You may steam cook rice and you may pressure cook spicy mutton curry, but when you cook both together it is a Mutton Briyani. Okay, that first line is to give a simplified understanding of what Briyani is. In fact, History of Briyani suggests the same when Mughal Kings wanted to cook rice and meat together and invented this awesome dish. Beauty of the Briyani lies in the flavour of rice and the spices we choose to add. And, that brings us a variety of Briyani prepared in different regions.
The most hot and spicy Briyani belongs to Andra style where they choose to add more red chilli powder and use vermicilli-like special rice called Basmati rice mostly. In other southern states of India, usually smaller rice called Jeera rice (Not to be confused with the dish made of Rice and Jeera) – referred as Seeraka Sambha Rice in Tamil – is mostly used for Briyani. It adds a special fragrance to Briyani. Karnataka boasts of its Donne Briyani where they steam cook the Briyani inside special dried-leaves-made-cup called Donne. This final steaming method in Briyani is called Dum stage which enhances taste and fragrance of Briyani. In case of Donne Briyani, the leafy juice and fragrance is imbibed to Briyani in Dum stage.
Karnataka and Tamil style Briyani’s have green coloured rice mainly due to the mint leaves. While Kerala and Andhra style usually have multi-coloured rice (White, Yellow and Red) of which orangish yellow coloured rice is prepared by adding Saffron water. Kerala style Briyani is the mildest version of Briyani in southern state because of its generous use of coconut milk and Ghee. Bengali style Briyani have distinctive taste because they add potatoes together with meat and spices. Most of the North India generally follows original Mughal style Briyani where they add Saffron flowers and has distinctive fragrance and the most mildest version in India.
And, Finally, Briyani is classified based on its main ingredient such as Chicken Briyani, Mutton Briyani, Beef Briyani, Prawns Briyani, Eggs Briyani etc., “Vegetarian Briyani” is an oxymoron as vegetables such as beans, carrot, cauliflower does not go well with Briyani spices. Just to be inclusive, “Mushroom Briyani” is the one which you can try if you don’t eat meat.
Here we present you our Mutton Briyani recipe (Tamilnadu style) :
Briyani is a great stress reliever and it induces sleep. Weekends warrants Briyani as lunch and a great afternoon nap!