Faux Mutton Biryani

Being born into a vegetarian family I have been totally clueless about the taste of meat of any kind and hence I used to wonder what makes people to have cravings for meat. So I began to try out the most popular recipes like biryani, kebab, kurma, etc. by replacing meat with vegetable substitutes.

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Earlier I used fleshy soy meat for making biryani (you may click here for the recipe). Few years ago I learned that raw jackfruit is found to be a better substitute than textured soya for its fibrous meat-like texture and mild sweet flavour. When raw jackfruit is cut into large chunks and used along with flavorful spices, it is almost impossible to differentiate between meat & raw jackfruit even by the die-hard meat lovers. Hence it is largely beneficial to people who want to transform themselves into vegans to satisfy their cravings for meat.

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Benefits of using raw jackfruit in place of meat:

  • Raw jackfruit is an inexpensive produce that can be used to replace almost any type of meat.
  • It is super easy & super fast to cook this vegetable compared to meat.
  • The food prepared with meat has more calories than the one with raw jackfruit.
  • Raw jackfruits are easily digestible than meat.
  • It is a lot more easier & cheaper to grow jackfruit trees than raising livestock in a farm.

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Now the recipe for palakkai biryani:

Ingredients:

  1. Basmati rice – 1 cup
  2. Water – 2 cups (400 ml)
  3. Any neutral oil – ¼ cup (50 ml)
  4. Bay leaf – 1 No.
  5. Star anise – 1 No.
  6. Cashew nuts (mundhri) – 15 Nos.
  7. Raisins (dhratchai) – 25 Nos.
  8. Onion – 1 No. (large)
  9. Tomatoes – 2 Nos.
  10. Turmeric powder – ½ tsp
  11. Red chilli powder – 1 tsp (I used Kashmiri chilli powder here for its vibrant red color)
  12. Salt – 1 tsp

    For marination:

  1. Raw jackfruit – 1 No. (small)
  2. Red chilli powder – ½ tsp
  3. Turmeric powder – ¼ tsp
  4. Salt – ¼ tsp
  5. Lemon juice – 1 tsp

   For biryani masala:

  1. Cinnamon stick (pattai) – ½” piece
  2. Cloves (krambu) – 6 Nos.
  3. Green cardamom (yelakkai) – 2 Nos.
  4. Ginger – 1″ piece
  5. Garlic – 10 Nos.
  6. Shallots (sambar vengayam) – 20 Nos.
  7. Mint leaves – a handful

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Mise en place:

  • Peel the skin of raw jackfruit and chop roughly into large chunks.
  • Sprinkle chilli powder, turmeric powder, salt and lemon juice over the jackfruit pieces.
  • Toss them together and set aside for marination of up to 30 min.

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  • Wash & soak rice in 400 ml of water and set aside.
  • Slice onion lengthwise & dice tomatoes.

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  • Grind all ingredients for biryani masala into a smooth paste without adding water.

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Cooking Procedure:

  • Heat a heavy bottom pressure cooker with oil in medium flame.
  • Add bay leaf & cinnamon stick and fry for 5 seconds.
  • Add sliced onion, cashew nuts and raisins.
  • Saute until onion slices turn translucent.
  • Add turmeric powder & red chilli powder and fry for 10 seconds.
  • Add diced tomatoes and ground masala together. *
  • Add salt (¼ tsp) and saute until they turn mushy & oil begins to ooze out.
  • Now add marinated chunks & salt (¼ tsp) and saute until they are soft & absorbed by masala.
  • Pour water used for soaking into the cooker and bring it to a boil in high flame.
  • Add soaked rice and salt (½ tsp).
  • Close the pressure cooker and simmer for 10 minutes.
  • Remove from heat.
  • When the pressure is released, pour (1 tsp) of ghee over the cooked rice and close the cooker for 5 min allowing the aroma of ghee nicely permeated into biryani.
  • Mix gently with a wooden spatuala.
  • Transfer to a hot casserole.
  • Serve warm biryani with onion raitha.

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* If tomatoes & ground masala (like ginger-garlic paste) added together, the moisture in tomatoes prevents the masala stick to the pan.

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110 Comments Add yours

  1. Rita says:

    Megala, I have also heard soya chunks substitute meat but jack fruit is totally new.

  2. Doni W says:

    I love Biriyani! 😀
    My uncle has many jackfruit trees heheh 🙂
    This looks so yummy!
    Your posts are very detailed and step-to-step, keep it up Ms Megala 🙂

    1. Megala says:

      Thanks, Doni, for your kind appreciation. 🙂

      1. Doni W says:

        My pleasure, Ms Megala 🙂

  3. Lady Oscar says:

    same here… I have only little idea why people crave meats. Sometimes, I even feel strange when I smell meats while eating with other friends… Is it normal that a vegetarian is not used to the smell of meats and animal products? it doesn’t bother me too much… only sometimes.

    1. Megala says:

      Glad that you could resonate with me. 🙂 Thanks so much for stopping by.

  4. foodzesty says:

    I have never heard or ever seen a Jackfruit :0 Thanks so much once again for so more information that I will read up on 🙂

    1. Megala says:

      I wish you could stumble upon this delicious fruit sometime soon. 🙂 Thank you.

      1. foodzesty says:

        Awww thank you Megala I hope so too. 🙂

  5. gohealthy says:

    Hi Megala, raw jackfruit as meat substitute is something new I’ve learnt today! Will definitely try and let you know!

    1. Megala says:

      Glad to hear this, thank you.

  6. This looks delicious 🙂 My mum used to make jackfruit curry and we loved it.

    1. Megala says:

      Oh, nice to hear this. Thank you.

  7. Nirathya says:

    Meghana loved it. looks drooling 🙂 :yum:

    1. Megala says:

      Thank you. 🙂

  8. PS says:

    WOw, great informative post. Good to know the usage of Jack fruit in place of meat.Nicely done!!!

    1. Megala says:

      Thank you.

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