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Biryani - An Indian Savoury

The term biryani in itself has the essence, the versatile aroma, taste and looks that can trigger any familiar South Asian’s taste buds. India is a land where the authentic biryani has been so vastly experimented with and been cooked to book itself into one of the best recipes of the authentic and conventional cuisines of the country. It is indeed a dish that has gone world over and today is found to be prepared in various cuisines in different methods, with different spices, ingredients, all culturally, geographically and even religiously specific. Majority of India, loves the biryani prepared in Muslim households. Though, how the term Muslim biryani came about and why the interest in it, is a mystery. Muslim weddings, occassions, festivals like Bakrid is what many look forward to, to completely indulge. The biryani in India is prepared in different ways in every household. However, the biryani of Hyderabad, Calcutta, Kashmir and Lucknow tend to be more popular in India.

The world famous Hyderabadi Biryani more of a Mughlai origination is prepared with a lot of spices, soft mutton pieces, curd (yoghurt), rice and the special ingredients of saffron give it the cut out of the rest of the varieties of biryani in this land of tradition and folklore . It is not only a delicacy in Hyderabad households but is also a favourite at the hotspots, getaways and restaurants in the city. In Hyderabad, biryani is prepared in massive quantities and is a primary source of business and income especially during the wedding seasons of July and December. Here the biryani has its own history and versatility for every typical Hyderabadi.

The city of Lucknow is home to some of the finest recipes of biryani. The biryani here is cooked differently, with the meat and rice at a slow flame to make it more tender and aromatic in flavour. Then there is the biryani which is from the valleys of North India, Kashmir. Here the biryani is prepared with a touch of sweetness in their ingredients. The dish has sprinkles of raisins and other dry fruits sustaining its reputation as a delicacy in India.

Arab-Calicut biryani is prepared with the least of spices and is considered to be a very subtle dish, making it simple, yet rich, bland yet delicious, for those who prefer a light but captivating meal.

The vegetable biryani has its mouth watering effects too, with the spices and richness intact minus the meat.

So what is the basic biryani? It is a mixture of marinated mutton, chicken or fish with special spices, curd and pickles, cooked well before being added onto half cooked basmati rice with a touch of saffron and other garnish like raisins, cashewnuts and even caramalised onions.

The biryani has a story of its own. It is enjoyed by majority of Indians and people world over. It manages to mark its place in every ceremony and occasion throughout the seasons across the globe. The aroma wafts to reveal the richness and spices that this concoction is known for. A delicacy, savoury and must try, indeed.

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