HYDERABADI BIRYANI - THE KING OF BIRYANIS!
Just hearing this word alone gets your taste buds tingling, doesn't it? Your mouth starts salivating involuntarily. Your jaws start aching with sweet pain. And if it doesn't happen to you, then you haven't yet tasted Hyderabadi Biryani!
In India, the Hyderabadi Biryani needs no introduction. It's an everyday staple for the locals and the go-to dish for tourists from across the country.
Hyderabadi Biryani is amongst the most popular Biryanis in India. It's also known as Hyderabadi Dum Biryani. The Dum is a method of cooking Biryani from Hyderabad. This delicious dish originated in the kitchen of the Nizams of Hyderabad. It is a blend of both Hyderabadi and Mughlai cuisines.
Origin of Hyderabadi Biryani
The origin of Hyderabadi Biryani is not exactly known till now. But the story of its popularity in India is quite interesting. Historical texts show that Biryani has been an integral part of Hyderabadi cuisine for more than 400 years! It is believed to have come to India from Persia.
Hyderabadi Dum Biryani was the most important dish from royal kitchens of Nawabs. It came to India after Emperor Aurangzeb appointed Nizam-Ul-Mulk as the new ruler of Hyderabad. The Mughals conquered Hyderabad around the 1630s. They ruled the city since then. In due course, Mughlai culinary traditions mixed with local traditions to eventually make Hyderabadi cuisine.
Around 1857, the Mughal Empire started declining in Delhi. Around this time, Hyderabad emerged as the center of South Asian culture. This increased several delicious innovations of Hyderabadi Biryani.
Variants of Hyderabadi Dum Biryani
Hyderabadi Dum Biryani, or simply Hyderabadi Biryani is one of the most aromatic Biryanis in existence. The delicious, irresistible aroma comes from:
- Rose Water, and
- Subtle notes of Saffron (Zaffran)
Sprinkled over the Biryani. Adding special-purpose Biryani Masalas like Alco Biryani Masala elevates the taste of Hyderabadi Biryani to a whole new level!
Making Hyderabadi Dum Biryani is an art. Hyderabadi Dum Biryani can be prepared in two methods based on its cooking style:
- Kacchi Yakhni and
- Pakki Yakhni.
In the Kacchi Yakhni method, marinated meat is layered with rice and cooked. It involves leaving the marinated meat at rest overnight. During preparation, the meat is sandwiched between layers of rice in a Handi. It's then cooked slowly in the dum style. This makes it the perfect Hyderabadi Dum Biryani.
In the Pakki Yakhni style of cooking, pre-cooked meat is layered with rice. In this method, the meat is marinated for a shorter time. It's semi-cooked before putting in a Handi. The handi is sealed to slowly release aroma and juices.
What is so unique about Hyderabadi Biryani?
Hyderabadi Biryani or Hyderabadi Dum Biryani is a mix of different cultures. It became famous due to its ability to imbibe many food ingredients.
What makes Hyderabadi Biryani so unique is the way it is cooked. The best and most authentic style of cooking Hyderabadi Biryani is simmering it, patiently, over Dum. The long-grain basmati rice gets its taste as it cooks in its own juices in the aromatic steam along with authentic Hyderabadi spices.
There are many variants of Hyderabadi Biryani, such as:
- Hyderabadi Dum Biryani
- Hyderabadi Chicken Biryani
- Hyderabadi Mutton Biryani
- Hyderabadi Veg Dum Biryani
The unique cooking process includes the marination of mutton/chicken/veggies in Yogurt and Spices. It's then slowly cooked with rice. This ensures that the rice absorbs all the juiciness & spices. When opened, it releases all its aroma and taste.
Another factor adding to its popularity is its signature taste. Hyderabadi Biryani perfectly merges strong South Indian aromas enriched with foreign flavors. The aroma in Hyderabadi Biryani comes from the spices like cloves and cardamom. This is what drives you crazy, asking you to have more and more of the Biryani.
The origin of Hyderabadi Biryani remains a mystery. But its evolution spans different eras, cultures, ingredients, and even cooking styles. And now, it has become the favorite of almost every Biryani lover in the World. Iconic Biryani restaurants like Paradise Biryani serve the finest, most authentic Hyderabadi Dum Biryani in Hyderabad.
Why is Hyderabadi Biryani so famous in India?
These might be the reasons:
- Hyderabadi Biryani has a unique and globally appealing flavour - Hyderabadi Biryani has its own signature taste. You won't find it elsewhere. The strong south Indian aromas heavily influence it. It's also enriched by many foreign flavours, from multiple invasions on India throughout centuries.
- It has a very unique method of cooking - While making Hyderabadi Biryani, mutton/chicken/vegetables are first marinated in Yogurt, herbs & Spices like Alco Biryani Masala. They're then cooked with rice over a low, continuous flame. This unique process ensures that the rice absorbs all the spices and juiciness of the meat. Hyderabadi Biryani brings you that classic "melt-in-your-mouth" gourmet experience.
- Aromatic Basmati Rice - No matter which variant you try, the ultra-fragrant saffron-flavoured rice is the showstopper of each plate of Hyderabad biryani. The long-grain premium basmati rice is laced generously with Cardamom, cloves & Spices like Alco Biryani Masala. The rice gets cooked in the mutton/chicken juices perfectly. This gives it that rich, distinct aroma. People even add rosewater and dry fruits to the mix. This further elevates its deliciousness.
- Multiple Choices - Because you can tweak the recipe, the sheer variety of this mouthwatering delicacy is astounding. Some variants are:
- Zafrani – This is a high-cuisine biryani. It's very rich in saffron & spices.
- Sofiyani – This is a light, milder tasting Biryani. It's known for its bright white color. It has a unique status as a closely guarded recipe known only by a select few.
Some popular Hyderabadi biryani variants are:
- Doodh Ki biryani
- Bhatkali biryani
- Tahari biryani
- Cheesy corn biryani, and
- Aloo dum biryani
The legendary Hyderabadi Biryani has grown and evolved now. This happened across many centuries, cultures, ingredients, and even cooking methods. The legendary Hyderabadi Biryani has indeed come a long way. It's now a worldwide favorite.
Its vibrant, wild, and unique flavours are enough to fill anyone's heart (and tummy) with joy. And with special-purpose Biryani masalas like Alco Biryani Masala, your Hyderabadi Biryani will taste divine!
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
What makes Hyderabadi Biryani special?
The style of cooking is what makes Hyderabadi Biryani unique. The best and most authentic style of cooking Hyderabadi Biryani is to cook it slowly and patiently over Dum. It gets its taste as it cooks in its own juices in the aromatic steam. A lot of authentic Hyderabadi spices also are included in the mix.
Is there any difference between Hyderabadi Biryani and Lucknowi Biryani?
Hyderabadi Biryani is usually meaty and spicy. It has a good color of saffron (zaffran). Lucknowi Biryani is smooth. Its meat is marinated in yoghurt and herbs. Both mouthwatering biryanis stake their respective claims on which one is better and authentic. But the debate rages on.
What is the history of Hyderabadi Biryani?
Hyderabadi Dum Biryani was the main dish of the royal kitchens. Biryani has been a part of Hyderabadi cuisine tradition for more than 400 years! It is believed to have arrived directly from Persia. It came to India after Emperor Aurangzeb appointed Nizam-Ul-Mulk as the new ruler of Hyderabad.
Is Hyderabadi Biryani healthy?
Hyderabadi Biryani is a rich and classic preparation. It's made from:
- Vegetables and
Along with different spices. It's a complete meal by itself. Hyderabadi Biryani has high nutritional values and health benefits.
What is eaten with Hyderabadi Biryani?
Accompaniments. Biryani is usually served with the following:
- Dahi chutney
- Mirchi ka salan
The brinjal gravy Baghaar-e-baingain is a common side dish. The salad includes:
- Cucumber, and
- Lemon wedges