Everyday Mijbani? The Sole Solution Biryani!
Keep calm and add Dum to your Biryani! A wise man once said you cannot buy happiness, but you can buy Biryani and that’s the same thing. The blog covers almost all the types of Biryani and reminds us how patient we need to be while cooking Biryani.
Shoutout to all the Biryani fans out there. Okay, so let me be very loud and clear, ‘PULAO and BIRYANI are NOT the same. One is like North and the other is South. So, next time when you are eating Pulao, say Pulao and not Biryani. This world-famous dish has a special place in the hearts of Indians. Though, your first experience with Biryani might not be that great. Even second or third as well. But, trust me, every effort is worth. Made with long-grained rice, aromatic spices, and layered with lamb or chicken or fish or meat or mutton, vegetables and many other ingredients. And then let it cook on a low flame. Make sure you cover it with a lid that is secured with dough. Oh! By the way, did you know that Biryani is not an Indian dish? Haaawww! Being, a Biryani lover, you didn’t know this fact? You aren’t a true Biryani fan. Come, I will show you the origin and the history of Biryani. Origin of the Biryani: The word Biryani is derived from the Persian word, Birian. The word Birian means to fry before cooking. There is one more word-Birinj. It is the Persian word for rice. The Biryani is said to be originated in West Asia, which is what Indians have believed. History of the Biryani: There are in all total 3 stories of the origination and the history of the Biryani. Let’s look at all 3 stories. The first story, just like I said in the origin para, Biryani is said to be originated in West Asia. The Turk-Mongol conqueror, Timur, bought Biryani along with him when he arrived at the frontiers of India. During the war campaign, an earthen pot full of rice, spices and the available types of meats were buried and then served to the warriors. The second story says that the Biryani was brought to the Southern Malabar coast of India by Arab traders. The Tamil literature has mentioned the rice dish which is known as Oon Soru. The recipe includes ingredients like rice, ghee, meat, bay leaf, etc. and many other spices. The third and the last story trace the origins of the dish to Mumtaz Mahal. The story dates back in the era of Shahjahan and Mumtaz. The story goes somewhat like this. Mumtaz once visited the army cantonment and was shocked to see the conditions of the soldiers. She found out that the soldiers look weak and weren’t getting proper food for days and so, they were looking undernourished as well. So, she immediately asked the chefs to cook a special dish that is a combination of rice and meat. The combination will provide with balanced nutrition to the soldiers. And, the result of the dish was Biryani, of course! The chefs that time used to fry rice in ghee and that too without even washing. Making Biryani in this way adds an eccentric flavour along with preventing it from clumping. Then just before cooking the Biryani over a wood fire, they used to add meat, aromatic spices, and saffron.
So, these are the 3 different stories that have one point in common, i.e. Biryani is not originated in India. Now, it is totally on you to decide which story to believe and which story to not. Lip-smacking types of Biryani: There is whole Khandan of Biryani that is settled in the different parts of India. Let’s take a look at this entire Khandan. 1. Mughlai Biryani: The name sounds like some Royal dish, isn’t it? Well, yes it is! Notable, since the time of Mughal Emperors, this Mughlai Biryani tastes damn amazing. The Mughlai Biryani comprises of luscious chunks of spiced meat, which is further wrapped in aromatic kewra rice. This much is enough to make you hungry. 2. Hyderabadi Biryani: Rooted in the city of Hyderabad, this world-famous Hyderabadi Biryani came into existence because of Emperor Aurangzeb. He had appointed this new ruler of Hyderabad named Niza-Ul-Mulk. His chefs created about 50 different versions of Biryani using shrimp, fish, deer, quail, and also hare meat. But, this Hyderabadi Biryani stood like a different one amongst all. And that is because of the saffron flavoured rice. Even, the famous Kacchi Akhni Biryani has its place reserved in Hyderabad. 3. Calcutta Biryani: Legendary connoisseur Nawab Wajid Ali Shah was the one behind this beloved dish. He recreated his beloved dish in the city of Calcutta, as there was a ban by the British. The local cooks in those days gave a twist to the recipe by replacing meat with cooked golden brown potatoes, mainly because they weren’t able to afford meat. The flavour of spices is very mild and the highlight of the dish is the meat that is marinated in yoghurt. A tinge of sweetness is also said to be hidden in this Calcutta Biryani. 4. Dindigul Biryani: Chennai’s much-loved locality, Dindigul Biryani is loved by everyone. The dish is made using jeera sambar rice. This gives an entirely different flavour to the dish. The speciality of this Biryani is the small cube-sized pieces of meat rather than the large chunks. The Biryani is said to be tangy in taste because of the use of lemon and curd. 5. Lucknowi Biryani: The textures of this Lucknowi Biryani are softer whereas the spices are milder. Cooked in the royal Awadhi style, the first step to cook this Biryani is the making of stock from meat boiled in water that is infused with spices. Thus, the Biryani is flavoured delicately than other ones. 6. Arcot Biryani: The Biryani is said to be originated in the Vellore districts of Tamil Nadu in the towns of Ambur and Vaniyambadi. The Ambur Biryani is the sub-variant of the Arcot Biryani and tastes amazing. You can accompany your Arcot Biryani with Dalcha and Pachadi. 7. Memoni Biryani: The Biryani is quite similar to the Sindhi Biryani and consists of Memons of the Gujarat-Sindh region. The dish is extremely spicy and is made using yoghurt, lamb, potatoes, brown onions (fried onions). The food colouring isn’t used while making this Biryani just like in other Biryanis.
8. Thalassery Biryani: Thalassery Biryani is India’s most loved Biryani and mainly because of its sweet and savoury taste. The dish includes some of the ingredients like chicken wings, Malabar spices, rice which is known as Kaima, sauteed cashew nuts, etc. and a lot of other things. In this, the gravy is cooked separately and then mixed at the time of mixing.
9. Kamrupi Biryani: Originated in the town of Assam, this Kamrupi Biryani is very delicious. Made using chicken, carrots, beans, potatoes, etc. and many other things, this Biryani is definitely a treat to it. The fresh flavours of the veggies are infused in the meat.
10. Tahari Biryani: For all the vegetarians out there, this Tahari Biryani tastes very amazing and is definitely a treat for your taste buds. Made with different vegetables like potatoes, carrots, etc., this vegetarian dish is very popular street food in Kashmir.
11. Beary Biryani: Beary Biryani is the cousin of that spicy Mangalore Biryani and belongs to the Muslim community of South Kannada region in Karnataka. The flavour of the rice is kept overnight in the mixture of ghee and spices. This way the flavours are infused properly, giving it an amazing taste.
12. Sindhi Biryani: This Sindhi Biryani includes green chillies, aromatic spices, and roasted nuts. The addition of Bukhara gives a completely different taste to the Biryani. The layering of sour yoghurt further adds a tangy touch to the Biryani.
13. Bombay Biryani: Undoubtedly, originated in Bombay, this Bombay Biryani is a mix of flavours, chicken, mutton, vegetables, and what not. With a bit of sweetness in it, the Biryani is definitely worth trying. Though, not that famous, still it holds a special place in people’s hearts.
14. Kalyani Biryani: Kalyani Biryani is said to have originated in the Bidar city of Karnataka. Made from Buffalo meat along with wide range of spices, coriander, tomatoes, etc., the Biryani is flavourful and tangy. Though, the Biryani is not that popular as the Hyderabadi Biryani but tastes amazing.
15. Tehari Biryani: The first thing to strike our mind when the thought of Biryani is the chicken or mutton or fish or meat. But, Tehari Biryani is one such Biryani that is served without it. The Biryani is very popular amongst the vegetarian people, especially across North India. It consists of ingredients like potatoes, carrots, different vegetables, spices, etc. and many other ingredients.
16. Bhatkali Biryani: Originated in the coastal regions of Karnataka, this Bhatkali Biryani tastes very delicious. The key method to this Bhatkali Biryani is that rice and chicken should be evenly infused with masalas. You are likely to get the taste of red chillies first and then the sweet taste of sauteed onions along with the chunks of Chicken.
So, this is the Khandan of Biryani settled in entire India. Still, there are a few members left. But, I will recommend everyone reading the article to try each and every Biryani mentioned. But, don’t forget that there are many other Biryanis apart from the ones mentioned in the list. Let’s discuss the some Dos and Don’ts of Biryani.
Dos and Don’ts for making Biryani:
Just like you, I also thought that Biryani making is very difficult, but, no it isn’t true. The whole funda while making is the proportions. So, the next time you make Biryani, keep in mind these Dos and Don’ts for making Biryani. Don’t just blindly copy the recipe from the internet. Making of Biryani involves a lot of patience as the Biryani is best cooked on a low flame and in the pot. Here, below are the Dos and Don’ts for making Biryani.
When you are making Biryani, make sure that you use a vessel that has a thick bottom. This will further ensure that the heat gets evenly distributed.
Make sure that you marinate the meat for at least 2-3 hours. Marinating for 2-3 hours will ensure that the juices get inside the meat.
Use lots of fried onions in the marination.
Don’t fear if you have added enough salt. In fact, add more salt as the addition of meat will reduce the salt concentration. So, calculate accordingly.
Addition of meat will also reduce the flavours of spices. So, add a good amount of spices to the marination.
As I said earlier, Biryani tastes best when cooked on a low flame. So, does meat. Cooking meat on the lowest flame will help in uniform cooking.
Marination also includes a good amount of Ghee.
The rice should be Basmati rice, without any doubt.
Sealing of the vessel is important. This will prevent heat from escaping.
Apart from marination, make sure you add a good amount of fried onions in Biryani as well.
So, the first important thing to keep in mind while making Biryani is the use of curd. Using too much of curd will make meat dull and tasteless. The main purpose of using curd is only cooking. It will not add any kind of taste to your Biryani.
Make sure you don’t directly expose meat to the heat. Take a pan and put the vessel over it or any other layer of metal. This will take time to cook. Depending on what you are using, the time will differ. For eg: Mutton takes 1 hour and 45 minutes to get cooked whereas chicken takes about 1 hour 15 minutes to cook. So, I said to be patient.
Thinking to add raw onions in the marinade? Nope, It is not a good idea at all. It will not taste good.
And yes, Biryani is a complete meal in itself. You don’t need any other dish to eat. Depending on your mood, go for the types of Biryani. This is one such dish that can be relished at any time of the day. Friends coming over? Get together? Sunday lunch problems? Whatever occasion is, the answer to it is Biryani.
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