Biryani is one of India’s most popular foods. Every state has its own variations, including Hyderabadi, Lucknowi, Kolkata, Dindigul, Sindhi, and a variety of others. This dish has an unrivalled cult following. Freshly cooked aromatic rice, seasoned with a blend of spices, and the meat of your choice make up Biryani (Chicken, Mutton, Fish, or Egg). We can all agree! There is no love bigger than the love for Biryani.
Biryani served on a white round plate
Origin of Biryani
Every state, culture, subculture, and region has developed its form of Biryani, which they appear to defend or battle for as the best version of Biryani ever seen. The word ‘biryani’ is derived from birian, a Persian word that implies fried before cooking. There are numerous ideas about the origins and development of Biryani in India. Biryani is supposed to have been introduced to India in 1398 by Timur, the Turk Mongol conqueror. Biryani was a staple in his diet. Another story claims that Arab traders brought Biryani to India’s southern Malabar Coast. Biryani is also said to be extremely similar to a dish recorded in Tamil literature by the name of Biryani.
Mumtaaz Begum is the most popular story, and it is one that we believe in. Mumtaz Begum was a role model for many women throughout her period. When Begum visited an army base and realised that the men were not getting enough nutrition in their normal diet, she ordered the cooks to prepare a magnificent feast for the battalion. As a mark of his love for Mumtaz Begum, Shahajan built a stunning Taj Mahal palace in her honour.
In the southern portion of India, the heft and depth of spices used to create Biryani are genuinely unrivalled. Because the Biryani created in this region of India is more substantial and has a sense of belonging, he feels that the Biryani’s origins are in the southern portion of India.
On a white plate, a plate of Biryani with a cucumber garnish
The top searched dish is Hyderabadi Biryani
Hyderabadi and Lucknowi or Awadhi Biryani are the most popular of all the Biryanis. The popularity of Biryani in India has made it the most searched food in 2019. Not just any Biryani, but Chicken Biryani has become the most sought Indian dish on the internet in 2019. According to SEMrush, chicken biryani receives an average of 4.56 lakh monthly searches. Butter Chicken came in second, followed by Samosa, Chicken Tikka Masala, Dosa, Tandoori Chicken, Palak Paneer, Naan, Dal Makhani, and chaat, according to the research. Butter Chicken, which everyone in Northern India swears by, was searched about four lakh times on average, while Samosa, one of the most prevalent snacks, was searched an average of one lakh times.
Biryani Cooking Techniques
Biryani can be prepared in a variety of ways, the most popular of which is Dum Phukt, which is a slow-cooking method. Food is sealed and cooked over a slow fire in a round, heavy-bottomed pot, preferably a handi (clay pot) in dum pukht cookery. This is the most popular and traditional method of cooking Biryani, but contemporary techniques like as steamed biryani, charcoal biryani, and Jhatka Biryani have emerged over time. In addition, there are two types of Biryani: Kacchi Biryani and Pakki Biryani, which differ in their cooking methods.
The procedure of cooking all the raw materials together in one pot is referred to as kacchi yeqni in the Kacchi style of Biryani. All of the ingredients in the biryani dish come together in a flavorful and happy marriage thanks to this cooking approach. Pakki biryani, on the other hand, is regarded as an “easy way out” of the biryani recipe. The rice and meat are cooked separately in this kind of biryani before being combined immediately before serving. The type of rice used to make the Biryani varies depending on the area. Biryani is made with Basmati rice in the north of India, whereas it is made with native rice like Samba in the south.
Biryani garnished with coriander in a stainless steel bowl
Originally, Biryani was only prepared with one meat, Mutton, but with time, it has evolved to include Chicken, Fish, Egg, and Vegetables. There is a never-ending controversy that Biryani cooked with vegetables is Pulav, not Biryani. Now, while there is no verified fact, one of the ideas about the origin of Biryani claims that it was produced in India before the first Mughal ruler Babur invaded the country. The Mughal Ain-i-Akbari, written in the 16th century, makes no distinction between biryanis and pilaf (or pulao). It claims that the term “biryani” has a long history in India.
The biryani contents
The type of meat or vegetables used, as well as the locality, influence the ingredients. Meat is a key component of rice (chicken, goat, cattle, lamb, prawns, or fish). Vegetables are utilised in the preparation of biryani, which is known as vegetable biriyani, as is customary in Indian subcontinent dishes. Corn may be used depending on the season and availability. Ghee (clarified butter), nutmeg, mace, pepper, cloves, cardamom, cinnamon, bay leaves, coriander, mint leaves, ginger, onions, tomatoes, green chillies, and garlic are some of the spices and condiments used in biryani. Saffron is one of the premium varietals. The major component that goes with the spices in all biryanis is chicken or goat meat; special variants may utilise beef or seafood instead.