In a non-stick pan, heat 3 tbsp ghee and add cinnamon, cloves and cardamom and saute for a few seconds and add the rice.
Stir continuously on high heat for 2-3 mins.
Add boiling water and salt, stir well and cook covered on low heat until the water has been absorbed.
Gently stir the rice with a fork and keep aside.
Preparing the mutton korma:
Cut mutton to medium pieces and clean properly and keep aside in a colander (to remove mutton smell, add some salt, lime juice and yogurt to mutton pieces. Leave it for 5-10 mins and then wash properly).
Mince onions, chillies, ginger and garlic together in a food processor.
Chop tomatoes, coriander and keep aside.
Soak poppy seeds in 2 tbsp of water, for 15 mins and grind it to a smooth paste.
Heat a little ghee in a pressure cooker and stir-fry the minced onion mixture till golden brown.
Add curry powder, tomatoes, salt and saute till tomatoes are cooked well.
Into this add ground poppy seeds or cashew nuts and saute.
Add mutton and saute well.
Add a little boiling water and pressure cook the meat till done and the gravy thickens (about 20 mins).
Finally add curd and coriander leaves mix well and let the curry a nice boil turn off the heat and keep aside.
To assemble the biriyani:
Grease an ovenproof baking dish with some ghee.
Divide the rice into three portions.
Spread one portion to the bottom of the dish.
Cover the rice with half of the cooked mutton.
Spread another layer of rice on top, and then cover with the rest of the mutton.
Finally top the mutton with the last portion of rice.
Drizzle some saffron or turmeric soaked in milk and ghee on the rice.
Pre-heat oven to 180 degrees C and bake for 10-15 mins or until heated thoroughly (can microwave it for 6-8 mins too).
Garnish biryani with some golden fried onions, cashews and raisins.
Serve with onion and yogurt salad, lime pickle, dates pickle and papad.