Biryani, an evergreen classic main dish that may be enjoyed delightfully in any weather or in any month of the year. Its heavenly aromatic flavour and taste made it one of the foremost loved cuisines not only in India but all across the planet.
As per the theory, the aromatic biryani is of Iranian origin. Also, its name ‘the biryani’ can be traced back to the initial Persian language as ‘Birinj’, which literally means “to fry” or “to roast”. It was first introduced in India by the Mughals as a part of the Mughlai Cuisine or Awadhi Cuisine. It has evolved a lot since then, a wide variety of biryanis were created. Still, its royalty and iconic status aren’t broken down.
In the past few centuries since it has become more Indian than most Indian dishes. There is no part of the country that has remained untouched by the craze and the love for this one-pot wonder.
A variety of biryanis are found in India with their aroma and flavour still tracing back to that of the initial one.
The Regal Mughlai Biryani made with succulent chunks of spiced meat with the scented rice and its irresistible aroma makes one hungry instantly.
The world-famous, Hyderabadi biryani, came to Deccan with the Hyderabad ruler Nizam-ul-mulk. The biryani crammed with a layer of meat and aromatic saffron flavoured rice is the star of every grand event celebrated in India.
It has almost become an instinct to associate Hyderabad and biryani together.
The method of cooking it involves adding potli masala (a unique blend of a host of masalas), layering of basmati rice and ingredients, and lastly finishing it with dum, covering the lid with dough so that it is cooked by the steam.
In every handi of biryani, every grain of rice carries the aroma of assorted spices. Whereas, the meat or vegetable gets it to a different level of delicacies giving a blissful courtesy to the foodies.
The aromatic combination of Arabic, Turkish and Mughal flavours with The pinch of Deccan spices, the Hyderabadi Biryani, always go hand-to-hand with a similar royalty as it came to the plates of the Nizams of Hyderabad.
Its evolution has many stories attached to it. Some attribute the dish to Mughal empress Noor Jahan who had ordered her cooks to make the dish for the famished soldiers of her army. Others say it evolved during the great famine of Avadh when large groups of people building the Imambara had to be fed at one go, yet others claim that it was created for the labourers during the construction of the Red Fort in Delhi.
But all of them agree that the dish was created to ensure that the common man got his share of nutrition—protein from the meat, carbohydrate from the rice, and immunity from the spices – taste came as an incentive.
As per celeb chef Ajay Chopra’s, Biryani is indeed a “nail-biting dish”. “Everytime, I make it, it is a new challenge because this can be the one that may toss you out every single time, right from the standard of rice, to the standard of meat and it’s cooking time. it is often a wait-and-watch game”, he says.
“Making biryani is a work of art. While the process may seem fairly simple, it requires expertise and practice. Which is also what makes the perfect biryani such a rare find and prized catch.” – Biryani Central
“There is always extra love and time that you need to devote, to make biryani. It may seem simple but it is a complex dish to create.” Muhammad Ahsan Ali Qureshi, co-founder of Cross Border Kitchens.
This article is contributed by Nayan Kasturi!
Author bio: Nayan Kasturi, a published writer and an amature photographer, from Mumbai, India. He loves to write poetries, quotes, etc. are mostly related to love, relationships and break-ups. Also, he writes blogs on various topics on his website mostly.