Biryani also known as biriyani, ¨spicy rice¨ is a South Asian mixed rice dish with its origins among the Muslims of the Indian subcontinent. It is popular throughout the Indian subcontinent and among the diaspora from the region. It is made with spices, rice and meat (chicken, mutton, beef, prawn, or fish) or egg is also added.
ORIGIN OF BIRYANI:
The exact origin of the biryani dish is uncertain.
According to historian Lizzie Collingham, the modern biryani developed in the royal kitchens of the Mughal Empire (1526-1857), as a confluence of the native spicy rice dishes of India and the Persian pilaf. Indian restaurateur Kris Dhillon believes that the dish originated in Persia, and was brought to India by the Mughals. However, another theory claims that the dish was known in India before the first Mughal emperor Babur came to India. The 16th-century Mughal text Ain-i-Akbari makes no distinction between biryanis and pulao: it states that the word “biryani” is of older usage in India. A similar theory, that biryani came to India with Timur’s invasion, appears to be incorrect, because there is no record of biryani having existed in his native land during that period.
Hyderabadi biryani is one of India’s most famous biryanis; some say biryani is synonymous with Hyderabad. The crown dish of the Hyderabadi Muslims, Hyderabadi biryani developed under the rule of Asaf Jah I, who had been appointed as the Governor of Deccan by the Mughal emperor Aurangzeb. It is made with basmati rice, spices and goat. Popular variations use chicken instead of goat. There are various forms of Hyderabadi biryani. One such biryani is the kachay gosht ki biryani or the dum biryani, where the mutton is marinated and cooked along with the rice. It is left on slow fire or dum for a fragrant and aromatic flavour.
Hyderabadi biryani is generally believed to originate in the kitchens of the Nizam of Hyderabad. Hyderabadi biryani has been originated as a blend of Mughlai and Iranian cuisine in the kitchens of the Nizam, rulers of the historic Hyderabad State. Hyderabadi Biryani is a staple part of the Indian Cuisine.
Types of hyderabadi biryani:
Hyderabadi Biryani is of two types: the Kachchi (raw) Biryani, and the Pakki (cooked) Biryani.
The ingredients are basmati rice, goat or chicken meat, yogurt, onions, spices, lemon, saffron. coriander leaves and fried onions are used as garnish. The preferred meat is goat, but chicken, or other meats are used in some variations.
Kachche gosht ki biryani:
The Kachchi biryani is prepared with meat marinated with spices overnight and then soaked in yogurt before cooking. The meat is sandwiched between layers of fragrant long-grained basmati rice, and cooked on dum , after sealing the handi with dough. This is a challenging process as it requires meticulous attention to time and temperature to avoid over- or under-cooking the meat.
In a Pakki biryani, the meat is marinated for a shorter time, and cooked before being layered with the rice and cooked in a dough-sealed vessel. In Pakki Aqni (with cooked gravy), the ingredients are cooked before baking.The gravy is redolent of mace, ittar and kewra. Saffron and cardamom are also used.
There is also a vegetarian version of the biryani, which is made using vegetables such as carrots, peas, potato, cauliflower and cashews.