Any special occasion calls for a sumptuous delicacy. There’s nothing like digging into a plate of biriyani with mouthful of flavors. It is a hot favorite with many and just the mention of its name can make many salivate.
It is a rich dish and prepared with spices. The dish travelled to India when the Muslim rulers from the west invaded the country. Ever since it has stayed. But the dish has undergone changes and with time and region, it took on new flavors. Regional flavors have made it a popular dish in those regions where it savored during festivals and other days equally alike.
Hyderabadi Biryani –
This biriyani is accompanied with raita (a yogurt side dish) and saalan. The use of saffron and coconut is what sets this biryani apart from the rest. One popular variation is the dum biryani, wherein the meat is marinated and cooked with the rice on a slow flame, letting the juices from the succulent meat engulf the rice. Try it at Paradise, Hyderabad.
Lucknowi Biryani –
Lucknow and biryani are almost synonymous with each other. The result of culinary experiments in nawabi kitchens, this biryani (also called Awadhi biryani) is made using the dum pukht technique: the meat and the gravy are tightly sealed in a handi or a heavy bottomed pot and cooked over a slow flame. This process is what makes the biryani so flavourful and delicious. Lightly spiced and packed with delicate flavours, it makes up for royal treat. It’s best had at one of the hole-in-the-wall eateries in the Chowk area. Many people swear by Idrish, if you don’t mind a somewhat grubby ambience.
Kolkata Biryani –
The hallmark of this biryani is the use of potatoes and eggs, along with kewra and rose, making the rice fragrant and flavourfully fantastic. It’s an offshoot of the Lucknowi biryani, having originated from the Awadh royal family, which migrated to Kolkata with a coterie of cooks. The meat is marinated in yogurt and spices and cooked separately from the rice and then layered.
Malabar Biryani –
Milder on the spices and with a slightly sweet taste, Malabar biryani is a popular dish in Kerala. It is characterized by the unique khyma rice and generous use of cashews and raisins. The rice and the meat are cooked separately and then layered in a narrow-necked pot and steamed, ensuring that the flavors of the meat completely engulf the rice. It is often served with a simple raw mango, coconut and green chili pepper chutney that injects that extra zing.