In our earlier blogs, we have discussed the importance of choosing the right kind of spices and rice while making a biryani. This leaves us with the biryani’s superstar ingredient, which is meat. Whether it is chicken biryani or mutton biryani, the meat forms a vital part of the dish and hence its quality is of great importance.
Through this blog, we shall understand how to keep this key biryani ingredient in perfect condition so that the final product is a burst of taste and flavors.
The preparation of biryani is slow and deliberate and since the biryani is kept over low flame for long hours, it is necessary to procure pieces of meat that are holding on to the bone so it doesn’t dry out during the “Dum” process. Make sure the meat pieces aren’t too large in size, or they could remain uncooked, especially when Mutton is concerned.
- Recommended pieces for Chicken biryani: Thigh pieces while the bone is still in or= drumsticks are suggested.
- Recommended pieces for Mutton Biryani: Goat meat from the shoulder, since the meat from this part of the body is tender and succulent.
People also like boneless biryanis as an option but the taste and the flavor do not quite match up to the original for some reason. For those who want to get there mutton right, here are a few basic tips to do so:
- Slicing has to be right: In order to get tender and truly soft meat slices, it is necessary to know the direction of muscle fibers so you can cut across it, not with it, or the meat will become chewy. When you want the meat to marinate well, make sure you cut it in this method as it will help in breaking up tough proteins, thus helping the margination process and absorption of marinades.
- Marinating is the key: In order to tenderize the meat properly, a minimum of 2-3 hours of soaking in curd or papaya paste is necessary, or if you have time on hand, you can even double the duration. The solid fibers of meat can be broken down using a combination of curd, buttermilk, papaya, acidic fruits like kiwi and lemon, and sprinkle them with salt and pepper. Marinating makes the meat soft and tender but adds moisture to it, thus making it juicy.
- Salt the meat properly: You can choose to salt the mutton for an hour or two, if margination is too elaborate a process for you. This helps in breaking the muscle fibers without much of a hassle. One only needs to wash off the excess salt and begin cooking.
So go ahead, slow cook the meat over a slow flame and soften it so your biryani receives rave reviews from guests and family members alike.