Kacchi means ‘raw’. It is similar to biriyani, but some prefer to call it a pulao. When the meat is added raw to the biryani or pulao pot, then it is referred to as Kacchi Biryani whereas Pakki is when the completely or partially cooked meat is added to the biryani pot and is sometimes layered.
Kacchi Biryani: The flavours of Hyderabad
The flavours and aroma are one of a kind. Delicious! Authentic Biriyani of Hyderabadi origin called Kacchi Pulao.
The term ‘Kacchi Pulaoi’, refers to the meat being marinated in yogurt and cooked along with the rice in a sealed pot.
Kacchi Mutton Biryani is a delicious rice dish where tender goat or lamb meat pieces are marinated with lots of fried onions, whole spices, fresh herbs and yoghurt.
This marinated meat sits on the bottom of the pot topped with half-cooked rice which is drizzled with saffron-infused water and more fried onions and fresh mint leaves.
Sealed and slow-cooked in an oven or on stove-top to a delicious aromatic finger-licking biryani that you may serve with some kachumber, salad, and if you are like us, more pappadoms!
Kacchi Biryani: Recipe
Prep time: 20 mins
Cooking time: 90 mins
For crispy fried onions
- 2 to 3 large onions, sliced finely and strands separated
- Enough cooking oil to deep fry
Marinate and keep refrigerated overnight
- 500gms mutton cut into small pieces (raan cut /leg pieces) (washed, drained and pat dry completely)
- Salt to taste
- 2 teaspoons caraway seeds (shah jeera)
- a small piece of mace, crushed
- 3 green cardamom
- 1 black cardamom
- 2-inch cinnamon stick
- 5 cloves
- 1 star anise
- 1 small bay leaf
- 1 ½ teaspoon turmeric powder
- 1 teaspoon coriander powder
- 1 tablespoon red chilli powder
- 2 tablespoon ginger-garlic paste
- 2 to 3 green chillies, slit
- ½ cup thick yoghurt
- A handful of fresh mint leaves
- Fistful of coriander leaves
- ¾ cup crispy fried onions
- ¼ cup oil (from the fried onion, preferably)
For par-boiling the rice
- 1 and ½ cups basmati rice, washed and soaked in water for 20 to 30 minutes and drained or soak as per packet instructions
- 6 cups of water
- 2 cardamom
- 2 cloves
- 2 green chillies, slit
- 1 ½ tablespoon fine salt
- A pinch of saffron strands, soaked in 2 tablespoons of hot water
- A handful of fresh mint leaves
- ¼ cup fried onions
- 1 tablespoon ghee
- ¼ cup water – reserved after parboiling the rice
On the previous night
- Prepare the fried onions batch
- Marinate the mutton
- Soak saffron in water
- Prepare the rice
- Assemble and dum cook the biryani
Prepare the crispy fried onions
- Heat enough oil in a wide shallow pan or kadai
- Separate the strands of the sliced onions with your hands
- Test the oil by dropping one small onion strand, if it sizzles up then you can continue
- Drop a handful of onion strands into the hot oil ensuring to spread out and not overlap
- Keep the flame low to medium all time, stir in between to fry evenly and fry till you see the onions changing shades (4 mins)
- Remove the onions with a slotted spoon on time before they get burnt. The onions will continue to cook even when you take them out, so remove them when you see the golden light brown shade.
- Spread the fried onions on a paper towel to drain the excess oil (It will become crispy as it cools)
- Let it cool completely before storing it in an airtight box and in the freezer.
Marinate the Mutton/lamb
- Make sure you have washed and drained and pat dried the meat completely so avoid excess moisture
- Add the mutton and the rest of the marinade items and mix thoroughly with your hand preferably
- Cover and refrigerate overnight or at least 6 hours
- Take it out 30 minutes before you start the rice prep.
Prepare the rice
- Boil the water in a deep large pot with salt, green chillies, cardamoms and cloves
- Stir in the drained rice and bring to boil on high flame
- Reduce to medium flame and boil for just about 90 seconds to 2 minutes (30% to 50% cooked) and switch off
- Drain the rice in a colander immediately
- Reserve ¼ cup of water for later.
Prepare the Kacchi Biryani Pot
- If making in oven, then preheat the oven at 165c to 170c with rack in level 2
- Spread the marinated mutton in a single layer on the bottom of the biryani pot (oven friendly)
- Spread the drained rice evenly and pour the reserved waterall around (in case you feel the rice is almost cooked because you forgot to drain on time, then skip adding the reserved water)
- Add the fried onions, mint leaves and saffron water (you may squeeze some lemon juice or rose water and a few dollops of ghee for extra flavour)
- Cover and seal the pot with foil and then with the lid
- If making on a stove-top, place a heat diffuser (or any flat pan) on low to medium flame and keep the biryani pot over the diffuser. This will ensure even heat distribution and prevent burning of food and dum cook for 1 hour. For the oven, keep it up to 1 hour and 10 mins.
- Open and remove the foil – let it cool for 5 minutes before you stir the rice (You may dig and check if the meat is done. If you feel it needs more cooking, then put back in the oven. The residue heat of the oven will be enough to get it done)
- Serve hot with cold salads, kachumber raita, and papadams.
- Crispy fried onions are a must and so should not be skimmed or skipped
- Make sure the marination is not too runny, so use only thick yoghurt and drain the meat and pat dry before marination
- Freeze any leftover fried onions in an airtight box for later use.