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Mutton Biryani in Pressure Cooker

Stashed in: Good Eats!, Yum, Things that might get made, Cheap meats

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I love goat and mutton biryani but the takeout place near me is inconsistent, not that sanitary looking, and the dude who works there is kind of sexually harassing me. Wondering if I can learn to cook a decent alternative that doesn't take too much time...

I am lucky enough to live near many sources of fresh goat, but I think the best choice for this recipe is lamb neck stew meat which you can get for almost nothing at most supermarkets.

OK so I tried the recipe this weekend and as you can even tell from the photo above it's pretty obvious that pressure-cooker biryani has some tradeoffs. On the upside, it has fantastic depth of flavor from the plenitude of herbs as well as spices and because you cook everything together. Also it's cheap to make because you can use lamb bones and still end up with a lot of flavor, and relatively fast because you're skipping the step of layering the stewed meat with parcooked rice and steaming them together (which I'm pretty sure my local takeout place also skips). On the downside it just isn't the dry, restrained, saffron-scented experience that biryani is intended to be and I'm sure a lot of people would consider the final product rather soggy. So basically I would say that classic biryani is a meat dish layered with almost plain rice, while this is a rice dish that happens to have a little bit of meat in it.

Oh btw this recipe results in a truly intimidating amount of rice. I halved the recipe and it was STILL more than twice as much as I could eat.

I've never cooked Indian food before, and the one new realization for me was that apparently Indian cooks do not brown their meat before braising it. Also it is not considered a failure if a sauce breaks -- in fact many dishes are not considered "done" until the oil separates from the sauce. That lets Indian cooks be quite debonair about things like boiling sauces with yogurt in them.

Thanks for pointing out how much rice there is in this recipe. That alone gives me pause. 

Since the pressure cooker technique makes it soggy, it sounds like ultimately you consider this a good experiment that you won't try again.

This particular recipe, no. But I am not done with biryani by a long shot! I shall prevail :)

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