3 bay leaves
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 4 green chillies, finely chopped
  • 1 cinnamon stick (1 inch)
  • 4-5 cloves
  • 4-5 cardamom
  • 2 jaiphal
  • 2 star anise

For Boiling Rice

  • 1 table-spoon mustard oil
  • 2 cloves
  • 1 cinnamon stick (1 inch)
  • 2 cardamom
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 tea-spoon salt


  • Marinate the mutton with all the above mentioned ingredients for 2-3 hours.

  • Meanwhile, wash and soak basmati rice for 1 hour. Drain the water and keep aside.

  • Slit the eggs and shallow fry by adding little turmeric powder and salt. Remove and keep aside.

  • In a vessel, boil water for rice with all the above mentioned ingredients. Once the water reaches boiling point, add the rice and cook till the rice is 3/4th cooked.

  • Once the rice is done, drain the water and keep the rice aside.
  • Meanwhile, heat ghee in a pressure cooker and add all the ingredients mentioned for tempering (except onion and green chilli). Allow them to splutter.

  • Now, add chopped onion and green chillies and sautรจ until the onion turns light golden in colour.

  • Add the marinated chicken, potato and little salt. Stir until the mutton starts changing colour.

  • Now, add water till half level of the mutton, cover the lid of the pressure cooker. Cook for 5-6 whistles. Turn off the flame and let the pressure cool down completely.

  • Take a separate heavy bottom vessel and create layers for biriyani – one layer of rice followed by one layer of mutton, gravy, 1 potato, 1 egg and fried onion. Again one layer of rice and the process continues.

  • Once all the layers are complete, add keora water and rose water and cover the lid.
  • Cook the whole thing in medium flame for around 15 minutes.
  • Turn off the flame and open the lid to get blasted with the splash of aroma. Your Kolkata Style Mutton Biriyani is ready to be served now.

This is a one-pot-meal and can be enjoyed absolutely without anything. If you want you can have salad or raita along with. The Kolkata Style Button Biriyani is different from the usual biriyani and is a marvelous creation of the Nawabi Kitchens of West Bengal.

Do try this and let me know in comments about how you like it. You can also tag me on Instagram using the handle @when_a_bong_cooks. Happy eating and a Happy New Year to you all!


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