Why is Hyderabadi Biryani so famous in India and the world over?

Why is Hyderabadi Biryani so famous in India and the world over?


LIKE apsara TILOTTAMA was created by Vishwakarma by all the beautiful bits of all that belonged to the earth, the heaven and the undrrworld(patal), biryani has been adorned with all the subtleties and intensity of all the spices, the richness of ghee and the elegance of basmati rice and the meat, the most desired among all. it has all the tears and dolor of the Nawabs who witnessed the decadence of the muslim rule in British India after the Great Mutiny of 1857, with languid eyes. thus they put all their efforts in cooking, dance and music. so as poetry gets born from sorrow, biryani was born from all the heritages, which the new era was going to obliterate.
very significant question. in a country where we have more than 25 states, with an unbelievable regional variety of cuisine. let us name the best ten delicacies from all over our beloved nation then i would select one which is most unique and beautiful.
  1. tandoori chicken from punjab
  2. pork vindhaloo from Goa
  3. ambat tikhat surmai from Konkan of Maharashtra
  4. ilish bhape from bengal or calcutta
  5. dosa from tamil nadu
  6. dal bati churma from Rajasthan
  7. Karimeen Polichathu from Kerala
  8. Rogan Josh from kashmir
  9. litti chhokan from Bihar
  10. biryani from hyderbad
but judging all the facts from all the ingredients, biryani is a all time favourite. it is rather to say, a national frenzy. people are mad after it. it is almost a millenia old recipe.
it is elegant and mouth watering. different types such as hyderabadi, calcutta and lucknowi biryani are the most famous. among others there are ambur biryani, thalasseri biryani, kalyani biryani are also notable.
now why Hyderabadi biryani is so special all over the nation and even beyond???
the discussion about biryani involves history, culture and obsessive court cultures, i would like to remind all, the secrecy of the royal kicken is still a secret, in an age where democracy was in shambles, as none had the permission of entrance into the royal fort or palace, let part entering the kichen and observe what sort of experiemnts was happening in the kitchen, it was not possible to gather knowledge about the royal household secrets. few people could read and none had access to the voluminous historical cookbooks written in fersi which were preserved in the royal library or the London archive.
after the Great Mutiny of 1857 and Delhi Durbar of 1911 and after the Indian Independence, 1947, many moslems from very ordinary walks of life, moderately opened stalls which used to provide biryanis, with a claim that their forefathers were among the royal bawarchis of the royal court. Among them, most significantly in Kolkata Nizam’s in 1900 and Aminia in 1929, in the 1950s, in 1913 Kareem’s in Delhi, in the 1950s Paradise in Hyderabad and Wahid biryani in lucknow came into a modest existence with no chairs, no proper sitting arrangement. in an age of less communication people gradually by mout- service came to know about them and eat from their joints
i have stayed both in Lucknow and Hyderabad and Calcutta. and have smelt and tested their biryanis. Lucknowi and Hyderabadi, Calcutta all have the seperate the genres of making biryani, have their own distinct cooking wits, methods, styles, ingredients, adaptation and evolution history and have their own excellence. but between these three kinds of biryanis, but what makes Hyderabadi biryani so special are its subtelity of taste, erudition of of method, flamboyance of style and the richness of spices. gradually i would explain why and how.
hyderbadi biryani traces its origin, during the time of Asaf Jah, 1, in the form ofKachhi method, a unique method of cooking the raw marinated mutton and the rice with a extraordinary application of yoghurt, papaya and lemon juices. the addition of fried onion, mint and coriander leaves make it a true royal Indian carnival.
kolkata biryani is fully indebted to the paltans and bawarchis, masalchis(spice-mixers) of the late unfortunate nawab padshah Wajed Ali Shah of Audh.
the biryani invented during and after his death, is pakki in method where 70% of rice is pre-cooked. in contradiction to hyderabadi biryani which is kachhi or raw.
some of the ingreditents and spices are common while few others are dissimilar. history is different. for an instance, if we talk about the historical inception of Hyderabadi biryani , it was Asaf Jah 1, the Nizam-ul-Mulk, who is renowned to have patronized the invention of Hyderabadi biryani in his domain. in stead, in Lucknow, the last nawab, Wajed Ali Shah was the greatest inspiration behnd the spread of Awadhi biryani. regading spice, as among other instances, lucknowi biryani uses milder spices. Hyderabad doesnt use any mitha ittar, whereas lucknow uses ittar generously in biryani.
while some of the features are in disparity, others are similar. both of them use Kewra, rose water, plenty of pure ghee in biryani.
but hyderabadi one is the best in terms of erudition, elegance, method and style.
we all know that biryani is a historical invention by the turkic soldiers(an early medieval ethno-linguistic conglommeration of numerous tribes, living in western and central Asia, broadly speaking, the uzbeks, turks, tartars, the uyghurs) in 10–11th century A.D , who due to the shortage of time and scope, used to make a hotch-potch of rice and meat which they slowly cooked in an earthen pot. but basically nobody knows what spices they used to add into this hotch-potch or even if they used to add salt to this.!!!.
by a historical process it reached India and underwent many experiements in theturko-afghan royal households. later in the 18th century it saw optimized experiments in the royal kitchens of the Mughals, the Nizams, the Nawabs of Lucknow, the royal principalities of the far South. and it became renowned as Biryani.
it also journeyed towards west of Asia, reached Iran, from India it went further toSouth-east Asia and saw other types of innovations.
but today we can proundly say that our indian biryani is the best culmination of this process of relentless experimentations of the bawarchis, who poured all thier in-born talent to make it dearest to us, so much so, that even today, our biryani is vibrant with life, every housewife in every indian household craves to make biryani in any sort of gatherings. today the word biryani represents India.
lucknowi biryani applies artificial food colouring, which was not in use during the medieval time and which is perhaps the outcome of the poverty of the indian moslems after the Great Mutiny of 1857 and their inability to use saffron and thir passio to create a colour combination of red, pink and white. now Saffron, a luxury product, a dry flower crocus, is among the most expensive spices of Asia. it comes from the valley of Kashmir. mildly roasted on tawa, then dissolved in milk, it help biryani bring a suble fascinating flavour and a unique range of colour which we call 'Kesaria'.
in Hyderabad, they use boiled eggs and use only 10% cooked rice and raw marinated mutton chunks to be cooked in the raw papaya paste, yoghurt and lemon juices. it is called'kachhi' method where both the principal ingredients are amost raw. but interestingly they dont use any mitha ittar though they use saffron and fried onions which their lucknowi counterpart omits. both are beautyful and savoury and both are witty.
but hyderbad uses fine and log grained basmati rice which looks like pearl. each grain seperate and distinct.
on the other hand lucknow uses somewhat lesser version of basmati. the impression is still good, highly coloured rice dum cooked with half cooked mutton pieces. mitha ittar and the use of kewra give an intensity of aroma which the lack of spices fulfils. they dont use eggs which is one of the ornaments of hyderabafi biryani.
now the method in details. lucknowi vs hyderabadi symbolizes 'Pakki' vs 'Kachhi'. in lucknowi biryani the staple ingredients which are rice and the meat, are 70-80% pre-cooked. and then they set it for a slow dum, in a deep bottomed vessels, closing the id, wrapping it around with a atta dough. on a slow and smothering eathen fire.
in Hyderabadi biryani, the entire substance cooks in rawness. 'Kachhi' is a method where the 10% cooked rice is cooked in an hour with the marinated meat, getting cooked in the beaten yoghurt . there lies the excellence. the result is a brilliant tablefare with the rice having acquired the entire flavour of the mutton juices, infused with saffron. the mutton is so soft that it literally comes out of its bone.

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