DOs and DON'Ts while making biryani

by Tushar Mathur

I tried to copy a lot of biryani recipes that are on the internet and in that process I wasted a lot of meat and rice.

It’s all about the proportions ultimately so don’t take that casually.

It took a lot of perseverance in getting the recipe just right. So here are some DOs and DON’Ts for making mutton dum biryani (_same applies for chicken biryani_). These points are an extension of the Hyderabadi style biryani which is cooked in layers of meat and rice.


  1. Make sure you use a thick base vessel for cooking, so that the heat gets evenly distributed.
  2. Best practice is to marinate the meat for 2-3 hours so that all the juices get inside the meat.
  3. Use lots of fried onions in the marinade.
  4. Add good amount of salt. Generally the salt concentration reduces after you add the meat so make sure you have incorporated that in your calculation.
  5. Add good amount of spices, it is possible that the marinade seems spicy at first but trust me on this, after you add the meat the spiciness will decrease considerably.
  6. Cook the meat at the lowest flame that is possible in your kitchen. Low heat helps in uniform cooking.
  7. Add good amounts of GHEE (_clarified butter_) in the marinade.
  8. The rice used should be of high quality basmati.
  9. Seal the vessel so that the heat doesn’t escape.
  10. Add good amounts of fried onions.


  1. Don’t use too much of curd, it makes the meat bland and tasteless. Curd only helps in cooking, it does’t add any taste to the biryani.
  2. Don’t give direct heat to the meat, put the vessel over a pan or some other metal layer. It takes time to cook, mutton might take up to 1:45 hrs to cook and chicken can take up to 1:15 hrs. So have patience.
  3. Don’t add raw onions in the marinade, it will not taste good.

Update: Checkout my blog post on the final recipe.