Biryani is considered one of the most well-liked South Asian & Middle Eastern rice dishes. It’s a hearty dish in which raw meat is cooked through in a mixture of spices and then layered together with plain basamati rice. Biryani may be made with chicken or lamb (it may even be made vegetarian), and it’s generally served as the main course of a feast or a large family supper.
Among the most well-known types of biryani is the Hyderabadi style of biryani. Hyderabadi biryani is a variety of biryani that consists of marinating the meat in a combination of yogurt, vegetable oil, and spices / aromatics and then cooking the meat directly with par-boiled rice. This varies from other types of biryani in which the meat and masala (i.e. the spices) are cooked in vegetable or canola oil and then stacked in layers on top of the rice and baked in the oven.
Regrettably, I think that there are a few aspects of Hyderabadi biryani that actually cause it to be less tasty than various other kinds of biryani. Here’s where I feel Hyderabadi biryani errs:
1) All spices & aromatics must be cooked in oil. This is almost certainly the most critical error that Hyderabadi biryani makes. Simmering the necessary biryani seasonings (e.g., garlic ginger paste, chili powder, turmeric, cardamom) in oil enables these spices to release their entire flavor into the masala oil – far beyond what is produced when they’re merely mixed with cold yogurt and oil. If the spices & aromatics are not heated up, then the necessary chemical reactions that give off a lot of the flavor simply cannot take place. Hyderabadi biryani misses out on a lot of flavor and spice due to this error.
2) Cooking raw meat for thirty minutes doesn’t leave it tender. The majority of Hyderabadi biryani recipes suggest that the marinated yogurt-meat be layered straight into a pot and then baked in the oven with the semi-cooked basmati rice. This does not give you tender meat. The sole method of getting your meat tender is to slow cook the meat for a minimum of one and a half hours. Biryani recipes that recommend just thirty to forty mins of cooking honestly won’t get it done.
3) Flavoring the basmati rice. Sadly, the most flavoring I have seen incorporated into the plain basmati rice in a Hyderabadi biryani recipe was merely a couple of cardamom pods or spices put into the pot of water in which the rice is boiling. This will give the plain rice a slight aroma, however it won’t add any substantial flavor to the rice. To genuinely flavor plain biryani rice, you have to add a bit of the masala oil to the par-boiled rice when you’re preparing it for baking.
So even though Hyderabadi biryani is the most well-known type of biryani, in my eyes it’s certainly not the most tasty.
by Ganga Patel