The Troika of Biryanis – Lucknowi, Kolkata, Hyderbadi

As you travel across India, the culture, language & food differ every few miles. While that is mainly because of the strong influence of different religions as well as local customs and traditions, it also points to the fact that people all across the country have a vibrant attitude towards life.  This diversity is reflected in different aspects of their lifestyles, festivals, celebrations, food etc. If you take the example of India’s favorite beverage – Chai, you can experience the transition in its taste as you move farther from your city, town or village. This is because people want to experiment with their food & make it iconic. Rasgullas, for that matter can be found across India, but its true taste & feel can be experienced only in Kolkata. But Biryani is an exception because wherever you taste it, you can experience the influence of spices from that region. In India, Biryani is a staple dish in several cuisines, but the cities of Kolkata, Hyderbad & Lucknow have carved a special name in the hearts of Biryani lovers. And they all have different, yet interesting approach towards its preparation.

Lucknowi Biryani

Lucknowi Biryani

The Lucknowi Biryani

The Lucknowi Biryani is one of the oldest in the country & believed to have originated during the Mughal Empire. The Biryani has different names like the Awadhi Dum Biryani & Pukka Biryani. The cooking is done in a different manner, wherein the rice & meat are cooked partially first. After that it is layered and further cooked by using the Dum Pukht Method which is a slow cooking technique originated from the Awadh region in India.

AWA

Awadhi Biryani

The Calcutta Biryani

It is believed that the Calcutta Biryani is evolved from Lucknowi style after the last Nawab of Awadh, Wajid Ali Shah was exiled to the suburbs of Calcutta in 1856. By introducing potato instead of meat in the Biryani the chef gave a new twist to the Biryani which is now a trademark of the Calcutta Biryani.  The use of different spices gives Calcutta Biryani a distinct flavor. The light yellowish colour of the Biryani is derived from the rose water along with some saffron which is added to it.

Biryani

Hyderabadi Biryani

The Hyderabadi Biryani 

Hyderbadi Biryani Arguably the most popular among Biryanis, the Hyderabadi Biryani consists of two versions – a raw and a cooked Biryani. By marinating the meat with spices and by soaking it in yogurt, the Raw Biryani is cooked until the meat blends completely with basmati rice. The other version, pakki biryani, requires the meat to be marinated for a shorter time. The Biryani is served with gravy and the ingredients are cooked before baking. These 3 biryanis have now set a benchmark when it comes to judging the taste of biryanis across India. While the Lucknowi & Calcutta Biryani can be consumed at their best in their respective regions, you can now taste the delicious Hyderbadi Biryani at Bengaluru too! At Paradise Food Court, you can relish the taste of the authentic Hyderabadi Biryani and brag about it to your friends who envy the sumptuous taste of a Hyderbadi Biryani!

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History Of Biryani

Behind every great dish there lies a story which makes it even more interesting. Many a times, when we eat that first morsel of that dish, we wonder – Who was the person who first thought of such an amazing thing and what must have been the idea behind it!

While there are usually many theories around the origin of any particular dish, these stories are quite interesting to listen and often become a part of the folklore. One of the most popular rice delicacies in the world – ‘The Biryani’, has its own versions of the story of its origin.

Chicken Biryani_final Many believe that the dish originated in the 15th century during Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan’s rule. Once when his queen Mumtaz Mahal visited the military barracks, she found that the soldiers are under nourished and required a meal that gives them all possible nutrients. That’s when she told her royal chef to cook a rice dish which would encompass all quality nutrients & therein lay the origin of world’s first Biryani – a dish that went on to mesmerize millions of people over the centuries!

Another story that explains Biryani’s widespread is that of a traveler from Hyderabad, who on his maiden journey to the land of deserts – Dubai, stumbled upon a tribe based in Al Bastakiya district. When he reached there he gave some spices that he got from Iran to the tribe’s head chef in exchange of a night’s stay in the small district. That night the tribesmen learnt that their small village would be attacked by a group of bandits. Since it was impossible to move all goods and food to a safe place in such a short time, the village head decided to hide everyone in a small cave nearby along with few goods that could help the villagers sustain their lives for few more days. That’s when one of the cooks came up with an innovative solution to solve the tribe’s food problem.

Veg Biryani_final

He took a huge clay pot and created three layers consisting of rice, meat and some gravy on the top. He then poured some water into the mixture and hid the pot beneath the hot sand. After the attack, he removed it and presented a cooked dish to the fellow villagers. The immense heat of the desert sun cooked an entire pot of rice along with some spices and meat. The enticing aroma of the Iranian spices & rice enchanted the villagers.  This is how the Biryani cooked in the Arabian Desert grabbed the traveler’s attention. He spread the recipe while coming back to his home town in Hyderabad.

There are many stories which praise the delicious taste of The Biryani and its origin and thus create an interesting aura around this legendary dish. Over the years, the Biryani has travelled far and wide and has won appreciation all around the world.

At Paradise, we serve the authentic Hyderbadi Biryani which has its own fabled tales. So remember, when you relish your favorite Biryani, you are also relishing those innumerable stories behind its origin that probably created the world’s first Biryani!