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Sofiyani or White Mutton Dum Biryani

Sofiyani Biryani or white biryani is another variety of Hyderabadi Biryani from the kitchen of the Nizam. White biryani refers to the white color that remains intact after cooking as no powder spices are added.

Very delicately flavoured with just whole spices, rich cream and cashew paste that imparts a very sophisticated flavour. Ginger,garlic and onions add a very biryani relatable taste.

You might notice as you continue reading that the recipe is just too lengthy. But it is just how I tried to detail it. The whole process is pretty straightforward and can be made with minimal effort.

I wanted to try Sofiyani biryani for sometime but somehow it was never fitting in my busy schedule. Finally with weekend upon us, it was the right time to attempt it. I had marinated the meat a day earlier, so the end result was fantastic. Longer the marination, better the taste and flavour they say. And it is true. I suggest, you plan in advance and you won’t regret being so organized 😉

Below is an elaborate and detailed step by step instructions for making sofiyani biryani. I tried to click some images so it becomes easier to understand the instructions.

Ingredients meat marination

500gm lamb cut into medium pieces

2TB ginger-garlic-green chili paste

(1 inch ginger, 6 garlic cloves & 4 green chilies)

250gm yoghurt

Juice of one lemon

Salt as per taste

3 TB chopped cilantro

2 TB chopped mint leaves

Ingredients for cooking rice

500gm Sella Basmati Rice (washed soaked for 2hrs)

2 bay leaf

3 green cardamom

4 cloves

4 whole peppercorn

1 tsp canola oil

Juice of one lemon

2TB sea salt

2.5lt water

Other ingredients

7-8 black peppercorns

4-5 cloves

4 green cardamom

2 black cardamom

2 small bay leaf

1 mace

2 star anise

150ml cream

4-5 cashews paste

2 medium onions sliced

150ml canola oil

Chopped mint and cilantro

1/2 glass warm milk


1 - Marinate meat with all ingredients for marination mentioned up. Keep in fridge for 24hrs or minimum overnight.

2 - remove meat an hour before cooking. Place a pressure cooker on heat, add canola oil. Once heated, tip in all the whole spices as mentioned under 'other ingredients.

3 - Now add sliced onions and sauté until they are just soft.(no browning at all)

4 - add marinated mutton and fry on very high heat for 7-8mins.

5 - Now add fresh cream and sauté for 2min.

6 - Add 200ml warm water, mix. Put on the lid.

7 - Cook for total 15min with high heat for one whistle and lower the flame and cook for rest of the time (meat to cook well might depend on your pressure cooker make and might not be on dot like mine)

Cooking rice

1 - Bring water to boil along with all whole spices, oil and lime juice.

2 - Drain soaked rice and add to the boiling water.

3 - Cook until the rice is just tender and not completely cooked. If you press a grain between finger, it should break. This is good. It should not be squishy.

4 - Drain off the rice in a colander.

Final steps and Dum

1 - Open the pressure cooker, there will be oil floating in the top. Carefully scoop out about 1/4th bowl .

2 - Add cashew paste and bring to boil. This will soak in excess water and give a body to the cooked mutton. You aren’t looking at an absolutely thick consistency but little liquid so it creates steam.

3 - In a heavy bottom pan, spread a thin layer of rice. Add all the cooked mutton over it

4 - Turn on the flame with a 15min timer.

5 - Add the rice on top of the mutton, drizzle the reserved oil left after cooking mutton

6 - pour 1/2 glass warm milk, garnish with chopped mint and cilantro.

7 - Wrap lid of the pot with a clean kitchen towel and cover the pot.

8 - Place a griddle between Biryani pot and flame.

9 - This process will be approx 4min, let flame be on high for another minute.

10 - Reduce flame to lowest and cook on Dum for 10min.

11 - Once done, flame off. Let it stay on the griddle for 30min, before uncovering the sofiyani biryani.

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