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Biryani is an evergreen Classic and Spicy Indian Dish.

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Biryani is an evergreen classic that really needs no introduction. It is originated in Persia and might have taken a couple of different routes to arrive in India. It  is derived from the Farsi word ‘Birian’. Birian means ‘fried before cooking’. Based on the name, and cooking style (Dum), one can conclude that the dish originated in Persia and/or Arabia. It could have come from Persia via Afghanistan to North India.

Biryani encompasses a heritage of classical South Asian cuisine. Its complexity and skill to  mark it as one of the finer quality of being beautiful and delicate in an appearance of our time. Originally, it was invented during the Mughal Empire. Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan’s Queen, Mumtaz Mahal is reportedly thought to have inspired the dish in the 1600’s.

On a visit to the Indian army barracks, she found the soldiers heavily undernourished. She requested the chef to prepare something that combined both meat and rice and provided a balance of rich nutrition and protein. What the chef created was Biryani.

Because of its connection to the royal courts of the Mughal Empire, it also stands out as a dish reserved for the most special of occasions. The Mughal Emperors were known to lavish in luxury, wealth and fine dining, and the dish became a perfect staple dish to suit.

Procedures for making Biryani:

Traditionally, rice was fried before boiling. It would be fried in ghee or clarified butter and then cooked in boiling water. The frying process gave the rice a nutty flavor but it also formed a starch layer around each grain. This meant that rice would not clump together, and it would retain its shape when mixed with the meat.

The dish is made with a blend of aromatic spices, Basmati rice and a choice of meat: lamb, chicken or fish in a rich sauce. Alternatively, it can be made with vegetables.

In general, there are two types of Biryani – the Kutchi (raw) biryani and the Pukki (cooked) biryani.In Kutchi biryani, the meat is layered with raw rice in a handi (a thick bottomed pot) and cooked, while in Pukki biryani cooked meat and rice are layered in the handi.

How did Biryani spread in India?

Today the dish is a pan-India culinary favorite. Its many varieties reflect the local tastes, traditions and gastronomic histories of their regions of evolution. Here are some tasty regional variants that every biryani lover should know about.

Mughlai Biryani: The Mughal Emperors were very fond of lavish dining experiences and looked upon cooking as an art. It is a definitely smells and tastes like a royal.

Awad Biryani: During Mogul empire, Lucknow was known as Awadh, giving rise to Awadhi biryani.

Calcutta Biryani: In 1856, British deposed Nawab Wajid Ali Shah in Calcutta, giving rise to Calcutta biryani.

Hyderabadi Biryani: The world-famous Hyderabadi biryani came into being after Emperor Aurangzeb appointed Niza-Ul-Mulk as the new ruler of Hyderabad. The most other biryani is dominated by their flavored meat, in the layered Hyderabadi biryani, the aromatic saffron flavored rice is the star of the dish. Hyderabad was also the place where the Kacchi Akhni biryani was fine tuned and perfected.

Tahir Biryani: The biryani spread to Mysore by Tipu Sultan of Carnatic. They hired vegetarian Hindus as bookkeepers leading to the development of Tahiri biryani.

Dindigul Biryani: A much-loved local favorite, Chennai has many outlets dedicated to serving just the Dindigul biryani. The jeera samba rice used in making this Biryani is distinctive and gives it an entirely different flavor. Dindigul Biryani uses tiny cube-sized meat pieces.

Lucknowi Biryani: Cooked in the royal Awadhi style, the textures of Lucknowi biryani are softer and the spices milder. The first step involves making a yakhni stock from meat that is slowly boiled in water infused with spices for about two hours or more. This is the reason why this dish is more moist, tender and delicately flavored than other biryanis.

Arcot Biryani: Introduced by the Nawabs of Arcot, this biryani originated in the towns of Ambur and Vaniyambadi in the Vellore district of Tamil Nadu. The biryani is generally accompanied by dalcha (a sour brinjal curry) and pachadi (a type of raita). The best- known sub-variety of the Arcot biryani is the Ambur biryani that uses the squat seeraga samba rice, a traditional Tamil Nadu variety.

Tahari Biryani: Tahari biryani is cooked without meat. Typically, rice is cooked along with different kind of vegetables in a handi with potatoes and carrots being the most used vegetables in this dish. Legend has it that this biryani was created in Mysore when Tipu Sultan hired vegetarian Hindus as his bookkeepers.

Apart from that many others types of Biryani are like Bombay Biryani, Doodh Ki Biryani, Bhatkali Biryani, Sindhi Biryani, Beary Biryani, Kanpuri Biryani, Memoni Biryani, Mutton Biryani, Chicken Biryani, Egg Biryani, Shrimp Biryani, Fish Biryani, Daal Biryani etc.

Today, biryani has been very much adapted to individual and personal styles. Today the city population increasing and more people preferring to eat out during the weekends or depending on takeaways, the demand for the delectable dish have only increased.


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