Since ancient times, biryani has satisfied hunger. But do you know how it got from Persia to your plate? The Persian words for rice and for ‘fried before cooking,’ Birian and Birinj, are combined to form the English word ‘biryani’. To explain how this delicious delicacy came to be, there are several explanations. According to several historians, the Mughals brought biryani from Persia to India. In the imperial kitchen of the Mughals, biryani underwent additional development.
The origin of Biryani is the subject of several tales. One of the most well-known is the tale of Shah Jahan’s bride Mumtaz Mahal. The Mughal soldiers are said to have seemed underfed when Mumtaz visited the army barracks. She instructed the cooks to create a meal containing rice and meat so that the soldiers would have a balanced diet. The meal was prepared with saffron and spices and grilled over a wood fire.
According to a different legend, Taimur, the Turko-Mongol ruler, brought Biryani to India around 1398. Even the Hyderabadi Nizams and the Lucknowi Nawabs were renowned for enjoying this delicacy. Biryani was traditionally prepared in an earthen pot using charcoal. Allow us to take you on this delicious tour of Biryani varieties in India:
The Mughal Emperors valued fine cuisine and enjoyed opulent dining events. The authentic Mughlai Biryani had wonderfully seasoned meat pieces and kewra-scented rice, all of which gave out an enticing aroma that can quickly make anybody hungry.
The dish ‘pukki’ Biryani is a specialty of Lucknow. Meat and rice are prepared separately in the ‘pukki’ technique, then they are piled and finished in a copper pot. The food, which is sometimes referred to as Awadhi Biryani, was greatly inspired by the Nawabs of Awadh, who were of Persian descent.
Nawab Wajid Ali Shah reinvented Biryani in Calcutta after being exiled by the British. The local chefs substituted perfectly cooked, golden-brown potatoes for meat since they could not afford to buy any. With less spices, Kolkata Biryani is prepared by marinating the meat in yoghurt and then cooking it separately from the light yellow rice.
After Niza-Ul-Mulk was installed as the new ruler of Hyderabad by Emperor Aurangzeb, the renowned Hyderabadi Biryani was created. It’s estimated that his cooks produced approximately 50 distinct variations using fish, shrimp, quail, deer, and even hare meat. This dish’s standout ingredient is the flavorful saffron.
This Biryani is exclusively made using the rare Zeera Samba rice and is typically cooked in Bangalorian weddings and homes.
The Bombay Biryani is a melting pot of flavours that is spicy, meaty, and tangy. It has a subtle sweetness from the kewra water and dried plums used in the recipe.
Thalassery Biryani is among the most popular Biryanis in India because it is both savoury and sweet. This Biryani is prepared using kaima rice, tender chicken wings, and mild Malabar spices.