Deep fry onions in moderately hot oil till golden and crisp.
Drain on kitchen paper, cool and crush with your hand. Crush ginger, garlic and chilies together.
Mix all the ingredients together, cover tightly.
Marinate in refrigerator over night or at least for 4 hours at room temperature.
Wash rice well and drain.
Mix with rest of the ingredients and heat till boiling.
Lower the flame and boil gently for 3 minutes.
Drain and reserve the water and the rice
Preheat oven to 200 C
Heat ghee and oil in a fry pan.
Add all the spices, fry 1 minute.
Add tomato and mutton.
Transfer to a square or rectangular baking dish.
Add strained rice on top.
Mix reserved rice water with lime juice, turmeric and saffron.
Pour into the pan. Cover and seal well with aluminum foil.
Traditionally wheat flour mixed to a stiff paste with water is used for sealing.
Place the pan in oven
Place a baking tray over the foil and add about 1/2 cup of water in it.
This will prevent the rice on top layer drying out and bake for about 1 hour.
Lower the heat to 150 and bake further for 15-20 minutes.
Switch off the oven and leave the biriyani there for at least 15 more minutes or till serving (up to 1 hour).
Switch Just before serving, break the seal, gently mix the contents and sprinkle the garnish on top.
This is one of the most famous dishes of Hyderabdi cuisine. It is generally cooked in large quantities for "get togethers" and celebrations. It is often cooked out doors on charcoal or wood fire. This recipe is adapted for modern kitchens. The challenge in preparing this dish is to cook the mutton and rice; two ingredients with vastly different cooking time, to cook together and to get both of them perfectly done! Every time I cook this dish, I marvel at all the science and technique involved and it was evolved centuries ago. Marinating the mutton in refrigerator gives excellent results. So start the biriyani previous night if possible. Use the best quality of tender mutton.