1Clean and wash the mutton pieces. Allow them to drain.
2Marinate the mutton with turmeric powder, chili powder, garam masala powder, and salt. Keep it aside for at least 2 hours.
3In a heavy bottomed vessel, melt butter and fry the bay leaves, cardamom pods, cloves, and cinnamon. Add the soaked rice and fry for 2-3 minutes until the rice becomes crisp, making sure not to brown the rice.
4Add 6 cups of boiling water, lemon juice, and salt and allow it to boil.
5Cover and cook for about 5-10 mins until the rice is half cooked and no water is left. Remove from flame and keep aside.
6In a large pan, heat oil. Add the chopped onions and saute until it is golden brown. Add ginger-garlic paste & green chilies and saute until the raw smell goes away.
7Add the marinated mutton, mix well, and fry for 5-6 mins until the color changes.
8Add the chopped coriander + mint leaves, yogurt, salt, & 1/2 cup of water and mix well.
9Cover with a lid and cook until the meat is 3/4 done. Pour the coconut milk into the gravy and cook on low flame for another 10-15 mins until the meat is completely coated with the masala and the gravy becomes thick. Remove from flame.
10In a small pan, melt ghee. Fry the cashew nuts and raisins and drain them on a paper towel. In the same pan, fry the sliced onions until dark brown and drain them on a paper towel. Keep it aside.
11Clean 2-3 large banana leaves. Wilt it slightly by placing them on flame and flipping the sides to make them soft & pliable. Smear some ghee on the leaf.
12Place a layer of the mutton masala with little gravy as the bottom layer and top it with a layer of rice. Garnish with cashewnuts, raisins and fried onions. Sprinkle ghee over the layer.
13Wrap the banana leaf as a parcel and tie it securely with banana fiber or thread. Repeat the process with the remaining mutton masala and rice on the next banana leaf. Place the parcels in a steamer and steam cook the biryani for 10-15 mins.
14Remove from the steamer and keep it aside for another 5 mins. You could also bake the parcels in a preheated oven at 300 degrees for 10 mins.
15Serve with raita and pickle of your choice.