You begin to salivate just by the name of it! Don’t you? Not only Indians but the world goes gaga over this rice dish that tastes like heaven. But do you know that Indian Biryani has many flavours? The diversified variations of Biryani would leave you amazed. Here are the lip smacking versions of Indian Biryanis.
Kebabs rule the dishes from Lucknow and Biryani is the next to occupy the top position. In this flavour of Biryani, whole spices, herbs and saffron is used. The garden fresh spices give it an alluring smell. All the Awadhi cuisines are influenced by the Nawabs of Awadh who were Persian in origin and biryani is not an exception. Hence you will find whole spices and a peculiar aroma of saffron plus rose water. It differs from Hyderabadi Biryani in taste and flavour. In Hyderabadi biryani ground spices and mint are used while in Lucknowi Biryani, you would find whole spices and no mint.
The invasion of Persian kings brought an innovation called Mughlai Biryani. This Indian cuisine owes its origin to the Mughal Empire. The Persian kings were fond of unique cooking meat and rice in a variety of spices and hence Mughal biryani is a spicier version that you will find in Delhi and the adjoining areas.
It is believed that when Nawabs of Lucknow were exiled in Kolkata after the Mutiny in 1857, they had to cope up with the scarcity of meat and hence they started added potatoes to the Biryani and even today this version of Biryani contains potatoes along with meat. It retains the same taste, flavour and aroma.
This type of Biryani is layered rice with the ingredients like mint leaves, chillies and fiery chicken. Apart from these ingredients, saffron, rose water, kewada etc. are also used. Hyderabadi Biryani is a blend of Iranian and Mughlai cuisine in the kitchens of Nizam. It has two forms gosht ki Biryani (Goat’s meat) and dum ki biryani (biryani cooked with lid over low fire for a long time.
Kalyani Biryani is another form of Hyderabadi biryani which is meant for the poor. Small chunks of buffalo meat are used in this. It does not have the same taste and richness as the Hyderabadi Biryani.
It is one of the most enticing Indian Biryanis that you must try. It is cooked with turmeric, steamed rice, mild spices and chicken wings. This biryani is garnished with sautéed nuts and other dry fruits. The other South Indian Biryani is Thalassery Biryani that makes use of Jeerakasala rice in place of the usual basmati rice. The rice is light fried and the meat is cooked separately and then assembled. It is cooked in a dum style (cooked for a long time over low flame.)
This is another savoury Indian Biryanis of the coastal regions of Karnataka. In this variation of Biryani, both the chicken and rice are infused with the spices. This is one of the hottest types of Biryanis. If you ever get to taste it, you would get the sweet taste of sautéed onions, red chillies and the juicy chicken that is sure to delight you.
This is the dish which is cooked with the onion based sauce and meat in a heavy bottom cooking pot.
In the Indian state of Tamil Nadu, Dindigul Biryani is served. This has a totally different flavour as curd and lemons are added to it. Unlike most of the other South Indian dishes, this South Indian variant of Biryani does not use coconut or tomato. The rice of this variant is smaller in size, has all the spices but it is a wetter version. Another Biryani widely eaten in Tamil Nadu is Ambur Biryani that has a dominant taste and flavour of meat.
In the Indian state of Maharashtra, Biryani has a different flavour. It is loaded with lots of flavour of spices, mint leaves and even sliced potatoes apart from chopped fried onions.
It is believed that this type is an innovation of Mughal kitchen. It is said that the Persian kings brought this unique recipe to India which is all about cooking meat in rich spices and hence this type of Biryani has a rich aroma, texture and flavour. This type of Biryani is eaten mostly in the Indian capital state Delhi and neighbouring areas.
Apart from all these Biryanis, there is a vegetarian variety that tastes and appears pretty similar – It is Tahiri. It is said that this variety is an innovation of UP Brahmins who did not eat meat but had an inclination towards eating Biryani. Tahiri is eaten widely in Uttar Pradesh.
If Biryani is one of your weaknesses and you find this sumptuous rice dish irresistible, put India on priority list of places to travel and explore the different flavours of it in the different states.