thalapakattu mutton biryani

Thalapakattu mutton biryani

The ever-delicious Thalapakattu mutton biryani recipe is here to make you drool! The thalapakattu biryani, famous in the south of India – Tamilnadu, has a distinct flavor and taste.

I still remember my first post on a recipe with chicken was thalapakattu chicken biryani. So, this is quite special for me. I have been trying this recipe for the past few months with mutton. It took me a while to get the perfect color of original biryani.

I had to adjust the amount of red chili powder and the other spices used to ensure that I do not compromise on the color and the taste of the biryani. This took me so many trials to achieve the perfect thalapakattu mutton biryani

The main ingredient that makes this biryani distinctive is the use of seeraga samba rice or jeera rice. This variety of rice have smaller grain size and has a beautiful aroma and taste of its own. If you use basmati rice in place of jeera rice, the flavor changes a lot. You will still be getting a perfect and delicious biryani, but the authentic taste and feel will be lost. Believe me when I say this, because I have a lot of experience in changing the rice.

I have specifically mentioned about the use of jeera rice even in my earlier post on Thalapakattu chicken biryani. Wait, this is not the only thing that adds to the flavor. There is one more to come. So, for this biryani recipe, we make a masala paste combining few whole garam masala and also other ingredients such as shallots, ginger, garlic and green chilies.

Unlike, other biryani recipes, the thalapakattu mutton biryani has just a hint of red chili powder and no more than that. This is because all the green chilies are used for the spiciness. Using red chili powder gives an orange hue to the biryani, but the color here is more like brown.

thalapakattu mutton biryani

The process involved is very simple. Unlike other birani recipes, this does not require any dum process and all. Ofcourse, the meat margination plays a major role and that consumes some time. But, otherwise this is the best option for a day where you do not find enough time but crave for some tasty biryani.

Meat margination is crucial here. This helps to tenderize the meat well, which in turn results in perfectly cooked meat (more like meat falling off the bone consistency). Initially I have had many problems in cooking the meat perfectly. It was only after so many trials that I learned the perfect way or rather a much better and adaptive way for me to cook meat easily.

First, marinate the meat with some curd and lemon juice. Both these ingredients helps in tenderizing the meat because of their acidic properties. This makes sure that the meat is soft after it is cooked and not rubbery. And there is something else I follow too, which is, I always cook the meat for around 4-5 whistles on a pressure cooker on the lowest flame possible. This has worked out for me all the time.

Although, the number of whistles depends on the meat you buy. If it is baby goat, then they get cooked easily that a few whistles are enough. Anyways, no fancy ingredients required and no lengthy processes involved too in making this thalapakattu mutton biryani. Do try it!

Enjoy this thalapakattu mutton biryani with your family. Stay safe; stay healthy! Happy cooking and eating! While you are here, checkout my chicken biryani recipes too!

Has meal planning been a little bit difficult during this lockdown? Look through my No Veggies, 21-Day Lockdown Series for ideas on what to cook during this lockdown.

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thalapakattu mutton biryani

Thalapakattu Mutton Biryani

Abhipriya Raghav
A very flavorful biryani recipe from Tamilnadu with its own distinct taste and method of preparation.
Prep Time 1 hour
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine Indian
Servings 3 servings


For the masala paste

  • 10 shallots
  • 10 cloves garlic
  • 2 inch piece of ginger
  • 8-9 green chilies
  • 2 inch stick cinnamon
  • 4-5 cloves
  • 5-6 whole black pepper
  • a small piece of nutmeg
  • 2 strands of mace flower / javithri
  • 3 green cardamom
  • 1/4 heaped tsp fennel seeds

For meat marination

  • 1/2 tsp turmeric powder
  • 3 tbsp curd
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • salt, as per taste

For the biryani

  • 500 grams bone-in mutton pieces
  • 1 cup seeraga samba rice / jeera rice
  • 1+1 tbsp ghee
  • 1+1 tbsp oil
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 1/4 tsp red chili powder
  • handful of chopped coriander leaves
  • handful of chopped mint leaves


  • Wash and soak 1 cup of jeera rice in enough water for 30 minutes.
    thalapakattu mutton biryani
  • Clean the mutton and marinate it with the ingredients listed under 'For meat marination'.
    thalapakattu mutton biryani
  • Let it marinate for 30 minutes.
    thalapakattu mutton biryani
  • Meanwhile, keep all the ingredients listed under 'For the masala paste' ready.
    thalapakattu mutton biryani
  • Add all the ingredients into a mixer grinder along with a little water and grind it into a paste. Set aside until further use.
    thalapakattu mutton biryani
  • In a pressure cooker on a medium heat, add 1 tbsp ghee and 1 tbsp oil.
    thalapakattu mutton biryani
  • Add the ground masala paste and saute for a few seconds.
    thalapakattu mutton biryani
  • Add 1/4 tsp red chili powder and mix well.
    thalapakattu mutton biryani
  • Add the marinated mutton pieces to the pressure cooker.
    thalapakattu mutton biryani
  • Add 1.5 cups of water and mix well. Cook for 4-5 whistles on a low-medium flame or until the meat is tender and is cooked well. Let the pressure settle naturally.
    thalapakattu mutton biryani
  • Open the lid of the pressure cooker and check if the mutton pieces are well cooked.
    thalapakattu mutton biryani
  • Now remove all the mutton pieces alone and keep it aside.
    thalapakattu mutton biryani
  • Measure the mutton stock and keep it aside too. If the stock is less than 2.5 cups, then add some water to adjust the amount.
    thalapakattu mutton biryani
  • In the same pressure cooker, add the remaining ghee and oil and let it heat on a medium flame. Once hot, add the bay leaves.
    thalapakattu mutton biryani
  • Now, add the stock to the pressure cooker. The total amount of stock or stock + water should be 2.5 cups.
    thalapakattu mutton biryani
  • Add chopped coriander leaves and mint leaves to it and mix well. Adjust salt if required.
    thalapakattu mutton biryani
  • Add the mutton pieces back to the pressure cooker and let the stock come to a boil.
    thalapakattu mutton biryani
  • Drain the water from the rice and add it to the pressure cooker and mix gently. Cover and cook for 3-4 whistles on a medium flame. Let the pressure release naturally.
    thalapakattu mutton biryani
  • Serve hot along with some onion raita.
    thalapakattu mutton biryani


  • Marinate the meat atleast for 20 minutes.
  • Do not over cook the meat. Cook for 4-5 whistles and check if it is tender. If not, then cook for 1 or 2 more whistles.
  • Add green chilies according to your level of spiciness.
  • Do not increase the amount of red chili powder used.
  • Do not add more water while cooking the mutton separately. Remember that mutton leaves out water as well.
  • I have taken rice and water in the ratio 1:2.5. According to the rice you use, take the amount of required.
  • If the amount of stock is less than 2.5 cups, then add some water to adjust.
Keyword biryani, indian, mutton, south Indian, thalapakattu