The History Of Biryani, An Ancient Dish That Is Making its Modern Comeback


Biryanis are tasty, aromatic, and one of the most sought-after delicacies in India. It is also a royal dish, said to have been created by the Mughals, and a dish that has been around for hundreds of years. 

However, many types of biryanis are influenced by regions and cultures with their version of this dish. This is a blog that looks at the history and evolution of Biryani.

From Persia to Your Plate: What is Biryani

Biryani is An Indian dish that spans centuries and borders. The word “biryani” comes from two Persian words, “biryān” meaning “fried (before Cooking)” or “roasted” and “bir·inj” meaning “rice”. The history of Biryani is rich in flavour, spices, and mystery. One popular theory of how Biryani came to be made its way into South Asia is that the Mughals brought it in the 16th century.


Where was the First Biryani made?

The first Biryani is said to have been made in Persia, where meat and rice were cooked together. Later, this dish was introduced to India by the Mughals, where it was adapted to suit local palates and cooking styles. The result, today’s delicious Biryani, was born!

How is Biryani Cooked/prepared?

Biryani is typically cooked with rice, onion, garlic, ginger, coriander powder, cumin powder, turmeric powder, red chilli powder, garam masala, or freshly ground black peppercorns. The meat used varies depending on the region of India where the dish originated. Traditionally lamb was used (Mutton Biryani), but chicken is more commonly used now (Chicken Biryani). It is a time-consuming dish that often involves marinating the meat and then cooking it along with rice in layers. Dry fruits and spices like cardamom, saffron, mint leaves, and rose water are also added to add flavour and aroma.

Preparation styles: Pakki Biryani versus Kacchi Biryani

Pakki biryani is a popular Indian dish in which the meat and rice are cooked separately and then combined before serving. In Kacchi Biryani, also known as Hyderabadi Biryani, the meat and rice are cooked together. Pakki biryani is considered a more refined version of Kachchi biryani, as the flavours are better balanced.

Pakki biryani is often served with raita, a yoghurt-based side dish, while Kachchi Biryani is often served with mint chutney. Pakki biryani is typically cooked in an oven or on a stovetop, while Kachchi Biryani is cooked over a low flame in a sealed pot. This allows the flavours to blend more fully.

What does Biryani taste like?

Biryani is one of the most popular dishes in India. It is a rice dish made with spices, meat, and vegetables. The meat can be chicken, beef, lamb, or shrimp. The vegetables can be peas, carrots, chickpeas, or onions. Biryani is a very filling dish, and it is very flavourful. The spices used in Biryani are cumin, coriander, turmeric, cinnamon, cardamom, and cloves. These spices give the dish an aromatic smell and a remarkable flavour that gives your taste buds a unique experience. The sweet and savoury aroma of the spices is quite irresistible. Biryani is also a healthy dish because it is high in protein and fibre, and it is sure to satisfy even the most discerning palate. The delicious taste is a joy for foodies and makes it famous worldwide.

It’s a bit like taking a bite out of a piece of heaven!

Difference between Biryani and Pulao (Pilaf)

Biryani and pulao are both rice dishes, but they have some distinct differences. Biryani is a dish made of rice, vegetables, and meat. Biryani is made using the Parboiled Method, in which all of the ingredients are parboiled, then drained and dried for a satin-like finish. The meat can be chicken, beef, lamb, or goat. The rice is cooked with spices, and then the meat and vegetables are added. Biryani is usually served with raita, a yoghurt-based sauce.

Pulau vs Biryani

Pulao is also a dish made of rice, vegetables, and meat. Pulao is made through the Absorption Method, so the rice absorbs all of the water or stock around it, and this creates the illusion of mouthfeel texture within each bite. However, the meat is cooked separately from the rice and then mixed in with the rice before serving. Pulao is usually served with gravy or sauce.

Biryani is a more complex dish with a richer flavour than pulao. Biryani is typically served as a main course, while pulao (pilau) is often served as a side dish.

Types of Biryanis and its Evolution

Biryani is a dish that has evolved to encompass many different regional flavours and styles. There are countless varieties of Biryani, each with its unique ingredients and cooking methods. Some of the most popular regional types of Biryani include Hyderabadi Biryani, Calcutta biryani, and Lucknowi biryani.

Each region has its unique take on this popular dish. Hyderabadi Biryani, for example, is known for its use of fragrant spices like saffron and cardamom. Calcutta biryani is characterized by its distinctive sweet and spicy flavour, while Lucknowi biryani is known for its delicate flavour and subtle spices.

Some interesting types of biryanis you can try

  • Mughlai Biriyani
  • Hyderabadi Biriyani
  • Calcutta Biryani
  • Dindigul biryani
  • Arcot Biryani
  • Memoni Biryani
  • Thalassery biryani
  • Kampuri Biryani
  • Tahari biryani
  • Beary Biryani
  • Sindhi Biryani
  • Bhatkali Biryani
  • Bombay Biryani

Looking for the best Biryani? Restaurants and brands have their interpretations of this dish too. But, No matter your preference, there’s sure to be a type of Biryani that will appeal to you.

Learn More about why Biryanitarin is the Best Biryani In Chennai.

A Modern Twist To An Ancient Recipe – What Is A Typical Biryani Today?

Biryani is a dish that has been around for centuries, and its popularity has only grown more in recent years. There are countless restaurants and cloud kitchens that serve Biryani, and there are also several brands that sell packaged Biryani. While there are some variations, the essential ingredients of Biryani are rice, meat or vegetables, and spices.

Several factors contribute to the popularity of Biryani:

  1. It is a hearty dish that people of all ages can enjoy.
  2. It has a unique preparation method, making it a popular choice for special occasions.
  3. There are endless variations of Biryani, so people can enjoy it in different ways each time they eat it.
  4. Biryani is affordable and can be enjoyed by people from all walks of life.

How People love and Celebrate Biryani

Biryani has been an integral part of Indian culture for centuries, whether Ramzan or Eid, Holi or Diwali, Christmas or New Year. Whether it’s a wedding, birthdays, or anniversaries. Whether it’s a holiday or simply a family get-together. Biryani is a dish enjoyed by many for its flavour and texture. A delicious and authentic biryani puts a smile on everyone’s face, no matter the occasion. It has become almost a ritual to eat Biryani at every festival and occasion. There is a famous saying in India “When the moon rises, so does the aroma of the biryani.” This famous saying is true in all parts of India and is believed to be the most loved dish by everyone. 


Biryani as Gift and Culture

Biryani has become a dish that is often used as a way to offer gifts. Biryani is a dish that has been passed on from one generation to another and has become a special way of showing loved ones that you care about them. It is seen as a symbol of love and affection. 


With its existence for over 1000 years, Biryani is indeed a dish with tradition, culture, and emotions, and It is indeed yummy!

It’s overwhelming with all the different options available to order online or in restaurants. No matter where or what. There is always a special place for Muslim (Bhai) Style Kalyanam (marriage) Biryani. We at Biryanitarian offer Chennai’s best Kalyanam style biryani delivered to your doorstep. Whether it’s for yourself or as a present for someone you care about. We deliver Biryani that you and your loved ones will love.

Share this article with your friends who love Biryani!

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