Biryani (pronounced [bɪr.jaːniː]), also known as biriyani, biriani, birani or briyani, is a mixed rice dish with its origins among the Muslims of the Indian subcontinent. This dish is especially popular throughout the Indian subcontinent, as well as among the diaspora from the region. It is also prepared in other regions such as Iraqi Kurdistan. It is made with Indian spices, rice, meat (chicken, goat, beef, prawn, or fish), vegetables or eggs.
|Alternative names||Biriyani, Biriani, Briyani, Breyani, Briani, Birani.|
|Place of origin||North India|
|Region or state||Dhaka, Chittagong, Kolkata, Punjab, Hyderabad, Awadh, Kannur, Kozhikode, Mumbai, Palakkad, Thalassery, Malappuram, Dindigul, Sindh, Delhi, Malabar, Chettinad|
|Ingredients generally used|
Biryani is a Hindustani word derived from the Persian language, which was used as an official language in different parts of medieval India by various Islamic dynasties. One theory states that it originated from birinj, the Persian word for rice. Another theory states that it is derived from biryan or beriyan, which means "to fry" or "to roast."
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 (Ambur), Kerala (Malabar), and Karnataka, where Muslim communities were present. Andhra is the only region of South India that does not have many native varieties of biryani. During the Safavid dynasty (1501–1736) in Persia, a dish called Berian Pilao (Nastaliq script: بریان پلو) was made with lamb or chicken, marinated overnight — with dahi, herbs, spices, dried fruits (e.g., raisins, prunes, or pomegranate seeds) — and later cooked in a tandoor oven. It was then served with steamed rice.
According to historian Lizzie Collingham, the modern biryani developed in the royal kitchens of the Mughal Empire (1526–1857) and is a mix of the native spicy rice dishes of India and the Persian pilaf. Indian restaurateur Kris Dhillon believes that the dish originated in Persia, and was brought to India by the Mughals. Another theory claims that the dish was prepared 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 pilaf (or 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, 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 the Indian subcontinent 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.
Pilaf or pulao, as it is known in the Indian subcontinent, is another mixed rice dish popular in the cuisines of the Indian subcontinent and Middle Eastern cuisine. Opinions differ on the differences between pulao and biryani, and whether actually there is a difference between the two.
According to Delhi-based historian Sohail Nakhvi, pulao tends to be comparatively plainer than the biryani and consists of meat (or vegetables) cooked with rice. Biryani, on the other hand, contains more gravy (due to the use of yakhni in it), and is often cooked for longer, leaving the meat or vegetables more tender. Biryani is also cooked with additional dressings. Pratibha Karan states that while the terms are often applied arbitrarily, the main distinction is that a biryani consists of two layers of rice with a layer of meat (or vegetables) in the middle; whereas, the pulao is not layered.
Ingredients vary according to the region and the type of meat used. Meat (of either chicken, goat, beef, lamb, prawn or fish) is the prime ingredient with rice. As is common in dishes of the Indian subcontinent, some vegetables are also used when preparing biryani. Corn may be used depending on the season and availability. Navratan biryani tends to use sweeter, richer ingredients such as cashews, 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, green chilies, and garlic. The premium varieties include saffron. In all biryanis, the main ingredient that accompanies the spices is the chicken or goat meat; special varieties might use beef or seafood instead. The dish may be served with dahi chutney or raita, korma, curry, a sour dish of aubergine (brinjal), boiled egg, and salad.
There are many types of biryani, whose names are often based on their region of origin. For example, Sindhi biryani developed in the Sindh region of what is now Pakistan, and Hyderabadi biryani developed in the city of Hyderabad in South India. Some have taken the name of the shop that sells it, for example: Haji Biriyani, Haji Nanna Biriyani in Old Dhaka, Fakhruddin Biriyani in Dhaka, Students biryani in Karachi, Lucky biryani in Bandra, Mumbai and Baghdadi biryani in Colaba, Mumbai. Biryanis are often specific to the respective Muslim communities where they originate, as they are usually the defining dishes of those communities. Cosmopolitanism has also led to the creation of these native versions to suit the tastes of others as well.
Dhakaiya Haji Biriyani
Sri Lankan biryani
In Myanmar (Burma), biryani is known in Burmese as danpauk or danbauk, from the Persian dum pukht. Featured ingredients include: cashew nuts, yogurt, raisins and peas, chicken, cloves, cinnamon, saffron and bay leaf. In Burmese biryani, the chicken is cooked with the rice. Biryani is also eaten with a salad of sliced onions and cucumber.
One form of "Arabic" biryani is the Iraqi preparation (برياني: "biryani"), where the rice is usually saffron-based with chicken usually being the meat or poultry of choice. It is most popular in Iraqi Kurdistan. Most variations also include vermicelli, fried onions, fried potato cubes, almonds and raisins spread liberally over the rice. Sometimes, a sour/spicy tomato sauce is served on the side (maraq).
In Iran, during the Safavid dynasty (1501–1736), a dish called Berian (Nastaliq script: بریان پلو) was made with lamb or chicken, marinated overnight — with yogurt, herbs, spices, dried fruits like raisins, prunes or pomegranate seeds — and later cooked in a tannour oven. It was then served with steamed rice.
A different dish called biryan is popular in Afghanistan. Biryan traces its origins to the same source as biryani, and is today sold in Afghanistan as well as in Bhopal, India. Biryan is prepared by cooking gosht and rice together, but without the additional gravy (yakhni) and other condiments that are used in biryani. The Delhi-based historian Sohail Hashmi refers to the biryan as midway between the pulao and biryani. The Afghani biryani tends to use a lot of dry fruit and lesser amounts of meat, often cut into tiny pieces.
Nasi kebuli is an Indonesian spicy steamed rice dish cooked in goat meat broth, milk and ghee. Nasi kebuli is descended from Kabuli Palaw which is an Afghani rice dish, similar to biryani served in the Indian subcontinent.
Nasi Briyani dishes are very popular in Malaysia and Singapore. As an important part of Malaysian Indian cuisine, they are popularized through Mamak stalls, hawker centres, food courts as well as fine dining restaurants.
Biryani dishes are very popular in Mauritius especially at Hindu and Muslim weddings. It is also widely available at street food places.
Kapampangan cuisine of the Philippines (often in Pampanga) features a special dish called Nasing Biringyi (chicken saffron rice), that is typically prepared only during special occasions such as weddings, family get-togethers or fiestas. It is not a staple of the Philippino diet as it is difficult to prepare compared to other usual dishes. Nasing Biringyi is similar to the Nasi Briyani dish of Malaysia in style and taste, but is also compared to a saffron-cooked version of Spanish Paella.
In the Cape Malay culture, a variation of biryani incorporates lentils as a key ingredient in the dish along with meat (usually goat meat or chicken). The dish may be seasoned with garam masala or a curry spice mix (though this is not authentic to the local style) and coloured, sometimes heavily, with turmeric.
Biryani in Thailand is commonly known as khao mhok (Thai: ข้าวหมก). It is commonly paired with chicken, beef or even fish and topped with fried garlic. The dish is common in Thai cuisine and often served with a green sour sauce.
Burmese chicken biryani differs from its Indian counterpart: the chicken is cooked with the rice.
Baghaar-e-baingan (Urdu: بگھارے بیگن ) is a popular Indian cuisine brinjal curry of Hyderabad. It is also used as a side dish with the Hyderabadi biryani.Bahraini cuisine
The cuisine of Bahrain consists of dishes such as Biryani, Harees, Khabeesa, Machboos, Mahyawa, Maglooba, Qouzi and Zalabia. Qahwah is the national beverage.
Bahrain is a small island state near the western shores of the Persian Gulf. Much of the Cuisine of Bahrain is a mixture of Arabic, Persian, Indian, Balochi, African, Far East and European food due to the influence of the various communities present as Bahrain was an important sea port and trading junction since ancient times.Cuisine of Karachi
Karachi Cuisine (Urdu: کراچی کا پکوان) refers to the food found mainly in the city of Karachi, Sindh, Pakistan. The cuisine of Karachi is strongly influenced by the city's Urdu speaking Muslims, also known as Muhajir population, who came from northern India and settled in Karachi after the independence of Pakistan in 1947. Most Urdu speaking Muslims have traditionally been based in Karachi, hence the city is known for Muhajir tastes in its cuisine. Urdu speaking Muslims maintained their old established culinary traditions, including variety of dishes and beverages.
The Mughal and Hyderabadi cuisine played an influential role in the making of their cuisine, having taste vary from mild to spicy and is often associated with aroma. In comparison to other Pakistani dishes, Muhajir cuisine tends to use stronger spices and flavors. Most of a dastarkhawan dining table include chapatti, rice, dal, vegetable and meat curry. Special dishes include biryani, Pulao, qorma, Paya, kofta, seekh kabab, Nihari, Haleem, Nargisi Koftay, Kata-Kat, Rogani Naan, Naan, sheer-qurma (sweet), chai (sweet, milky tea), and paan.
The food of Urdu speaking Muslims is renowned for its cultural fusion, due to Muhajirs migrating from the different ethnic and regions of the Indian subcontinent. As a result, Bengali cuisine, Gujarati cuisine, Bihari cuisine, Uttar Pradeshi cuisine and Muslim Hyderabadi cuisine collaboratively had an influence on the style of Muhajir food. The Pakistani cuisines such as Sindhi cuisine, Punjabi cuisine, Pashtun cuisine, Kalash cuisine, Saraiki cuisine, Kashmiri cuisine, Balochi cuisine, and other regional cuisines have also influenced the cuisine of Karachi.
Cuisine of muhajir people of Hyderabad Deccan (now Hyderabad, India)Dahi chutney
Dahi chutney is strained dahi that is mixed into a chutney of mint and onions, originating from the Indian subcontinent. It is popular in South India and is a side dish for the popular Hyderabadi biryani.Handi
A handi is a deep, wide-mouthed cooking vessel used in north Indian, Pakistani and Bengali cooking. Because there are many specific Indian and Pakistani dishes cooked in this vessel, their names reflect its use, such as handi biryani.
A handi is also known as a tasla or tasli in many provinces of India. These names are given on the basis of its size and design. Tasla/tasli have a less wide mouth than handi and are much deeper; they resemble a pot with a wider mouth.
Handis resemble American beanpots, French soupières, and Mexican and Spanish ollas. They are used similarly.Hyderabadi biryani
Hyderabadi biryani (Urdu: حیدرآبادی بریانی) is a variety of biryani from Hyderabad, India. It is prepared from rice using the dum method of cooking.Hyderabadi cuisine
Hyderabadi cuisine (native: Hyderabadi Ghizaayat), also known as Deccani cuisine, is the native cooking style of the Hyderabadi Muslims, and began to develop after the foundation of the Bahmani Sultanate, and more drastically with the Qutb Shahi dynasty around the city of Hyderabad, promoting the native cuisine along with their own. Hyderabadi cuisine had become a princely legacy of the Nizams of Hyderabad State, as it began to further develop further on from there. It is an amalgamation of Mughal, Turkish, and Arabic along with the influence of the native Telugu and Marathwada cuisines. Hyderabadi cuisine comprises a broad repertoire of rice, wheat and meat dishes and the skilled use of various spices, herbs and natural edibles.Hyderabadi cuisine has different recipes for different events, and hence is categorized accordingly, from banquet food, for weddings and parties, festival foods, and travel foods. The category to which the recipe belongs itself speaks of different things like the time required to prepare the food, the shelf life of the prepared item, etc.Mehboob Alam Khan is a foremost expert on the Hyderabadi cuisine.Kurdish cuisine
Kurdish cuisine (Kurdish: چێشتی کوردی Çêştî Kurdî) consists of a wide variety of foods prepared by the Kurdish people. There are cultural similarities of Kurds and their immediate neighbours in Iran, Turkey, Iraq, Syria, and Armenia. Some dishes, such as biryani, are shared with the Indian subcontinent. Kurdish food is typical of western Asian cuisine.Kuwaiti cuisine
Kuwaiti cuisine is an infusion of Arabian, Persian, Indian, and Mediterranean cuisines. A prominent dish in Kuwaiti cuisine is machboos, a rice-based specialty usually prepared with basmati rice seasoned with spices, and chicken or mutton (pork is highly restricted due to religious reasons).
Seafood is a very significant part of the Kuwaiti diet, especially fish. Local favorites are hamour (grouper), which is typically served grilled, fried, or with biryani rice because of its texture and taste, Zbaidi, safi (rabbitfish), and sobaity (bream).
Kuwait's traditional flatbread is called Iranian khubz. It is a large flatbread baked in a special oven and they often top it with sesame seeds. Numerous local bakeries dot the country, the bakers are mainly Iranians (hence the name of the bread Iranian khubuz). Bread is often served with mahyawa fish sauce.
There are many other available cuisines due to the international workforce in Kuwait.Luchi
Luchi is a deep-fried flatbread, originating from the Indian subcontinent, possibly Bengal region, made of Maida flour.Mirchi ka salan
Mirchi ka salan (Urdu: مرچی کا سالن), or curried chilli peppers, is a popular chilli and peanut curry of Hyderabad, Telangana, India that usually accompanies Hyderabadi biryani. The dish contains green chilli peppers, peanuts, sesame seeds, dry coconut, cumin seeds, ginger and garlic paste, turmeric powder, bay leaf, and thick tamarind juice.
Mirchi ka salan is a traditional Hyderabadi dish prepared in weddings and special occasions. It is a spicy dish served with rice or chapati. The mirchi (chilli peppers) are cooked in spices and mixed with a ground peanut paste which gives the dish a grainy texture.Nasi kebuli
Nasi kebuli (Kabuli Rice; Arabic: الرز الكابلى; Arabic pronunciation: [Ka:buly:]) is an Indonesian style spicy steamed rice dish cooked in goat broth, milk, and ghee. It is popular among the Arab community in Indonesia and Betawi people in Jakarta. Nasi kebuli was influenced by Arab culture and its origin can be traced to Middle eastern cuisine, especially Yemeni Arabian influence (Mandi rice) or Kabsa, and also Indian cuisine influence (Biryani rice).
In Betawi culture, Nasi kebuli usually served during Islamic religious festivities, such as hari raya lebaran, kurban or maulid nabi (birthday of Muhammad). Nasi kebuli also popular in cities with significant Arab descendants, such as Jakarta, Surabaya, Surakarta and Gresik.Paneer tikka masala
Paneer tikka masala is an Indian dish of marinated paneer cheese served in a spiced gravy. It is a vegetarian alternative to chicken tikka masala.Pulihora
Puliyodarai (puli referring to tamarind in Tamil), Puliyodarai, Puliyogare or simply Tamarind Rice is a common rice preparation in the South Indian states of Tamil Nadu, Andhra, Karnataka. Puli in puliyodarai can be translated as "sour taste", referring to the characterizing use of tamarind as one of the main ingredients.Shrikhand
Shrikhand is an Indian sweet dish made of strained dahi (yogurt).Sindhi biryani
Sindhi Biryani is a special meat and rice biryani dish originating from the Sindh province of Pakistan. Owing to its popularity, it forms one of the most consumed dishes of Pakistani cuisine and Sindhi cuisine. Sindhi biryani is served in nearly all the flights of Pakistan International Airlines (PIA).Tahri (dish)
Tahri (also tehri, tehari or tayari) is a yellow rice dish in Awadhi cuisine. Spices are added to plain cooked rice for flavor and colour. In one version of Tehri, potatoes are added to the rice. However, in many areas of Bangladesh and Pakistan, red meat is also added to the rice to give more flavour, aroma and texture to the dish. This dish is most popular in Bangladesh, Pakistan and North India.
Tehri and tehari are variants on the name given to the vegetarian version of biryani. It was developed for the Hindu bookkeepers of the Muslim Nawab rulers in South Asia. Tehri became more popular during the Second World War when meat prices increased substantially and potato became the popular substitute in biryani. It is prepared by adding the potatoes to the rice, as opposed to the traditional method of preparing biryani, in which the rice is added to the meat. In Kashmir, tehari is sold as street food.Thalassery cuisine
Thalassery Cuisine refers to the distinct cuisine from Thalassery town of northern Kerala, that has blended in Arabian, Persian, Indian and European styles of cooking as a result of its long history as a maritime trading post.
Thalassery is known for its biryani (in local dialect, biri-yaa-ni). Unlike other biriyani cuisines Thalassery biryani uses Kaima/Jeerakasala rice instead of the usual basmati rice. The influence of Arabian/Mughal culture is evident, especially in the dishes of the Muslim community, although many have become popular among all communities.Thalassery also occupies a special place in the modern history of Kerala as the pioneer of its bakery industry, since the first bakery was started by Mambally Bapu in 1880 and the western style cakes were introduced in 1883.Vindaloo
Vindaloo is an Indian curry dish popular in the region of Goa, the surrounding Konkan, and many other parts of India. It is known globally in its British Indian form as a staple of curry house and Indian restaurant menus, often regarded as a fiery, spicy dish, even though it may not necessarily be the spiciest dish available.
|Desserts and snacks|
Malaysian cuisine portal • Category: Malaysian cuisine • List of Malaysian dishes