Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Indian Recipes: The Wonderful Flavor Of Chicken Biryani

By Roland Dsouza

Biryani is a rice based food that carries meat or vegetables as the main ingredient. Lots of herbs and spices go into making Biryani and the meat and vegetables are layered and baked. Biryani in Persian pertains to cooking and roasting and the word Biryani is derived from the same.

Biryani stemmed from Persia and the legend states that that the nomads and tribals carried a lot of rice and meat on their long trips and they developed the culture of layering meat and rice and cooking them as one after sprinkling ample nuts and dry herbs. The traditional approach consisted of simmering and cooking the combination under fire and then burying it under sand for a long time before the dish was deemed ready. The traditional form of Biryani has since then been improvised and modernized according to convenience

Biryani has taken a variety of forms since then, and gone on to become a gourmet dish, that has been evolved and fine-tuned to such an extent, that now one comes across at least 50 varieties of Biryanis. I may be wrong there, as the number may be greater.

Biryani has meat and rice as its fundamental ingredients. The rest of the ingredients, differ based on the variety and style of the Biryani being prepared.

There are many sorts of Biryani within India with each city having its own style, but perhaps Biryani from Hyderabad is the most famous of the lot. Believe it or not, some of the biryani recipes are secretly guarded by restaurants and families across generations. Biryani was infact brought to India by the Mughals which was then improvised by the local Indians to suit their spice craving.

A great Biryani consists of perfectly cooked meat and the right mix of herbs and spices, cooked together with rice. The Rice and Meat is not mixed whilst cooking. They are both cooked independently. The final stage of the preparation consists of layering the two alternatively and generally cooked either in an oven or on traditional wood fire, utilizing gentle heat.

About the Author: