The mouth-watering concoction of meat with long grain basmati rice, aromatic masalas, curd, and onions makes a delectable and finger licking preparation called Biryani. A must-have for any Mughlai food lover, for that matter any foodie, Biryani is much more than ‘just a biryani’! So, If you are gaga over biryani then we have an amazing news for you. *drum rolls, please*
Dig a bit deeper into knowing more about it and you shall be amazed by the 20 different types of Biryanis that are found in our country. Drooling already! Each using different flavours and slightly different techniques of cooking. We went on a biryani trail and just couldn’t help sharing our findings with you.
Kashmiri Biryani stands out for the addition of asafoetida. The Kashmiri Bhuna Gosht Biryani is a variation renowned all over the country.
Hyderabadi Pakki Biryani
One of the most aromatic and savoury dishes, this Biryani is is sprinkled with kewda, rose water and saffron. The rice is layered with golden fried onions, chillies, mint leaves and fiery chicken. The Hyderabadi Biryani is rendered spicy than any other form of Biryani.
Just like other Bengali dishes, the Kolkata Biryani has a sweet tinge to it. The spices used in the recipe are much milder than other biryanis. Potato is the integral ingredient in this appetizing dish. It is cooked with rice which is layered with juicy meat and soft boiled eggs.
This sumptuous dish is straight from the streets of Lucknow. It has a mild flavour and is comparatively lighter on the stomach. Very similar to the Calcutta Biryani in making, the difference lies in the absence of the potato. It uses few spices but makes up for with its aroma and rich flavour.
Malabar Biriyani/ Thalassery Biryani
The Malabar biryani is one of India’s most loved recipes, and can be enjoyed in sweet and salty flavours, depending on your taste. It is cooked with soft chicken wings, steamed rice, turmeric and mild spices. The Biryani is prepared with a Khyma, a small- grain thin rice and beautifully garnished with sauteed dry fruits.
One of the finest delicacies of India, the Mughlai Biryani originated in the kitchens of the Nawabs. It is cooked with curd, tender chicken pieces, almond paste, ghee, fiery green chillies and dry fruits. It is very rich in taste and is a dish fit for royalty. This style of Biryani can be commonly seen in Delhi.
Ambur biryani has its origins in Tamil Nadu and hence, has a typical South Indian twist in its preparation. This unique meaty dish is prepared with dried chilli paste and whole spices. Brinjal masala is the perfect side-dish for this mouthwatering biryani.
This dish is unlike any other biryani. It is loaded with finely slit chillies, coriander, fresh mint and roasted spices. Goat meat with appetizing-thick curry is added to the rice. The dish is beautifully complemented with dry fruits, nuts and onion rings.
This savoury recipe belongs to the coastal regions of Karnataka. The rice and chicken are infused with masalas. As you take the first bite, the fiery taste of red chillies and the sweet taste of sauteed onions mix in your mouth along with the juicy chicken chunks.
This one comes from the Muslim community in Dakshina Kannada , a coastal district in Karnataka. Unlike most Biryanis, this one is light and less spicy. It is a non-vegetarian’s delight as it has chicken, mutton, fish, prawns and beef. It is flavoured with ghee and local spices and left to sit overnight so that the flavour spreads through the entire dish.
The Kozhikode Biryani is to be owed to the trading community of Mappila’s. Their rich culinary heritage has immense respect in the community. The Kozhikode Biryani is prepared with the use of Khyma rice, which is tempered with spices responsible for its signature taste.
Assamese Kampuri Biryani
Originally from the Muslim town of Assam, it soon gained fame over a majority of the regions as a favourite. The chicken is primarily cooked with various vegetables like peas, carrots potatoes, capsicums, and beans with spices after which it is mixed with rice.
The Bombay Biryani is derived from the Irani style of Biryani. It is accompanied with a side of meat gravy. The Biryani in question is sweeter and contains more oil and fried onions than the other varieties.
Dindigul Thalappakatti Biriyani
Another famous Biryani from Tamil Nadu, this comes from the Dindigul Thalapakatti region. It has a tangy taste thanks to the addition of curd and lemons. But unlike most South Indian dishes, it does not use tomato or coconut.
This one is especially for our vegetarian friends. Tahiri is an Awadhi dish popular in Uttar Pradesh. Many UP brahmins did not eat meat, thus they started preparing a vegetarian version of biryani called Tahiri. Roasted spices are ground to give the dish a piquant taste. Apart from this the dish is served with ginger raita for a heavenly feast.
Though most types of biryani have the common elements of rice and meat; there are various styles of cooking it. Kachchi Biryani on the other hand is a sort of biryani where the uncooked yet marinated chicken is layered in the handi or an earthen pot with rice alternatively in multiple layers and cooked on the heat. Also, the container remains unopened during the entire duration of cooking.
An integral part of the cuisine of Memons of the Gujarat and Sindh region of India and Pakistan, it is known to be extremely spicy. However, it differs from Sindhi Biryani as it uses fewer tomatoes in the preparation. Furtermore, It also uses fewer elements of food colouring as opposed to other styles, drawing the real colours from the elements of the dish.
Popular in Hyderabad as the common man’s biryani, this is a variation of the dish that uses small cubes of buffalo meat instead of full pieces and then cooked in the way of a regular Hyderabadi Biryani.
Goan Fish Biryani
Goa is a haven for seafood lovers and therefore biryani fans need not be disappointed. Goa has a version of Biryani made with fish (obviously!) that you are going to relish for life. Light yet with a bang of flavours, Goan fish biryani is not for the weak-hearted.
First of all Pilaf Biryanis, a specialty from Bhopal is more on the lines of a pulav. But then the name puts all debates to rest – Its Biryani Pulav! Meat used in Biryani Pilaf is mainly mutton, but occasionally chicken is also used. It is a South Asian version of Mughal Biryani.
Now that you know all the different version of biryanis available across the length and breadth of our country, make sure to try each of these when you are in one of the above cities. After all, variety adds some spice to life!