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Last Updated : Feb 19,2018
Biryani - We come across this dish every other day, in Indian restaurants, books, websites, and in our own homes. But, have you ever wondered what it really is, what sets it apart from other dishes, how it is to be served, etc.?
Biryani is a spicy Indian dish, made of rice and vegetables. It is mostly flavoured with an elaborate spice paste or rich gravy. The layers of rice and gravy are arranged and cooked together, allowing the flavour of the gravy to seep into the layers of rice, giving it an awesome appearance and irresistible flavour. Most biryanis are also topped with spices and herbs like saffron and mint before cooking, which further accentuates their taste and especially their aroma!
A biryani is usually spicier and more elaborate than pulao. It takes more time to prepare, but is worth every moment spent because the taste is special. While pulao is usually cooked in a pressure cooker, a biryani is cooked in a handi, which locks in and intensifies the flavour. However, if you do not have a handi, you can always cook it in a deep non-stick pan.
Since biryani is quite heavy, it is usually served at the end of the main course. It can also be had as a one-dish meal because it is quite filling. As it is quite flavourful by itself, you do not really need a subzi or dal to go with it.
However, many people are unaware of this and serve their biryani with kadhi but that tastes good too, so never mind!
Although the traditional Vegetable Biryani is very famous, many people still tend to associate biryani more with its non-veg variants, which is in a way true because non-veg biryanis are extremely popular. However, with a little creativity you can many innumerable veg varieties too! Apart from the usual veggie loaded biryani, you can also make something special with paneer, chana or koftas in it! Such unusual options will definitely surprise your guests and gain you a lot of praise.
5 tips to make the perfect biryani
1. Always use long-grained rice like Basmati.
2. Use the right quantity of water to cook the rice, such that it is fully-cooked but each grain is separate and not mushy.
3. The vegetables used in the biryani should be cooked to the perfect level, not over or under cooked.
4. If possible use a handi for cooking a biryani as the flavours blend better.
5. After the biryani is made, do not mix it vigorously. Always mix gently or else the grains will break, making the biryani mushy like a khichdi!
However, before you embark on your biryani tour, be prepared to spend time on it. Biryani is not something you prepare in a hurry. Although it is an opulent and satiating one-dish meal, quite some time and effort goes into preparing it. Some biryanis are made in a quick-fix way, cooking everything together at one shot. However, in a traditional biryani, the rice and gravy are cooked separately, layered and then cooked together for 30 minutes to an hour to get the awesome ‘dum’ effect! Patience makes your biryani perfect!!
Biryani is extremely famous in Hyderabad, and if you have been to the city and not tasted its Biryani people would tell you that your trip was wasted. But wait till they hear that you can now make the same tasty stuff in your own kitchen! Here are some fabulous biryani recipes for you to try…
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23 Jun 18
Paneer Mutter Biryani by Tarla Dalal
Paneer is a show-stealer! Undoubtedly one of my favorites. Layers of rice and spicy paneer mutter make this Biryani a real delicacy. And roasted onions add a yummy touch to the brown rice. I have used low-fat milk to enhance its calcium and protein content, even while curbing the calories. To keep t ....
14 Jun 18
Biryani, Veg Hyderabadi Biryani by Tarla Dalal
Biryani is an everlasting relic of the Moghul era that continues to live and breathe in innumerable restaurants and kitchens across the globe.
Not only that, this traditional recipe has stood the test of time by being constantly adapted to suit the tastes of each generation. While many modern ve ....
28 May 18
Bread Kofta Biryani ( Chawal) by Tarla Dalal
Wanna be ‘the’ culinary goddess? This Bread Kofta Biryani helps you bag the crown. Please everyone with this exquisite dish that has glorious layers of rice, gravy and sizzling golden koftas baked to perfection. Sit back and enjoy the attention!
05 Apr 18
Minty Paneer Biryani by Tarla Dalal
Succulent paneer is always a great addition to any Indian dish, be it a subzi or a biryani but being a flavour-absorber it calls for some thoughtful cooking. Here is how you can turn rice and paneer into an irresistibly flavourful biryani! Quickly sauté it with a tangy paste of mint, coriander, lemo ....
03 Apr 18
Lajjatdar Handi Biryani by Tarla Dalal
Handi Biryani is absolutely superior to those made with other methods like open or pressure cooking, even though it appears to use similar ingredients.
The simple process of sealing the lid with chapati dough and allowing the ingredients to cook within a covered environment makes all the differe ....
26 Mar 18
Kabuli Chana Kofta Biryani by Tarla Dalal
A reminder of the opulence of the Nawabs, the Kabuli Chana Kofta Biryani is a royal treat that pampers you with every mouthful! Perfectly cooked long-grained rice is layered with a richly flavoured tomato gravy studded with scrumptious kabuli chana koftas. The gravy, made with tomato puree, masala p ....
28 Mar 17
Hyderabadi Sofiyani Biryani by Tarla Dalal
Hyderabadi cuisine in general is marked by its richness, and this biryani tops the charts! There is a rich dimension to every component of this biryani.
The koftas are made of potatoes and paneer perked up with dry fruits, nuts and cream, while the rice itself is flavoured with whole spices and ....
26 Nov 12
Vegetable Biryani (1 Tsp Oil ) by Tarla Dalal
Biryani is known to be a rich and luxurious preparation of rice and vegetables. While it traditionally contains oodles of ghee and oil, you will realise upon trying this intelligent version that the same richness can be brought out through the intensity of the spices and quantity of vegetables, with ....
23 Sep 13
Vegetable Biryani ( Desi Khana) by Tarla Dalal
Vegetable biryani is a traditional mughlai main course item loaded with chopped vegetables, spices, saffron and dry fruits. On normal days, you can make it as a one-pot meal. Even as ingredients like capsicum and coriander spread their aroma, whiffs of saffron and other spices rise above all and pam ....
05 Mar 17
How To Cook Basmati Rice for Biryani by Tarla Dalal
The success of a biryani depends partly on how you cook the rice. People often complain of their biryani being grainy or too mushy, and the simple explanation for this lies in the way the rice is cooked.
How to cook basmati rice is an important basic recipe that one must know, to ensure that the ....
20 Sep 14
Vegetable Biryani ( Chawal) by Tarla Dalal
A dish that is synonymous with Indian cuisine in many restaurants the world over, the Vegetable Biryani deserves to be so popular! A masaledar gravy chock-full of veggies and paneer, is sandwiched between rice that has been cooked with spices and perked up with saffron-tinged curd. This whole arrang ....
20 Sep 14
Masoor and Tomato Biryani by Tarla Dalal
A slightly elaborate procedure that involves preparation of a special paste, saffron-tinged rice and a masoor mixture, which are then arranged appropriately and baked till the flavours mingle and multiply to drape the rice with a magical aroma that is irresistible. Indeed, the Masoor and Tomato Biry ....
25 May 16
Three-in-one Rice by Tarla Dalal
Tangy orange-coloured rice with accents of tomatoes and carrots; fresh green-coloured, coriander flavoured rice interspersed with juicy green peas; and soothing white rice tinged with shahjeera and loaded with paneer – are all assembled fantastically in an oven-safe bowl and baked till the aroma fil ....
07 Jul 12
Layered Bread Kofta Biryani by Tarla Dalal
The koftas seem simple, featuring just bread and onions with a few binding and flavouring agents. However, you will be amazed to see that the crunch and flavour of this kofta is the highlight of the Layered Bread Kofta Biryani. Here, rice is topped with a tangy gravy of curds, tomatoes and green pea ....
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