It’s aromatic; it’s divine and one of the most loved delicacies of the country.
As per Historians, the name ‘Biryani’ came from the Persian word ‘Birian’ which actually means to fry or to roast. During the Mughal rule in Lucknow and Hyderabad in 18th and 19th centuries, this dish was considered as the royal dish for the Nawabs. Both regions have their own authentic style of preparing the Biryani, whereas South India was exposed to its brilliance through the Arabs. Over days, the popularity of this dish spawned several variants that were invented in different regions it propagated to.
Biryani flourished in some of the notable Muslim centres throughout the country – including Lucknow, old Delhi, Hyderabad and kolkata, to name a few – after which it was gradually embraced by all. Here we suggest you best biryani in India and its recipe.
5. Malabar Biryani
Malabar Chicken Biryani has got a place in our list of top 5 Indian Biryani. This delicacy from the Malabar region of Kerala is very popular among Biryani lovers.
Basmati rice – 1 kg
Chicken – 1 kg
Biryani Masala Paste
(green chilly, cinnamon, cloves, fennel, cardamom, peppercorn) – 4tbsp
Green chilly – 10 nos
Ginger garlic paste – 2 tbsp
Coriander leaves – 50 g
Mint leaves – 25 g
Curd – 150 ml
Tomato – 150 g
Onion – 1 kg
Black cumin seeds – 1 tsp
Cinnamon stick – 2 pieces
Bay leaves – 2
Cashew nuts kismis – 50 g
Cardamom – 5 nos
Ghee – 200 g
Coriander powder – 2 tbsp
Milk – 500 ml
Saffron – 1 pinch
Water (For rice) – 1 litre
Method of preparation
Heat the ghee in a saucepan; saute the onions till golden brown colour and add sliced tomatoes saute well. Put ginger garlic paste, curd and biriyani masala and turmeric powder, and coriander powder. Add the chicken pieces and cook well. Soak the rice about 10 minutes and drain well. Melt the ghee in a saucepan and add in the spices and sliced onion mint, coriander leaves, cashew nuts, kismis, bay leaves and saute till brown in colour. Add milk and water. Allow to boil and then add rice. Lower the heat, cover and continue to cook for 15 minutes. Take another saucepan and place half the rice into it. And add the chicken on the top of the rice. And put the remaining rice on top of the chicken. And spread to make an even layer. Make random holes through the rice with a spoon and pour into each a little saffron milk. Place a few knobs of ghee, fried onion, cashew nuts and kismis on the surface and cover tightly.
One of the finest delicacies of India, the Mughlai Biryani originated in the kitchens of the Nawabs. It is cooked with curd, tender chicken pieces, almond paste, ghee, fiery green chillies and dry fruits. It is very rich in taste and is a dish fit for royalty.
1. Chicken 1 lb or 500 gm
2. Basmati Rice 2 cups
3. Onion 2 no.(thinly sliced)
4. Green Chili 4 no.
5. Ginger Garlic Paste 2 tbsp
6. Yogurt 6 tbsp
7. Butter 2-3 tbsp(i used 1 tbsp)
8. Coriander Leaves 1/4 cup(finely chopped)
9. Mint leaves 3 tbsp(chopped)
10.Salt to taste
To Dry Roast / Mughlai Masala
1. Dry Red Chilies 5 or 7 no.
2. Coriander seeds 2 tbsp
3. Cumin seeds 1/2 tbsp
4. Pepper corns 2 tsp
5. Cinnamon 1″ pieces
6. Cloves 2 no.
7. Cardamom 2 no.
8. Turmeric Powder 1/2 tsp(no need to roast just grind along with other ing)
9. Almonds 15(soak in hot water for 15 mins)
10.Cashew nuts 7 or 8(soaked)
1. Oil 2 tbsp
2. Cinnamon 1″ piece 2
3. Cloves 4 no.
4. Cardamom 2 no.
5. Bay leaves 3
6. Star Anise 1
7. Cumin seeds 1/4 tsp
Method of preparation
• First clean and Marinate chicken with 1-2 tbsp yogurt, 1/4 tsp turmeric and chilli powder and keep aside.
• Then soak cashew and almonds in a hot water and keep aside.
• Then heat a pan, dry roast all the spices under the heading “Mughlai Masala” and allow to cool for a while.
• Now peel the almond skin and blend soaked nuts and roasted spices together to a smooth paste.
• Wash and soak Basmati Rice in enough water and keep aside.
• And now heat oil in a pan, add the tempering ingredients and fry well.
• Then add sliced onion, green chilli and saute until onion turn pink and soft.
• After that add ginger garlic paste and saute until raw smell leaves.
• And then add ground masala paste, butter,remaining yogurt and saute for 3-4 minutes in medium heat.
• Then add the marinated chicken and saute for 4-5 minutes.
• Now add 1/4-1/2 cup water, half of the chopped mint leaves and cilantro and cook covered till the chicken is cooked.
• Mean while cook basmati rice with enough water till it is 80% done and drain the excess water and spread the rice in a platter and keep ready.
• Once the chicken is cooked and the gravy turns thick and oil floats on top, start layering.
• In a wide heavy bottomed pot, first spread rice then pour the chicken curry over the rice spread it. sprinkle some finely chopped mint and cilantro.
• Again spread remaing rice and gravy, top it with mint, cilantro leaves and biryani essence or food color or saffron(mixed with 2-3 tbsp warm milk)
• Cover the pot with clea kitchen towel, then close it with lid put some weight over the lid and let the pot sit on a heated griddle in low-medium heat for 20-25 minutes.
• Once done, open the lid and fluff the rice gently and serve hot with raita.
Just like other Bengali dishes, the Kolkata biryani has a sweet tinge to it. The spices used in the recipe are much milder than other biryanis. Potato is the integral ingredient in this appetizing dish. It is cooked with rice which is layered with juicy meat and soft boiled eggs.
1 kg (2lb) goat or lamb meat
500 gm of basmati rice washed and soaked in water for at least 30 minutes
2 tbsp. ginger paste
1 tbsp. garlic paste
4 potatoes cut into halves
1 large onion finely chopped
1 cup plain curd/ yogurt
2 tsp. Kashmiri red chilli powder
Rose water few drops
Kewra essence few drops
Few strands of saffron soaked in 2-3 tbsp. of warm milk
Make a powder of the following spices (I’ll refer to this as Biryani Masala in the post)
2″ cinnamon stick
3-4 green cardamom
1/10th of a whole nutmeg
1 tsp. saahi jeera (cumin)
1tsp of saahi morich (white pepper seed)
Method of preparation
Cook the pre soaked rice in enough water seasoned with salt, green cardamom, cinnamon stick and few cloves. Cook till the rice is almost done. Drain the rice on a colander and spread on a flat plate. Sprinkle very little sugar on it.
Take oil in a heavy bottom pan or in a pressure cooker and heat it. Add chopped onion and fry till they are brown. Add the meat pieces and sear them on high heat. It will help the meat pieces to retain their juices.
Add ginger, garlic paste and fry along with the meat pieces. Once the raw smell goes away add yogurt and Kashmiri chili powder. I love to add the potato halves at this stage followed by salt and sugar and fry them along with the meat and spices. Cook till the potatoes are 90% boiled. Remove the potatoes and keep them aside. Rest 10% cooking will be done in Dum.
Add water required to boil the meat pieces and either pressure cook it or cook it covered for atleast 40 mins.
Once done remove the meat pieces from the gravy and keep it handy for further use
Strain the gravy and keep the strained juice. This is called Tar (there’s a picture of it in a glass cup in the ingredients section).
Now comes the assembly part of the biryani. Take a heavy bottom pan which you can heat on your stove top.
Grease the inner walls of the vessel with 1-2 tbsp. of ghee. Now start building up the layers. The thumb rule of layering biryani is the base and top layers should be made by rice.
This is the sequence I usually follow for my biryani. Rice layer followed by a layer of by meat, potato, saffron infused milk, 2-3 tbsp. of Tar. I finish this layer by sprinkling about 1 tsp. of biryani masala and a few drops of rose and kewra water. Use all your meat and rice to complete the layering. There should be 1/3rd space left in the pan once you finished layering. Cover the biryani pot tightly.
Now we are ready to put the biryani for Dum. Dum is basically slow cooking where the vessel doesn’t come in direct contact of heat. I take water in a bigger vessel and place the biryani pot inside that as shown in the photograph on the right. Let the water boil and then lower the heat and allow it to cook for atleast 45 minutes. Turn off the heat. Let it stand for at least an hour before serving.
Kolkata mutton biryani is best enjoyed with chicken chap.
2. Lucknowi Biryani
This sumptuous dish is straight from the streets of Lucknow. The rice is cooked separately in garden-fresh spices and marinated chicken is added later. This technique brings out the right amount of flavour in the rice and chicken. Lucknowis do not use ground masalas, the whole garam masalas used is the secret to the flavors in this dish
500 gms Chicken (Skinless)
1 Tbsp Salt
1 Tbsp red Chili Powder
1/2 Tbsp Turmeric
1 Tbsp Coriander Powder
1 Tbsp Cumin Powder
2 Finely chopped Green Chilies
4 Tbsp Fried brown Onions (Sliced and deep fried till golden brown)
2 Tsp Freshly pound Garlic (can also use paste)
2 Tsp Freshly pound Ginger (can also use paste)
2 Cups of Curd
2 to 3 nos Mace crushed by hand
FOR COOKING THE CHICKEN::
7 Tbsp of Oil or Ghee
1 Stick Cinamon
2-3 Black Cordamoms
1 Tbsp Coriander leaves
1 Tbsp Mint Leaves
FOR COOKING THE RICE::
1kg Biryani Rice
6 Tbsp of Salt
2 Tsp Shahi Jeera
2 Star Anis
3 Tbsp Milk mixed with saffron
2 Tbsp coriander leaves
2 Tbsp mint leaves
5 tbsp of fried onion
Method of preparation
To marinate the chicken, take all ingredients of marination (mentioned above) in a bowl add chicken and mix well. Marinate the Biryani for minimum 2 hours
Soak Basmati rice before hand, at least for 1 hour. Boil sufficient water for the rice. Make sure you use good quality Basmati rice. Add Shahi Jeera, salt and star anis to the water followed by the rice.
Make sure you don’t over cook the rice, we need to cook it only till its 50% done. Once half done strain and set aside uncovered for the heat to escape
For Cooking the chicken, heat oil or ghee in a kadhai or wok. Add all the whole garam masalas mentioned in the list “FOR COOKING THE CHICKEN”. Now add in the marinated chicken, mix well partially cover and let is cook for about 15-20 minutes on medium heat
After 15 minutes, you will see the oil starts to separate and float on top. Turn of the heat add coriander and mint leaves and set aside covered for 10 minutes
Time for Layering: Take a deep vessel, (Preferably with a tight lid) in which you can dum (slow steam heat) the Biryani. Apply some ghee at the bottom of the vessel. Add in the chicken first, spread evenly. Now add the half cooked rice and spread evenly.
Garnish the layered biryani with ingredients mentioned in “FOR GARNISHING”.
Cover with a clean towel and place a heavy lid on top. If you don’t have a heavy lid place some heavy object on top of the lid.
On very low heat let the biryani cook in its own steam for about 20 mins
When done, uncover and serve hot in layers.
One of the most aromatic and savoury dishes, this biryani is is sprinkled with kewda, rose water and saffron. The rice is layered with golden fried
onions, chillies, mint leaves and lamb meat or chicken. This dish is best enjoyed with raita.
Mutton a mix of chops, marrowbone and shoulder pieces
1 1/2 cups
3 inch sticks
1 tablespoon + to deep fry
Caraway seeds (shahi jeera)
Red chilli powder
Fresh coriander leaves torn
Fresh mint leaves torn
Saffron (kesar) mix in 1/4 cup milk
a few strands
Method of preparation
Heat five to six cups of water in a deep pan. Add drained rice, salt, bay leaves, five green cardamoms, seven to eight black peppercorns, one cinnamon stick and cook till three fourth done.
Drain and set aside. Heat sufficient oil in a kadai and deep-fry half the onion slices till golden. Drain and place on an absorbent paper. Grind caraway seeds, one cinnamon stick, remaining black peppercorns, cloves and remaining green cardamoms to a fine powder and set aside.
Take mutton pieces in a bowl. Add ginger paste, garlic paste and salt and mix. Add the spice powder, red chilli powder, half the fried onions crushed, yogurt, coriander leaves, half of the mint leaves and one tablespoon oil and mix. Let it marinate for about two hours in the refrigerator.
Heat two tablespoons ghee in a pan, remaining cinnamon and black cardamoms and sauté till fragrant. Add remaining onions and sauté till light golden. Add marinated mutton, stir and cook on high heat for three to four minutes. Cover, reduce heat and cook till almost done.
Heat the remaining ghee in a thick-bottomed pan. Spread half the rice in a layer. Spread the mutton over the rice. Sprinkle remaining torn mint leaves. Spread the remaining rice. Sprinkle saffron milk. Cover and cook under dum till done. Serve hot with a raita of your choice