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Biryani also known as biriyani or biriani, is a South Asian mixed rice dish with its origins among the Muslims of the Indian subcontinent. It is popular throughout the subcontinent and among the diaspora from the region. It is generally made with spices, rice, and meat. This is basically a Moglai dish. Mogal kings usually eat this type of dishes. Now a days it has become a very popular dish in most of nonveg people in Asia.
The exact origin of the dish is uncertain. In North India, different varieties of biryani developed in the Muslim centers of Delhi (Mughlai cuisine), Lucknow (Awadhi cuisine) and other small principalities. In South India, where rice is more widely used as a staple food, several distinct varieties of biryani emerged from Telangana (Specifically Hyderabad), Tamil Nadu, and Karnataka, where minority Muslim communities were present. Andhra is the only region of South India that does not have many native varieties of biryani.
According to the Delhi based historian Sohail Nakhwi, more than four thousand years ago, people in Central Asia started adding the meat of cows, buffaloes (beef) and goats (mutton) to rice, thus resulting in the dish that later began to be called Pulao, and a precursor to the modern day Biryani. The more well to do people used the meat of goat (it being more expensive) and the poorer people used beef (it being cheaper) As per author Lizzie Collingham, the modern biryani further developed in the Mughal royal kitchen, as a confluence of the native spicy rice dishes of India and the Persian pilaf. However, all the spices used in biryani were also grown in Persia and were also available to Arabs through trade. According to Kris Dhillon, the modern Biryani originated in Persia, and was brought to India by the Mughals. However, another theory claims that the dish was known in India before the first Mughal emperor Babur came to India. The 16th century Mughal text Ain-i-Akbari makes no distinction between biryanis and pulao: it states that the word “biryani” is of older usage in India. A similar theory—that biryani came to India with Timur’s invasion—also appears to be incorrect, because there is no record of biryani having existed in his native land during that period.
According to Pratibha Karan, the biryani is of South Indian origin, derived from pilaf varieties brought to India by the Arab traders. She speculates that the pulao was an army dish in medieval India: the armies, unable to cook elaborate meals, would prepare a one-pot dish where they cooked rice with whichever meat was available. Over time, the dish became biryani due to different methods of cooking, with the distinction between “pulao” and “biryani” being arbitrary. According to Vishwanath Shenoy, the owner of a biryani restaurant chain in India, one branch of biryani comes from the Mughals, while another was brought by the Arab traders to [Malabar]] in South India.
While the Middle eastern and Middle Asian versions of Biryani and Pulao are made on the tandoor, Biryani in the Indian subcontinent is made in a large metal dish with a narrow mouth called a “degh”
Ingredients vary accord to type of meat used and the region the Biriyani is from. Gosht (of either chicken or mutton) as the prime ingredient with rice. As is common in dishes of the Indian subcontinent, some vegetables are also used when preparing Biriyani. Other vegetables such as corn also may be used depending on the season and availability. Navratan biryani tends to use sweeter richer ingredients such as cashew, kismis and fruits such as apples and pineapples.
The spices and condiments used in biryani may include ghee (clarified butter), nutmeg, mace, pepper, cloves, cardamom, cinnamon, bay leaves, coriander, mint leaves, ginger, onions, tomatoes, and garlic. The premium varieties include saffron. In all Biriyani, the main ingredient that accompanies the spices is the chicken and mutton, special varieties also use beef, and seafood. The dish may be served with dahi chutney or raita, korma, curry, a sour dish of aubergine (brinjal), boiled egg (optional), and salad.
Biryanis are cooked in various different types and different places it is cooked diffenently.
In the kacchi biryani, raw marinated meat is layered with raw rice before being cooked together.It is also known as kacchi yeqni. It is cooked typically with chicken and mutton but rarely with fish and prawn. The dish is cooked layered with the meat and the yogurt based marinade at the bottom of the cooking pot and the layer of rice (usually basmati rice) placed over it. Potatoes are often added before adding the rice layer. The pot is usually sealed (typically with wheat dough) to allow cooking in its own steam and not opened until it is ready to serve.