Biryani, a mixture of seasonings and tangy twists of flavour, sparks desire in everyone. An experience of Indian food never ends without tasting these fabulous biryanis in India.Brought to India during the Mughal reign, biryani is a never-ending experience to the taste buds. This remarkable dish gained versatility by the different flavourings and spices from the various regions of country India.
A biryani journey in India, one which takes through the various ways of cooking and the variance of spices that make yummy.
Kolkata Style Biryani
Long time back in May 1856, Wajid Ali Shah, the 10th Nawab of Awadh(Oudh), came to Calcutta(Now Kolkata) as the British had seized his lands, his repository, his comfort -indeed, they had even banished him from his beloved Lucknow.
On the suburbs of Kolkata, in Metiabruz, the Nawab reconstructed a replica of his capital, complete with grand Islamic structures, his beloved parikhana of damsels, a zoo of exotic animals, kite-flying, yes, food from the imperial kitchen, but the purse strings had tightened. The table was set, but the extravagant banquets were under quite a bit of financial stress.
So the Nawab’s enterprising chefs thought of an inventive way to deal with the shortage of meat. They added potatoes and eggs to the royal repast -and thus was born the Kolkata biryani.
Awadhi Style Biryani
Though it’s not correctly known to us which Style of Biryani made its first appearance, our feeling is that it was the Awadhi biryani because of its source from Awadh, the present day Lucknow and house to the Mughals who commanded India for over 300 years, from the 16th era.Coming from a city that is popular among passionate foodies for its lip-smacking recipes, this biriyani is the perfect blend of aromatic spices.
With the tender rice, peppered with cinnamon, star anise and saffron, layered with half cooked meat in a thick bottomed vessel or a ‘handi’, sealed with dough and baked until the mouth-watering flavours seep into the rice.The perfection of this rice is because of this unique form of cooking called ‘dum’ style.
Sindhi Style Biryani
The name was given after its place of origin, i.e. the Gujarat-Sindhu territory, now a part of Pakistan, the Sindhi biryani is a vivid augmentation of the usual. Filled with finely minced chillis, coriander petals, mint stalks and spices, this biryani is a feast for anyone exploring to the north-western parts of India. The delicious flavour and taste are magnified by the extensive use of yoghurt, potatoes, tomatoes and a perfect topping including varieties of dry fruits and other necessary items.
Bombay Style Biryani
Bombay biryani is a melting pot of zest – spicy, hearty and zesty. Bombay biryani, whether made with chicken, mutton or vegetables, fried spiced potatoes needs to be included in the dish. The biryani is slightly sweet in nature that is because of dried plums and kewra water.
Hyderabadi Style Biryani
The world-famous Hyderabadi Biryani came into being after Mughal Emperor Aurangzeb appointed Niza-Ul-Mulk as the new ruler of Hyderabad. His chefs used to create almost 50 different variants that used fish, shrimp, quail, deer, and even hare meat. While their flavoured meat dominates the rest of different biryanis, but in the layered Hyderabadi biryani, the sweet-smelling saffron flavoured rice is the star of the dish.
There are two types of Hyderabadi Biryani, a) Kachchi Biryani b)Pakki Biryani
Kachchi Gosht Ki Biryani
The Kachchi biryani cooked with meat marinated with savours overnight and then soaked in yoghurt before making. The gosht (meat) is sandwiched within layers of aromatic long-grained basmati rice, and cooked on dum (steaming over coals), after sealing the handi (vessel) with dough.
Pakki biryani- the meat is marinated for a smaller time, and cooked before being layered with the rice and prepared in a dough-sealed vessel. In Pakki Aqni (with cooked gravy), the ingredients made before baking.
Malabar Style Biryani
It is unfair to finish the Biryani journey without a mention of the many mouth-watering delicacies that originate on the Malabar coast and when it comes to Malabari Biryani all we can write is too good. The famous Thalassery biryani ultimately from the Arab region, unlike the Mughal varieties from the North.
Malabar brings out the excellent fusion of spicy, tangy, sweet and salt along with the meat and flavoured rice finally topped with fried onion, sauteed cashews along with raisins.