Biryani and unity in Bharat!

by Sanjeev Kapoor

India, a country with a mesmerising beauty, not just in terms of the rich culture and heritage but also because of the opulent cuisine and the variety of foods it has to offer. One of which has to be the biryani, which we have been talking about for years and years, but still in vogue with all generations alike!  Every Indian has some or the other time felt what a blessing biryani is, in their lives. It has even left the most fastidious of the culinary experts spellbound by its exquisiteness, taste and flavours.

 

The new media has stated some facts about which dish is the most ordered one on online food delivery platforms.  You will be surprised to know that they get more than 40 biryani orders every minute! Startling, isn’t it? But, let us tell you, biryani-making is an art which is worth all the time and effort. So, we suggest after exploring various biryanis from the length and breadth of India, that you try them in your home kitchen.

 

While there are a lot of things that unites Bharat, the most important would be the ‘unity and diversity’ in our foods. Today, we are going to talk about how one dish has united India in ways we never knew and imagined. Here’s what the beautiful biryani is all about in apna Bharat!

 

Nawabon ki Lucknowi Biryani

This biryani has to be the debutant when we’re talking about biryanis. If you thought biryanis are concerned only with rice and mutton, this one is going to make you think again. The vessel, aromatic spices, attar, silver varq and a lot of other things can only make an authentic Awadhi Biryani complete. History says that Nawabs found whole spices in their biryanis, a bit fussy. Hence, it was always more about tender meat and fragrant rice. Thus, in this version, the whole spices are either blend or strained later, in order to follow the traditional method. It is subtle, but, is extremely flavourful and aromatic.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DSVp4qNgBno

Zaikedaar Hyderabadi Biryani

Whether it’s a festival or a regular day, a street stall or any household, all that a true Hyderabadi can think about is a biryani. Here, there are more than 50 types of biryanis available but it’s totally different from its counterpart from the Awadh region. It has a spicy masala along with a dominant flavour of green cardamoms. And, if you’ve not tasted a Hyderabadi biryani, your biryani journey is incomplete.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bv_28kcQkl0

Aloo ka jaadu in Kolkata Biryani

History has a very interesting story about the mazedar Kolkata biryani. They say you can take a Nawab out of Lucknow but you can’t alter his extreme love for biryanis. Wajid Ali Shah came to Kolkata with a bunch of followers and his family members, when the British confiscated his land and properties. And the khansamas (chefs of the royal kitchen) serving him, were disheartened when they did not have any meat left to prepare the shahi biryani for those many people. But, they had to try something out, so they put potatoes in it and it became a ritual that a Kolkata biryani has to have potatoes in it. Not to forget, as generations passed, the addition of boiled eggs to a Kolkata biryani also became popular. We feel once you add these in your share of biryani, you won’t be able to leave it out ever!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JJtRapG-wpA

Mirch wali Malabar Biryani

Malabar has two popular biryanis – Thalassery and Calicut biryani. Unlike other biryanis, these two don’t have the long-grained basmati rice. Instead, they use the regular rice. They have a special masala for the biryani which is the secret to master this biryani. Birista is one of the most important garnishes used inthis biryani, which is nothing but sliced deep-fried onions along with some nuts. Make sure you stock some green chillies because an authentic Malabari biryani promises to spice up your taste buds to a whole new level.

 

Bambai ki zabardast biryani

Finishing off with the Mumbai biryani, which apparently is a hidden gem in the biryani world. Not a lot of people talk about this one because it doesn’t have any history or facts. But, once you try this version it will definitely be a ‘bae’ for your palate. For the vegetarians, it’s made with deep-fried potatoes, aromatic spices and long-grain basmati rice. We suggest you try this one when you are craving something different than the usual meaty biryanis.

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MasterChef Sanjeev Kapoor

Chef Sanjeev Kapoor is the most celebrated face of Indian cuisine. He is Chef extraordinaire, runs a successful TV Channel FoodFood, hosted Khana Khazana cookery show on television for more than 17 years, author of 150+ best selling cookbooks, restaurateur and winner of several culinary awards. He is living his dream of making Indian cuisine the number one in the world and empowering women through power of cooking to become self sufficient. His recipe portal www.sanjeevkapoor.com is a complete cookery manual with a compendium of more than 10,000 tried & tested recipes, videos, articles, tips & trivia and a wealth of information on the art and craft of cooking in both English and Hindi.