Goat Meat/ Mutton,  International Cuisine,  Rice

Goat Biryani

I could eat biryani every week because I am obsessed! Biryani is a rice and meat dish typical to South Asia and with many variations. To summarize, it is a fragrant rice dish coated in curried meat. Basmati rice is always the rice of choice across the board. The protein choice varies between chicken, goat, beef, veal, shrimp, fish and some do just vegetables. It is served during special occasions like weddings.

The meat does need to be marinated overnight for best results. I use bone-in meat because it has a lot of extra flavor. I used goat for this recipe but you can switch it out with chicken too but drop the cooking time for the curry to 20 Minutes.

Preparation time – 45 Minutes (Meat needs overnight marination)

Cook Time – 2 Hours

Serves – 8


For the marinade

Goat meat – 4 Lbs Bone in, cut into 2 inch pieces

Garlic – 12 cloves

Ginger – 4 inches

Lemon juice – 2 Teaspoons

Mint leaves – 1/4 cup

Cilantro – 1/2 cup

Green Chillies – 3

2 % Yoghurt – 1 cup

Turmeric – 1 1/2 Teaspoon

Pepper – 1 Teaspoon

Garam Masala – 2 Teaspoons

Salt – 2 Teaspoons

For the curry

Ghee – 2 Tablespoons

Onions – 2 Sliced

Garam Masala – 2 Teaspoons

Chilli Powder – 1/2 Teaspoon or to taste

Black Pepper – 1 Teaspoon

Fennel Powder – 1 Teaspoon

Tomatoes – 3, diced

For the Rice

Basmati Rice – 4 cups, washed, soaked for 15 minutes and drained

Water – 8 cups

Cinnamon – 4 Inch Stick

Cloves – 8

Cardamom – 4

Bay Leaf – 2

Peppercorns – 8

Salt – 1 1/2 Teaspoon

For Garnish

Onions – 2, thinly sliced

Cashews – 1/2 Cup

Raisins – 1/2 Cup

Ghee – 2 Tablespoons


In a food processor, pulse the mint leaves, cilantro, chillies, garlic and ginger to a coarse paste. Put this in a bowl, add salt, pepper, turmeric, garam masala, lemon juice, yoghurt and the goat. Coat the meat well and refrigerate overnight.


In a heavy bottomed pot, heat the ghee for the curry and add onions and fry till golden brown.


Then add the garam masala, pepper, chilli powder, fennel powder and fry for 15 seconds or till you start to smell the aroma of the spices. Add the tomatoes and fry this till the tomatoes disintegrate and the ghee starts to seperate from the mix.


Next, add your marinated goat and on medium high let the meat heat up. Then reduce heat to medium low,cover and cook for an hour. Give it a stir at the halfway mark.


While the goat cooks, wash your basmati rice and soak for 15 minutes. Drain and keep aside. In a pot, add the water, rice and whole spices. Once boiled, cook halfway through (approx. 8 minutes). Check the instructions on your specific rice to make sure you don’t overcook the rice. Drain the water and keep aside.


Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. In a small pan, heat the ghee for the garnish and add your cashew and raisins, fry till they start to brown lightly. Keep aside and in the same ghee add your onions for the garnish. Brown these well and keep aside.


Check on your goat to make sure it is cooked, mine was done by the 1 hour mark. Do your final salt taste.


Then in a large deep dish, start layering the goat curry and rice. Start with goat on the bottom, then a layer of rice and so on. You will end with the rice. Then on top add the cashews, raisins and browned onions as garnish. Cover tightly with foil and bake in the oven for an hour.


Now your Goat Biryani is ready to be dished out. Serve this with raita, boiled eggs and papadums.


There are many recipes for biryani and I would not say mine is authentic to any particular region. This is what tasted good to me! So you can use this as a base and work around it. If you don’t like heat you can omit the green chillies and chilli powder. If you are going to use chicken instead, you could get away with a 4 hour marination.

One tip – before you start cooking, read through the recipe a few times and prepare the items you need, so you don’t get frazzled. In the end, the aroma that will fill your kitchen will be worth it!

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