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A Guide to Biryani

Image by Gagandeep Sapra


Biryani is a group of rice based foods made with spices and meat, fish, eggs or vegetables. The name comes from the Persian 'roasted'. Different variations of Biryani are popular throughout the world; particularly in Southeast Asia and the Indian Subcontinent. There are many different adaptations to try, here are a few of our favourites.

Image by Kirti Poddar


Kacchi Biryani Kacchi is the Bangladeshi word for 'raw', as the meat is cooked raw with the rice. The dish is typically made with goat meat, khasi gosht, or occasionally with lamb or beef. Kacchi Biryani is layered into a pot with a yoghurt marinade at the bottom of the pan with a layer of sliced potatoes, then basmati rice is added. Traditionally the pot would be sealed with wheat dough before cooking for 2-3 hours in its own steam. Sometimes served at weddings, it's delicious when served with a boiled egg and crisp fresh salad leaves. Image by JAy


Bhatkali Biryani Bhatkali Biryani is served mainly in parts of coastal Karnataka and Navayath cuisines and is usually made using mutton, fish or even shrimp. It can taste very different depending on where in India it is made, as some regions use much more onion in the dish than others. It is cooked in an onion based sauce with a thick layer of rice on top, then the meat is added before serving. It's a great way to sample some of the local spices too, with cloves, cinnamon and cardamom featuring prominently.

Image by Peter Sigrist


Hyderabadi Biryani Hyderabadi Biryani is an integral part of Indian cuisine. With 49 different variations it is one of North India's most widespread dishes. Made with marinated meat and quite often, chicken- it's soaked overnight in spices and then soaked in yoghurt before cooling. Traditionally it would be cooked on dum (over coals) and requires meticulous attention so as not to overcook the meat. Image by Jennn


Iranian Biryani This dish is slightly more unusual than the others, often called Gosht Dum Biryani, it originated in Persia (Iran). To prepare, the ghee is heated and saffron, yellow chili powder, green cardamom, cinnamon and cloves are added with ginger and green chillies, before adding stock and meat. The rice is then washed and garam masala, salt and lemon juice added, the cooked meat is then removed and the rice par boiled. Saffron and cream is added and the dish is left to simmer. This delicious dish is served with brown onions and Raita. Image by Edsel Little


Luckily, if you're a Biryani fanatic considering a trip to India, there are many available flights, hotels and package deals that will provide you with a reasonably priced way to satisfy your cravings. Hyderabad flights are popular at this time of year, due to the late sunshine, making it a perfect location for those seeking a little autumn sun after what has been a disappointing British summer.

Image by Alpha

A guide to Biryani  

Biryani is one of India and Southeast Asia's most popular dishes, but did you know there are many different variations of this dish?

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