How To Cook Perfect Biryani – Types, Tips And Techniques

| July 20 , 2015 , 12:27 IST
When we talk about a hearty meal, the only thing comes in mind is biryani. Resisting the fragrance, of rice cooked in whole spices, along with either vegetables or meat, can be a tough job. This rice treat is available in different variants in every part of the country. History says that Mughals were the first to bring biryani in North India; while Arabs introduced the same in South India. In North India, majority of Brahmins and Marwaris are inhabited and so they successfully brought the vegetarian versions of biryani, which colloquially known as Tehri. In Southern region, one can get a wide variety of biryanis. Only Hyderabad boosts around 40 distinct versions, which include, Coorgi Mutton Biryani, Hyderabadi Biryani, Mangalorean Fish Biryani and Bhatkali Biryani. West India also have an incredible collection of biryanis too, with the popular one being Bombay Biryani – the perfect blend of rice, meat, spices and kewra. Besides Bombay Biryani, don’t miss other variants available in western part of the country like Gujarati Biryani, Sindhi Biryani, and Maharashtrian style Mughlai Biryani. The part of East India, you will find biryanis with the combination of sea food; whereas Assamese Kampuri Biryani is quite popular in the North-East India. Here's a look at some of the most popular ones found in India. Also, let’s have some expert advice on the important ingredients used for preparing delicious and aromatic biryani by Chef Debdas Balaga.
Chettinadu Biryani: This Tamil Nadu variation of Biryani is usually served with spicy gravy and raitha. The original Chettinadu style biryani includes only meat, but some restaurants also have began serving the vegetarian variants. Ambur Biryani: Similar to the north Indian dum style Biryani, this type has meat and rice cooked together for a long time, so that both bestow flavour. Ambur Biryanis are slightly spicy and usually served with raitha and brinjal curry. Mandya Biryani: Popularly known as Gowda style biryani, this one is usually served in the military hotels and small Kannada eateries. This variant is white in colour with rice and meat steamed, along with green chillies in a whole spices. Adding green peas can enhance the taste. Thalassery Biryani: This variant is a blend of Arab and Mughal style in Kerala. This Biryani is from the Moplah cuisine and quite popular around Kozhikode area. Thalassery Biryani is not spicy and mostly made with chicken. Unlike other Kerala preparations, this variant doesn't include the boiled rice, however is made using a different variety of rice.
Kolhapuri Biryani: Kolhapuri biryani is usually spicy and is generally steamed with ground whole spices and green chillies. This one is teamed up with spicy mutton chops curry. Mumbai Biryani: This is a vegetarian quick fix version, specially hit in small eateries. This type of biryani contains loads of vegetables and paneer sauteed with rice and gravy on a tawa.
Punjabi Biryani: Closer to a pulao than the biryani, this is available in both vegetarian and non-vegetarian versions. This one is a quick fix lunch in most of the houses and is usually served with basic salad and raitha. Lucknowi Handi Biryani: This type of variant swanks flavourful cooking in the most rustic style. Rice, meat and vegetables are together cooked with gravy in an earthen pot covered with dough and is served with a spiced gravy. Kolkata Biryani: known for its aroma, this is less spicy variant of Biryani. This one is made using cinnamon and rose. Also, it has a lot of meat, potato and an egg.
Kampuri Biryani: This colourful and flavourful variant is originated from Muslim town of Kampur, Assam. In this type of biryani, chicken is cooked with carrots, beans, peas and potatoes, then flavoured with cardamom and nutmeg.
Cook The Perfect Biryani With Debdas Balaga, Chef-De-Cuisine, The Leela Palace Chennai.
[caption id="attachment_84166" align="aligncenter" width="664"]How To Cook The Perfect Biryani By Debdas Balaga Debdas Balaga, Chef-De-Cuisine, The Leela Palace Chennai[/caption]
Technique: Biryani is not pulao and make sure you cook rice and meat/vegetables separately. Conventionally, Biryanis are classified under two categories – Pakki and Katchi. In former meat or veggie is coupled with half-cooked rice and is followed with full cooking; whereas in latter raw pieces marinated in yogurt and spices is mixed together with uncooked rice. Tip: Make sure meat is soft and well marinated. Also, raw papaya can be used for better tenderising of mutton. Rice: While making biryani, it is very important to choose perfect rice. Choose a good quality Basmati rice. People in South India preferably use local variety of rice in order to provide distinct taste and aroma to the dish. Tip: Make sure you wash and soak rice before cooking. Few drops of oil in rice will help the grains not to stick together. Also, very little lime juice/vinegar will bring an exotic whiteness in the rice. Meat and Veggies: Make sure to choose fresh veggies to give good flavour to the food. In case, you are planning to make Fish biryani, use it without bone and skin. When making chicken biryani, cut chicken in small pieces and similarly do with mutton, but preferably choose kid lamb. Aroma: Biryani is never complete without a sensational aroma. Add a slender flavour of Saffron, Jasmine, Rose or Kewra in it. But make sure you don’t overdo as the smell can hit you hard and your biryani will be wasted.