Indians love Biryani, and it is not just a food; it’s also an emotion for most of them. It is also a comforting food because of its rich flavours. This is statistically proved by a famous food-delivering brand where they have stated that there were 115 biryani orders for every minute on their mobile application. This means Indians have bought 2 biryani per second on that app. Fascinating, isn’t it?
This is a significant increase compared to the 2020 figures, where 90 Biryani orders per minute. According to the research, “Chicken Biryani is still the queen of our hearts and ordered 4.3 times more than her modest vegetarian counterpart.” Ordering a Chicken Biryani marked the debut of over 4.25 lakh new users in that food-delivery partner.
Tracing the history
The history of Biryani dates back hundreds of years in the Indian subcontinent. There are several stories that state the history of chicken biryani. Some food historians believe that biryani may have been influenced by the Persian dish known as “pilaf,” which was introduced to the region by the Mughals during the medieval period. Biryani is made by layering cooked rice with chicken (or another protein) and various spices, and it is often served with raita, a yoghurt-based condiment in the Mughalai recipe. Another story says that it is believed to have originated in the Mughal Empire, which ruled India from the early 16th to the mid-19th century. The word “biryani” is derived from the Persian word “birinj,” which means “rice.”
According to some accounts, Queen Noor Jahan is credited with introducing the dish known as biryani to the Mughal court. She brought the recipe for biryani with her when she married Emperor Jahangir, and the dish quickly became popular in the Mughal court and beyond. However, it is worth noting that the origins of biryani are not entirely clear, and there are other theories about how the dish came to be.
It is a popular dish in countries such as India, Pakistan, and Bangladesh, and it has also gained popularity in other parts of the world.
Famous Indian Biryani types
Jeerakasala rice, a short-grained local variety, is used in the Thalassery Biryani and is cooked separately from the meat before being seasoned with well-known Keralan spices and garnishes like fried onions, cashews, and raisins.
Khyma rice is used in the Kozhikode Biryani (Calicut Biryani), which is then tempered with a number of Keralan spices to give it its distinctively hot flavour.
When Mughal viceroy Asif Jah, often known as the Nizam of Hyderabad, ruled in the 18th century, Hyderabadi Dum Biryani was created as a fusion of Mughal and Iranian cuisine. Before topping it with long-grain, fragrant Basmati rice and cooking it in a sealed cooking pot, his royal cooks would marinate the meat with spices for an entire night and soak it in yoghurt.
Lucknowi Biryani, so named after Lucknow, the capital of the north Indian state of Uttar Pradesh, is one of the most well-known Biryanis in India. It is regarded as one of the best Biryanis in terms of flavour and scent since the textures are softer and the spices are gentler.
It has a distinctively delicate flavour and fragrant aroma. The meat and rice are cooked separately and then combined in a saucepan over a low flame to create this unusual dish. To flavour the rice, many cooks often add a little stock that has been condensed.
The Mughal Emperors liked to have extravagant meals and saw cooking as an art. The elegant Mughlai biryani was the ideal choice. A mouthwatering aroma of succulent pieces of delicately seasoned pork wrapped in kewra-scented rice instantly makes one hungry. This biryani tastes and smells very regal!
The renowned chef Nawab Wajid Ali Shah, who was exiled by the British, attempted to reproduce his favourite meal in the city of Calcutta. The local chefs used nicely cooked, golden-brown potatoes in place of meat because they could not afford to buy any. With fewer spices, Kolkata Biryani is prepared by marinating the meat in yoghurt before cooking it separately from the light yellow rice. Additionally, the Calcutta biryani contains a subtle sense of sweetness, just like the majority of Bengali cuisines.
A quick biryani recipe
- 2 tbsp sunflower oil
- 1 large onion, chopped
- 4 chicken breasts
- 1 lemon, juice only
- 2 tsp garam masala
- 1 tsp chilli powder
- 2g (1 tsp) salt
- 300g basmati rice
- 1 garlic clove, crushed
- 1-inch piece of fresh ginger, grated
- 850ml hot chicken stock
- 3 tbsp chopped fresh coriander
- In a big saucepan, warm the oil slowly. The onion should be added, covered, and cooked for 10 minutes until tender.
- Cut the chicken into bite-sized pieces, place in a bowl, and season with salt, garam masala, and other spices as desired. A good stir will coat.
- Rice should be thoroughly rinsed in cold water several times until the water is clear. After cooking the onion for 2 minutes with the garlic and ginger, add the chicken pieces and simmer for another 2 minutes while stirring regularly.
- Stir thoroughly after adding the rice to the pan with the boiling liquid before bringing it to a boil. Cook for 5 minutes, then cover with a tight-fitting lid and gently lower the heat. To enable the rice to continue cooking in the steam, turn off the heat and leave the pan empty for 10 minutes. Never open the lid. Serve right after adding the coriander.
Did you know?
There is a rise of 2.65% in restaurants offering Biryani on their menus in 2022.
Sulthans Biryani, with several branches across Tamil Nadu, offers a variety of Biryani with a wide range of vegetarian and Non-Veg starts for your special occasions. Bucket biryani is one of the preferred options from Sulthans Biryani. With 25 years of experience in the industry, we offer great flavours that explode in your mouth. To place your party order, fill out this form.
Biryani can be a guilty pleasure for most of us. But the most important thing to be kept in mind is the flavour that you prefer in a biryani, as there are various types of biryani that offer different flavours. Understanding the origin of Biryani is an important thing you should do as a biryani lover.
1. What is the best rice for biryani?
The most popular type of rice for biryani is Basmati. It is the most preferred option for biryani because of the long grains, non-stickiness, aroma, soft texture, fluffy, and separate grains when cooked.
You can also use your locally available rice, like Samba or Ponni, to produce a unique flavour for your biryani.
2. Which spice is best for biryani?
There are many spices you can use for making the best-flavoured Biryani. Some of them are cinnamon sticks, star anise, bay leaf, fennel seeds, black cardamom pods, cloves, green cardamom, nutmeg, mace, and black peppercorns.
3. Which chicken is best for biryani?
Chicken thighs and drumsticks are highly recommended if you want your biryani to have succulent, soft, and tender chicken.
4. Is biryani wet or dry?
Biryani is typically a dry dish that is served as a main course. There shouldn’t be any or much liquid remaining in the cooked meat, only thick, non-flowing gravy.
5. Is biryani Indian or Pakisthani?
Biryani is considered to be the national favourite dish in both countries as this was introduced during the Mughal rule in the Indian subcontinent, which is currently divided into India and Pakistan.