Sunday, July 21, 2013

My Favourite Recipe - Dhakai Kacchi Biryani

Today's post is going to be a long one. Primarily two reasons for - I can't tell you enough about my love for this biryani and two - this is a long recipe. It took me a while to actually get down to sharing this very authentic,traditional mutton biryani recipe with you (should have done it long back) because once you have tasted this one you will keep going back for the same.
There are very fond memories attached to this dish.Maa cooks this so very well..can say this is one of her signature one can make it like her ( yes I am biased when it comes to her cooking) On all special occasions (and not so special ones) my request to her would always be to make this Kacchi Biryani. Be it on my birthday or even the day I was coming back from the hostel she knew that this is what I would want to eat.And she would make it for me.It is indeed one of the most easy and authentic dhakai biryani recipe that you can find. I confidently say authentic coz this was taught to her by one of our Bangladeshi neighbour "Laskar aunty as I would fondly call her" long long ago. In fact Laskar aunty had even given her a cookbook from Dhaka which is a prized possession of Maa's . It is a bengali cook book and has the most extensive - exhaustive list of recipes - from cakes to puddings to pulaos to roast to biryanis to jams to pickles - it has it all. One day I hope Maa will give me that book!
Year before last I  visited my family who were posted in Dhaka and I had a lot of biryani there - even the famous Fakruddin biryani and  realised that the recipe passed down to us by our neighbour was as real as it could get and that made me so happy.
Okay now so coming back to the Biryani - this is an easy recipe no doubt but one has to prep up a bit and that is what is important here. I will be noting down a step by step recipe of it below  and I sincerely hope that you all will like it as much as I do.

I am going to break down the recipe into different steps so that its easy for you to follow.
Firstly lets note down the ingredients required.


For the biryani masala:

Coriander seeds - 1 tbsp

Cumin seeds - 1 tbsp

Dry red chillies - 5-6 nos ( adjust according to taste)

Nutmeg ( Jaiphal) - half a piece 

Mace (Javitri) - 2 pieces

Green Cardamom - 3-4 nos

Cinnamon - 2 small sticks

Cloves - 5-6 nos

Other ingredients required:

Basmati Rice - 2 cups

Mutton - half kg ( good quality  and fresh. Can use boneless cubes too )

Brown onion slices - 4 tbsp + 1 tbsp ( for this just slice up two big onions  and fry till golden brown in refined oil or ghee) Also ensure that you keep the leftover oil or ghee.

Yogurt - 1 cup

Garlic paste - 1tbsp

Ginger paste - 1 tbsp

Potatoes - 2 medium sized ( parboiled and fried till light brown in colour)

Kewra essence (screwpine) - 1 tsp

Salt - for marinating the mutton and while boiling the rice.

Atta dough - a small ball of dough made of wheat required for sealing the handi/pan in which the biryani will be cooked.



Dry roast all the ingredients listed under 'Biryani Masala' and grind into a fine powder.
Please be careful not to burn the spices. This 'is 'the most important ingredients of the biryani.


Wash and clean the mutton. Marinate with 2 tbsp salt and keep aside for half an hour.

After half and hour wash the mutton once more and keep.

Now add the yogurt , ginger paste, garlic paste , 4 tbsp brown onion slices and the biryani masala. Mix it very well and gently too.
Cover this mixture with a cling film and let it marinate overnight.


Take 2 cups of good quality basmati rice. Wash it under running water , drain and keep aside.
In a big saucepan add water. Once the water starts to boil add 2 tbsp salt and few whole cardamom , cloves and cinnamon.
Next add the rice and let it boil till the rice is almost half done.
Strain the rice and spread it out on a flat surface.


Now is probably the easiest part and the last step' assembling' before you can devour this sinful biryani.

Take a handi or a saucepan (make sure it has a proper lid) and brush it with a little ghee.
We will make the first layer with rice and then the mutton.

First rice,then the marinated mutton and fried potatoes , then rice and then mutton again. Finally top it up with the remaining rice. Sprinkle the remaining brown onion slices and the kewra essence on top. Close the lid tightly of the handi and seal it with the dough.

Now the final task is to put this on dum or slow cooking as we say. For the mutton to be fully cooked this has to be put on heat for at least an hour. So to prevent it from burning I always put the handi on a tawa/skillet and not directly.Something like this.

Now forget about it for an hour and then when you break open that seal - simply divine!!

Serve with the usual raita or the very traditional Burhani - the Bangladeshi cousin of our Punjabi lassi!


  1. OMG (omago!!) this is what I am making next. I mean, wow! So amazing. I WANT!!

  2. Thank you dear Poorna!!! I will make it for you sure sometime.

  3. Sounds super delicious....I never tried Biryani in this way..I use the layered method but I first cook the chicken or mutton then put it on the DUM....have to try this method too....

  4. Try this method too Kamalika, the mutton gets beautifully cooked in dum .You could try chicken too.

  5. What if I want to put this in dum in oven? For how long and at what temperature should I put this in? Thanks!

    1. You can do it in a normal OTG or the convection mode of your microwave. Layer the biryani in an oven proof dish , seal tightly with an aluminium foil and bake for 45-50 mins on 250 deg Centigrade.Hope this helps.

    2. Thanks a lot, I'll try this way and will let you know how it comes out.

  6. When I try putting chicken in the bottom directly it cooks fine. But mutton gets burnt and stuck even with Tava. I like your idea to put some rice in the bottom before the mutton. do you see some difference in burning between Chicken and mutton? also, chicken cooking time is only 30 mins. Many suggest direct high heat in the beginning and then to reduce the flame and introduce the tawa. Do you recommend low heat with tawa from beginning? Does your mutton get cooked and moist and juicy? I see it becomes dry or uncooked if heat is not enough.

  7. Recipe you put together is kind of close. But not exactly how we prepare Kacchi Biryani at Dhaka, Bangladesh. You forgot about one of the main ingredients ghee in the list. Always we use 2 pounds of mutton for 1 pound of rice for example. We do not cook it dry. We put all the uncooked meat at the bottom of the pot then we layer just boiled rice, potato, alo Bokhara, crushed fried onions and ghee in two three layers and add water to the same level of all the ingredients.

  8. Here we go ! finally you have mentioned about the Ghee( very likely the left over flavoured oil/ ghee was used for frying the onions). You didn't mix the left over oil even while you mixed yogurt, meat & spices to marinade overnight. I didn't see 'aloo bokhra' & water in your item list. However may be that was the secret of Chef's magic. I think the Dhakai Kachchi could be more magic if you add poppy seed(posto dana) paste & peanut(China badam) paste in the over night marination; plus add bay leaf while you boil the rice. And if you don't really want to add 2 table spoon sugar or goor then you can spread some kismish( Raisins) in the layers. And the final secret I will not disclose. Thanks from Dhaka.