Biryani has become synonymous with Hyderabad and is an integral part of the culture and heritage of the city. It is famous all over the world, but for the most authentic taste you need to visit Hyderabad. The taste and the feel of the biryani in Hyderabad is unmatched.
The name is derived from a Persian word ‘Beryan’ which means fried or roasted. Biryani in Hyderabad is a delicacy.
It was originally prepared with basmati rice and meat. During the time of the Nizam’s the dish was made with lamb meat, basmati rice and a host of specialized spices.
The specialized biryani chefs of the Nizam’s kitchen boasted of a whopping 49 different kinds of biryanis. But with time, instead of meat, people started using chicken and now even the vegetarian version is famous.
The history of Biryani is as colourful. It is believed to be invented in the traditional Mughal kitchen. And from then there have been various modifications according to the taste.
Ingredients of Hyderabad Biriyani
A choicest selection of ingredients is made for a traditional Biryani preparation. A little here and there, and the dish would go for a toss. The main ingredients are premium quality basmati rice, ghee and meat/chicken depending upon what biryani you are making.
There is an array of spices and condiments that are used for the preparation. Pepper, cloves, cardamom, saffron, cinnamon, bay leaves, coriander powder, cumin seeds, red chilli powder are the main spices. In addition to these ginger, green chilli, garlic, onions and yogurt are also used. For garnishing usually fried onions are used with fresh coriander.
Types of Hyderabad Biriyani
And just when you thought how difficult would it be to understand the basics of Biryani, we enlighten you with two types of Hyderabadi Biryani.
This type of biryani gets its name from the preparation method. It is called Kachhi biryani because raw meat and fragrant rice are cooked together.
The meat is marinated with all the spices and condiments and left overnight. After mixing yogurt into the meat at the next step, the meat and rice are layered and then cooked on dum.
Dum technique of cooking involves sealing the vessel with dough and then steaming it over coal. This method required great precision in terms of cooking time and temperature.
Pakki Biryani is a type wherein the marinating time for the meat is rather less and the meat is already cooked before it is layered with the rice. There is a vast difference between our regular pulao and biryani.
In a pulao, the rice and the vegetables are cooked together while in case of biryani, the fragrant rice is cooked separately and the meat gravy separately. They are layered at the time of serving. The exception is the kacchi biryani or dum biryani.
Usually Hyderabadi Biryani is served with dahi (yogurt), green chutney, onions and mirchi ka salan. Mirchi ka salan is another trademark Hyderabadi dish.
A plethora of biryani joints are spread all over Hyderabad city, but the most famous is certainly Paradise Biryani. Upholding the tradition of serving authentic Hyderabadi Biryani, Paradise is one place that you don’t want to miss.