The biryani is a dish of rice prepared with a mixture of spices and basmati rice, meat or vegetables and yogurt. The biryani has an uncertain origin and some authors indicate a possible Persian origin because the name of the dish comes from the Persian beryān. It is very possible that it entered North India from Afghanistan, perhaps passing through the valley of the Thar. Other authors mention that may have a connection with Turkish pilav.
The dish, which was initially considered suitable for the upper classes, was made available for the lower classes during the Mughal Empire. Today it is a dish very closely linked to the Mughal empire in India.
There are many varieties of biryani and each type has its unique characteristics. From Kashmir to Kanyakumari, from east to west India, there are different varieties of this dish, which often have their roots in the ingredients and uses of chefs in the area.
It can be considered in all cases as a dish made in a handi or pot, with ingredients cooked together in the final stage of preparation. There are mixtures of pre-made spices in India that are sold commercially in supermarkets or shops, trying to reduce cooking times, but the taste differs considerably from traditional processing.
The spices and condiments used in the preparation of biryani contribute the flavor of this dish like the cloves, cardamom, cinnamon, bay leaves, coriander leaves and mint, apart from the ghee, ginger, onions, garlic, and yogurt. The most exquisite variants like the Calcutta Biryani often include saffron and the garam masala along with very lightly cooked and flavored meat and potato. It is one of the toughest to prepare.
For non-vegetarians, the main ingredient that accompanies the spices is the meat of chicken or turkey or lamb or mutton, which is the most popular or sometimes beef. In India, a very popular variety of biryani is made only with vegetables called Tehari. There are two varieties according to their way of preparing the Katchi Biryani prepared by the method Kachi Yakhni or raw sauces and Pakki Biryani, where the meat is marinated with spices. Both methods employ seeds of cardamom and saffron.
In Bangladesh, the tehari concept refers to Biryani prepared by adding the meat to rice as opposed to the traditional Biryani, where rice is added to the meat. The difference between biryani and pulao is that while in the pulao ingredients are cooked together, in biryani rice is separately cooked from other items. The dish is usually served with eggs, raita, korma, a curry or a dish of brinjal or eggplant called Hyderabadi bagara baingan and Mirchi ka salan.
There are different methods of preparation of biryani. In India, the Hyderabadi biryani is one of the most popular versions of biryani. The kitchens of the Nizam usually had about 49 types of biryani, which included fish, partridge, shrimp, deer, and hare. The Sindhi biryani variant is very popular in Pakistani cuisine and there are several varieties of biryani in almost all the territories. Another popular biryani dish is the Awadhi biryani.
Preparation Time: 30 mins
Cooking time: 50 mins
Servings: 4 servings
Calories per serving: 325 calories per 100 gms
2 chicken breasts
1 cup basmati rice
2 large sized potatoes
1 plain yogurt
1 tsp saffron
1/2 cup milk
1 tsp turmeric
1 clove garlic
1 piece of ginger
1 tsp of cayenne pepper
1 bay leaf
Fresh coriander leaves and parsley
First, take the chicken breasts and cut them into large pieces. Then take a bowl and add the chicken along with paprika, turmeric, half chopped ginger and garlic, a little cilantro, parsley and a little salt. Then add the lemon juice and a little water. Leave it to marinate overnight in the freezer.
Put half a cup of milk in a cup and mix the saffron and leave it for an hour. In a frying pan with a little ghee, add cinnamon stick, cloves, and bay leaf. Saute a little and add the pepper together with the rest of the cilantro. After a few minutes add the chopped onion and stir well. When the onion is golden take out a quarter of the onion and set aside. Add the potatoes diced into two halves along with the rest of the ginger. Mix everything well. Add the marinated chicken to the pan and sauté over high heat for about 10 minutes.
Cook basmati rice separately with water and pinch of salt and yogurt. Once the rice is semi-cooked take it off the heat. In a large pot arrange half of the rice in the first layer and then the chicken and the half of the fried onion and saffron evenly in a single layer. Top the rice in a homogeneous layer and the remaining crunchy onion and cover well with a lid and a foil that fits as tightly as possible. According to traditional preparation, the lid is sealed with a dough made of flour from all sides.
Cook for 5 minutes on high heat, 10 minutes on low heat and 20 minutes on a diffuser over low heat. When ready, sprinkle with a little cilantro. Serve hot.