No Eid meal is complete without our world famous mutton pulao!

Published: September 26, 2015

The stock is the key ingredient in this pulao, which can be prepared a night before. PHOTO: AMBREEN MALIK

Muslims all over the world are celebrating Eidul Azha this weekend. Every household has its own Eid traditions in Pakistan. Those of us who live away from Pakistan try to continue those traditions to ensure our kids stay connected to our culture. Eidul Azha, or Bari Eid as it is called in Pakistan, is centred around food and family.

This Eid is a bit more stressful because of the involvement of qurbani or animal sacrifice. Those who are in charge of qurbani at home understand the preparation needed to buy animals for this ritual and arrange for the help needed for qurbani. Whichever day a household chooses to do qurbani is a chaotic one in the kitchen. The barbeques and the roasted raans (leg of lamb) surely follow in the days ahead.

Eid is also the time to include the less fortunate ones in our celebration and remember those who are no longer with us.

I am sharing my favourite recipe of mutton pulao. This pulao is beautifully flavoured and deliciously fragrant. The stock is the key ingredient in this pulao, which can be prepared a night before. This can significantly reduce cooking time on a very busy day.

So here is the recipe.



Mutton – 1 kilogram

Onions – 6 medium (sliced)

Bay leaves – 2 to 3

Ginger – 1 (2 inches – sliced in 4 )

Whole garlic – 6 large cloves

Cinnamon – 1 (2 inches)

Peppercorns – 1 tbsp

Cloves – 12 to 14

Black Cardamom – 5

Cumin – 1 tbsp

Coriander seeds – 2 tbsp

Salt – 2 tsp (adjust to taste later while cooking rice)

Oil – 5 tbsp

Water – 6 to 7 cups

For pulao:

Basmati Rice – ½ kilogram/2 cups (will feed three people)

Onion – 1 medium (diced)

Green chilli – 2 (optional)

Cinnamon – 1 (1 inch)

Cumin – 1tsp

Whole peppercorn – 12

Black Cardamom – 2

Cloves – 6 to 8

Mutton Stock (including the cooked meat) – 2 ½ to three cups for two cups of soaked rice

Salt – To taste (Be careful as the stock already has salt)

Oil – 2 tbsp

Method for stock:

1. Use a stockpot to make the stock. Heat oil in the pan and fry diced onions till brown.

2. Add ginger and garlic and fry for about a minute until they get a bit of colour.

3. Add mutton and cook on high heat till it changes colour on all sides.

4. Add all the spices and cook for a minute or two.

5. Add six to seven cups of water and salt. Once it comes to a boil, lower the heat and cover the pan. The stock should simmer on low heat for 55-70 minutes or till the meat is cooked perfectly.

6. Once done, let the stock cool. Strain it and separate the meat. Use the stock as per your requirement and save the rest to use for next matar (peas) pulao. I was using all of the cooked meat but the stock was more than what I needed so I froze the rest for later use.

Method for pulao:

1. Wash and soak the rice for at least an hour before making the pulao.

2. Add two table spoons of oil in a pan and fry the onions till brown.

3. Add all the dry spices and cook for about a minute.

4. Add 2 ½ cups of stock along with the meat and let it boil.

5. Add two whole green chillies. I love the fragrance they add to the rice. You can eliminate it if you wish.

6. Drain the rice and add to the hot stock. Let the rice simmer over medium heat for about five to eight minutes. Once quarter of the stock is remaining, put the rice on dum (steaming).

7. I used a hot griddle over open flame or electric stove. Seal the pan with aluminium foil and cover tightly with a lid. Put the sealed pan over the hot griddle over low heat. Add a bit of weight on the top to stop the steam from escaping. Use minimum heat setting/low flame for steaming.

8. The rice should be done in about 10 to 12 minutes. Remove from heat and open the pan carefully as it would have tons of steam inside.

9. Mix the rice and fluff them. Let them sit for about five to seven minutes before serving hot.

This pulao serves well with yogurt raita or mint chutney, coupled with shami kebabs or potato cutlets.

Hope you and your family enjoy this aromatic and delicious mutton pulao.

Eid Mubarak everyone!

All photos: Ambreen Malik

This post originally appeared here.

Ambreen Malik

Ambreen Malik

The author is a Microfinance Banker, food blogger, LSE Alum and a dragon in training. She tweets as @ambreen_malik (

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