Of all the dishes that can be made using rice, biryani scores the highest in terms of popularity. This holds good not just endemically in India, or to a specific age group. On the contrary, biryani is immensely popular all across the globe! A lesser known fact is that biryani isn’t limited to the Hyderabadi. The dish has a long history of origin and, thereby, many variations across different regions. Let’s get acquainted with some variations and the reasons why these delicious biryanis are famous!
- Hyderabadi Dum Biryani:
Most people are already aware of the popularity of the Hyderabadi biryani. What makes this biryani special is the perfect amalgamation of meat and spices cooked in a “dum” style to get that instantly-recognisable authentic flavour. Developed to suit the taste of Nizam of Hyderabad, this biryani is inspired by the Mughlai style biryani and the spicy style of Andhra.
2. Ambur Biryani:
Ambur is a city in Tamil Nadu, which is famous for two things—leather tanning and biryani. This biryani has a variety of spices added and requires perfection in blending. It was developed during the reign of Nawab of Arcot and was a favourite among the erstwhile Royalty. While tradition holds that meat and curd shouldn’t be had together, the cooks prepare this biryani by soaking meat in curd and then adding it to the rice, which can be either the basmati rice or the small grain ‘Seeraga samba’ rice. This provides a very unique taste to this variant of biryani.
3. Malabar Biryani (Kerala Biryani):
This biryani is prepared mostly in Kerala in places such like Kozhikode, Thalassery and Malappuram. The biryani is made with a variety of rice called the Khyma rice and the meat is first roasted before cooking along with the rice. The Malabar biryani doesn’t feature many spices. In fact, this biryani can be made spicy or sweet depending on your preference.
4. Kolkata Biryani:
The Kolkata biryani is one of the most famous biryanis in Eastern India. The Kolkata biryani has a mouth-watering aroma and is a variant of the Lucknowi biryani. The spices are quite milder when compared to other biryanis and the primary ingredient in this biryani is potatoes.
5. Sindhi Biryani:
As the name suggests, this biryani finds its origins in the Sindh Province, which is now in Pakistan. The preparation is unique as its meat curry involves using a lot of yogurt. The Sindhi biryani can be made with goat meat, lamb, chicken, fish, shrimp or beef, as you may like.
6. Kacchi Biryani:
Image Courtesy: thebangladeshtravel.com
The kacchi biryani is a specialty of Bangladesh. Unlike other biryanis, where meat and rice are cooked separately, here goat, lamb meat or chicken is layered with rice and cooked together. The meat is marinated with yogurt and a mixture of aromatic biryani masala and covered with a layer of potatoes and then topped with rice—all in the same pot. The pot is then sealed and given a dum.
7. Afghani Biryani:
Image Courtesy: rehanadujour.com
The Afghan region has always been famous for the rich and exotic dishes. The Afghani biryani a fine example of a delicacy that originated in Afghanistan. The taste of the biryani is strongly dominated by the generous use of saffron and dry fruits such as cashews and raisins.
8. Lucknowi Biryani:
The city of nawabs is famous for its rich tradition, culture and food. Inspired by the Mughal form of cooking, the Lucknowi Biryani is one lip-smacking preparation that will take your heart away. Mild on the quantity of spices, one can easily enjoy a plate of biryani without having to go for that glass of water or sherbet after every spoon. Unlike the Mughlai style of cooking, the Nawabi style of cooking the biryani involves less use of spices and stands out more for its flavours than the hotness quotient. Biryani from the land of Nawabs is also known as pakki biryani because of the use of cooked chicken. In this preparation, chicken and rice are cooked separately and then layered in a common vessel later. On the other hand, the biryani from the land of Nizams following the Mughal style of cooking is known as kacchi biryani because of the use of raw chicken. In this preparation, cleaned raw chicken pieces are layered with rice in a single vessel and cooked together.
9. Bhatkali Biryani:
Bhatkali biryani involves using loads of onions in contrast to the other biryani preparations. In fact, in Bhatkali biryani, the chicken/meat and rice are cooked in an onion gravy. This is most famous along the Konkan belt and Karnataka.
10. Donne Biryani:
Donne in Karnataka refers to a big-sized bowl made up of areca nut palm leaf. Naturally then, the Donne biryani refers to biryani served in such big-sized bowls. Most famous in Bengaluru, Donne biryani has a quintessential taste of mint and coriander in addition to an amalgamation of various other spices and the aroma of ghee.
Each region has its own style of biryani preparation based on the area’s culinary history and palate. Do tell us about the biryani you like and of any specific preparation followed in your region of origin. Till next time, have a rice day.
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