Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Guide to the Perfect Mutton Biryani in India

Traveling through the aromas of spices can transport us to many parts of the world. But among all of them my weakness makes that if I have to travel to a place, that is Hyderabad. I have never been there, and I doubt that I ever travel to such distant lands. But who knows? Meanwhile, I stay here enjoying what I can find in cookbooks, what my eyes discover on the internet or what a restaurant serves on my plate. Not long ago I discovered the Mutton Biryani.

It is a preparation in which despite being the mutton that supports the name of the recipe, it is the rice that transmits all the richness of this dish. The yogurt in which the meat is macerated softens its fibers, making the mutton juicy and enriched. The aroma of the spices in which the rice is cooked floods the environment. So much that it gets intoxicated in such a way that you do not want anything else but take the time to enjoy it. Fascinating!

Although nowadays it is considered as a typical dish of Indian cuisine, however, its origins are found in Persia. The recipe has evolved as it has traveled across the length and breadth of such an immense country. It thus adopts the different ingredients of each area. So that we can find not only mutton biryani but also with chicken, fish, prawns, vegetables. Even the processing technique can also vary. We can find meats that are not cooked separately, but they are cooked together with the rice.

Originally, the rice was steamed, in a sealed pot. But as we already imagined, the kitchen has evolved so much that even the elaboration techniques have done it when introducing new kitchen utensils. The biryani is a dish of Indian cuisine, made with a mixture of spices as well as basmati rice, meat or vegetables, nuts, and yogurt. There are many varieties of biryani and each type has its unique characteristics.

The origin of biryani is probably Persian because the name of the dish comes from beryān which means fried before cooking. It may have a connection with the Turkish Pilaf. The dish considered suitable for the upper classes, during the Mughal Empire was disseminated and made available to the humblest classes. At present, it is a dish closely linked to Muslim populations in India and is usually made with vegetables.

This dish is usually vegetarian. It is called Tehari, but it allows for chicken, turkey or lamb meat. The difference between the biryani and the pulao is that while in the pulao the ingredients are cooked together, in the biryani it is customary to cook the rice separately from the other foods. The dish is usually served with raita, korma, some curry or a dish of brinjal or aubergine. The recipe is original of Deepti Golani, a Hindu teacher based in Barcelona, a great cook and a better person, good people.

The dish can be adapted to western tastes with meat, even pork or veal although this is unthinkable in India. In turn there are many recipes of biryani that add other species such as cumin, bay leaf, cinnamon, chili or pepper. This recipe with spices, vegetables and nuts is called Shahjahani Biryani or Mughlai style.


Max Coutinho said...

Hi K!

Super delicious: I have tasted it already.

You rock.


Sahasra Recipes said...

Yummy Biryani.

Kalyan Panja
Kalyan Panja is a photographer and a travel writer sharing stories and experiences through photographs and words