There are various theories about the origin of Biryani and how it came to India. While some believe that the Mughal cooks invented it, others believe that the Arab merchants brought the dish to the Malabar Coast in India.
Whatever the source, the Moghuls helped popularize the biryanis throughout India. With the expansion of the Mughal Empire the biryani too reached newer regions and took newer forms.
It became the spicier Hyderabadi Biryani in the court of the Nizams. When the British deposed the Nawab of Lucknow Wajid Ali Khan to Kolkata, he was unable to meet the meat expenses. His cooks added potatoes to the biryani. Till this day, the biryani in Kolkata has potatoes.
The evolution of biryani spans many centuries, many cultures, many ingredients and many cooking styles. From an army dish to a dish fit for royalty, the biryani today is a pan-India culinary favorite. Its many varieties reflect the local tastes, traditions and gastronomic histories of their regions of evolution.
HausKhaas is proud to bring to you the 5 very different Biryanis with their stories –
This is a milder tasting biryani cooked with green chillies and whole garam masalas. It is garnished with fried onions and boiled eggs. A mild tasting biryani that goes very well for the non-spicy food lovers.
During the reign of the Nawabs of Oudh, kitchen fare was a symbol of wealth and elegance. To make the humble Shahi Pulao look more inviting, a Nawab’s chef decided to add small white balls of Paneer, resembling Basra pearls, to the Pulao. The host got a round of applause for this special dish. Ever since, the pulao with its dainty Paneer garnish has become the highlight of special meals in the region. Because of the mild taste, the Paneer korma is an excellent accompaniment with it.
Made with raw Jackfruit this biryani represents the cooking on the Konkan coast. There is abundant use of coconut while cooking the Jackfruit. This biryani is eaten with another favorite Konkan preparation – Sol Kadi.
In the Awadhi style of cooking, the mutton is cooked with yogurt and mild whole spices. The rice is cooked separately using the stock produced during the cooking of the mutton thereby imparting its flavor to the rice. Both the pre-cooked mutton and rice and then layered and cooked on a slow fire to allow the flavors to mingle. Since it is milder in flavor, an accompaniment of a Salan or Korma (Gravy) goes well for the person who likes spicier tastes.
The characteristic of this biryani is the addition of potatoes and boiled eggs. The story goes that when the British deposed the Nawab of Lucknow Wajid Ali Khan to Kolkata, he was unable to meet the meat expenses. His cooks added potatoes to the biryani. Till this day, the biryani in Kolkata has potatoes.