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.


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.


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.


Now the recipe for palakkai biryani:


  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


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.


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


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


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.


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


124 Comments Add yours

  1. Anamika says:

    Keep on posting veg recipes. It’s truly healthy and mouth watering

    1. Megala says:

      Thanks so much for encouraging words.

  2. My Real Dish says:

    Do you think I could use canned jackfruit? I love jackfruit as a meat sub!

    1. Megala says:

      I think you can, it might affect the taste marginally but definitely not the texture. Thank you.

  3. Rita says:

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

    1. Megala says:

      Yes, do try sometime. Thanks so much for stopping by.

  4. 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 🙂

  5. 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.

      1. Lady Oscar says:

        Thank you for nice recipes!
        I enjoy reading your posts and (more often) cooking in your recipes. ^^

      2. Megala says:

        I’m doubly delighted, thanks a ton!

  6. 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. 🙂

  7. 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.

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

    1. Megala says:

      Oh, nice to hear this. Thank you.

  9. Nirathya says:

    Meghana loved it. looks drooling 🙂 :yum:

    1. Megala says:

      Thank you. 🙂

  10. 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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