Why Hyderabadi Biryani Is Famous in India

4 Reasons Why Hyderabadi Biryani Is Famous in India

Why is Hyderabadi Biryani so special in India? An everyday staple for the locals and the go-to dish for tourists, the Hyderabadi biryani needs no introduction. 

Unlike many other places in India, the raw rice and the biryani meat are cooked deliciously together with water & exotic spices in an earthen “dum” pot, slowly and carefully – Mmm, our mouths are already salivating.

In fact, the Hyderabadi biryani is considered SO special; they had even attempted to award it with a GI tag recently (it failed but still)

There is more than just one type of Hyderabadi biryani.

 Below, let’s take a  look at this top delicacy’s origin, its different types, and why it’s SO damn tasty; 

History Of Hyderabadi Biryani – Mystery Revealed

Though now celebrated as an Indian dish, biryani’s real origin is still a mystery.

 Many believe that biryani dates back to the 15th century when Mughals invaded India, with the popular story being that Mumtaz Mahal (wife of Emperor Shah Jahan) had asked her chef to create what was an earlier version of biryani (a blend of rice, meat, and spices) to serve to the undernourished soldiers of the ferocious Mughal army.

Whether this story is right or wrong, we don’t really know. What we do know is that the taste of biryani caught on like wildfire in India. 

Over time, regional flavours were added to the mix, like Bengals potatoes and Afghans saffron & dry fruits, etc… 

Along with non-veg variants, it is estimated there are now over 50 different biryani types available in India.

Top 4 Reasons Why Hyderabadi Biryani is Famous in India?

So what makes Hyderabadi biryani so awesome? Well, these might be the reasons;

1 Unique & Globally Appealing Flavour

Hyderabadi biryani has a signature taste that you can’t find elsewhere. 

It’s not only influenced by the strong south Indian aromas but is also enriched by many foreign flavours as brought by noble brides from Egypt, Morocco, turkey, etc., who married Hyderabad Naas in earlier days…

2 Unique Cooking Style

According to the Hyderabad style of making biryani, the mutton/chicken/vegetables are first marinated in Yogurt, herbs & spices & are then cooked with rice over a low flame. 

This unique process ensures that the rice absorbs all the juiciness & spices and brings you that classic “melt in your mouth” gourmet experience.

3 Aromatic Basmati Rice

No matter the variant, the super fragrant saffron flavoured rice is the star of every Hyderabad biryani.

 Laced generously with cardamom, cloves & other spices, the rice gets steamed in the mutton/chicken juices, giving it that rich, distinct aroma. 

Some even add rosewater & dry fruits to the mix, further elevating its mouth-wateriness.

4 Choices, Choices, and More Choices

Seeing that you can tweak the recipe, the sheer variety of Hyderabad biryani available can be simply astounding.

For starters, there is zafrani – a high-cuisine biryani rich in saffron & spices. 

Then there is sofiyani, a light, milder tasting biryani that’s known for its bright white color & status as a closely guarded recipe known by a very select few.

Some of the other popular Hyderabadi biryani types include Doodh Ki biryani, Bhatkali biryani, Tahari biryani, cheesy corn biryani, and aloo dum biryani 

Hyderabadi Biryani – Methods of cooking

The perfect Hyderabadi biryani calls for meticulously measured ingredients and time tested, flavour-enriching techniques

To that end, Hyderabadi biryani mainly comes in two major types;

#1 Kachche Gosht Ki Biryani

A hallmark traditional cooking style, the Kachche Gosht biryani is prepared with Kachche gosht aka raw meat which is marinated with spices overnight and is then thoroughly soaked in heavy curd (Dahi) before cooking.

 Under this method, the meat is sandwiched between layers upon layers of fragrant basmati rice and is cooked in ‘Dum’ after sealing the earthen pot with dough on the edges.

Obviously, making biryani this way is extremely challenging. The process requires careful attention to time as you don’t want to over/undercook everything.

#2 Pakki Biryani

The pakki biryani, on the other hand, involves meat marination for a far shorter time and is semi-cooked before putting in a “Dum” sealed vessel to complete cooking. 

The gravy consists of mace, ittar, and kewra. Saffron and cardamom too are often used.

There are also pure vegetarian versions of this biryani that’s made using veggies like cauliflower, carrots, potato, peas, etc..

Frequently Asked Questions

Craving to know more about Hyderabad? This brief FAQ is sure to help you;

1) Which is best – Hyderabadi biryani or Lucknow biryani?

Ok, this is our hot take: While both have been inspired by the Mughals, we prefer the Hyderabadi biryani and its punchy flavours and aromas over the Lucknowi biryani’s super creamy yet tangy celebration

This is our opinion. What’s yours?

2) Can we make Hyderabadi biryani without chicken & mutton?

Yes, you can. Along with the many non-veg iterations, Hyderabadi biryani can also be made with coastal proteins such as fish, prawns, and crabs.

3) Where can we get the best biryani in Hyderabad?

Paradise hotel, Chicha’s, Hotel Shadab, Taj Mahal hotel, Tulips hotel green park, Bawarchi restaurant are all some of the best places in Hyderabad where you can get the authentic “Hyderabadi biryani” experience.

The Conclusion 

The evolution of Hyderabadi biryani has spanned across many centuries, cultures, ingredients, and most importantly, cooking styles.

 From an army ration to a delicacy fit for kings, Hyderabadi biryani has come a long way & is now a pan-India favorite. 

Its wild and varied flavours are enough to fill anyone’s heart (and tummy) with joy. 

So yeah, now you know all about why Hyderabad is famous for biryani. It’s time for you to go and get your own piece of heaven on your plate – go get it!

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