Biryani, Biriyani, Biriani, Briyani, Briani, Birani. Huff. The names are endless. Though biryani has many alternative names, it was originated from the Persian word “Birian” which means fried before cooking. Many of us might have been in a delusion that biryani is Indian food, but it is not. The origins of biryani are outside of India. India has seen a chain of foreign rulers from different geographics, be it Arabs, Afghans, Persians, Turks, or Mughals. They all brought a storm of culture, traditions, and cuisines. Biryani is one of them.
There are different stories for how Biryani entered in India. Some say Timur brought the recipe to serve its soldiers while invading India. Some say Mumtaz, wife of Shah Jahan, asked her chef to prepare a special dish for her soldiers as they looked weak and malnourished. The chef prepared it and the result was Biryani. Some say that there is a mention of a dish named “Oon Soru” in Tamil Literature in the year 2 A.D. It is believed that Oon Soru was also prepared the way as traditional Biryani is prepared.
But what is an adamant fact is that biryani is cooked with the “dum pukht”(slow cooking) technique originated from Persia to maintain its authenticity.
Well, that might be the story related to Biryani’s origin. But, what made it popular in India is the Nawabs of Lucknow and Nizams of Hyderabad. The Nawabs made it popular in North India, while the Nizams made it popular in South India. The only difference between the two’s approach to preparing Biryani was that the Nawabs used a subtle amount of spices while the Nizams used the spices liberally. This spell is still influencing the two zones of India.
Indian biryani became famous due to its choice of spices. The flavors it contributed to Biryani distinguished from the original taste introduced by the Persians. It is a dish of royalty which now has acquired the local delicacy making it the first choice in a non-veg meal as well as a veg meal. Introduced thousands of years ago, Biryani has ruled and is still ruling the foodie’s list. Its charm has increased with the passage of time.
Although Biryani has subtly made its contribution to our delicacy, it was mistaken as pulao or pilaf. The chicken or mutton biryani has often been called pulao by many naive foodies, leading to contention. Both the dishes are made of long rice combined with exotic spices, meat, vegetables yet there is a small difference between the two.
The cooking process differs. Pulao experiences a simple approach in terms of spices and cooking time while biryani has a complex set of spices and demands a longer time for cooking. Pulao is prepared by simmering all the contents in the water until it is fully absorbed. On the other hand, partially cooked rice is layered with pieces of meat in a handi and cooked on dum to prepare biryani.
Biryani is known for the use of exotic spices and ingredients in it. Every place has its own prominent way of preparing Biriyani. The prime ingredients are long basmati rice and the meat of goat/chicken/beef/lamb or fish and prawns. The secondary ingredients include ghee, bay leaf, cloves, cardamom, mint leaf, ginger, onions, pepper, nutmeg, etc. It is best served with curd or raita, korma, curry, and salad. Even, vegetable biriani is also there to curb the hunger of our vegans.
Also, traditional biryani has many varieties like Kacchi Yeqni or Kacchi biryani, Tehari or tehri biryani, and Beef biryani or Kalyani biryani. Most famous biryanis which have gathered significant attention are: Hyderabadi biriyani, Mughlai biriyani, Lucknowi biryani, Arcot biriani, Sindhi biriani, Thalassery biryani, Delhi biryani, Kolkata biryani, Ambur biryani, Chettinad biryani, Bhatkali biryani, Memoni biryani, Degh ki biryani, Bohri biryani, and Rawther biryani.
Is your stomach growling after reading this yummy history of our beloved Biryani? Then worry not, you need to wait for hours to taste that homemade biryani. We, Call4Biryani will serve you with our best in-house biryani in just half an hour.
Isn’t this amazing? To know more about our menu, click here!